About time I introduced myself: I’m Joe and I’m Sharow’s Heritage Learning Officer. I’ll be updating you on my goings-on in regular (I hope) blog posts. For now, here is my written piece for Roundabout magazine:
Hello, I’m Joe. Whilst a very recent graduate in History & Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been involved in a plethora of heritage projects across the country. I love meeting new people, finding out about exciting new projects and, most of all, discussing historical matters over a cup of tea. Fortunately, I am sure these will all be aspects of the Heritage & Learning Officer role!
My grandfather was a biology teacher and, during WW2, he was a pilot in Coastal Command. I grew up reading all manner of books about aircraft and the natural world. I could also be found fiddling around with slides and an antique brass microscope. Subsequently, I have found that these interests have combined beautifully in my archaeological exploits though, for a number of years, I was intent on studying ecology. However, whilst studying for my GCSE’s, I became involved with a HLF project at Ripon Cathedral and haven’t been able to untangle myself since!
Prior to university, I worked with Kevin Cale of Community Archaeology Ltd. Together, we researched top-secret plane crashes, conducted excavations with classes of school children and developed after-school clubs for young pupils interested in archaeology. I organised an introduction to graveyard surveying at the Cathedral as well as sessions identifying stories in the stained glass. Whilst at University, I was employed with the Rothwell Charnel Chapel Project as their communications officer. This was a cross-disciplinary project and I gained experience alongside academics, researchers and even engineers. With them, I organised heritage open days, lectures and the construction of a new website as well as producing oral history video interviews.
Since graduating, I have been assisting the Cathedral’s Director of Operations, Julia Barker, with our HLF application. With this, we will improve the Cathedral’s visitor offer and ensure that visitors gain an improved insight into the heritage of the building and its environs. This is an exciting time for the Cathedral and I’ve been lucky to be involved. I also work as a Verger, work which I enjoy immensely because of the range of people I get to meet and the places I get to explore.
Looking forward, I am delighted to be working in a historic church building that is still at the centre of the community it was built to serve. I can’t wait to meet everyone and see what wonderful bits of history we can explore together.