Unlocking The 'Hidden History' Of Bedford Park Homes
House History project launched to help locals connect with the past
The Bedford Park Residents' Association (BPRA) has launched its House History project aimed at connecting the families who live in Bedford Park today with the people who lived in their homes in times past.
Intended as a project for all ages, the BPRA will be providing materials for families and children as well as for more serious historians. The house histories project is intended to complement the work being done by the Bedford Park Society on the architectural history of Bedford Park, but it will focus on the personal and family histories of people who have lived here. The organisers say there is a growing amount of interest from other areas of Chiswick in the project.
The launch last Thursday featured a talk by the project’s resident house historian Mel Backe-Hansen, (firstname.lastname@example.org) ( pictured above) who showed some of the resources available to the participants and talked through how a homeowner might get started. She highlighted some of the fun and surprising things you can find about your house from online sources like the 1911 Census, and showed some of the lighter, family issues they can reveal.
Image from BPRA
Nigel Walley explained the structure of the project and showed the online log-books being prepared for all the households that are participating. These are available to any household that wants to take part and will give each of them a place to record their house histories in neat, online timelines. Nigel and Mel encouraged the assembled residents to think creatively about how they define the ‘history’ of their homes. The project team pointed out that having a home that had been used as a movie location, could be just as interesting to some people as having one with poets and artists in its history.
Image of the audience - Nigel Walley
Nigel Walley then went on to show how, if homeowners permit it, the individual histories can build towards a bigger Bedford Park ‘Social History’ database that will be accessible by a dedicated web site to be launched later in the year. Participants were asked to use all the online resources and social media to share the things they find.
Because of interest across Chiswick, the project is now being widened out to other residents through a variety of local Residents Associations. Anyone still wanting to join the project can email email@example.com to get more details of the participating associations.
The project is also being presented on 17 October to the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society meeting at the Chiswick Memorial Club.
September 13, 2016