Urban detectives needed to record Angus heritage

Detective kit
Detective kit

Locals are being asked to get hands on with history by taking part in a nationwide initiative to record the littlest local landmarks in Scotland’s towns and cities.

The initiative comes from Scotland’s Urban Past (SUP), a five-year community-engagement project from Historic Environment Scotland that puts communities in charge of recording the history on their doorsteps, and is part of the celebrations for the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.

Volunteers in urban areas, such as Arbroath‎, Brechin and Kirriemuir, can become ‘Urban Detectives’ by submitting photographs and location coordinates of tiny buildings to the SUP website. Users are also invited to take measurements and sketches, all of which will become part of Canmore, Scotland’s online record of architecture, archaeology and industry.

This national record is a digital time machine, holding images and information about more than 320,000 sites in Scotland. But with many places still to be recorded for future generations, SUP is turning to local Urban Detectives to help fill in the gaps – starting with the smallest sites in Scottish towns. Gatehouses, signal boxes and pavilions are just a few types of tiny buildings to be investigated by Urban Detectives in Angus.

Chiara Ronchini, SUP Project Manager, said: “People throughout Scotland will be bringing our national collection to life by telling the big stories of our tiniest buildings.”

“Our dedicated digital team have made it easy to contribute information to Canmore on mobiles and tablets, as well as PCs and Macs, so you can even add a snapshot of local landmarks such as police boxes on your way to work.”

“Every contribution will be accessible to the wider public, helping to build a detailed and accessible history of our urban heritage by the people who live within it. It’s a great opportunity to help document Angus, past and present, for generations to come.”

SUP provides free training, support and resources to people of all ages to help them discover and share the fascinating stories of Scotland’s towns and cities. Free workshops for Urban Detectives will be taking place throughout Scotland. For more information, visit www.scotlandsurbanpast.org.uk.

SUP is supported by the National Lottery with a grant of £1.65m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Find out how to become an Urban Detective in five easy steps with this short video: http://vimeo.com/162536394

Five steps to becoming an Urban Detective:

1. Choose your site: Anything from telephone boxes to allotment sheds – the choice is yours.

2. Investigate: Discover the story of your site through archives, maps, books and photographs.

3. Record: Measure, sketch, photograph or survey your site for future generations.

4. Register and contribute: Visit www.scotlandsurbanpast.org.uk to add your information.

5. Share: Your contributions become publicly accessible in the National Record of the Built Environment and http://canmore.org.uk/