Blue Flower

On Tuesday 27 October 2015 Anne Mason gave a presentation and workshop about effectively producing interpretation for heritage sites including signage and leaflets.

A slideshow and talk explained the importance of giving easily understood concise information with an engaging style, using pictures and maps where possible. Addressing the visitor in the first person gives a more personal feel, and analogies can help visitors get things like dimensions and dates in perspective. We were told the importance of using plain English without technical terms which can be off putting if people do not understand them. We were encouraged to be critical of interpretation we see everywhere to get a feel for what is good and bad. The different requirements between guided and self guided experiences was explained, and the benefits of both were covered. Both will be applied to our site, as guided tours have been and will continue to be held, but self guided signage will also be needed.

The talk was followed by a session where we looked at various visitor attraction leaflets and observed good and bad points. Faults noticed were fonts too small and on similar coloured backgrounds making it difficult to read, far too much text without being broken up with pictures or diagrams, too much information making the guide book un-saleable, and wasting space on a large leaflet but having a small inadequate map of a large complex site. Good points noted were colour coded sections for different subjects, thumbnails of all areas of interest at the start, and an unusual double fold out style.

We then discussed what would be suitable for the bone mill. Everyone agreed there should be a lectern style board on the opposite river bank giving general information about the restoration, carefully positioned to avoid spoiling the view. It was suggested that some boards could include pictures of work in progress during the restoration. We debated whether a leaflet would be suitable, as the site is not open to the public. It was suggested leaflets could have open day dates on them. It was agreed there should be a sign in the village on the main road about the mill, as many people do not use the riverside path so would be un-aware of the mill. We decided to have a meeting soon to discuss signage requirements.

At the end of the workshop Dennis handed out Bone mill T shirts to everyone who had not had one already, and we discussed plans for winter working and events.

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