‘Hatfield Week’ celebrates the town’s long aviation history and pays homage to the local community’s commemorations of the end of the Great War.

Lord Salisbury, Lenny Brandon, Leader of Hatfield Town council, Lord Lieutenant Robert Voss and Nick Brown, Welwyn Hatfield chamber of Commerce. On Thursday 25 July during ‘Hatfield Week’ three films were shown at the University of Hertfordshire’s Weston Auditorium. The first celebrated the 70th anniversary of the first Comet Airliner which was built at the de Havilland Aircraft Factory in Hatfield. This film, put together by John Hawthorne, showed the aircraft’s successes and failures and the influence this trailblazer had on the future design of aircraft. The next film was an amateur movie of the 1986 British Aerospace open day at Hatfield. It was amazing how many planes on varying design and sizes could be viewed on the day including the famous Concorde supersonic aeroplane. The last film, ‘100 Years On – Remembrance and Armistice 2018’ was commissioned by Lord Salisbury and showed how the community of Hatfield came together to remember and commemorate the centenary of the ending of WW1. Complementing this film Hatfield Local History Society displayed their WW1 exhibition in the foyer of the auditorium. At the beginning of the evening Nick Brown of the Welwyn Hatfield Chamber of Commerce and Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss both gave short speeches. The event was organised by the Hatfield Town...

Wheathampstead’s First World War project

Link here to Wheathampstead’s First World War project:  http://wheathampsteadheritage.org.uk/history-society-gwp.asp Looking forward to hearing more from the group ever since we held a workshop together on 9 March 2019. From farm ledgers found up a chimney to myth busting, what’s coming next? But I think my favourite insight at the workshop came from the diary of Charlie Collins, out of England for the first time and posted to Palestine: ‘I picked a fig like Abraham did.’ It’s a powerful glimpse into one man’s imagination and how he made sense of his world. -Sarah...

Stephanie Bunn on Basketry as Occupational Therapy and the role of Woven Communities

Image: Basketmaking is particularlysuited to rehabilitation because it involves the use of both hands workingtogether.©Stephanie Bunn.We are pleased to announce that the latest research write-ups by Stephanie Bunn on Basketry as Occupational Therapy and the role of Woven Communities are now available on the Basketry Then & Now Project pages.  For a fascinating read and some great insights, please see...

Hidden Histories, Hidden Historians Toolkits

The Everyday Lives in War team has often talked about producing a guide to ‘doing history’. But Manchester Histories have produced a toolkit: step-by-step, with lots of practical advice. Includes oral history and what to do with your findings: create an Archive. It is definitely worth checking out these resources (and let us know what you think and whether there’s any need for us to write our own guide!) https://manchesterhistories.co.uk/getinvolved/toolkits – Sarah...

The Stomach for Fighting: Food and the British soldiers of the First World War

Dr Rachel Duffett will discuss the role of food in the lives of soldiers on the Western Front, both as a physiological necessity and a source of psychological comfort. Food is essential for morale and physical performance, but also fundamental to emotional and social identities. This talk will explore its significance to the British Army on the Western Front, relating the story of military provisioning and examining the wider role of food in soldiers’ lives. For more information and to book your place, click...

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: FREE NATIONAL FESTIVAL, COMMEMORATION, CONFLICT & CONSCIENCE, BRISTOL 27-28 APRIL

The festival organisers are looking for: people and groups to contribute talks activist and community groups to put on stalls Other ways of participating (eg performances or music) will be considered – please contact Corinne c.j.painter@leeds.ac.uk to discuss your proposal. Applications to participate (giving a talk, showing a film or performing, for example) should cover the following: Name of applicant (eg community group, local historian, academic, campaigning organisation, activist, artist and performer) Contact details (email, phone number) Any websites associated with the applicants If relevant title of talk or other contribution Short description of your talk or other contribution indicating how it is relevant to the themes of ‘Commemoration, Conflict & Conscience’. Max 200 words Any additional requirements in terms of equipment or space, for example. Applications for a stall or exhibition table. We have space for stalls or exhibition tables in the main venue. Either half or full trestle tables (6ft x 2.5ft). As space is limited, we will only generally allocate successful applicants one table for now, but depending on demand we may be able to give you more space. The stalls or exhibition tables can include small ‘pop up’ displays, banners, display boards or interactive media (projectors/lap tops), assuming these are suitable for the space allotted. To apply please let us know: Name of applicant (eg community group, local historian, academic, campaigning organisation, activist, artist and performer) Contact details (email, phone number) Any websites associated with the applicants If relevant title of the display or exhibition Short description of how your stall or exhibition is relevant to ‘Commemoration, Conflict & Conscience’. Max 100 words If you...

‘A Supernatural War’ by Professor Owen Davies, new book released!

Oxford University Press is excited to share with you their new release, A Supernatural War by Owen Davies. It was a commonly expressed view during the First World War that the conflict had seen a major revival of ‘superstitious’ beliefs and practices. Owen Davies explores the broader issues regarding early twentieth-century society in the West, the psychology of the supernatural during wartime, and the extent to which the war cast a spotlight on the widespread continuation of popular belief in magic. A Supernatural War reveals the surprising stories of extraordinary people in a world caught up with the promise of occult powers. A comprehensive study of the major revival of supernatural beliefs, superstition, and spiritualism during the First World War and its aftermath. A look at what the beliefs, practices, and contemporary opinions on magic can tell us about broader issues in early twentieth-century society, the experience of war, and the psychology of belief. Relates how the prophecies of Nostradamus were used as propaganda by both sides, a diverse range of talismans and charms were carried by soldiers, and the myriad tales of battlefield ghosts came to be. Includes previously unpublished accounts from soldiers and fortune-tellers on their faith and practices, for a remarkable insight into the nature of popular belief. For more information, find out more...

The Woman of Westmoor takes centre stage at Kingsbury Episcopi WW1 Centenary Commemorative Event

After 3 years of extensive researches, a Heritage Lottery Grant and the support of the Parish Community, Kingsbury Time Travellers held their Centenary Commemorative Event in the New Community Centre on the last Sunday of September. Many of the men who left the Parish in 1914 for the War had been involved in the withy business, as did their parents. The main area of growing was Westmoor. Today only a small area is maintained and used in community withy workshops, workshops with the local primary school and for the annual May Festival. At the Commemorative event were willow crosses and hurdles made by primary school pupils. A central, and focal point was – The Woman Of Westmoor. Created by Maurice Fawcett from the Parish, the sculpture was interlaced with sunflowers grown in the Parish, hung with Memory Cards,  and with copies of this poem by Elanor Farjeon written in the Spring of 1917. The poem was also inscribed onto brass plates which along with a relief model of the Parish has gone into our 6 public-access buildings. The poem – with its reference to apples (Kingsbury Episcopi is a major national producer of cider apples) –The Woman of Westmoor, created from willow, was a representation of all the women of the Parish during WW1. The willow tradition is part of the cultural and historical traditions of the Parish. Facebook – Kingsbury Episcopi Parish Archiving Group The Everyday Lives in War Centre was delighted to share in the event through the presence of 8 standalone banners from their collaborative Basketry Then & Now...