UEA Workshop

The following has kindly been written by one of the new LWHS Trustees, who has just completed another successful UEA workshop, for which once again many thanks Dr Sarah Spooner and colleagues.

 

On Monday 29th April, I packed my pen, Ipad and files and headed off to the UEA Norwich for the second of my one day courses: “An Introduction to Access”, which followed on from an excellent Excel introduction workshop a few weeks ago.

These courses are part of the Research in Community Heritage project which is about bringing academics from the UEA and local communities together to support one another in finding out more about community heritage.

If I had thought that this course was going to be similar to the Excel course I was mistaken. Like most people, it seems, I am self-taught at Excel and can find my way around a spread sheet as long as it isn’t too complicated. The Tutor delights in hearing the exclamations and ‘oh no’s’ when teaching Excel properly and his students realise they have been doing something so ‘long hand’ when a simple one click procedure would have done…if only I had known how to ‘wrap text’ years ago it would have saved me hours! Although intense, it wasn’t difficult as I was familiar with the programme.

But Access was a different kettle of fish altogether. I have no Access or data base experience and now I know why. We had 5 hours of very intense training. Only 4 of us (including a UEA lecturer in medieval history) attended and for one, he wouldn’t mind me saying, it was a just a bit too complex.

Creating a data base it seems is all about thinking and preparation. If you set it up wrong at the outset, spend hours putting in data then find you can’t access the reports you were hoping too, it can be fatal. The tutor has had many cases where months of work have had to be scrapped and started again because it wasn’t set up correctly in the first place…..filling me with dread immediately!

However, what became clear and what I would see as a challenge was how fantastic a source they can be if they are created to produce/select the material you want to see.

Rowena, who specialises in local history and looked over our shoulders to check we were following everything correctly, agreed that with our project already a third of the way through and scheduled to finish in January, it was unlikely we could create a meaningful data base in time. The two other gentlemen however are involved in a longer term project for their village, stretching back to the reign of Boadicea and already involving copious amounts of data- for them this could be a very useful tool.

I arrived back home after a long day, full of new knowledge, which is never a bad thing, wishing I had the time to dedicate to creating a village data base, but knowing realistically that this may be something we might like to consider for the future.

Doesn’t stop me thinking about how to go about setting it up though!

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4 Responses to “UEA Workshop”

  1. Reblogged this on UEA Ideas Bank and commented:
    Lovely feedback from the Little Waldingfield History Society about our workshop on Monday – thankyou Waldingfield! (great blog too :-))

  2. paul m. pompa Says:

    I am in elgin il usa. found your article on 487thbombardtment group [ h ] gentlemen from hell. my uncle flew a b-24 out of lavenham during 2 nd ww-2. I have been checking into the history of your area. uncles plane was shot down returning from a bombing run. 10 man crew 6 were taken pow, he led 4 other to friendly lines back to England. Belgium under ground . his b-24 liberator was nicknamed ‘satan lady’ . I am checking on history of your area. I am very interested.

    • Hi Paul,

      We would certainly like to hear more about your uncle and Satan Lady as it sounds like he had an eventful time, to put it mildly. Do you by any chance have any photos of the crew, the plane or the ‘nose art’, as we would love to see them. And what a great name for a bomber – fits right in with “Gentlemen From Hell’.

      We would be happy to assist with your researches where possible. Thank you for following the blog and please remember that our recently published history of Little Waldingfield has considerable detail on the two world wars, the personal stories of every name on our War Memorial and some of the men from the 486th Bomb Group [H], who were based at Chilton airfield just three / four miles from Lavenham airfield.

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