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  1. Did you know that May is Local and Community History Month?

    The aim is to raise awareness of local history – often forgotten besides the histories of people such as Henry VIII or events such as the Second World War.   But it’s also a chance to promote history to local communities and get people involved.

    Getting involved in a local history group is also a great way to meet other people who are also interested in history, so like-minded people, and you can learn a lot from each other.

    The Local and Community History Month is organised by the Historical Association.  It’s a chance to get out and about in your area, and really delve into how  your local area has changed, what’s happened and why, the local characters involved,  how it connected with the outside world and so forth.   The Association have 10 Top Tips for Researching the History of Where You Live so this would be a great place to start and there will be events going on all over the country.

    One great source of local history is of course newspapers. Thanks to a great project between the British Library and the British Newspaper Archive, there are now over 52 million pages of newspapers you can access online through a subscription.  They’re adding more and more pages each week and you can see the new titles being added here.  So you can find out all about local history in your area even if  you are still restricted, or do your research online and then  head off to spot history, stand where it happened, and imagine what life would have been like.

    What was a dog's life in war time like?  Newspaper reports will tell you more!


    The British Newspaper Archive gives us a chance to see what readers wanted to read about and hear about, what was popular to sell and buy at the time – the advertisements are a great source of information – and what sort of social events were held.  You can give a gift subscription for one month or choose to run it for longer.

    Local and Community History Month is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the Historical Association itself.

    The Historical Association has a number of memberships, including a Gift Membership –  and the Historian Membership which is for anyone who just loves history.  There are also different memberships for those involved in the subject at primary or secondary level and you can see what the different membership levels include here.  The website on its own is a massive mine of information for people involved at a professional level e.g. history teachers or wannabe history teachers but there’s also lots of articles and topics of interest for people who just love the subject.

    Historian Membership of the Historical Association includes The Historian, the quarterly magazine of the Historical Association
    Historian Membership of the Historical Association includes The Historian, the quarterly magazine of the Historical Association
    image ©Historical Association

    Historian Members receive The Historian quarterly magazine (not every membership includes this) and you can download a free copy by registering online to see what it’s like.  It’s a great gift for anyone who teaches or studies history – or who just loves it.  I did History for my degree and still love immersing myself in the past to escape from the craziness of this modern world we live in and daily routine!

    Memberships help support the Association’s mission to develop the teaching, learning and enjoyment of history at all levels, for generations to come.

    Members also have free access to over 350 high-quality podcast talks by history experts; these cover historical periods, regions and themes, so there’s plenty to discover!

    The Historical Association was originally established in part to bring people together who were interested history, and there are over 45 local branches around the UK meeting regularly.  Branches organise a programme of speakers every year so that members and the public can hear from historians and researchers.  You can find your closest branch here.  They may also be history visits and CPD events, it depends on the branch.

    Find out about the Historical Association's Historian Membership here 

    There's also the British Association for Local History, which is the national association devoted to local history.  It publishes books and pamphlets on local history, and it also publishes both The Local Historian, a quarterly journal, and Local History News, a topical magazine.  It has lots of resources online, plus events and there are even classroom exercises to bring local history into the classroom!  There are several different types of membership.  Visit the British Association for Local History here

    You could also think about giving a magazine subscription which covers a particular area of the UK - a county, for instance - or a particular theme such as walking.  isubscribe.co.uk has lots of choice - view their range here.

     View the range of general interest magazine subscriptions covering Britain and country life at isubscribe.co.uk

  2. There's a great news from English Heritage, the charity which looks after many of England's historic places.

    They run a gift membership scheme, and if you use the code EH2022 you can enjoy 15% off  Gift and Annual Memberships!  This code is valid until 31 May  2022 and it applies to new gift and annual memberships only.

    Give a Gift or Annual Membership to English Heritage


    Member benefits include:

    • Unlimited access to over 400 historic places in England (check these are opening and book in advance at the moment because of the coronavirus)
    • Free or reduced entry to hundreds of events
    • Free parking where the car park is on a site owned by English Heritage
    • FREE members handbook
    • Exclusive members magazine 

    This is a wonderful chance to give the history lover in your life the opportunity to immerse themselves in the past.  

    Don't forget, use the code "EH2022" at checkout to get your 15% off Gift and Annual Memberships. The code will expire 31 May 2022 and it's only valid on new membership purchases.

    Give a Gift Membership to English Heritage today!

     

  3.  

     

    The RHS has lots of different types of events, not just the world famous flower shows such as Chelsea and Hampton Court.

    There are courses and workshops, photography shows, exhibitions, plant fairs, walks, tours, walkies with your four-legged friends and forest bathing.  Plus activities for kids!

    There are all sorts of skills you can learn, not just gardening, but willow weaving, paper cuts, botanical painting, photography, floral arranging, Zarzo basketry, natural dyeing, rag rug making, needle felting, dry stone walling, creating stained glass flowers and calligraphy. Members can attend many of these (but not all) for free.

    There are also a number of shows dedicated to a specific flower or plant, so here are some of them:

    British Iris Society Show

     Find out more about the National Iris Society Show

    This is at RHS Wisley on 7 and 8 May, to celebrate the iris with beautiful displays (including a rare Iris from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew).  There are walks, demonstrations, specialist plant sales and lots of opportunities to find out all about this beautiful flower.  It’s free to members and for non-members, normal garden admissions applies. Find out more

    National Carnation Show

    The National Carnation Show is at RHS Harlow Carr

    This will be at RHS Harlow Carr on 12 June outside Harrogate.  The British National Carnation Society will be at RHS Garden Harlow Carr for the first time.  There will be a range of stunning dianthus to enjoy and you can find out how to grow these blooms at home from the experts!    It’s free to members and for non-members, normal garden admissions applies. Find out more

    National Sweet Pea Show

    Dig up more information on the Sweet Pea Show

    Head to RHS Garden Harlow Carr on the 9th and 10th July for this show. There’s nothing like the scent and sight of gorgeous sweet pea blooms!  And on this weekend, 70 classes will be judged on the Saturday morning with awards being presented at 2pm.  You can tour the garden’s own sweet pea blooms and listen to expert advice on how to grow your own.  Not only that, you will be able to buy bunches of surplus blooms and seeds so that you can take a bit of the show home with you!  It’s free to members and for non-members, normal garden admissions applies.  Dig up more information. 

    National Rhododendron Show

     Find out about the RHS National Rhodedendron Show

    This is at RHS Rosemoor in Devon on 23 and 24 April.  As well as 60 classes covering all sorts of rhododendrons, there are trade and advice stands and wonderful displays of camellias and magnolias! It’s free to members and for non-members, normal garden admissions applies. Find out more

    Alpine Garden Society

    Find out about the spring National Alpine Show

    The Alpine Garden Society takes place on 21 May (the Spring show) and the 15 October 2022 at RHS Garden Harlow Parr and this is a great opportunity to learn more about the varieties of alpines and get lots of advice from UK alpine plant growers!

    Find out about the Spring National Alpine Show

    Find out about the National Alpine Show in October

    Take a look at the various events taking place with the RHS during 2022 here.  There’s lots going on!

  4.  

    On Good Friday 15 April 2022, dinosaur fans and lovers will want to switch on for Dinosaurs:  The Final Day with Sir David Attenborough.

    On BBC1 at 6:30pm, Sir David shows how an asteroid strike wiped out dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. It should make for fascinating television.

    Back in the 2010s in North Dakota, a palaeontologist called Robert DePalma unearthed a prehistoric graveyard which has given scientists a new view on the last moments of the Cretaceous period when an astheroid which was larger than Mount Everest collided with Earth.

    The discovery of the graveyard gave scientists what they believed to be direct evidence of dinosaurs being killed as a result of the impact of the asteroid.  And this brought the dinosaurs' dominance to a fast halt. 

    The creatures preserved at the site give us an incredibly detailed picture of the moment in time, and aided by visual effects, Sir David takes us through time to experience events.

    Find out more from BBC1

     Want a gift for a dinosaur lover?  The Natural History Museum has a wonderful selection of dinosaur gifts!
    Want a gift for a dinosaur lover? 
    The Natural History Museum has a wonderful selection of dinosaur gifts!