Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Feeling your way through local history

[Written by Alf Wilkinson]
‘I feel it in my fingers
I feel it in my toes
The love that's all around me
And so the feeling grows........’

Friday, 21 July 2017

Where's Father Harry now?

Trading at Birmingham Sunday Carboot, Wholesale Market
It has been said that Father Harry Clarke, a Catholic priest from Stockport, introduced the car boot sale to the UK as a charity fundraiser, after seeing a similar event or trunk fair in Canada while on holiday there in the early 1970s.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Carbooters Mecca to close

For over forty years there's been a Carboot on the site of the Wholesale Market in Birmingham, but with plans to move the Wholesale Market to Witton, what will happen to the carboot?

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Help for Hedgehogs

One of our People's Heritage Co-operative members has been exploring the heritage of Brandwood End Cemetery.  The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery have done extensive work to highlight the heritage of the Cemetery, including the Gothic Chapels and the stories behind so many of the graves, particularly War Graves.  However, this project focused on an important part of our natural heritage - the humble Hedgehog.  Rachel shares her work:



Mr Griffin from St Albans RC School receives a hedgehog friend from Julia from the Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery.
Back in February I wrote on my work blog about an exciting HEDGEHOG related project that I had in the pipeline.  Well, the film has been launched in local schools – and it’s going down a storm with the kids who made it, their classmates, teachers, parents and the super people who worked on the project.
The short film was made by pupils at both schools, and I gave hands on support along the way, as well as editing it all together. It is packed with information about how YOU can help encourage hedgehogs into your own garden and neighbourhood. Hedgehog numbers have declined dramatically in the past 50 years - unless communities take urgent action we may witness their terminal decline in our lifetime.
This project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and took place between August 2016 and July 2017.


"Really enjoyed my child taking part in the hedgehog project.  It has made us all curious as a family to do our bit to help the hedgehogs, but also spread the word to others.  This project has built confidence and self esteem in the children, strengthened relationships for all involved, promoted curiosity in nature and started a very special journey for children, families, schools and their communities.  It is a joyous project that should be rolled out and continue to be funded to help many more.  Thank you."

Monday, 3 July 2017

Moseley Road Baths granted a reprieve

We're very pleased to hear that Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath has been granted a reprieve.  The building, which was scheduled for closure this month, has been given a stay of execution until March 2018.  The hope is that this will allow adequate time for a coalition of community and heritage organisations to work alongside Birmingham City Council to create an organisation able to take on the running of the building.  All partners are committed to a continuation of public swimming at the building, ensuring that the local community can continue to swim there, as they have for almost 110 years.



For the full details of the decision go to the Friends of Moseley Road Baths website.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Tea Party – Refreshing the Curriculum

Within the People's Heritage Co-operative we are passionate about delivering exciting, creative and enlightening heritage projects to make history come alive for younger generations.  On 6th July we will be sharing some of our work with teachers to support local schools in delving into history.



The 'Tea Party' at mac Birmingham is an opportunity for teachers to learn more about the exciting educational provision being offered by arts, culture and heritage organisations.

We will have a stall where we will be showcasing a range of educational and school work by the People's Heritage Co-operative and our members in schools across Birmingham, including Untold Stories, Fight for the Right, Women's History Birmingham, Paganel Archives, Children of War and Pool of Memories.



Do book a place and come and see us, we are always open to conversations about our work and potential projects!

This is an Arts Connect event in partnership with Birmingham Education Partnership produced by The Company.  It runs from 3:00pm to 5:30pm at mac Birmingham on 6th July.


Friday, 19 May 2017

It's Right to Vote

Elfins knocking on doors
on Holly Bank Road
Last night Woodcraft Folk Elfins went out to encourage voters to register their vote.  Children can't vote at the election, so the most our seven to ten year old children can do is to discuss with adults, and to make sure they're using their right to vote if not for themselves, then for the children whose lives will be most influenced by the election on 8th June.

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'.