Today’s post feels both celebratory, and incredibly sad for those of us here at the project. Regular followers of this blog, and visitors to the Local Studies Centre at Sutton will be familiar with Kath Shawcross, our amazing archivist, who has been central to the project from it’s inception, and worked tirelessly alongside Jane Allen, our heritage manager, to get the initial funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to save the collection. After a long career here at Sutton Archives, Kath will be leaving us this week and we shall miss her dearly. Along with managing the local studies service, Kath has worn the project manager hat for this project since the funding was awarded and, as well as employing me and offering me the opportunity to work on such an amazing collection, for which I will be eternally grateful, she has been the driving force behind all our efforts to identify and research the places and individuals in the plates. Her years of experience and love of the subject has proven invaluable to the success of the work we have done so far, and her departure will leave a big hole in our team not only professionally, but also personally.
Kath, thank you for being a fabulous project manager, mentor and friend. I will always be grateful for the trust you placed in me, the support you have offered, and the opportunities you have gifted me. We all wish you the very best in your future and hope you will stay in touch with the project.
But as well as being sad about Kath’s departure, I also said that this was a celebratory post, and it is. Without Kath’s drive to get this project off the ground, we could never have got to where we are today, and I know that the project holds a special place in Kath’s heart, so while we wave Kath goodbye and wish her good luck in all her future projects we look back at all the achievements of the last two and a half years with a huge amount of pride and say a great big thank you to everyone who has been involved along the way. Kath – this project, and all the people it has inspired are your legacy. You should be very proud!