Saturday, 1 April 2017

Stone Soup in Springfield

Chatting over soup at Springfield
Neighbours Scheme first anniversary
You've probably heard the story.  A hungry stranger persuades a village to add a little to a 'stone soup' to make a nutritious meal for everyone.   But how do you persuade the villagers to add their ingredients, and how do you sustain that culture of sharing?

One year on Springfield Project Neighbour Scheme celebrates its anniversary with a meal.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Who do you think you were in the Great War?

My Grandfather, to the left of my Great-grandfather,
Heinrich Hoenen (with his Iron Cross tucked into his jacket)
What was your family doing during the Great War?  It's a question we ask as part of our learning resources to explore the impact of the Great War in Birmingham.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sunday carboot at Wholesale Market, going, going

Sunday morning we arrive at the car boot, packed with people and traders.  We have cameras and are ready to photo what could be one of the last Sunday carboot sales at Birmingham Wholesale Market:
'We just turn up and hope it's still here'
Says Andy from APS recycling, one of the 200 or so stalls there today.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

A career in Heritage

Making the connections - relating Archives
to school life at Paganel Primary School
So many people ask me; what can you do with a history degree? You must want to teach history, right?

There is an assumption that the only careers that are history related are a curator, librarian or a history teacher. The very existence of the heritage sector is almost unheard of, something which I was certainly guilty of before beginning my placement at the People’s Heritage Co-operative. The placement has not only highlighted to me a number of possible careers in heritage but also the importance and under appreciation of the heritage organisations and the sector as a whole.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Birmingham Children of War

Birmingham Children of War in World War One, documented in a recently published learning guide which is to be launched at an event on Saturday 11th March 2017 from 1.30pm in the Library of Birmingham.

Quality Interviewing

Young Archivists leading interviews at Paganel School
In the Paganel Archives After-school Club these past two weeks we have been focusing on interviews as an archival resource and interview skills such as the use of open and close questions and reflecting as an interview technique.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Wholesale Memory

Friction Arts documenting our Wholesale market
For many people who call Birmingham home, the Markets are an afterthought, a part of the city that they may only occasionally dip into. What they may not realise is that Birmingham started its life as a Market Town, when Peter de Bermingham was granted a charter to run a market from what was at the time just a small settlement.

So, it’s something of a tragedy that the historic Wholesale Markets are set to close this year without many people making much of a noise.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Desert Island Archive

Exploring Archives of photos
from 2011 at Paganel School
Imagine you were to leave three items for future generations to use to study our society, what items would you choose? Or if you could only take three personal items with you onto a desert island, what would they be? These questions can be useful in establishing what is important to you as an individual. What items hold sentimental value? Or perhaps represent a particularly happy memory or an object from a loved one passed on to you. Archives are not only official records held in libraries or museums, archives can be a family photo album or a piece of jewelry from your great grandmother. We can create our own individual archives as representations of our lives and what we consider to be important to us and items which embody personal or family identity.

These were some of the questions we asked the children in Year 5 at Paganel Archive After-school Club, and their responses were surprising. 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Zeppelins in Birmingham?

Publicity Department, Central Recruiting Depot.
 Restoration by Adam Cuerden.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Division Washington, D.C
'On a foggy, frosty night of January 31 to February 1, 1916, Tipton, Bradley, Wednesbury and Walsall were bombed by Zeppelins in one of the heaviest air raids of the First World War. By the end of that terrible night, 35 local people were dead, including the Lady Mayoress of Walsall, Mary Julia Slater.'

The L21 Zeppelin responsible is still one of the largest 'combat aircraft' to have ever flown.  On 31st of January Captain Max Deitrich of the L21 was planning to bomb Liverpool when he saw the lights of the Black country below.  Birmingham had almost certainly been spared as the council had prudently put a police order in place to 'show no lights'.