Don’t hesitate with History

I have just seen the video below on the Jas Townsend and Son channel. The sectors that Jas Townsend and Son serve include the living history community, historic sites, museums, and theatrical, film and television production companies.

John talks about the conflict he feels between encouraging people to ‘live’ history and the very modern concept of watching videos online.

His channel has a lot about period cooking and some of the recipes are really interesting.

However, I think his main message is never to hesitate to engage with history.

I feel it is important to remember that history is happening around us all of the time. Museums such as Beamish in the northeast of England allow you to submerge yourself in different time periods, even if only for a few short hours.

We also need to keep in mind that ‘official’ history is always written by the victors. The people who win the battles or wars and the rich, powerful and famous. Those records will continue to be created because our society is geared up that way.

Real History

This is the type of history that interests me. It is the recollections of the blacksmith, the boat builder, the welder, the joiner, the police constable. Everyday people doing everyday jobs.

Key to that is oral history. We can only gather oral history whilst people are alive. Once they die we have lost the opportunity forever. You can never refer back to recordings that were not made.

So I would encourage you to start documenting your history now. That may be something as simple as keeping a diary. It could be voice recordings on your computer. It could be photographs printed out and kept in a box or album. It could be video content you share on YouTube. Or you could join the living history community and preserve your reaction to other time periods.

It is only in the last decade I have come to take an interest in History. I realised there had been so many wasted opportunities in my life to record the real history that happened to me in the latter part of the 20th Century and the early 21st Century. Needless to say I am now playing catch-up!


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