We have been working hard alongside the team at The Astor Community Theatre for over 2 years and now we are BACK!!!
In true history project fashion, I was once again snowed under with editing tasks and other things to do when George came to me with a solution to a problem I had presented him in one of our official strategy meetings.
I had asked how The History Project could help people in the town suffering from social isolation and loneliness. We brainstormed different ideas about how we could get like-minded people together and encourage them to meet new friends and start to build social events in their lives, to be honest, we didn't have anything that we really loved the sound of so we parked it.
Then one day George came to me and said, "Pete, we are going to have a regular history night in a pub, we can get people to come along and listen to great history talks and make friends at the same time". I loved the sound of it!!! and we quickly developed a project plan about how we were going to deliver it.
Our first ever night was at The Light House on the Strand
It was snowing that night and we thought not many people would come, but it got pretty busy. So much in fact that it was a bit much of an interruption for the regulars and as The Light House had kindly let us use the space for free also meant they couldn't book bands in for that evening so it was not a long term option for them or solution for us. They told us the news, but we were very happy to them for enabling us to get the show started so to speak. If you haven't been to The Light House go and check it out!!!
We were now searching for a venue when James Tillet from The Astor Theatre got in touch.
James loved our work and was keen to help us in any way he could
This was great!!! now we had a regular venue. Together we run 'The History Show' for a whole year, for free. But like everything it costs money, so after the first year, we decided to charge a subsidised fee of £5 and the night became a great success. We struck a lovely balance between people who are wanting to meet new friends and acquaintances to groups of friends and family who like to come together to enjoy the show. We also have a number of our town's visitors who like to come too!!
Over the last few years, we have had many many awesome speakers who come up and deliver amazing talks about the history they love and that is what it is all about.
It is a platform for people to talk about the history they love
The format of the night is great, we start with short talks in the first half and sometimes a short video, we break for a 20-minute interval for drinks and some chat time, and then the second half is the main feature talk that lasts between 40-45 minutes.
The show is presented by George Chittenden and myself (Pete Fishlock), and we have some regulars too-
The amazing Sharon Powell a local lady who puts her heart and soul into local history and comes up with a brilliant piece of historical wizardry every time,
Reputed speaker Paul Robbins founder of 'A Step Back in Time' the UK's premier series of historical talks https://www.stepbackintime.org/
We have also had other well-known local historians such as Colin Varall, Jimmy Davies, David Chamberlin, the great Stuart Smith, and old Wimpy Fishlock from beyond the grave without the need to use Charlie Chittenden's ghost box.
During our shows, there has been laughter and tears, and coming together to find out about our rich history and heritage is a meaningful use of your time.
Above Sharon Powell and Stuart Smith
Sharon Powell has been working with George and I now for a few years and watching her talks is a real treat!!, I believe Sharon has a big part to play in the telling of our local history.
Stuart, the lovable fossil may look like a Rastafarian version of Worzel Gummidge, but his warm nature and kind heart have led to a cult-like following in Deal of which I am proud to be part. Similarities between Stuart's nose and brow ridge to mine have highlighted questions about my parentage which are completely understandable, but I can safely safe whilst we are good friends we are not related..... I digress.
The show must go on
I am so glad to be able to tell you that we are now back!!!!! and can resume our normal schedule of shows starting 22nd July!!!
We have some great talks in store for you and many more to come in the coming months. So please if you know anyone who you think might like to get out and listen to some great history please let them know.
You can pre-order your tickets here to avoid disappointment TICKETS CLICK HERE
We hope to see you at the next show.
Before you go, The History Project is looking for volunteers to find out more click here.
We are always looking for new sponsors and donators who help us keep our shows subsidised and our school experiences free, if you would like to donate please click here, and finally a big thank you to our existing sponsors who have their banners on our site, logo's below, in our hub, in our videos, and on the big screen at our shows!! You make all this possible.