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New digital walking trail app to explore Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 10:53 11 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:19 11 April 2017

Suffolk Coastal Quality of Place Award winner - Felixstowe Seafront Gardens and Shelter

Suffolk Coastal Quality of Place Award winner - Felixstowe Seafront Gardens and Shelter

Archant

A digital walking trail exploring the delights of Felixstowe has been launched thanks to a new app.

John Royle of Chronicle Digital Storytelling,       at Ipswich WaterfrontJohn Royle of Chronicle Digital Storytelling, at Ipswich Waterfront

It has been created by Chronicle Digital Storytelling, a Suffolk early-stage business, for smartphones and enables users to enjoy nostalgic local reminiscences in the form of a short two to four minute video stories collected from people with a connection to the area.

The videos combine an audio narrative with relevant imagery. Content for the tour was developed as part of the Felixstowe Seafront Gardens Project – funded jointly by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Suffolk Coastal District Council.

£10,000 beach hut on Cliff Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11£10,000 beach hut on Cliff Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11

John Royle, founder of Chronicle which is based at Adastral Park, Martlesham, said he believes the trail is the first of its kind in the UK.

He added: “The trail is built upon our Chronicle platform with content collected directly from the community itself. We believe the best way to express the essence of a place is through the stories of people connected to it, and our app is another way for people to enjoy these stories. The walking trail encourages people to venture outside to listen to the stories that are linked to the local area.”

Lennie and Iris Falmer and Archie Bell enjoy the hottest day this year at Felixstowe beach. Picture: SEANA HUGHESLennie and Iris Falmer and Archie Bell enjoy the hottest day this year at Felixstowe beach. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

Initially available for later model iOS devices, the app has two modes; an ‘explore’ mode where people can seek out hidden stories as part of a ‘digital walking trail’ of stories as well as a ‘browse’ mode where people can enjoy a selection of stories irrespective of their location.

Over time, Chronicle hopes to add more story trails from other places and the next stop is South Norfolk.

Not only is the app a great way for people to enjoy the local area, but in capturing stories Chronicle aims to support health and well-being in older people by reducing isolation and loneliness.

Chronicle uses technology to help build community, supporting place-making and tourism. As part of this Chronicle also helps to support nearby businesses by providing the opportunity for local promotions.

Mr Royle said: “We are very much content first.

“This isn’t about a retailer pinging vouchers at people, it’s about providing interesting and relevant content that people will enjoy.”

For people without compatible smartphones Chronicle is also providing access to the content from a kiosk in the local Felixstowe library.

Alan Jones, of Nerostorm, who helped develop the app, said: “It’s been an exciting time working with Chronicle; providing the technology behind their digital storytelling app and implementing such an innovative use of iBeacon technology.”

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