EU funds back Jack the lad's Coleshill history trail

An augmented reality trail has been launched in Coleshill giving visitors the chance to discover 1,000 years of the town’s history.

You can see Coleshill's history in a fresh light thanks to the new augmented reality tour
You can see Coleshill's history in a fresh light thanks to the new augmented reality tour

Visitors will be taken on their journey by none other than Jack O’Watton, the dandy highwayman, who was known to work the patch between Coleshill and Water Orton.

The trail starts by the information board on Park Road next to Morrisons supermarket.

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To get started, visitors will need to download the Zappar app, point their smartphone or tablet at the code shown on the poster and bring Jack to life. The trail then goes through to the end of Chamberlain Walk, using audio and visual markers along the way.

It has been made possible thanks to the Welcome Back Fund, which was part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund.

Those not able to access the app, can still learn about the town’s past through the leaflet available at the library, community hub or the town hall.

Coleshill Town Mayor, Cllr Caroline Symonds, said: "It is fantastic to see such a mix: Coleshill, with its 1,000 years of history, and such a modern approach of representing it with Augmented Reality and an app that helps describe the historic events. The Welcome Back Fund was all about supporting the town centre, and hopefully the shops and businesses will benefit from the listing that has been produced as part of the project.”

Angie Carter from Nice Thoughts, in Chamberlain Walk added: "I have had a lot of people questioning the footprints. It was helpful I was there when they were being installed so I have been able to explain them and when I do, the visitors have said what a brilliant idea they have been, and the trail brightens up the area".

The trail was delivered in a partnership between Coleshill Town Council and North Warwickshire Borough Council, in conjunction with Suzanne and William Edwards from Enlighten, based in Tamworth, who provided the augmented reality element.

The Welcome Back funding ended on March 31 and was designed to provide short-term revenue support to boost the look and feel of the three North Warwickshire towns of Atherstone, Coleshill and Polesworth. Other activities in Coleshill have included events and entertainment, promotion of the town, cleaning and maintenance of the street furniture, improvements to Chamberlain Walk and additional pedestrian signage.