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    02 August, 2006

    Local History Champions

    BBC History Magazine is running a competition to find the people who are really making history matter in the community: 'Britain's local community history ambassadors'.

    I hope there will be lots of entries from the Rhondda. There are local history initiatives all over our Valleys. I mentioned some of these in our debate on libraries and museums in the Assembly back in May:

    To give you some recent examples, in the Rhondda the Ark project has received £12,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a DVD about the mining history of the Rhondda. Porth County Community School and Hafod Primary School have received Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw funding for their pit to port mosaic, which is now on display at Trehafod railway station, and their pit to port sculpture, which is about to tour Wales. In its final year, the Welsh Development Agency funded a feasibility study for community uses of the Powerhouse building in Llwynypia, which played a central role in the Tonypandy riots of 1910. Spectacle Theatre is looking at creating a community play about the 1910 riots for the forthcoming centenary. If we look at literature in its historical context, Rhondda authors such as Gwyn Thomas, Lewis Jones and Ron Berry are selling well in the first Library of Wales publications. Honno will shortly re-publish the autobiography of Rhondda Labour women’s pioneer, Elizabeth Andrews—no relation.

    The BBC has recently re-shown, 40 years on, Vincent Kane’s film The Long Street on BBC2W, with a free showing in the Parc and Dare Theatre for Rhondda residents. The entertainer Mal Pope is writing a musical about the Rhondda boxer Tommy Farr. Last week, residents of Cwmparc marked the sixty-fifth anniversary of the bombing of their village during the second world war with a memorial designed by local children. The Cistercian Way marks the long-standing role in religious pilgrimage of St Mary’s Church, Penrhys.

    There are dozens of individuals and many societies dedicated to the marking of Rhondda history, both communal and familial. In that context, I particularly wish to mention the late Haydn Shadbolt who did so much to ensure that the centenary of Rhondda transport was marked at the Rhondda heritage park two weeks ago. Haydn will be sadly missed by many of us. I also congratulate Rhondda Cynon Taf Country Borough Council on its online Rhondda heritage trail, which includes hundreds of digitised photographs, and which is supported by a grant from CyMAL.

    The History Matters - Pass It On campaign, led by the National Trust, English Heritage, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, has now launched, with the aim of raising the profile of history across the country.

    The BBC says that they are on the search for the people who are really making history matter, and specifically for the most successful and innovative project in promoting the value and importance of history to a community or local area. You might already be running, or helping to run, an event as part of one of these schemes. If so, they want you to tell them how your event has raised the profile of history and demonstrated the importance of the past in your local area.

    They're looking for the best and most innovative ambassadors - individuals or groups - for history at the local and community level. Do you fit the bill?

    They want you to tell them about an event, or series of events that you have held or will be holding in 2006 (up to 31 October), to promote the importance of the past in your local area or your local community.

    Once you have carried out your project, complete the downloadable entry form here, telling them how you managed to demonstrate the importance of history in your local area or to your local community. They are looking for evidence of innovation in promoting history so tell them about any really original or exciting ways you came up with to get people interested in history.

    Make sure you include any hard facts and figures you can, for example the number of people who came to your talk, the number of hits on your website, etc. Also, if you got any feedback from people who came to your events, include a few quotes from them. It is also important that you tell them about any press coverage you achieved, and if possible attach any press cuttings you got with your entry. And attach any photographs you have of the event/events.

    Entries should be sent to:
    History Matters Competition
    BBC History magazine
    Tower House
    Fairfax Street
    BS1 3BN

    Deadline for entries: 17 November 2006

    The awards will be judged by a panel of experts from BBC History magazine, the Historical Association, and the British Association for Local History (BALH)

    The Winner
    The winner will be announced in the February issue of BBC History magazine, and the project will be featured in the March issue. The winner will receive a year's subscription to BBC History magazine and £200 of local history books from Tempus Publishing. Five runners up will each receive a year's subscription to BBC History magazine.

    Rhondda TV
    The Labour Party

    Recent comments



    Promoted by Leighton Andrews AM, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff CF99 1NA.

    Author's editorial policy: This blog does not publish anonymous comments, unless they are really witty and I like them. If you have something to say, then have the courage of your convictions and use your name or an identifiable alias. Even then I reserve the right not to publish comments that are malicious, defamatory, stupid, pointlessly cynical or boring. Any of the statements or comments made above should be regarded as personal and not necessarily those of the National Assembly for Wales, any constituent part or connected body.