London Borough of Barnet

The Past Present: Local history goes hi tech

Published Monday 24 September 2012

Residents will be able to travel back in time through the borough’s streets thanks to an exciting new local history project.

From mid-October special barcodes, called QR codes, will appear on lampposts around East Finchley and Hendon. Scanning the code with your smartphone will reveal a photo of the same street scene as it appeared 50 or 100 years ago.

The photos have been carefully matched to real locations in the borough, with 15 sites planned in Hendon and 13 in East Finchley. The QR codes all link to photos from the Barnet Archives.

Although QR codes have been widely used inside museums, it is believed to be the first time they will be used outdoors for local history use.

The Past Present installation is part of Barnet Libraries’ celebration of the Family Learning Festival from 13 October until 11 November.

Downloading a QR code reader is easy – and free of charge. And for an added twist, the QR codes all link together to form history trails around East Finchley and Hendon which all the family can enjoy following.

Councillor Robert Rams, Cabinet member for Customer Access and Partnerships, said: “This innovative project will give residents a unique insight into how our streets used to look many years ago. I’m excited to see what other ways our libraries team can find to bring local history to life.”

The Past Present installation is just one of many activities from the Family Learning Festival.     

Contact Press Officer: Sue Cocker

Press Office