That’s how poet Sir John Betjeman once famously described the picturesque town of Stamford, Lincolnshire. Wikimedians recently had the chance to put that claim to the test.
Wikimedia UK received an email a short while ago from Dave Sones of the Stamford Civic Society expressing an interest in learning how to edit Wikipedia. Dave’s idea, along with the Civic Society, was to get together to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of Stamford while creating a digital archive of notable encyclopaedic resources, such as historical documents and images. This drive was given impetus by the recent closure of the local museum and there was a real sense of enthusiasm around the town to share the wonderful resources on their doorstep.
That’s how on Monday 17 December some staff and volunteers from Wikimedia UK arrived at the local college to train a diverse group of local residents, including a sizeable contingent from the Civic Society, on the finer points of what it takes to create and edit content for the largest reference work ever created.
After a light lunch, trainers Katie, Edward and Tom took the group through topics including a background to Wikipedia and its sister projects, how to write and edit content, how to include references, creating user accounts, talk pages and how to add images.
The training was well received and there was a definite determination to put some energy into the freshly-updated project, which you can see here. WMUK will continue working with the Stamford team into the new year. We’re looking forward to seeing the content evolve over the coming months.
And as for Betjeman’s claims? Perhaps you should pay Stamford a visit and judge for yourself!