Hoskins Day Programme

Saturday 01 June 2024, University of Leicester, from 12:00 noon until 4:00pm. This is a FREE event but we would appreciate you booking via our webpage.

Hoskins Day 2024

Event Opens
Room 101 and Foyer, Attenborough Building.

A complementary buffet lunch of sandwiches, cake and hot drinks will be available from 12:00 until 14:00 outside Room 101 in the Attenborough seminar building, there will also be a second-hand book sale and Victoria County History and Oral History displays available to view.

Library Tour One
12:15 – 13:00
The tour departs from the David Wilson Library Foyer.

Library Tour Two
13:00 – 13:45
The tour departs from the David Wilson Library Foyer.

There is no need to pre-book for a tour. Please make your way to the David Wilson Library entrance hall to meet up with your host, Dr Will Farrell.

The David Wilson Library houses one of the largest regional and local history collections in the UK. These short tours will provide an introduction to the Library, explain how members of the public can join and use the collection, and include a short stop at Special Collections to see some rare books and archive material.

As well as a tour of the building and the main collection on the third floor, we will be showcasing the following collections in the Special Collections Reading Room:

  • The Chaproniere Collection: photographic archive of English parish churches. We will be looking at the material on Suffolk.
  • Highlights from the Draper Bequest on Kent: this is the most recent major donation to the local history rare book collection.
  • Frederick Attenborough’s correspondence with Hoskins and other local historians. This relates to the slide collection that Richard Jones has been digitising.
  • Poll Books: we have over 100 poll books in the Library, and we will be showcasing this important source for local political and social history.

Michael Gilbert – Introduction
13:50 – 14:00
Lecture Theatre One, Attenborough Building.

Dr Michael Gilbert is Chair of the Friends of the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester. Michael studied at the University of London and at the Centre where his thesis explored the changing landscape and economy of the late medieval fenlands. He is currently setting up the Centre for Fenland Studies at Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding, South Lincolnshire to bring together local historians, academics and heritage groups.

Colin Hyde – “Walking through the Past”.
14:00 – 14:20
Lecture Theatre One, Attenborough Building.

A look at guided walking trails from Susanna(h) Watts in 1804 (she published her guidebook A Walk Through Leicester anonymously, and referred to herself as ‘he’ in the address at the beginning of the book) to the latest online walking tours of Leicester. Considering how these trails have changed over the years – or not – can tell us about how Leicester has celebrated its heritage over the past 200 years.

Colin has been with the East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA) at the University of Leicester since 2001 and was seconded to the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage Midlands Hub, also at the University of Leicester, between 2018-2021. Colin has many years’ experience of giving advice, help and training in oral history. He has helped to create oral history related exhibitions, newsletters, books, CDs, videos and websites.

See our short biography of Susanna(h) Watts here

Pam Fisher – “Blue dogs, basketry, board games and bells: The VCH in the 21st Century”.
14:20 – 14:40
Lecture Theatre One Attenborough Building

Pam completed an MA and a PhD at the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester. She is currently the Volunteer Programme Manager for Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust and also County Editor. Pam’s role is to plan the research, recruit, train and support volunteer historians to help, to carry out some research herself and to prepare or edit a text for publication.

Break 14:40 – 15:00

Corinne Fowler – “Landscape history after Hoskins: Country Walks Through Colonial Britain”.
15:00 – 16:00
Lecture Theatre One, Attenborough Building.

Our keynote speaker is Corinne Fowler, Professor of Colonialism and Heritage at the University of Leicester. She is co-investigator of both the Rural Racism Project and the AHRC project ‘Addressing the Histories and Legacies of Empire in Literary House Museums: Dove Cottage and Beyond’, which brings together academics, consultants, stakeholders and community groups to investigate the colonial links of Romantic-period literary house museums, using Wordsworth Grasmere as an initial focus.

In this talk, Professor Fowler explores how raw materials, slavery-produced goods, and colonial wealth reshaped British landscapes from the remote Scottish isle of Jura to Cornish copper mines. Together with ten walking companions, Corinne’s new book Our Island Stories: Country Walks Through Colonial Britain examines how local history is intertwined with imperial history, investigating the unique colonial dimensions of British agriculture, landownership, enclosure, wool-making, cotton-weaving and coastal trade.

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