Everyday Heritage - We Need Your Ideas
How can we work together with more, and more diverse, people so that more action is taken to support the historic environment?
At Historic England we are in the process of reimagining the way we work with people. We’re holding this big question and doing this work because we believe in the benefit that the historic environment can bring. More than that, it’s because we believe that this benefit will only grow the more people we have adding their perspectives, energy and ideas to shaping and championing the places and traditions that make up our ever-evolving sense of heritage.
On this page:
We wanted to start by learning from the many and varied things that already happen to champion the historic environment. That’s why over the last six weeks, we’ve been asking for your experiences from up and down the country of supporting the historic places and heritage that matter to you. We’ve had an amazing and generous response, hearing about not only the huge breadth of activity that goes into celebrating and protecting our everyday heritage but what inspires you to get involved and helps you to stick at it?
Last summer I became a cemetery tour guide at Layton Cemetery, Blackpool. After joining a free tour there one Sunday afternoon & hearing the stories beneath the stones I felt compelled to take up the mantle of telling these fascinating tales myself.
I was really proud to be part of getting listed building status for St Helen's Church in Kilnsea. It's a modest and remote little church almost at the end of Spurn Head, now sadly redundant, but it is an early work by William Burges.
We dive the protected 17th century London wreck most weekend's and record it's demise. Due to the constant shipping that affects this site out in the Thames Estuary.
By exploring those stories further and the similarities between people’s experiences, we’ve reached five draft ‘building blocks’. These are the starting points for what might be important to do more of, less of and completely differently in creating a future where more people feel able, inspired and equipped to act in support of the heritage that matters to them. You can read all about the building blocks here.
Tell us your ideas
Think about a place that matters to you. This could be anywhere. It could be somewhere quite local, or somewhere you grew up. It could be that place where something really important happened. Or that place that just gives you goosebumps when you think about it. Wherever that place is, just take a moment now to picture it.
Once you’ve got that place in mind, think about this question:
What would it look like to do even more to champion the history and heritage of this place?
Using that question, we’d love to hear your ideas for how you’d champion the history and heritage of this place. Share your idea with us - no matter how big or small, how detailed or off the cuff.
Some inspiration for you...
We’ve put together three prompts below to help you to share your idea. And here’s some inspiration before you begin:
What place matters to you?
The place I am thinking of is Hackney Wick, the little pocket of London where I live, which is a combination of working factories, artist studios, breweries and much more... There are so many buildings in Hackney Wick that I’d love to know the history behind like the Eton Mission Rowing Club - a tiny rowing club in the middle of an industrial landscape on the banks of the canal.
My idea(s) for championing the history of that place...
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a ‘hidden history’ night where people could go into spaces, hear about the history from local people and get chatting to one another as a result. Like a ‘secret cinema’ night but where the starting point was bits of everyday heritage you might otherwise miss.
To make my idea(s) really take off…
How might working with other lovers of this place help make it happen? What tools/skills might you need?
It would be great to bring together local people who have lived in the area for years with the artists who make the area so distinct - with artists helping to bring alive the reflections and recollections of local people. It would also be great to form a Hackney Wick History Group - but with some twists to make it right for the area e.g. meeting up in breweries, old factories, artist studios etc.
Share your ideas
We now want to explore what bringing to life those building blocks would mean for our everyday heritage - and we need your imagination, inspiration and ideas to do it!
This feeds into a bigger project that we are doing around Everyday Heritage. Read more about what we’re up to.