Vivacity needed a website that displayed the visitors’ books from the tea stall run by the Women’s United Total Abstinence Council on Peterborough East Railway Station during 1916 and 1917.

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Past.

Operating Peterborough’s cultural and leisure services, Vivacity received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to research a unique document that sheds light on the servicemen who travelled through Peterborough’s railway station during World War 1. Wanting to make the exclusive guest book available to the public, as well as being a digital resource, Vivacity required a new website to showcase the servicemen’s stories.

Present.

Our approach was to develop an intimate and informative site maximising the experience for the end user, enhancing not only the history of Peterborough, but also wartime Britain and the emotional stories associated with the servicemen. The website look and feel was based around the World War 1 era and facilitated the digitalisation of the guest book enabling the public to research and explore the stories. As well as the website, the digital guest book was also presented on screen at Peterborough train station, highlighting the city’s importance as a railway hub during the First World War. This was shown using Raspberry Pi, which is a low-powered programmable computer built by our developer.

Future.

Within the few days of launching the website, this went from 199 to 8,088 sessions overnight, and in the first month alone, the website received over 13,000 sessions, and over 60,000 page views, with the average user viewing 4.55 pages. The interactive website captures the stories of the Great War perfectly and the project will further culminate in an exhibition at Peterborough Museum in January 2018.

We were delighted with the experience of working with Speed. They brought loads of energy and enthusiasm to turn our fledgling ideas into a project website of which we are really proud. Their staff were always ready and willing to help with training, additional tweaks and snags and made sure it was all delivered on time and to budget.

Richard Hunt, Director of Culture