Hastings Speaks – making history in the present
In 1937 for the first time Mass Observation asked people to write diaries on May 12th. This annual diary making has continued. This year in Hastings the creative group Hastings Speaks attempted a similar initiative. This seemed to attract the popular imagination since people submitted 81 formal diary entries, 41 written postcard diaries, (plus another 67 picture postcard diaries), 6 psycho-geographic day entries including a video diary, twitter and Instagram entries,. There were also over 500 written diary entries from primary schools.
Hastings Speaks is attempting to use the diaries in various creative ways to encourage people to value everyday lives in the present – and for posterity!I have been asked to make a short contribution at the event on Wednesday 28th September at 7pm in the Albion pub in George Street on the value of diaries for historians. I am delighted to be involved since diaries are such valuable material for the writing of history. I am minded of my work on the diaries of Laurance Holman whose main observation on the ending of the war in 1945 was that the Duke of Bedford had closed up the gardens in Bedford square – as they had been before the war…
The event is free but you must book through this eventbrite link. There will also be an edited collection on sale.