Since I visited Walsall Local History Centre a few months ago to try and sort out all my Taylors and Fosters (and subsequently Birds) in Walsall and Darlaston, I have been following Walsall Council’s Twitter feed. A lot of their tweets aren’t really relevant, although they had an interesting 24 hours which they called #Walsall24 (the hashtag on Twitter denotes a collection of tweets which people have tagged with the same ‘title’ so you can follow all of a conversation at once on one topic). In this, the Council tweeted over a 24 hour period telling us what was happening right there and then in the Council (it was over the winter so I can’t now remember what it was, but do remember I found it an interesting insight into the various activities of the local Council over one particular time period.
Over the next week they, in partnership with various other Walsall bodies like the Local History Centre and the Police, are tweeting under the hashtag #Walsall100 . This is what they describe it as (from their webpage):
A pioneering online experiment is set to be staged to help lift the lid on the life of Walsall town centre.
Businesses are set join forces with Walsall Council, Walsall Police and other partners as part of the week long initiative.
The campaign, known as Walsall Town Centre 100, will help tell the story of a thriving and changing town centre.
The event will be launched on Tuesday 17 May 2011 and run until Monday 23 May 2011.
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other internet tools will be used.
Councillor Mike Bird, Walsall Council Leader, said: “Walsall is a historic town centre that is a great place to shop, work, live and do business.
“One of it’s names is the town of 100 trades and this is where Walsall 100 comes from.
It sounds interesting: one of my ancestors, Elizabeth Taylor, was running a pub in Green Lane called the Bull’s Head in the 1861 census and several members of her family were miners, and another branch of the family, the Lunns, were locksmiths and hinge makers there. So hopefully by following this Twitter feed I will find out more about the history of the town.
I do think that this is a great imaginative use of a council’s Twitter feed and wish more councils would use Twitter.