Audio guide, charities, community, Culture, heritage

Audio guides help people step back in time

Free audio guides are helping people step back in time – and explore the amazing heritage of Bo’ness.

Three local tours have been produced using the izi.TRAVEL app – which runs on Apple and Android mobile phones. Supporters hope the guides will help boost tourism and encourage more walking in the area.

The audio trails cover the impressive Kinneil Estate, the foreshore (and John Muir Way) between Kinneil and Carriden, and Bo’ness town centre.

Visit www.bonet.org.uk/audio for more details.

The guides have been produced by Bo’ness-based consultancy, The PR Store, in association with Bo’net (the Bo’ness Networking Group) and Bo’ness Tenants’ and Residents’ Association.

The partners have received funding support from Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative, NHS Forth Valley and Falkirk Council.

Adrian Mahoney from The PR Store: “The guides feature interviews with local people and experts, telling fascinating stories about the town’s rich heritage and its more recent past.

“Anyone downloading the guides will discover Romans and railways, battles and Bond – that’s James Bond – and much more.

“We’ve profiled some of the impressive buildings around the town and get expert insights and local reminiscences.

“You’ll hear about the town’s links with actors such as Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth and entertainers like Lulu and the late Des O’Connor.

“I hope locals and visitors to Bo’ness will download the guides – and perhaps see the town in a whole new light.”

Community volunteer Maria Ford has been working closely with Bo’net and the Tenants’ and Residents’ Group on the project – and also features in some of interviews on the new guides.

Said Maria: “Bo’ness has fantastic stories. For instance, some people might not know that the local Tesco’s store was once the home to the famous Bo’ness Pottery . . .  or about the people tried for witchcraft in a building now used as a café. You’ll find all this and more in the new audio guides.”

She added: “It’s been great working on the project. Hopefully – if the initial batch of audio trails are successful and we can attract additional funding – we’ll roll out more in the future.”

One of the audio guides highlights the foreshore area of Bo’ness.

Madelene Hunt, the chair of Bo’net, also welcomed the new audio guides, saying they could help boost tourism.

She said: “The audio guides can be downloaded for free onto your mobile phone or tablet. You’ll then get route maps, suggested trails and audio content for different areas of the town, featuring interviews with lots of different people, including myself.

“It’s a bit like going for a walk with a bunch of locals and experts, without them being physically present.

“It all seems particularly appropriate in this time of physical distancing and restrictions on meeting up in groups. I hope the tours will raise awareness of Bo’ness, encourage people to visit the town, get active on walks, and spend money with local businesses.”

She added: “If you want to find out more, just visit the Bo’net website to download the guides and get full details. I’d like to thank Tesco, NHS Forth Valley and Falkirk Council for their support in making these new guides possible.”

The audio guides are hosted on the izi.TRAVEL app. You can download the app and find out more about it at www.izi.travel

You can also view the guides on this website. See www.theprstore.co.uk/audioguides

Main phone image by  Terje Sollie from Pexels (with addition)

How to install the audio guides

  1. Search and download the izi.TRAVEL app. It’s available for iOS and Android devices. You’ll also find links for the app at www.izi.travel
  2. Install the app on your smartphone or tablet
  3. Open the app and say yes to location and notification settings (you’ll need these for the app to work properly).
  4. Search for the local tours. Enter either “Bo’ness” or “Falkirk” (as the region) to bring up the local guides.
  5. Download the audio guide (which includes a map and pictures) and then go for a walk.
  6. As you get near particular locations on the guide, your phone or tablet should automatically start playing the correct audio for that location.
  7. Enjoy!