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25 Apr 2016

York St John hosts Operation Nightingale Symposium

An initiative to help rehabilitate injured soldiers by getting them involved in archaeological investigations was the subject of an event hosted by the Heritage and Arts Visitor Research Collaborative (HAVRC) at York St John University.

nightingale group2The Operation Nightingale Symposium looked into the Operation Nightingale initiative, which has worked on a project at Marne Barracks (formerly RAF Catterick), its achievements and its legacy.

Keynote speakers included archaeologist and Channel Four’s Time Team presenter Professor Carenza Lewis, Alan Finnegan from the University of Chester and Sgt Diarmaid Walshe from the Royal Army Medical Corps.

HAVRC was founded in 2014 by the late Professor Steve Watson and its purpose is to investigate, from an academic perspective, how groups engage with heritage and the arts. It also acts as a vehicle for collaborative work between academics and other practitioners and communities of interest.

Attending the event were representatives from Operation Nightingale USA, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Historic England and the Defence Archaeology Group.

Dr Brendan Paddison, Senior Lecturer in Business and Management (and current HAVRC lead) said: “The symposium here today is a result of Steve’s interest in community archaeology, cultural heritage and his collaborative work with the Operation Nightingale team.  It is a great example of the role of HAVRC in bringing together people from different areas."

The HAVRC team will be launching a Masterclass series in the near future for likeminded people to discuss topics of interest and relevance within heritage and the arts.

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