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, 31 March 2015

...a Tale of the Frontier.

Tales of the Frontier logo

Tales of the Frontier is a research project by Durham University. Hadrian's Wall and the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site make up a huge linear monument moving through many different landscapes and communities as it crosses the region from coast to coast.
The aim is to discover how people view the momument today (and compare this to past ideas), to explore how it has influenced the communities and landscapes it passes through and to understand how the Wall came to be the prominent World Heritage Site it is today.
The website reports the research so far -

Late last year Iwas invited to join the consultations developing a new set of leaflets.  Rather than creating 'yet another walk' along the wall, the Booklet and 8 leaflets hope to inspire people to engage rather than pass through, providing locations to 'stand and stare'.  They are available on-line through the Tales of the Frontier website - Wall Stories; leaflets and booklet

Thursday, 26 March 2015

working on the Railway.

"North East Railways in World War One"
Website and Learning Resource.

...was launched yesterday at the Head of Steam Museum in Darlington.  The museum is the home of the Ken Hoole Study Centre, which cares for (among loads of other things) copies of the Staff Magazine of the North Eastern Railway from the early years of the 20th Century.  There are also handwritten ledgers containing the employment records of Drivers, Signallers, Shunters and others who worked for the NER.  Many of these employees joined the 'NER Servants' Pension Society'.  These pension records are in the Archive.

Volunteers have spent the last 10 months combing through the Staff magazines for mentions of those who served and for those who lost their lives during the First World War.  The result is a searchable database that went live yesterday.

image of Loans Box

Alongside this I have written a Resource for Teachers and helped create a Loans Box.

The aim is that KS3 Pupils will be able to investigate and discover the different experiences that North Eastern Railway employees had during World War One. This inquiry based approach uses a variety of original sources to answer the questions
  1.  How did World War One affect people working for the Northeastern Railway?
  2.  How different were people's experiences of World War One?
By using the resource the students will have the opportunity;
  • To be able to interpret a variety of original sources
  • In using this evidence to synthesise a ‘story’ about an individual
  • Make inferences using this evidence
  • Make suggestions about other sources for further research.

There are 3 parts to the resource,
  • main teachers notes - [4.55MB, pdf document],
  • profile sheets - [5.75MB, pdf document],
  • PowerPoint presentation  - [3MB]
You will find them at the Head of Steam's Learning Zone  scroll down to find the download links.  The Teachers Notes provide background and suggestions on how to use the 20 Profile Sheets.  These have souces detailing the experiences of those joined up and were killed, workers who served and returned to work for the NER, others who were not allowed to join the Forces and women who filled the jobs vacated by men who went to fight.

If you want to know more, please get in touch with myself or with
Sarah Gouldsbrough, Learning and Access Officer at the Head of Steam, Darlington
Telephone: 01325 734128
Fax: 01325 287746
Email: sarah.gouldsbrough@darlington.gov.uk

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Fugit Inreparabile Tempus....

...as Virgil said "it escapes, irretrevable time".  It certainly does, it's getting close to a year since the last post.

In that time I've run a Heritage Club, written a First World War Railway resource, made a video, worked with loads of new people and old friends and 'Victor the Veteran' is still recruiting along the length of Hadrain's Wall.

I will add posts about some of these over the next few weeks (honest!)

Got to rush, I'm off to the Head of Steam, Darlington for the launch of;

"Railway Workers in World War One"

I'll take Rufus and Railway Ron, so keep an eye on Twitter @RAeliusVictor and @HeadofSteamMus
all the best,