Bringing our community together to preserve our heritage, so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come.
The Onslow St Audrey’s School Heritage Society began in 2012 as part of a year 9 heritage lesson. The Heritage programme encompassed all forms of historical appreciation, from stately homes to museums and local stories. It quickly became clear, given the enthusiasm with which the students embraced the programme, that we needed to offer them more and nurture their interest and so the OSA Heritage Society was born.
The Heritage Society is open to all of our students from all year groups. It is student led, with Mrs Marcham assisting with co-ordination. The students nominate the projects they wish to undertake, please see below for details of their success.
Welwyn Hatfield Heritage Network
Onslow St Audrey’s school are proud members of the Welwyn Hatfield Heritage Network and are the only school represented. The Network promotes and supports heritage organisations and events across the region. The Network also organises the Welwyn Hatfield Heritage Fair which the OSA Heritage Society has exhibited at for the last two years at The Howard Centre. We are helping to organise the Heritage Fair this year.
The Network represents an unprecedented wealth of knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm which our students are fortunate to be able to access whenever required.
The Heritage Lottery Fund de Havilland Project
Our students successfully bid for over £30,000 for an ambitious exhibition, film and website project on Hatfield’s illustrious aviation heritage entitled: Hatfield’s Magnificent Aviation Heritage (& How it Helped Win the War!)
OSA Heritage Society members researched de Havilland aircraft by visiting museums, archives, air shows and other heritage venues. They taught an after-school craft class at a local primary school based on their project research and they recorded the oral histories of local residents, pilots and conservators. The Committee also planned other heritage activities, sometimes for a whole year group, they managed the budget, earned bronze and silver Arts Awards and delivered spectacular community resources, on time and under budget.
The project had two fabulous community launch nights and was shared with students, groups and enthusiasts all around the county. The benefits continue to this day – the OSA Heritage Society were absolutely delighted to be contacted by The Ryde Primary School recently and asked to deliver a lesson to a lovely class of Year 2 students, based on their project.
The Heritage Lottery Fund WWI Project
Once again our students were incredibly fortunate and their bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for more than £11,000 for an exhibition project entitled: WWI – Near & Far was successful.
Heritage students researched museums, archives, stately homes, worked with local experts and interviewed community members. Their research included a poignant visit to Ypres. It was a wonderful day for the project when Mrs Sylvia Honnor contacted the school to say that she was willing to lend our students her father’s archive and what a treasure trove it proved to be! Among many photographs, hand drawn maps and memorabilia, the students were able to benefit from 5 years’ worth of unpublished WWI diaries.
The project had 3 fantastic community launch evenings at different venues. Our launch at Mill Green Museum was attended by Lord & Lady Salisbury, whose family feature in the exhibition, and heralded a month long residency at the museum where the feedback from visitors has been tremendous.
Blenheim Palace History Prize
As a part of our Heritage Lottery Fund WWI project, Heritage Society Treasurer, Charlie Murphy, completed extended research on Blenheim Palace and the military record of the Marlborough family. It was such a superior piece of work that Mrs Marcham submitted it to the Blenheim Palace Heritage Education Awards.
We were all thrilled when Mr Harpham received a letter informing him that Charlie had won the History prize, as well as Amy Trudgett receiving a commendation for her work on the great houses during WWI.
Charlie, his parents, Mr Harpham and Mrs Marcham were invited to the Palace for tea with their Graces, the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and saw Charlie receive his prize from the Duchess.
Magna Carta Events
OSA marked 800 years of Magna Carta in style with a whole school balloon release. Our students and staff, along with students and staff from three local primary schools, spelled out ‘Liberty 800’ with balloons and each balloon had a message of liberty and freedom attached with an email address for members of the public to send us their own messages. Following this spectacular event, OSA hosted a LiberTeas event for the primary schools with delicious cakes for all.
OSA also marked the anniversary of Magna Carta by taking part in the Junior Lawyers in Schools programme and were delighted to welcome University of Hertfordshire Solicitor, Rachel Ma, to talk to our Year 10 & 12 students.
As a result of our heritage work, Headteacher, Mr Harpham was invited to the Magna Carta commemoration event at Runnymede in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen; The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip; The Princess Royal, Princess Anne; The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William; The Prime Minister, David Cameron; The Archbishop of Canterbury and the US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch.
Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust Project
Our heritage students were delighted to help the Trust with their marvellous Heritage Lottery funded project: Where do you think we worked?
OSA students researched the Welwyn Film Studios, where Alfred Hitchcock directed and where iconic films such as Brighton Rock were made. Their research was included in the Trust’s excellent book.
QEII Hospital Project
Heritage students worked with local historical groups and the North & East Herts NHS Trust to record video histories from local residents and OSA staff about the QEII Hospital.
We were thrilled to be credited in the marvellous project book by Angela Eserin, ‘The QEII – A Hospital’s Story’ and in the associated exhibition launched by the Countess of Verulam and the Marquess of Salisbury. Our video histories are now housed in the Mill Green Museum archive.
University of Hertfordshire – WWI Hub
Heritage students are working with Sarah Lloyd from UH WWI Hub and will be undertaking research for the ‘Everyday Lives in War’ project.
Old Hatfield Residents Association
Heritage students are responding to a request from the Old Hatfield Residents Association and hope to start working with them on their exciting plans for a Heritage Trail.