The BBC is taking The Great British Story: A People’s History on the road, giving visitors from south Wales a unique opportunity to find out more about their own personal history as well as that of their local area.
The Great British Story event will be a celebration of local history, offering the public a toolkit which will help them find out more about their local history, from place names to landscapes and the origin of surnames.
Experts will be on hand at each event to help interpret historical artefacts, objects, photos and documents and give tips on how they can be preserved for future generations.
The event is free and will be held at St Fagans: National History Museum, Cardiff, from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, June 16.
The event will feature a discussion panel, hosted by BBC Cymru Wales’s wildlife expert Iolo Williams, and including The Great British Story presenter Michael Wood, as well as Professor Raimund Karl, who has headed up the School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology at the University of Bangor since 2007. Their topics will include strange artefacts and tall tales from history, plus there’s a chance to hear who they think is the greatest figure in British history from the past 1,600 years.
The event will also feature workshops, talks and hands-on activities including:
• Discovering the origins of place names
• Learning how you can research local history
• Hearing stories from the traveller and gypsy communities in Wales
• Uncovering the mysteries of ancient Iron Age communities in Wales
• Finding out how archaeologists survey and record their findings
• Listening to myths and legends with storyteller Enid Middleton
The tour has been organised by BBC Learning, which co-commissioned the Michael Wood landmark TV series of the same name, with BBC Two.
The series, which starts on May 25, charts Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s remarkable past from the perspective of ordinary people. It draws on the extraordinary energy and interest of local communities combined with the incredible resources of local archives, museums, societies and universities up and down the land to tell the story of our history.
Michael Wood says: “The Great British Story has revealed things which perhaps we take for granted. Britain has the most incredible variety of people, cultures and traditions - having a local context to the great events of history brings them alive in a new and captivating way and I hope people will be inspired by the television programmes to continue to uncover their own place in history by visiting this event.”
For people unable to make it there is a free Fact Pack available to download from the BBC website bbc.co.uk/greatbritishstory
It provides top tips and starting points for researching both personal and local history. Discover how historical artefacts can be preserved; how to uncover hidden landscapes on your doorstep and how to research where surnames come from.
In support of BBC Learning’s The Great British Story - A People's History, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has developed All Our Stories. All Our Stories is a new, simple, funding scheme with grants available ranging from £3,000 - £10,000 - developed so everyone can get involved in their heritage. From researching local historic landmarks, learning more about customs and traditions to delving into archives and finding out the origins of street and place names, this new programme will give everyone the chance to explore their heritage and share what they learn with others.
Details of the TV programme, the events and Fact Pack can be found via the website bbc.co.uk/greatbritishstory
To find out more about the All Our Stories grants and how to apply, HLF will be at the BBC Learning events this summer, or go to www.hlf.org.uk/allourstories