Modern Welwyn Garden City history trail set to be unveiled

PUBLISHED: 12:04 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:04 17 October 2017

Chair of the WGC Heritage Trust Tony Skottowe. Picture credit: Danny Loo.

Chair of the WGC Heritage Trust Tony Skottowe. Picture credit: Danny Loo.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust is set to modernise local history with the introduction of its Town Centre Trail.

One of the trust's live signs that are currently readable with suitable scanners. Picture credit: Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust.One of the trust's live signs that are currently readable with suitable scanners. Picture credit: Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust.

The system involves residents using their smart phones to access specially designed signs mounted on lamp posts, which then connect users to information about the location’s history.

It uses several free downloadable barcode-reading apps that will scan the codes and link it to information on the trust’s website.

WGC Heritage Trust chairman, Tony Skottowe, said the system is believed to be the first of its kind nationwide – providing WGC with a “digital first”.

He added: “The system will be ideal for the younger residents and visitors alike, who are so at home with this sort of technology, as well as to our hard-pressed teachers.”

The trail – which will be officially unveiled next week – starts outside the Howard Centre close to McDonald’s and provides historical information alongside a map showing how to get to the route’s next location.

It means anyone with a mobile phone can follow the route from start to finish or wherever they find the first sign.

To ensure anyone can use the system, the trust has provided a link on its signs directing residents to working downloadable barcode-reader apps.

Mr Skottowe added: “We especially want to thank Gascoyne Cecil Estates and the University of Hertfordshire’s Heritage Hub for their financial support of the project, and all the people within the trust and linked to it for their ideas and expertise.

“A similar system will be installed in Peartree as soon as possible given how important the area was and still is to the town.”

So far the project has cost around £1,500, Mr Skottowe confirmed.

He added that the trust believes “the world is its oyster” now it has direct access to the internet enabling sound and video to be added to the website over time.

The trail will be officially unveiled outside the Howard Centre near Mcdonald’s at 10am on Monday, October 23, by Welwyn Hatfield mayor Lynne Sparks.

WGC Heritage Trust’s project comes after the borough council approved planning permission earlier this year.

For more information, email info@welwyngarden-heritage.org or call 0789 1963469.

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