Padstow People's Autobiography

The Padstow People's Autobiography is awarded £92,000 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a new collaborative 2.5-year community heritage project to digitise, catalogue, interpret and share Doc Rowe's unique audio-visual Padstow and Mayday collection.

Award-wining awen productions CIC from West Cornwall in partnership with The Doc Rowe Collection and Archive has received funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the Padstow People's Autobiography, it was announced today. After years of community consultation, this ambitious project has been designed with Padstow people to create an accessible interactive website and produce new community curated content with the archive materials as well as events, exhibitions and young people opportunities.

Made possible by National Lottery players, the Padstow People's Autobiography was kickstarted by the generous support of Cornwall Heritage Trust (£5,000) and Awards for All (£10,000).

Barbara Santi, director of awen productions says "We are honoured to be working with Doc and the Padstow families on this very special archive. We want to thank first and foremost the Padstow people and the Obby Oss parties for supporting this exciting project which Doc and I have been wanting to realise for many years now. The project also involves different partners including Kresen Kernow, Padstow School and Padstow Museum to ensure that all Padstow people, wherever they are, can contribute and play an important part in ensuring that this fantastic collection is conserved and enjoyed into the future."

The wider Doc Rowe Collection and Archive contains a lifetime's work relating to British folklore, song, dance and cultural traditions. Described by The Guardian as 'Britain's greatest folklorist', Doc has one of the largest private collections in the UK and is recognised as being of international significance.

Doc says "It would be an understatement to say how delighted and privileged I feel to have this opportunity of 'circulating' over fifty years of personal documentation to a very remarkable community. My connection with Padstow and its Mayday goes back almost 60 years, so the idea is to share my collected media – photographs, film and recordings - from over half a century of visits. I've noted there is already enthusiasm to discover and uncover the collection contents and, by having this material returned to the community from whence it was documented, I hope it will establish a feeling of ownership.

This project is seen foremost as a celebration of the people and traditions of this community which can include not just the annual Mayday celebration but local songs, carolling, 'mummers' and carnival."

For further information and to follow the project please go to

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