City history revealed on your phone

First published in News

THE history of Newport could now be uncovered in the palm of your hand thanks to a new high-technology scheme.

Signs have appeared across Newport city centre and at notable landmarks which, with the right technology, can reveal archive film, local memories and vintage photographs.

The Newport Explorer scheme invites smartphone users to scan special barcodes, known as QR codes, at various locations around the city.

Each code links to a website where residents and visitors can view a selection of material related to the location.

Features include retelling of eyewitness accounts of the Chartist uprising at the Westgate Hotel, filming of the hire-wire walk between the masts of the city footbridge in 2010 and century-old images of High Street and Commercial Street.

Other pages video of a visit by John Peel to TJs and vintage views of Belle Vue Park.

Locations include John Frost Square, Lower Dock Street, opposite the former locations on TJs on Clarence Place, Old Green Roundabout and the Ye Olde Murenger House.

Codes need to be scanned in using a special "QR reader" application, which are available for Android, iPhone and Blackberry phones.

Some information boards provide their own information while at other spots, where the barcodes are attached to lamp-posts, the information is only available online.

Leaflets are available to help people find the 35 locations.

The scheme is the latest in Gwent to exploit QR codes to help people get more out of their town centres.

Monmouthpedia uses QR codes to link to notable subjects in Monmouth.

Anyone who has a photo, film or story from any of the Newport locations that they would be willing to share via the website can contact tourism@newport.gov.uk.

Those without access to mobile internet can visit the website http://npex.co.uk.

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