In July 2012 a battered old box of treasures was found in the hall of Norton-juxta-Kempsey First school. Inside it was a collection of old pictures, maps and documents that looked to belong to parishes and around Pershore, some were very old indeed. There was also a letter, the writer said that he was travelling through time collecting information about the parishes of the Pershore area to help his friend Arthur de Caldicot.
It would seem that when Arthur de Caldicot had visited Worcester Cathedral as a young knight in 1204 (King John’s time) he had overheard a conversation. Someone was saying that there were two abbots in Pershore and that they shared Pershore Market! Arthur was very puzzled. What did this mean? Were there two abbeys in Pershore? He made up his mind to time travel into the Pershore area in 2015 to try to get some answers but first he needs to know what, if anything, he will recognise.
Arthur arranged for his friend to travel on ahead of him to discover if parishes had changed over the centuries so that he could find his way to Pershore in 2015. Unfortunately a great gust of wind blew away most of the notes, maps and documents his friend had collected and now the mysterious stranger needs help. He wrote a letter asking for help and put it in the old chest in which he left Norton-juxta-Kempsey First School
The pupils of in the school did their best. They learned how to be heritage detectives and they sorted out the information for their parish but it was too big a job to sort out all the papers so they called in the Heritage Knights to help. The Heritage Knights have set up the Pershore Big Heritage Quest to gather information from all round the area to create a Time Travellers Guide to the Pershore Area to help Arthur make his travel plans. They launched the Quest on July 3rd in Pershore Abbey.
At the Launch of the Pershore Big Heritage Quest in Pershore Abbey on July 3rd one hundred and seventy ambassadors from ten first and middle schools around the Pershore area were made heritage detectives. In front of the Chairman of Wychavon District Council, the Deputy Mayor of Pershore, the Vicar of Pershore Abbey and the Minister of Pershore Baptist Church and many other invited guests, including the Head Teacher of Pershore High School the heritage detectives were commissioned to lead the big quest for information in their local area.
While in the Abbey the detectives learned about Arthur and his world, they were introduced to the tools of the heritage detective and each school was given a small hessian bag containing the documents about their parish from the old chest. Now for a whole school year they will be encouraging everyone - their teachers, family and friends - to help them explore their local parish and discover its story. They will make wonder cards of things they think Arthur might recognise and put them on their parish timeline to discover whether Arthur will recognise them.
At the end of the quest the heritage detectives will bring their wonder cards and timelines to the Pershore Heritage Symposium where they will make a short presentation of their findings to the Heritage Knights. As everyone listens to each other they will find out what has made their place distinct over the centuries and perhaps they will start to think about the how they might help to shape the future.