In 1986, 900 years after William the Conqueror’s original Domesday Book, the BBC published the Domesday Project. The project was probably the most ambitious attempt ever to capture the essence of life in the United Kingdom. Over a million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country.
People were asked to record what they thought would be of interest in another 1000 years.
Schools and community groups surveyed over 108,000 square km of the UK and submitted more than 147,819 pages of text articles and 23,225 amateur photos, cataloguing what it was like to live, work and play in their community.
Newton Poppleford School
My name is Samantha and I am a pupil at Newton Poppleford County Primary School. Our school was built in 1876 and then it was called Harpford School. There are three teachers
(Mr. Bolsover, Miss Baker and Mrs. Griffith) and the Headmaster whose name is Mr. S. Kerrigan. The school has 87 children(47 boys and 40 girls)There are three classes as the Headmaster doesn't have one. The children at our school are aged from 5 to 11 and when we finish most of us go to Sidmouth College. The school has quite a few sports facilities a playing field, football pitch, a swimming pool and a hall with P.E equipment.
A day at school
This is a typical Monday for class 2 in the summer at Newton Poppleford School.
First of all we have assembly followed by some tests. We then have maths until
10.30 when we have a break for playtime in the playground. After play we do English Language and Environmental Studies until midday when it is dinner time. We have dinner
in the canteen. After dinner we go swimming in our school pool for an hour then we do
Environmental Studies again until it is time to go home.
Life in Newton Poppleford
We live in a big house, 5 minutes walk from the village centre. We have two fields one each side of our house so we have lots of space and no neighbours to complain about any noise we make! Some nights we ride our bikes or rollerskate down to the playground at the other end of the lane. At different times of the year there is cricket and football and there is a B.M.X. course which we go on when we ride our bikes to the playground. There is a lovely cream tea place in the village and two pubs and an Italian restaurant. Unfortunately we do not make use of all the village amenities as we are all members of different organisations in Sidmouth eg. Guides, Brownies and Ballet.
Mutters Moor and countryside
MOORLAND-The moorland is covered in heather and gorse. It is stoney (mainly flintstones) There are ferns with the occasional tree. The woodland is at the edge of the moor. Across the moor are bridle paths, tracks and footpaths.
WOODLAND-The woodland consists of both coniferous and deciduous trees. Conifers are mainly evergreens and most of these conifers are. Some of the deciduous trees are Oak, Beech and Hazel. The woodland is dominantly coniferous. Some of the trees are being felled for timber.
FARMLAND-Crops(grass not included) consist of Barley and Wheat. There are areas of rough grazing for Cows, horses and Sheep.
LANES AND HEDGEROWS-Full of wild flowers such as Foxgloves, Pink Campion Blue bells, Herb Robert, Cow Parsley and Stitchwort. The hedges are thick + high
The Story of the Domesday Project
The project used the cutting edge technology of the day, and the data was eventually presented on a special type of Laser-Disc, read by a BBC master computer and navigated using an innovative tracker-ball pointing system.
But the technology didn’t catch on and the computers became very expensive for schools and libraries to buy. Very few people ever got to see the fruits of all of their hard work.
As time went on there were fears that the discs would become unreadable, as computers capable of reading the format had become rare and drives capable of accessing the discs even rarer.
Now 25 years later in our age of the world wide web, digital photography, email and social networking, its time to have a look at those entries again, to bring the project up to date, and perhaps to lay down another layer of local history.
With the help of The National Archives this unique record will be preserved for future generations.