Having spent most of the last year studying for a History MA, I’ve now been facing new challenges by putting what I have learned to practical use with a placement with the Manchester Histories Festival. Aside from the main event (the festival itself, not running this year unfortunately) what we have been doing has been focusing on the promotion of history and heritage amongst the public. We’ve been showing people not just why their history should matter to them, but also how they can get involved. While promoting history we’ve also had plenty of interesting opportunities to work with local media outlets.
One of the most interesting and exiting opportunities I had in this regard was to promote our work with an appearance on the Levenshulme based community radio station ALLFM. This is a station that serves the south Manchester area with music, chat programmes and publicity for other community groups. Not only this but they also provide training to groups like ours to produce our own radio programmes. Since I had never presented on the radio before, the offer of training was very much appreciated!
On arriving at the station we were taught how to plan, produce and present a programme all about the work we do. This was to be centred around three interviews spent discussing the festival, one of which would be with the television historian and patron of Manchester Histories, Michael Wood. These interviews were sandwiched between songs chosen from Manchester extensive roster of much-loved local bands drawn from across the decades including Joy Division, The Stone Roses, The Courteeners and many more. With Michael we were able to talk about the festivals upcoming commemorations of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre as well as a series of comic performances about the role women in the history of science by the LipService theatre company and about the public role of historians more generally.
In all we had a great day learning new skills, trying new things and spreading the news about Manchester Histories to listeners in Levenshulme. Hopefully now some of the public will take us up on our offers and try some new things with some of the events we were offering. For those interested in the Peterloo commemorations or in anything else the festival does, more details can be found right here: http://www.manchesterhistoriesfestival.org.uk/. ALLFM meanwhile can be found at their website here: http://allfm.org/, or, for those in the south Manchester area, on the radio at 96.9 FM, while anyone interested in LipService can find more information about them here: http://www.lipservicetheatre.co.uk/. There will undoubtedly be something of interest their for anyone interested in history and heritage from any walk of life.