Categories: Musings

Published on 05/10/2018

It’s an odd question I guess. But last week I was driving to our new web design studio in Stoke Prior, Near Leominster and it occurred to me that I don’t have this properly defined in my mind. What prompted me was seeing the large Cadbury’s factory as I drove down on the A49. Cadbury's is a company and brand that us British clearly identify with as part of who we are, our heritage. The fact that it is now owned by a massive American company doesn’t really detract from that. The building itself is nothing like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, it is a grey smokey monstrosity, but I guess it is the idea and the brand that defines the heritage in this instance.

Our new studio clearly fits into the definition of heritage as most people see it. It is a lovely old barn with exposed wooden beams that makes up part of an old working farm. Next door to us is a large dry room for hay as well as several horse’s stables. We are currently kitting out the studio and our theme is essentially “the modern complimenting old”. So, for example we have nice modern white desks next to a couple large Chesterfield Oxblood sofas that we have recently ordered. This follows a theme I have talked about before, and something key to our business since with our work, the development of websites, we complement and preserve the heritage we represent using mordern means.

The road I was driving on when I started thinking about all this, the A49, is incredibly straight and fast and is no doubt an old Roman Road. So, does this make this road part of our heritage too? Since history is everything behind us, does everything that refers to our past count as heritage? According to Wikipedia, "heritage" refers to events or processes that have a special meaning in group memory, so I guess Heritage really needs to be something that really stands out. Although roman roads may count as part of our heritage, perhaps the A49 in particular would struggle to stand up to scrutiny in this regard.

When we developed The Lost Words website, that was an interesting one. The concept behind the book and website is that of the eroding of language, specifically in the children's dictionary whereby words such as “Otter” and “Bramble” have been replaced by other, newer words such as “Google” and “Tweet”. Language is clearly part of our collective heritage since it is something shared by everyone in the country that speak it.

Since language and culture is ever-evolving, perhaps one day words such as “Google” and “Tweet” will also be seen as heritage? Makes you wonder!

Harry O'Connor

Director of Heritage Creative, Harry has been in the web design industry for nearly 20 years.