It’s the end of week one on this two year project and, at last, we have made a start.

Many people have been congratulating us on getting the grant. Those that have had the pleasure of writing lottery applications also appreciate that it’s no simple task. There’s a lot of sections to fill in; an agonisingly careful budget to work out and, among the twelve extra ‘supporting documents’ to pull together, an 8 page ‘activity plan’ covering everything from before the start to after the finish.

Well … that was the easy bit. Now it’s time to turn it into a reality.

For me as the project manager, at this early stage it’s all about talking to people – our supporters and partners; the parish councils, the local schools, the archaeologists at The Caistor Roman Project, the research mentors at NAHRG, the Writers Centre, the Norwich Arts Centre, Tin House and , of course, the people of the villages themselves.

The grant allows us to provide a framework and the professional skills to help the villages themselves to investigate and be inspired by the possibilities of their history.

So we come towards the people of Tasburgh [our focus in 2017] with questions about the ancient and mysterious enclosure, so key to the origins of the village as it stands today.

We want to encourage as many of the village as possible to our OPEN PUBLIC MEETING at 7pm at the Village Hall on 15th February, where we will be outlining the project in some detail. There will be many ways to get involved: join the archive research; get digging; contribute a story; be a part of the creative planning teams; make a lantern; write a song; bring wood for the bonfire or soup for the belly – who knows. I am trusting that, as in all good communities, many surprises and much support will emerge as we move forward.

I dare say that as much as the Lottery like you have it nailed down at start – that 8-page activity plan, the carefully crafted budget and all the well-worded outcomes will see some significant bend and flex. And so they should. It’s their village, their history, their celebration, and only they know what’s possible and what will work for Tasburgh.

Bring it on!