For the past two years I have been studying a foundation degree in history,
heritage and archaeology at Strode College, during which time we have been
working on independent heritage projects and studying a vast range of historical
periods including Witchcraft in the local region. The course has developed not
only my research skills but opened the door to several contacts both within
Somerset through the South West Heritage Trust and local history societies
including North Sedgemoor History Group, Axbridge and District Archaeological and
History Society and Westbury-sub-Mendip Archaeology. Through my role as a clerk,
I have developed a good working knowledge of local parishes within the area
particularly towards Middlezoy and the corridor of the A39.
I have worked with Selina previously on a project in Burnham on Sea, around
writing and theatre performances in shops, in addition to many other community
projects in and around Highbridge and Burnham on Sea, including events
organisation and arts & craft projects. I am an active member of the West
Huntspill Players amateur dramatic group and the Highbridge Festival of the Arts.
This collaboration and timing is reminiscent of the period when belief in witchcraft
peaked in the 17th Century that occurred during times of hardship, following the
plague, poor harvests linked to climate, high levels of poverty or mortality – when
fear caused people to look for someone to blame. The current period we are living
through is history of tomorrow and the perfect time to work within the community
in a creative capacity to document this.