‘Hayle Churks’ Mobile Phone App Wins National Award

The Hayle Churks mobile phone app won a Collections Trust national award last week. ‘Hayle Oral History Project won the Collections on a Budget Award and its £500 prize for its Hayle Churks mobile phone app. The judges said it was “a really commendable project, and a very good example of what can be achieved with collections on a limited budget”,’ announced Collections Trust at their Open Culture 2014 conference. Creator Lucy Frears went to London’s Oval for the ceremony. ‘It means such a lot to me, I’m extremely pleased – I don’t think I could have smiled more when it was announced’, says Frears. ‘The app draws from a collection of Hayle memories, many recorded by the Hayle Oral History Project so a big thank you needs to go out to those that were interviewed as well as volunteer interviewers, local archives and of course Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) who helped fund the app in partnership with Falmouth University.’

‘Recognition through the Award is a reward for the hard work needed when experimenting with new technologies and a new creative direction. I was learning while doing on this project and had to work on the last fine detail during very difficult personal circumstances. I believe, and hope, that the next work could be so much better”.

The app ran against projects costing less than £500,000 with competition open to all national collections, museums and archives. ‘I used £6,000 of my Heritage Lottery Fund’s All Our Stories grant on the app including commissioning original music, graphic design and coding support/ consultancy from Calvium, creators of the app-making toolkit, AppFurnace, I used to build the app. My time working on the app was made possible by my ESF research grant at Falmouth University’, says Frears.

The prize money will be spent on app tweaks and a short film to illustrate what the app does for conference presentations, online and for Hayle Heritage Centre, the start point for the app walk. Frears urges the public to nominate other Cornwall based projects next year. “There are so many interesting projects in Cornwall that could have won this award. Through innovative creative interpretations of collections new audiences are drawn to and get access to memories, objects, documents and art works. I hope to see more of these projects being recognised and funded in the future”.

Frears is Associate Lecturer on BA Digital Media Design and one of a number of practice-based PhD researchers at Falmouth University making work using archival material. Natalia Eernstmann, Jeanie Sinclair and Annie Lovejoy work with memories while poet Annabel Banks uses correspondence. Matt Lunt focuses on the Penlee Gallery and Museum’s photographic collection, Val Diggle uses Glasney College traces and Jason Cleverly makes interactive sculptural craft works for museums.

The Hayle Churks app can be downloaded for FREE from iTunes. Download details can be found on the Hayle Tales blog, Hayle History Facebook page and Churks postcards. The smart phone app was devised to walk with using headphones on the fringes of Hayle but the ‘armchair’ mode, the ‘Listen at Home’ button that can be used from any location.
The photo was taken by Greg Sigston.

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