Exploring, Discovering, Learning

I want to make the Past, both History and Prehistory, more exciting, relevant and 'hands-on'. It's a fun place with some great stories, I want to share these with everyone.
I work with schools, museums, community groups, either at their place or outdoors in the Landscape.
I develop and deliver projects. I create resources. Exploring the Past and our shared heritage, bridging the divide and Discovering the links between these artefacts, sites or museum and Us. I try to put objects back in context, helping people Learn about the past. I use objects, both orginal and replica, costume, crafts and role play, in other words - Living History.

I'm a member of a small group of like-minded people - The Deja Crew

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Romans on the Railway

The Head of Steam - Darlington's Railway Museum at North Road Station held a Roman Festival in the 18th July.
Why? I hear you ask.
Darlington looks after the site of Roman Piercebridge and this is the second year they have held a Roman Festival complete with bus trips to the site of the fort and bridge at Piercebridge. I was providing Roman themed craft activities, this year we made 'signaculum' or 'little identifiers', the Roman equivalent of dog tags. Along with herbs and fish sauce to sniff and artefacts to handle, we had a very busy day.

Advanced Learning Centre - History. June/July 2010 at Segedunum

Based at Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend the Advanced Learning Centre is now in it's fourth year. For six weeks in June and July around 25 children each week ,gave up 6 of their Saturday mornings to find out more about History and Archaeology. We studied maps, aerial photographs, took part in a simulated 'dig', recorded finds and explored the ancient techniques of dying and weaving under the expert hands of 'Textiles through Time' - Ruth Hicken.
By using archaeology we developed new skills and hopefully inspired curiosity in the children, most of whom will start secondary school in September.
"Thanks very much - that was so much fun"

The Advanced Learning Centre is part of the North Tyneside Councils, Gifted and Talented provision.

Epic Epiacum

May saw a new venture to a new fort - Epiacum. Known locally as Whitley Castle, the fort lies on a hillside a few miles north of Alston, Cumbria and the site could well be described as the North of England's best-kept Roman secret. There have been just two recorded excavations, about 1810 a part of the bath house was exposed and in 1957/8 a trench was dug across the northern ramparts.

From the 18th to the 21st May 2010 over 200 primary school children visited the site. The living history event was organised by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in partnership with Elaine and John Edgar, the owners of Castle Nook Farm and the land where Epiacum sits.

Firstly the children 'travelled back in time' using a train from the South Tynedale Railway. After a sort walk from the halt at Kirkhaugh up to the fort the children took part in a series of activities investigating the people who have been involved in landscape around Epiacum through the years. They discovered what life was like for the Roman soldiers stationed in the fort. Paul Mercer from the North Pennines Heritage Trust explained the lifestyle of the Miner/Farmer from the 18th Century. Archaeologist, Paul Frodsham and Naturalist, Heather McCarty brought the landscape up to date.

For Elaine Edgar of Castle Nook Farm, the event was the realisation of her dream of turning her farmland steeped in history into an education and visitor centre. She said: “This will be the first time we’ve had school groups visiting the Roman fort and bastle house. We’ve still got a long way to go, but the AONB Partnership events have got everything off to a terrific start.”

"Days like these stay with children forever and can inspire a lifelong interest.” Fiona Knox, Education Officer with the North Pennines AONB Partnership