Our writing group took part in the local Heritage Week and participated in the Dress Circle Heritage Walk. It was past some of the old houses in the Nelson area. It was a guided walk, which was really nice to have some history about the people who lived in the houses and what they did, who they became, why the houses are important in the scheme of Nelson etc. While it was a very interesting and informative walk, I would have liked to know more about the houses themselves, who built them, what they were constructed of, who designed them, a bit of history about the construction of the house.
All in all though, I learnt about some of the characters in Nelson – like one of the stately manors was owned by a husband and wife team who were well ahead of their time. He was an astronomer and she was a suffragette.
I also learnt that the founders of Griffins (the biscuit and confectionery empire) was originally from Nelson.
What I learnt most of all, was that this was a very good way to get research for writing ideas, it gave me a better idea of what houses were around during the 1860’s and also who was prominent in the Nelson society at the time.
There were tragedies, there was triumphs, there were busy people – lots of interesting things to learn about.
So I recommend that if you are interested in history, or want some idea of what your neighbourhood looked like at any time period, check it out with your local council, because they will have a Heritage Liaison officer who will be able to help, or check out their site for information on walks that they might have around your town.