England's Past for Everyone - Bristol

Redcliffe Parade, Bristol
©University of London

Region: South West

Unitary Authority: Bristol, City of

Summary: England’s Past for Everyone (EPE) is a Heritage Lottery funded project run by the Victoria County History (VCH). They run fifteen local history projects in ten counties across the country. The Bristol project is a study of the lives of ethnic minorities in Bristol, over the past 10 centuries.

Description: Local volunteers play a key role in the EPE projects. In Bristol volunteers have been working with academics to research archive material such as newspapers, wills, census material and home office and apprenticeship records.  Volunteers have also received oral history training and have used these skills to record the histories of their own communities.  Photography training has enabled volunteers to build a photographic record of architecture of the city.
Strategy: Centrally funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, EPE is also working with local partners on each of its projects.  In Bristol the key partner is the University of the West of England.

The project demonstrates that architectural history cannot be divorced from people; places of worship including temples, mosques and chapels have been studied to place people in their urban landscape.

Materials discovered during the research, including images, historical documents and audio files, are available from our free, interactive website ‘Explore’ (www.ExploreEnglandsPast.org.uk).  Resources on the Bristol Explore site include a city trail which highlights Bristol’s historical involvement in the Transatlantic slave trade.  A Bristol school project is currently in development. 

The book ‘Bristol: Ethnic Minorities and the City 1000-2001’ has been published.

Through its learning and publications programmes EPE is also helping to develop new models of working for the future of the VCH.


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