Ten years at the Royal Commission: Reflections by our longest-serving volunteer
I have to admit that I was rather surprised to be reminded that I’ve now been a volunteer with the Royal Commission for ten years. The Commission’s records show that my first day in the office was 10 May 2008.
I’ve known the Commission’s work for many years, and having retired to Aberystwyth I felt that information I’d gathered on historic industrial sites in north Wales during the 1970s and ‘80s could be usefully added to the National Monuments Record of Wales. In recent years I’ve become an active member of the Welsh Mills Society, and I’m acting as a channel through which other members of the Society can bring their records into the National Monument Record. My own contribution has been to use the Commission’s extensive on-line map collection and GIS (geographical information system), scanning the historic large-scale maps for the whole of Wales to identify almost 2,900 sites of windmills, water-powered mills and other water power sites, and producing distribution maps. Now I’m adding new records to Coflein, the Commission’s on-line catalogue of historic sites, for all the water-power sites which have so far been unrecorded. I can also provide people with information which will help them record the mills of their home areas.
Volunteering with the Commission has provided me with opportunities to learn new skills, and with a circle of friendly and supportive colleagues sharing a love of the historic environment which is so important to Wales. It gives me a sense of purpose – not that I don’t have others – and a feeling of achievement; and above all, it’s enjoyable.
By John Crompton.
If you would like to volunteer at the Royal Commission please contact Sue Billingsley on 01970 621228 firstname.lastname@example.org. We currently have several volunteer opportunities in our specialist Library.