Earlier this year Conwy Archives Service were asked how we were going to contribute to our authority’s commemoration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Discussion among the archive team and wider group of colleagues in the Culture and Information section led us to the idea of creating a social media campaign in which we would post/tweet every day in the 70 days leading up to the last day of the extended Jubilee bank holiday weekend, with the 70 days each representing a consecutive year in the Queen’s reign. The first day would be an image from the Archives from 1953, the coronation year, the second from 1954 and so on until we would reach 2022 on Sunday 6th June.
We were all in agreement that the 70 posts/tweets should reflect a moment from Conwy County people’s history from each of these years and not a “royal” moment, unless there was a significant event/visit to the area for that year. With this plan in mind we started to select images and compose text for each year from 1953-2022.
It was an excellent development task to set the two new young workers who had recently started with us; Ottie, a trainee from the Cultural Ambition Project, and a modern apprentice, Elyssia. Ottie and Elyssia decided that they would take one end of the spreadsheet each and try to meet in the middle with Elyssia starting in 1953 and working forward and Ottie starting in 2022 and working backwards. This proved to be a useful training project, as it included working with colleagues, local history research, using the calm database for both catalogue research and location information, retrieving records, digitisation where required, composing interpretive text, getting it translated and finally social media scheduling.
The campaign has built audiences for our social media and we have had some really positive user engagement with some of the posts/tweets prompting the sharing of memories. Our most popular post so far was 1982’s photograph of well known locally but now defunct business Red Garages of Llandudno on their 75th anniversary, which reached over 8.5 thousand Facebook users.
The first post/tweet under the tag of #JiwbilîPlatinwmConwy/#PlatinumJubileeConwy went out on the 28th March and at time of writing we are at tweet/post no 40 (1992, Conwy Marina opens). The project has been a positive one, building social media audiences, providing a staff development opportunity and allowing us to find an appropriate way to mark the Jubilee which was focused on local people’s history, our stock in trade.
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Kate Hallett, Senior Archivist, Conwy Archive Service