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Regional Heritage Centre Newsletter, February 2022

Welcome to the latest e-newsletter from the Department of History's Regional Heritage Centre. If you have difficulty reading this email please open it in your web browser.

You are welcome to forward this email to any groups or individuals you think will be interested in our activities. If you have received this as a forwarded message please join our mailing list so that we can send you future newsletters directly.


In this edition:

  • Booking now open for our rescheduled Study Event with Dr Alan Crosby
  • Last call for bookings for our 49th Annual Archaeology Forum - plus your chance to submit ideas for the 50th anniversary AF programme
  • Our rescheduled excursion to Roman Vindolanda still has a few places, so book now
  • The Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive gets a fan letter from an appreciative researcher
  • A classic volume of local history gets a re-print - the Economic History of Rossendale by G.H. Tupling is once again available
  • A new podcast series on Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, the ground breaking author featured in the RHC publication Breaking the Bonds of Capitalism: the political vision of a Lancashire mill girl

Booking Now Open for RHC's Annual Study Event with Dr Alan Crosby

The wait is over - booking has finally opened for our re-scheduled annual Study Event with Dr Alan Crosby. This was originally set for February, but had to be postponed due to continuing concerns about Covid restrictions. Now that the government's Plan B restrictions have been relaxed, Outsiders looking in: visitors' impressions of the North West 1600-1939 is now going ahead on Saturday 2 April in our new venue at the University Library.

But concerns about the pandemic are far from over, and we understand that you can't be too we are making this a hybrid event, which can also be joined via Microsoft Teams.

And because we know that it can be demanding to sit in front of a computer screen for lengthy periods, we will be pre-recording some of Alan's presentations so that people can watch them in advance, or indeed via a special screening within the venue during the morning.

Alan will then join us 'live and in person' during the afternoon to present the other sessions – we'll broadcast these on MS Teams in real time as well as record them, so that we can make them available to anyone who enrols but cannot be present either in person or online. The day will be rounded off with a Q&A session when Alan will respond to queries from people joining from home as well as those of us in the room, but please note that we will broadcast but not record this session.

Alan will be treating us to sessions on early travellers from 1500-1750, tourism and the search for the romantic 1750-1900, the economic transformation 1750-1900 and reporters and reformers and their descriptions 1900-1939. Of course, the RHC has always known that the North West has a lot to offer - but this fascinating look at historical views promises new insights into our little corner of the world.

We can't wait to welcome you back and knowing Alan, it will certainly be worth the wait. Please don't delay - book your ticket now. Please make sure that you select the right option when you book – we are providing tea and coffee (and biscuits) for those who attend in person, so those tickets are a little more expensive than the 'online only' price.


RHC Excursion to Vindolanda Back on the Agenda

We hoped that bringing back our popular guided excursions would be a good way of coping with the continuing pandemic - so when the RHC announced a half-day trip last September to Vindolanda, the Roman Fort on Hadrian's Wall, we were not surprised that it booked up quickly. The prospect of our own Dr Fiona Edmonds combined with the History Department's Roman specialist Dr Eleri Cousins proved tempting to many of you, but once again, Covid spoiled our plans.

Happily we have managed to re-schedule the Vindolanda visit for Wednesday 20 April. Same fascinating talks, same great value price - and same quick booking, especially as those who signed up the first time around had priority.

Luckily for everyone else, a few people could not make the new date - so there are still a few places available. But don't hang about if you want to join in - tickets won't last long. Book now or be sorry later! Link for current RHC Friends and Patrons here. Also, just a reminder that everyone will need to make their own way to the site, and we are not providing refreshments – though meals, drinks and snacks will be available to purchase.


Last Call for Bookings for our 49th Annual Archaeology Forum

The first Saturday in March can only mean one thing: time for our Annual Archaeology Forum. This year's Forum on Saturday 5 March will be the 49th edition of this perennial favourite, and we have a great programme for you.

We're staying online for this event, not least because of the wide-ranging geographical spread of our speakers. Everyone who registers will be able to view the range of pre-recorded presentations, which will be available in a dedicated online space for a few days before the live online Q&A.

We'll be hearing from Frank Giecco (Wardell Armstrong) about exciting discoveries at the Roman baths in Carlisle, then we'll take in the Isle of Man as Allison Fox shares some extraordinary Viking age finds, visit a Cheshire Castle in context with Dr Rachel Swallow and re-discover a buried Victorian bath house in Manchester. We'll also home in on Lancaster as Rachel Newman (Oxford Archaeology North) pays tribute to the much-missed Professor David Shotter, a long-time Archaeology Forum stalwart who sadly died last year, and we'll hear about some important community archaeology projects with Jan Hicks. With a live Q&A with our speakers, it's a chance to catch up on the year's most important archaeological developments, so don't miss it - book now.

Presentations will be posted in our dedicated online learning space in the days leading up to the live Q&A, and will remain available for some weeks afterwards, so there's plenty of time to enjoy the offering.

But we don't want to rest on our laurels. We're already planning the next edition of Archaeology Forum, because the 50th anniversary is surely a time to pull out all the stops...We're hoping to feature a timely presentation on how climate change is affecting the world of archaeology. This BBC news story caught our eye, not least as it quotes Dr Andrew Birley, the chief archaeologist at Vindolanda and a popular contributor to Archaeology Forum - but it also made us wonder just what other stories you would like to see featured? If you have some ideas, why not drop us a line at to let us know. We'll do our best to make sure there's something for everyone.


More Highlights From Our 2022 Programme

We are certainly pleased that 2022 is shaping up to be a return to some kind of normality. And the new year is a natural time to think about the future - or at least the springtime. After the Alan Crosby event and our trip to Vindolanda, April sees our thoughts turn to holidays: We do like to be beside the seaside – tourism and coastal towns in North West England, with the live element scheduled for Saturday 30 April. We'll be looking at the history of tourism from Victorian times to the present, and exploring exciting plans to rejuvenate historic seaside resorts - like the new entertainment museum coming soon to Blackpool and the Eden North project in Morecambe. This event will once again be held in our new space at Lancaster University Library. We hope to open bookings soon so please keep an eye on our website.

Then we're off to Clitheroe for a breath of fresh air as Fiona leads another organised visit: this time a walk relating to the Battle of Clitheroe 1138. The date of this excursion will be 18 May 2022, and we'll provide full details in due course. In the meantime, save the date so you can put those New Year's resolutions into practice and get moving.

No matter what time of year, there is so much to look forward to - especially if you are one of our much-valued Friends and Patrons. Current subscribers enjoy a discounted ticket on every event they enrol for. Still sitting on the fence? Read more about the benefits of supporting the RHC a little further down in this newsletter.


Our Revamped Postgraduate Certificate in Local and Regional History Returns

After a long hiatus and considerable popular demand, the RHC was pleased to re-launch a revamped version of our Postgraduate Certificate in Local and Regional History this past October. We are already receiving enquires about entry in October 2022, and for the first time we are making offers to learners based overseas, which should bring an exciting new dimension to the experience of the entire cohort. We encourage you to find out more on the applications website at

There have been some well-attended online sessions to introduce the course to prospective applicants, and we are aiming to repeat this, so please look out for details in future newsletters.


Elizabeth Robert Working Class Oral History Archive

Sue Bradley, oral historian and former Barrovian, has been in touch to express her appreciation for the archive - and we just couldn't resist sharing her message.

Sue writes: The online transcripts turned out to be a marvellous resource in the pandemic when I had to stop doing face-to-face interviews and find new ways to 'do oral history' from home. This was a chance to explore the work of someone whose work has shaped the field of oral history. I knew that Elizabeth Roberts' interviews had been ground-breaking at the time, but what's striking is how relevant these richly detailed life-story interviews remain today. I found the transcripts absorbingly interesting, especially – of course – the ones recorded in Barrow-in-Furness, which opened new windows into my own family history.

Sue has been invited to contribute a personal piece about this to the reflective oral history blog run by Indira Chowdhury, Founder-Director of the Centre for Public History at the Srishti-Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. You can read it here.

Sue is based at Newcastle University, where she listens out for animals. She is a research associate on FIELD (Farm-level Interdisciplinary Approaches to Endemic Livestock Disease) in Newcastle University's Centre for Rural Economy, and a member of the Newcastle University Oral History Unit and Collective. Nice to know she's an RHC supporter too!


Exclusively for Friends and Patrons - a huge thank you

We want to express our gratitude to all of the Friends and Patrons who renewed their subscriptions for 2021-2022. And we especially want to welcome all those who are supporting us in this way for the first time - and there are more than a few. We hope it is a recognition of the work and care the RHC team puts into promoting the history and heritage of the North West.

But one good turn deserves another, so we want to point out one of the best of the exclusive benefits available to those who support the RHC in this way. We offered our first-ever online lecture as a 'thank you' to our existing Friends and Patrons in the summer of 2020, and it was so well-received we've continued the series. For those Friends and Patrons who have not yet experienced Dr Fiona Edmonds lecturing on The Medieval Past and Northern English Identities and Mountain Names in Lakeland, plus the supporting materials, it is not too late to access these recordings. Just email and let us know you're interested.

Alongside Fiona's presentations, RHC associate Dr Chris Donaldson has recorded an online lecture exclusively for current RHC Friends and Patrons.

Benjamin Franklin plaque

Chris has entitled his talk Benjamin Franklin's Tours of Northern England, and it's yet another good reason to become a Friend or Patron of the RHC.

And because there's no end to our gratitude for your support, we plan to offer our Friends and Patrons another exclusive online talk in the coming year - Fiona's hard at work on something new to keep you fascinated. But let's not forget old classics...


Books - a classic local history volume gets a reprint

Our friends at the Lancashire Local History Federation have let us know that G.H. Tupling's classic 1927 book on the Economic History of Rossendale has been given a reprint.

A new hard-bound edition of this well-known work is now available, with an introduction and guide to further reading by Professor R.C. Richardson of the University of Winchester.

You can order your copy for £30 (plus £2.99 postage within the UK), direct from Carnegie Publishing, Carnegie House, Chatsworth House, Lancaster LA1 4SL Phone 07485394070 or click here for the website.

New Podcast Series on Ethel Carnie Holdsworth - heroine of an RHC publication

We were pleased to see the University Library announce a new podcast series all about Ethel Carnie Holdsworth - the heroine of an earlier RHC publication called Breaking the Bonds of Capitalism: the political vision of a Lancashire mill girl. You can find that book here.

These new podcasts look at the novel This Slavery, written by Ethel in 1925. She is thought by many to be the first working class woman in Britain to have become a published author.

The Library's website notes:

We have worked with Mid Pennine Arts to commission these three podcast episodes to help celebrate the BBC "Novels that Shaped Our World" series.

The episodes will be released on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts and other major podcast platforms and will be free to listen to. We are working to ensure that copies of This Slavery will be available to borrow from our libraries as soon as possible.

And you can listen to This Slavery on:


Pocket Casts



Radio Public

External Events and Announcements

All external events are listed on our website. The RHC cannot provide further information on these events and announcements, nor be held responsible for any inaccuracies in what is posted. If you have queries or wish to book for any event listed here please contact the organiser/venue/promoter directly.


We hope this newsletter gives important information on heritage activities and organisations locally. We very much look forward to seeing you in the not-too-distant future as RHC events finally get back to normal. High time too, don't you think?


Ann-Marie Michel