Local Local History

The aim of this website is to help people to create histories of very small areas – perhaps of only twenty streets – in as much detail as possible. They will help schools in particular to build teaching material about their own neighbourhoods, layer after layer. Small sections of maps with the school site in the centre, going back century after century and each map linked to a larger map of the surrounding district. Stories of how the area has changed – the different building styles – different building materials reflecting different transport systems bringing material into the centre. The change of fortune of industry in the neighbourhood - dairy farming – suburban houses – the building of factories – the movement away of Industry – blight and resurgence. These are the stages neighbourhoods pass through and this website hopes to help with the recording of these turns of fortune.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of our exploring
Will to be arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot, ‘Little Gidding'

This verse is sometimes placed on the title page of biographies or autobiographies. It occurs to me that it is also appropriate for this website which is about both place and personal development.

Photograph: Polly Hancock

Jack Whitehead


Jack's Obituary in the Guardian-On-Line

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