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“History is important because the results of history are still with us”

news editor3 July 2013

pencil-iconWritten by Ashley Cowburn, UCL History 2013

How did you react to Baroness Thatcher’s funeral? Were you present among the hundreds of people who gathered in Goldthorpe to witness an effigy of Thatcher set alight, accompanied with chants of ‘scHackney peace muralum!’?

Or were you mourning at the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, paying tribute to one of Britain’s longest serving prime ministers?

The point to this juxtaposition, as Dr Andrew Flinn (UCL Information Studies) proposed in his Lunch Hour Lecture, ‘Hidden No Longer: Community history-making’ on 25 June, was not a question of ‘respect’. Rather, Thatcher’s funeral unearthed emotional histories of community remembrance.

In Nottinghamshire, former mine workers gathered for a minute’s silence to mark the demise of their community. In Grantham – the birthplace of the former PM – a rose was unveiled in her memory, celebrating Thatcher’s intrinsic involvement in the community history.

Only by exhuming hidden community histories, Dr Flinn argues, can we fully appreciate the incredibly diverse – and ‘inevitable’ – nature of the reaction to the funeral. (more…)

Creating Connections 2

news editor8 June 2012

John Braime, Volunteering Services Unit

What happens when you put a roomful of academics, postgrad students and other UCL staff together with people from London’s community and charity organisations?

In the spirit of curiosity, this is exactly what we did on 30 May at Creating Connections 2, held in the Roberts Building Foyer at UCL. The idea was to find new and unexpected areas for collaboration between UCL and local communities.

In a way, it was a bit like speed dating – with all of the uncertainty that that format entails. Could we find a happy match between a mathematician and a youth group, an archaeologist and a refugee charity, a librarian and staff at a nature reserve? We were determined to find out.

The event itself was the product of some creative connecting – between UCL’s Public Engagement Unit, the Volunteering Services Unit and local resource swapping network Camden Shares.

(more…)