Why the need for a website about Kettering?

This project arose from the desire of the museum to record the vanishing history of the town.

Kettering, like many other towns in Northamptonshire, has undergone radical changes in the last few decades. Its predominantly industrial character has all but disappeared and many of the buildings that dominated its skyline have been knocked down or fallen into ruin. The boot and shoe trade, the mainstay of its wealth for over a century, has mostly moved away, and the town is still looking to create a new identity.

More significantly, the memories of that industrial past are fading. The museum holds machinery that once was familiar to thousands of the town's inhabitants, but which now sits lifeless and separate from those memories. How to bring the two together and alive again, and to maintain them for posterity is the basis of this project.

The museum received a grant from the Learn with Museums programme to create a website with the help of local children that would help fulfil this need to hang on to some of the history of the town. The decision to use local schools was no gimmick, but a realisation that as they are rooted in the local communities the children would have far greater access than museum staff to those who hold these memories. Furthermore, these children are the inheritors of this history and thus have the greatest stake of all in wanting to preserve it.

The project began with one of the schools nearest to the centre of Kettering, St. Andrew's Primary. Pupils designed the look of the site, and named it.  Overtime the site has and will continue to grow to include schools, organisations, and anyone with memories of the town which they wish to share.

MLA Department for Education and Skills DCMS Learn with museums Kettering Borough Council