You have a good idea, you make the plan, you find the funding and then you get on with setting out to make it all a reality. For that though – you need people. So no matter how sure you are of your idea, or how interested people have seemed in Tasburgh, you never know whether people are going to show up, whether all that thinking and plotting and preparing is actually going to amount to not much more than another failed good idea.
So at about 6.30 – as Mel was opening up the Hall for the public meeting last night [Wednesday] – I was inevitably feeling nervous. What if no one comes? I did some self-talk to comfort myself “… 30 would be great, 40 would be fantastic. We may even get 50! No don’t think like that… 30.. be pleased with 30. 20 I could work with 20… ” etc.
We got 103…!
Tasburgh even surprised itself: “I’ve lived here all my life and I never seen some o’ these people” said one older gent. Imagined Land certainly seems to have captured imaginations in the village. It was an unbelievable response – and quite overwhelming to see. 10% of the village.
Giles the archaeologist was bombarded with people offering to let him dig huge holes in the garden; Tony the research lead was talking and taking names all night, and to have 24 down already for the creative work is way beyond what I had hoped or expected.
We can’t be grateful enough for the village showing such support. We are rich. Already we are laden with offers of family trees, fire-makers, fiddle players fantastic cake makers and a stack of wonderful things besides. Graham from the scouts, for example. has child-sized 50 Roman shields in store – now they simply have to be put to good use.
And then there are always the important surprises: the teenagers who said they were there to help make sure it doesn’t end up being just for younger kids, the bright discussions with Sara Helen the writing facilitator on exploring the Norfolk dialect, the offer of fascinating documents that have never come to light until now.
Now we have the opposite challenge of making sure that everyone’s contributions and energy – however small – is used and valued, so the community are able to really discover, imagine and create something terrific and everyone benefits. We will be doing our very best to make sure that happens.
When I have finally managed to punch in all those names to the spreadsheet I will be contacting everyone about where things go next.
The researchers will meet in March and those with a creative interest soon after. Sites all over the village will then be chosen for the test pit weekends with Giles and CRP in May. Be assured a trowel will coming somewhere near you soon!
It really feel s underway now. All the energy in the room last night reminded of a passage of text that I keep in the jumble of things pinned over my desk, from Margaret Mead:
” Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”
So true. And just think what we could do with a group of 103!