Updated: Jan 10
Hello Subscribers, Followers and Partners...
Last year started for Legenda on a high note, we had secured a considerable donation, set up a Website and Webshop and set up as a Society in Switzerland. We were all set for a smashing 2020 - from shows in Holland and the United Kingdom to a large International Expedition. In this article I want to share with you some of the 'ups and downs' of 2020 as well some plans for 2021!
After securing a donation at the tail end of 2019, a small team was set up in order to purchase items needed for the group. With the foresight that we would be hosting at least three large events across Europe. First, we set out to buy boxes for storage, tables, cookers, lamps, shelves and other items that could be used all year round including a large command tent. Then we set out in booking all the logistics and ordered merchandise for the shows. I was fortunate enough to make it out to Latvia to meet the delivery, a van full set off from Germany with items bought for the team. I coined it Operation Spring, when I flew out to Latvia the team members were already there after driving all through Europe with the items. The items were handed over to Talis (Legenda Team Leader) personally at our base location not far from Riga.
Some of the items bought for Operation Spring. Photo: Legenda 2020
Small Expedition on the Belarusian Border
We then drove to the Border of Belarus and had a mini Expedition which proved to be a great success. Finding and identifying five soldiers on a bleak cold morning. Little did we know it would be the last expedition with any of the internationals members.
Andris and Jonny Bay during the only 'International Expedition of 2020' Photo: Legenda
COVID - Shows and Expeditions
We had planned and paid for our stands, logistics at both the War and Peace Show in the United Kingdom and had arrangements with the event organisers at Militracks in Holland. I personally had planned an exhibition in Zürich, Switzerland in both English and German. In where I would present to those invited to look at some thought provoking items and a presentation on the work of Legenda in Latvia. Then the unthinkable happened, the world plunged into a pandemic and we on the Admin team tried to recoup any money spent for the shows planned. It was in the most part a failure due to the fact things were booked and not covered if we cancelled. We put the damage reduction on and we were able to save some money. Hopefully in 2021 we can pick it up where we left off!
Website and Social Media
We don't have an enormous budget for the website or our Social Media. I was given the responsibility of overseeing the operations and administration of the Social Media. Soon I found out we may not have an enormous budget, but we had an enormous amount of information and data spanning back as far as 20 years!
On our Twitter account @LegendDiggers we currently have around 5600 followers.
We had over 20,000 followers on our Facebook @Legenda.Diggers and our live streams were generating massive interest. The team is spread out in over 10 countries, and as many languages, in order to administrate accordingly proved to be a challenge and 2020 was very much so, the building of a solid productive Admin and Social Media team. The Website was created with the help of a skilled developer free of charge, we managed to create a Webshop and set up all our Social Media on a small budget and a small team.
We were able to generate on Facebook up to 42,000 Followers and on some of our Facebook live streams we reached over 1,400,000 people! The Website has generated just short of 20,000 unique clicks from all around the globe, its great to see our work is now seen by many!
Legenda Archaeology reached over 1,400,000 people on its Facebook Live streams.
Print Media/Publications - Legenda had a great eight page special article published in the top metal detecting magazine in Great Britain called 'Treasure Hunting'. Legenda also had a very nice article published in Germany by, 'Relikte der Geschichte' a leading publication in Germany and Switzerland on relics and searching.
Online Publications - In 2019 I was very happy to meet and help the admin team of War History Online, they featured a few articles on Legenda. Including the article, 'Jonny Bay And Legenda: The Men Who Have Recovered 15,000 Fallen Soldiers on The Eastern Front'
We hope to be able to work with War History Online soon again!
On Television - Legenda featured in a world class production from the German ZDF/TerraX documentary producers in , 'Forgotten Battlefields: Grave Excavation in Latvia' .
Featuring on main stream German television and on Youtube (with over 500,000 views!). It can also be seen now with English Subtitles!
Donations and Sponsorships
What we lost in 2020 due to COVID, we made up in terms of forging new contacts and making new partners and sponsors. We were able to secure hardware such as Metal detectors direct from Minelab! And ground penetration scanners from Tero Vido. Before the year closed out we were able to secure the help of a large private archive in Germany, who are willing to help us on request.
As for donations we secured this year through the website many donations from all around the world, every penny of which goes directly into keeping Legenda rolling forward!
One of the largest donations made to Legenda was from the hit production company called Real Time History GmbH in Berlin Germany. Thanks to the great team at RTH in Berlin!
We are really looking forward to doing some filming in the future with them in Latvia. We are a great fan of their work, which is much more informative than 99% of the history channels available. Please do over to their website and take a look at their content.
The Legenda Van
Towards the end of the year the alternator decided to give up on the Legenda van causing the motor to lock solid. Luckily the motor was not seized after closer inspection and the van was up and running again a few weeks later. Without the van, Talis is not able to conduct his work and thus Legenda would be out of action. Thanks to those who donated to fix the van!
The Legenda Van is back on the road - bought from our online fundraisers and donations.
2021 - Social Media & Legenda Associate Membership!
On the social media feeds, we hope to roll out a few Q&A sessions as well as keeping the Legend Newsletter going out to our subscribers every quarter.
We have decided to introduce a new and exclusive 'Legenda Associate Membership' which is to be confirmed in the first quarter of 2021. As an Associate Member, expect in depth live streams, a gift box with Legenda merchandise including a unique Associate Membership Card and an entry into our annual draw to come and join us on one of our expeditions!
So stay tuned for the exciting news to come!
Thanks for reading, have a great start to the new year!