August seems to have whizzed by. Come to think of it, so has the summer. Or perhaps I should say; what summer? We've had perhaps a week of warm to hot weather here in the Uberwald, the rest of it seems to have been fairly cool, wet or windy. At least that meant getting on with some of the projects I've got on my plate at the moment. The most demanding being the history I'm collaborating on of my former place of employment.
There are several reasons for this, one being that my collaborator wants to expand it, while I'm trying to keep it manageable. Plus, there is a lot of research to do and a lot of tracking down some records to be done. One of the biggest challenges is going to be persuading some of our former colleagues to make a contribution. That problem is two-fold; many want to contribute, but, certainly among those who shared (and are still labouring) the latter years of the establishment want to make plain their unhappiness at the manner in which they and the organisation have been abused and destroyed. We have to be sensitive about that aspect.
I spent almost sixteen years working at this establishment, a post which followed twenty years in active fire service duty and four in London in consultancy and then marine fire safety. My work took me to many different lands and gave me the opportunity to meet some interesting people. Sadly, there will not be the same opportunities for those who come after us. As we prepare this draft history, the whole establishment is being carved up, downsized and sold off to the highest bidder. I have no doubt that eventually people will ask whay? And what went wrong? How did we lose this resource? Hopefully some of what we are preparing will provide the answers.
There is a huge archive of photographs we can draw on, likewise a wealth of positive material. The time consuming part os the sorting and selecting of the best and most suitable items. It's going to be a longer project than my colleague thinks ...