Past, Present and Future


The Past, Present and Future project relates to the heritage of Inverclyde. The waterfront area was once the lifeblood of Inverclyde and many people, families and communities survived through the industries on the riverbanks.

A group of older and younger members of the community worked with the BBC to produce a documentary style film. Through intergenerational collaboration, the resources and skills to research, investigate and exhibit, this history will allow fact and fiction to be archived for generations to come, and will encourage young people to develop an awareness of their rich and proud heritage.

The Trails and Tales exhibition will raise awareness of local history, not only among the younger generation, but also among the older generation, who worked with the young people to develop the project through workshops and interviews. It will leave a lasting legacy which could have been forgotten if not revived through Past, Present and Future.
The participants were aged between 13 and 82.

Partners in the project were: Inverclyde Council (Libraries) for researching archives and James Watt College (film-making SVQs to enable the young people to enhance their opportunities to gain access to employment or further education).

Success stories

Through carrying out this project, a new set of group skills for working with a mixed age group was developed. Management of the project, including child protection issues, had to be well planned in advance, and workshops on safety were offered to everyone. It was important that staff were experienced in working with both groups as the language and understanding of culture between older and younger generations can occasionally cause problems. Staff should be prepared to run separate workshops to help to explain or to work through issues that may arise.

The project brought a number of benefits:

  • bringing communities together;
  • bringing down barriers which can lead to isolation and exclusion for generations;
  • the acquisition of new skills, such as computing, media skills, research and communication;
  • the opportunity for older people to pass on their wide array of knowledge and skills to other generations.