Main content


Has Black History Month served its purpose? Plus Norman Smith takes us back to the West Midlands of the '70s, and Tom Holland discovers the life and times of Saint Wilfrid.

As Black History Month draws to a close a heritage consultant from south east London asks whether this annual celebration has served its purpose and where does our large Asian community fit in to all this?

In Birmingham our first British-born black-writer, Norman Smith, takes us back to the West Midlands of the 1970's when a powerful mix of reggae and family testimony fuelled his passion for the past.

Tom Holland is in Ripon discovering the life and times of Saint Wilfrid, the forgotten pioneer of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain. And we catch up on your letters and emails as we highlight the latest happenings in the history community.

Find us on Facebook or Email:

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Tue 30 Oct 2012 15:00

Programme 2

Helen Castor is joined by the historical geographer Dr Caroline Bressey from University College London and Dr Ruvani Ranasinha Senior Lecturer, Department of English, King's College, London the lead Editor of South Asians Shaping the Nation, 1870 - 1950

Black History Month

Heritage consultant Cliff Prereira wonders whether Black History Month has had its day?

Helen talks to Linda Bellos, a former leader of Lambest Council in London who helped set up the first Black History Month in 1987, and Barbara Campbell the publisher of Black Heritage Today

Making Historians

Leading writers and researchers explain what prompted them to become historians. This week Norman Samuda Smith the Birmingham community historian and writer who some people see as the first British-born black writer.

Salisbury Spire

Salisbury Spire

In the week that Salisbury Playhouse stages the world premiere of William Golding's The Spire, Making History listener John Cromie asks how the medieval stonemasons managed to place the 4 ton 'cap stone' on top of the cathedral in the 14th century.


Salisbury Cathedral

St Wilfrid of Ripon

St Wilfrid of Ripon

Is the crypt at Ripon Cathedral the oldest in Britain? To find out Tom Holland travelled north with Professor Nick Higham who told him more about the man who built it - St Wilfrid.


Ripon Cathedral