From collections to characters

Leicester Transport Heritage Trust Personas Project

The Trust have been working with AIM member Documentary Media Centre to develop a new project with the support of a young volunteer, Emily Whitlam, the project’s ‘Digital Curator.’ Emily joined Leicester Transport Heritage Trust after becoming passionate about her school buses and is delighted to be using her drawing skills and the knowledge she has gained during her time as a bus enthusiast to promote the Trust’s message.

Taking one of the Trust’s best loved vehicles, a 1977 Dennis Dominator, Emily uses digital platforms to share Dennis’ adventures, introduce his friends, and promote the work of the Trust. A new Instagram channel @Dennis.n.friends is managed by Emily, who designed the
illustrations of Dennis and his friends – Olivia, Ruby and the ‘Krazy & Wild’ Kirby and West milk float, Speedy.

Her interest in 233 or ‘Dennis’ the Dominator, was sparked during the time she spent creating an official video that promoted Dennis’ return to the road after restoration. The bus is the first production model of its kind – so Dennis holds a historical significance, too.

Emily is excited about the project’s potential to engage new audiences and young people in the work of the Trust. There’s already interest in merchandise, children’s books, and other fundraising ideas, as she explains; “It’s great to be able to give Dennis and his friends their
own ‘busonalities’ and bring them to life in a fun and engaging way. I am using my media skills to gain valuable experience whilst at the
same time enhancing the way people interact and engage with the work of the LTHT.”

Tina Barton, Documentation Media Centre added; “We have worked with several museum and heritage locations with young people like Emily and it demonstrates the untapped value of engaging with young volunteers. Providing them with support to use their existing skills and experiences to help enhance audience engagement and transform the way museum and heritage locations use social media platforms.”

Follow Dennis and his friends on Instagram and keep up to date with all his adventures @Dennis.n.friends

If you would like to find out more about the project contact: Tina Barton