History fun at half term!

Here’s wishing everyone a lovely half term after lots of good history-ing so far since Christmas.  There are lots of things on that might interest people passionate about their history, and here are just a few:

The annual Jorvik Viking festival starts on Saturday and there are events in and around the city all week.  This year’s theme is ‘Fire and Ice’.  For the full programme have a look at http://www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk.  It’s the largest Viking Festival in Europe and there is going to be a camp in the city centre all week.  Sadly the Viking wedding feast is sold out already, but the annual finale is open to all and you can expect fireworks.

Year 11 should try to get to see ‘Selma’, out in cinemas now.  This is a brilliant chance to get to grips with a film interpretation of a key part of your controlled assessment.

At the National Railway Museum there is an exhibition to mark 50 years since the death of Winston Churchill.  They have the train that was part of the greatest state funeral in Britain since Queen Victoria’s in 1901.

If you haven’t seen the 1914 exhibition at the Castle Museum, you really should.  Don’t forget that York Minster and the Castle Museum are free with a York Card.

If you’re in London, there are so many things on offer.  Why not try the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons?  They’ve even got Winston Churchill’s dentures and the pickled organs of soldiers who fought at Waterloo – yuk!  Slightly less gruesome is the V&A’s Museum of Childhood near Bethnal Green tube.  Also in the East End you can find the Ragged School Museum, housed in the building where Dr Barnardo had his ragged school.  Of course at the big names you are spoilt for choice.  Mummies at the British Museum!  Treasures of the British library!   Henry VIII’s prisoners at the Tower!

If you’re busy revising and not going anywhere, take a break with some history on iPlayer.  Maybe catch up with Wolf Hall, the wonderful dramatisation of a fantastic novel that has some historians complaining that Thomas Cromwell was no way that nice.  Michael Wood also has a programme on Mary Arden, Shakespeare’s mother.  David Starkey’s Magna Carta is worth seeing (though I’m sure it actually belongs to all of us, David!)  Dan Snow has a good Timewatch Guide to the Mary Rose and the archaeology around this amazing ship.

What will you be reading?  I shall be reading ‘Margaret of Anjou’ by Helen Maurer – preparing for next year’s A level course.  I also intend to get hold of Jenny Uglow’s book on Britain in the age of the Napoleonic Wars.  We have been invited to take part in a national project to mark the bi-centenary of Waterloo – more info on that anon.

Meanwhile, hve lovely holidays everyone!


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