The History Festival

The History Festival

It is a hot, sultry evening and I am sitting by the open door listening to pigeons in the trees and to the distant hum of traffic from the road. The air is motionless and the outside thermometer  still registers   25.5 degrees at 8.15pm. How glad I am that it was not quite so hot for last week’s History Festival!

The Chalke Valley History Festival is a remarkable occasion. It is such a privilege to hear some of the historical literature ‘giants’ of our time talking about their work and exploring and explaining the ideas behind and around what they have written. The programme is enticing and it is hard to know what to miss out. Then there is the temptation of the plethora of historical books that can be bought. Don’t miss this unique festival. Clear your calendar for a week in June! Set in the unparalleled beauty of the Wiltshire-Dorset border, it is an event to entrance, to savour and to remember.

The Festival is of course about books and, yes, Anne and I were at the Festival again. ‘Inspired to Teach’ was on the ‘local’ stand in the Waterstones tent and we also had it for sale in our tent,  together with a small selection of old photographs. We certainly attracted some attention and we enjoyed meeting people and made useful contacts. We are so grateful to the Chalke Valley History Trust for sponsoring us. It was very special to be there and to know that the story of our College is now safely rooted in local history.

The aim of the History Trust is to promote the understanding and enjoyment of history and to improve the teaching of history in schools. What are your thoughts about this? If you love history now, did you come to it late or was it the result of having an inspiring (that word again) teacher?

What will I remember most from the 2015 Festival? Maybe it will be Waterloo, as described by the compelling father and son duo of Peter and Dan Snow …or perhaps the talk by Kate Mosse, whose love affair with Carcassonne, where she felt that history was ‘alive’, led to three historical novels …  or maybe it will be the fascinating talk about Downton Abbey by Julian Fellowes, who was returning home to draw the final FINAL episode to a close that very night – no secrets were divulged!

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