Commemorating the First World War in Folkestone.
Gateways has assisted the Step Short project in Folkestone through the creation of a self-guided app tour and by devising an exhibition for its visitors’ centre.
Step Short is a great example of local people working together to commemorate the First World War centenary. A Folkestone-based charity, Step Short runs a number of projects to help educate people on the history of the war in Folkestone.
Folkestone played a crucial role in the First World War as a communications hub for the Western Front. The town was transformed by the arrival of contingents from across the British Empire and beyond, witnessed an influx of Belgian refugees, hosted a huge Canadian encampment, was home to Chinese Labourers, and was the site of an allied intelligence centre.
Gateways has worked with Step Short to develop an exhibition on Folkestone in the First World War and has developed a walking tour iPhone app which takes visitors around a variety of sites with fascinating wartime histories.
The approach has been built around the following key questions:
- What characterised the social and economic nature of Folkestone in 1914?
- What physical and demographic changes did the war bring to Folkestone?
- How did life change for Folkestone residents during the war?
- How did Folkestone residents interact with the transient and semi-permanent populations forced on them by the accident of war?
The exhibition is now on display at the Step Short visitor centre in Folkestone and the app can be downloaded through the app store.
Project managed and researched by Dr Will Butler.
App development undertaken by Antonio Sanchez and Andy Wang, students in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts under the supervision of Dr Christos Efstratiou.
Generous assistance was also provided by Alan Taylor, of the Folkestone & District Local History Society, Rebecca Stockley of Folkestone Town Council and Rob Illingworth of Kent County Council - Kent Libraries, Registration & Archives.
Gateways is very grateful to the assistance provided by members of Step Short and the financial and administration assistance of Trevor Minter and Dan Hulme of the Roger De Haan Trust.