November 2017


LATEST ON THE TIMELINE : From Bridge Farm to Westham, the untold story of Pevensey School


3 August 2014

A variety of people are making contact with us from community projects, such as small museums, history groups and other similar ventures. They are asking questions about things like the cost of the project and the implementation. Our FAQ page aims to answer some of the questions being asked.

How much did the project cost?
The total cost of the project is in the region of £24,000. Our initial grant (£8,300) for the first year of operation to complete ’2,000 entries that tell the story the story of Pevensey and its rich history over 2,00 years’ came from a Big Fund Lottery Grant in April 2014.

How difficult is it to set up the project of this description?
The project involved a year of planning. Much of this time was spent testing various approaches to the technical modelling of the platforms.

Whilst two platforms appear to the public, altogether five platforms are in operation as part of the project  Each have their own purpose. For example there is a ‘dummy timeline’ which the public do not see. This is utilised as a teaching aid and a way for students to develop their skills before they work live on the timeline.

We are fortunate in having attracted to the Pevensey Timeline people with the skills necessary to see that we can create and maintain the structure of the platforms. One of the team working behind the scenes, for example, is a national award winning web developer who specialises in the planning of these kinds of project.

How is the project implemented technically?
The platform utilises open source php shells and some specialist online platform facilities that enable people to upload information in some pioneering ways.

We customise aspects of the project in-house. This applies, for example. to work with html and css. We also work with some premium plug in architecture tools  to create the seamless look and feel of the platforms.

The standards achieved aim to have a wide appeal that can engage many different kinds of audience.

We utilise the skills of open source developers from across the world as part of the project. For example, we are about to implement a forum online. It has been engineered by Jeff Attwood in the States and has taken two years to come to the web.

The small coding aspect of the project in relation to the entries is taught by experienced tutors. They have extensive knowledge of setting up community based courses in which the mysteries of html can be unravelled quickly, and most importantly, in context.

Would you recommend working in this way for our museum/community group/village project. Is it easy?
The initial planning stage took about 500 hours. To succeed, a project of this description requires a minimum of something like three full time positions, one full time web development role, one full time web administrator and one full time tutor.

Whilst the time and money allocated to see that the project meets the first year deadlines does not remotely stretch to full-time positions, nonetheless, we are successful to some extent with the first stage of implementation. Much of the work done to plan, create and develop the timeline has depended on the right kind of input and knowledge from various people.

Any community group considering such a venture would need to look in detail at timescales, levels of experience and the kinds of seedcorn funding that was available before embarking on a project that had a similar description path.

But… the Pevensey Timeline, perhaps the first project of its kind for any village in the UK, proves that it can be done.