Under the overall theme of Wellbeing, our final week of the 2021 festival will focus on learning.
24 May 11.00am
Walking Trails in the City – Beating the Bounds of East Stonehouse (1)
Join Walks with History, on a walk along the old town boundary of East Stonehouse to Victoria Park. Walk time 90 minutes. Start point. Front of Quadrant Wharf Building (by the Red School), Millbay Road, PL1 3NJ. Please come prepared for the weather and sensible shoes are a must.
£5.00 ticket price and must have an advance place booked via email or 07443 890933 (6pm-8pm only)
25 May 7.30pm The Devon Family History Society Talk. Formed in 1976, is one of the largest Family History Societies in the UK. The Society’s objectives are to promote the study of genealogy and history, especially of Devon families and places, to educate the public therein through advice and instruction, and, for the public benefit, to encourage the preservation and transcription of relevant documents and records, especially for the county of Devon. They are hosting four free talks via a zoom platform which are free and open for anyone to attend. Today’s talk is entitled ‘General Joseph Palmer: Devonian & American by Graham Naylor. To receive the link for the talk email putting Plymouth History Festival in the Subject Box, and add details of the talk(s) you wish to attend in your message.
26 May 2.00pm –
Unheard Voices Online Talk
Recent times have made many of us acutely aware how some voices fail to be heard in history. For some communities, it is a struggle for our stories to be heard, captured and archived and so conversations around history can fail to consider whole groups of people whose stories tell us so much about who we all are.
For this year’s history festival, we are offering a series of talks addressing issues of gender, sexuality and race and today features members of The Jack Leslie Campaign discussing their work in the city.
Please email to receive the relevant zoom link for the session.
27 May 7.30pm WonderZoo – Spoken Word Event
WonderZoo is a Plymouth-based arts collective specialising in spoken word and performance events, workshops and activities. They will be linking their event in May into the History Festival with performers Ellen A.R. Sims, Edith Blackbird, Dean Hutchinson, Jonathan Spurling and Sarah Adams, Franklin Street and Laura Horton, Plymouth City Laureate of Words. The headline act for the night will be the WonderZoo Crew themselves in a collaborative piece which features a plotted history of the Stonehouse area performed through music and spoken word.
For more information visit the WonderZoo website.
28 May 28 May 6.00, 6.15 and 6.30– The Box History Festival Late Event. Join The Box for a special late as part of this year’s Plymouth History Festival and discover some of the secrets behind The Box. Explore their galleries and chat to some of the curators who created these amazing spaces. The Kitchen & Bar, led by award winning executive chef Nat Tallents, will also be open with some vintage recipes from our recent ‘Your Recipes, Your Heritage’ project. Come and try a selection of sweet treats and savoury delights from days gone by to a soundtrack of traditional folk music. To book, please visit here.
29 May – Walking Trails in the City; Central Park– 11.00am
Join Walks with History, for a walk through Central Park, visiting the site of Plymouth Zoo, Pounds House and following the Co-op Way trail. Walk time 90 minutes. Start point. Outside the Life Centre, 40 Mayflower Drive, PL2 3DG. Please come prepared for the weather and sensible shoes are a must.
£5.00 ticket price and must have an advance place booked here or 07443 890933 (6pm-8pm only).
29 May – Walking Trails in the City; The City Centre Trails – 2.30pm
Join Walks with History, for a walk through the City Centre looking at areas redeveloped as part of Abercrombie’s Plan for Plymouth. Walk time 90 minutes. Start point. Outside the St Lukes Church, The Box, Tavistock Place, PL4 8AX. Please come prepared for the weather and sensible shoes are a must. £5.00 ticket price and must have an advance place booked here or 07443 890933 (6pm-8pm only).
24 May 1.00pm
Walking Trails in the City – Beating the Bounds of East Stonehouse (2)
Join Walks with History, for a walk along the old town boundary of East Stonehouse to Stonehouse Bridge. Walk time 90 minutes. Start point. Front of The Park Pavilion Café, Victoria Park, PL1 5NQ. Please come prepared for the weather and sensible shoes are a must.
£5.00 ticket price and must have an advance place booked via email or 07443 890933 (6pm-8pm only)
25 May 10.30 Tamar Crossings in conjunction with WEA: Tamar Bridge Live. Relax by doing a live yoga session with a spectacular backdrop from the comfort of your own home. Mindful Yoga – Body, Mind & Breath – Course ref: C3532022 For more information go to here.
25 May 11.00am High Street Heritage Action Zone Selfie Walk. The high street has been the heart of our community for generations, but many high streets aren’t what they once were. That’s why Historic England is helping to revitalise historic high streets across the country. Working with local partners and communities they are helping transform disused and dilapidated buildings into homes, shops, work settings and community spaces, so they are thriving places for communities, businesses and locals to love. Together they are helping to breathe life back into the high street. Making vibrant places for everyone to live, work, invest and visit in the future. Over the next three years Plymouth’s High Street Heritage Action Zone will be funding projects which respond to our city centre and its wonderful heritage. For this trail, join local photographer, Nigel Barret, as he takes you on a tour through the city centre, ending in High Street Heritage Action Zone and shares some advice on how to take the best selfies. To book for this event, please email to register your interest.
26 May 11.45am Tamar Crossings – The Tamar Bridge: what it means to the people of Saltash Join us for a 15-minute talk on a range of subjects connected with the river and the two bridges. Each half-hour talk is delivered online by a different volunteer guest speaker in partnership with the WEA. For more information and to book go to here.
27 May 10.00am
Timebank Heritage Session in Ernesettle
Timebanking is a reciprocal exchange of time and skills so, whenever you give your time to help others you get time back to ask for something you need from any Timebank member. Timebanking is all about sharing your skills, interests and hobbies with others. Contact here to receive more details about their History Festival session.
27 May 10.00am
High Street Heritage Action Zone Heritage Walk 2
‘Plymouth the Shopping Centre of the Westcountry’ provides a tour in and amongst the vast area of the shopping complex of Plymouth, a conceptual idea that started during WWII. Learn about its futuristic aims of remodelling the way people should live and work that gave inspiration to the rest of the country. Focusing on architecture and stories of the people that worked in the area. Meet at Frankfort Gate Plaza outside the Market at 11.00am for another meander that could take 2hrs. There is a strict limit of 25 people for this event so advance booking via the email address below is essential.
To book a place please email here.
27 May 12.00pm High Street Heritage Action Zone – Lunchtime Conversation with Urban Splash. The high street has been the heart of our community for generations, but many high streets aren’t what they once were. That’s why Historic England is helping to revitalise historic high streets across the country. Working with local partners and communities they are helping transform disused and dilapidated buildings into homes, shops, work settings and community spaces, so they are thriving places for communities, businesses and locals to love. Together they are helping to breathe life back into the high street. Making vibrant places for everyone to live, work, invest and visit in the future. Booking: To register for this event and to receive the zoom link, please email here.
24 May 10.00am Tamar Crossings – Anchorage Tour Join us behind the scenes to see the Tamar Bridge in a brand new way- from inside the anchorage. Join our volunteer tour guide to learn about what goes on behind the scenes at the Tamar Bridge. You’ll go inside the anchorage and see an area normally closed to the public. Tour lasts approx 1.5 hours. Booking essential via this link
24 May 3.00pm Park Pharmacy Trust – Mr Park’s chemist shop keeps on healing In 1875, Charles James Park, a Victorian pharmacist, purchased a chemist shop, established in 1865 on Mutley Plain. The business was a family run pharmacy with two of his children, C Armstrong Park and Muriel Park (one of the first women to qualify as a pharmacist) both qualified while apprentices to their father. In 1983, C Armstrong Park decided to retire and auction the entire contents of this last remaining Plymouth family pharmacy. That was when the Mannamead Conservation Society, in 1984, stepped in to stop the auction, establish Park Pharmacy Trust and save for the people of Plymouth, the last remaining family chemist shop. This interactive Zoom session will explore some of the various ways the trust uses its collections of artefacts and its medicinal community garden at Thorn Park Lodge to bring joy and fun into the lives of people who love history as well as those with dementia and other debilitating conditions. Activities and equipment borrowed from its awarding winning Children’s Industry Workshops are often used in some of these sessions. Park Pharmacy Trust recently delivered a series of interactive Zoom sessions as part of a National Lottery Covid project: A novel approach to tackling Covid-19 Loneliness. Email here for the zoom link.
27 May – 11.00am Tamar Crossings – Guided Talk about the Tamar Bridge. Join a guided talk about the award-winning Tamar Bridge. You will also get a great view of Brunel’s masterpiece in bridge engineering, the Royal Albert Bridge, as well as insight into its construction. The tour is limited to a maximum of 5 people plus the guide, and booking is essential. For more information and to book go here.
28 May – Zoom Session at 1.30pm with the POP Heritage Network
Come and join the weekly online sessions of the Plymouth Octopus Project Hertitage network. Hear about the work that our members are involved in and join conversations about what’s next for the world of local heritage as we move out of lockdown and consider what next. Come and join the weekly online sessions of the Plymouth Octopus Project Heritage Network sessions. Hear about the work that our members and member groups are involved in and join conversations about what’s next for the world of local heritage as we move out of lockdown and consider what next. To book a place, please email here
and you’ll be sent the zoom link.
29 May – 11.00am Tamar Crossings – Guided Talk about the Tamar Bridge. Join a guided talk about the award-winning Tamar Bridge. You will also get a great view of Brunel’s masterpiece in bridge engineering, the Royal Albert Bridge, as well as insight into its construction. The tour is limited to a maximum of 5 people plus the guide, and booking is essential. For more information and to book go here.
30 May 2.00pm Walking Trails in the City – The Defences of Devonport
Join Walks with History, for a walk along the old defensive lines of Devonport and following parts of the Devonport Heritage Trail. Walk time 90 minutes. Start point. Outside the Brewery Tap Public House, 99 Edgecombe Street, PL1 3SZ. Please come prepared for the weather and sensible shoes are a must.
£5.00 ticket price and must have an advance place booked here or 07443 890933 (6pm-8pm only)
Pubs of Greenbank
Pubs of Greenbank is running a virtual (Zoom) pub crawl of Greenbank. We will explore the history of the hill’s pubs, hear stories and memories from Greenbank regulars, and share some drinks and snacks. Sign up to the event to receive a list of suggested drinks and food for the event, and join the Greenbank community for an afternoon!
For the last year, Pubs of Greenbank has been collecting memories and stories about the Hill Park Inn, Clifton Inn, Providence Inn, Friendship Inn, Wellington Hotel, Fawn Social Club, Sir Francis Drake, Radnor Inn, Seymour Arms, Grand Duchess, Nowhere Inn, Clarence Arms and Plymouth Social Club from the community. The aim of the project is to preserve the oral history of the area and encourage the community to look after its pubs. This has become ever more important since the pubs have been hit by lockdowns. Sign up here
Online events taking place throughout the Festival
Online Wellbeing Conversations around exhibits and spaces in The Box
As The Box reopens, during the festival, we focus on there special places. Each one provides some additional perspective, from people directly involved in the exhibits, with a view to providing visitors with some additional background to their design but also with an invitation to consider their own identities and wellbeing in terms of their own heritage.
Lesbian Voices of Plymouth Trail. Lesbian Voices of Plymouth is a National Lottery Heritage Fund and Vital Sparks funded project to capture and archive the lesbian voices of Plymouth both past and present. As part of the History Festival, why not undertake the virtual walk that was created as part of this project? You can have a wander around the wonder of Plymouth’s historic waterfront whilst listening to excerpts from the LVoP interviews … and you don’t even need to leave your seat if you don’t want to! Visit the Lesbian Voices website to access the virtual walk.
“Celebrating Sporting Life and Achievement in Plymouth” – an exhibition of posters and a supporting audio/ virtual tour from Ford Park Cemetery.
At a time when sporting activities and spectator sports are unavailable, to most of the public, Ford Park Cemetery offers an on-line exhibition and audio tour celebrating the sporting life and achievements in Plymouth. As well as the more obvious sports of football and rugby, posters include a celebration of horse racing at Chelson Meadow, greyhound racing and speedway at the old Pennycross Stadium plus memories of the swimming clubs, sailing clubs and cycling clubs across the city. The audio tour includes visits to some of the city’s sporting heroes including rugby player Jimmy Peters.
Booking – The exhibition will be available via the trust’s Facebook page – plus a display on the cemetery web site.
Finding Yourself in the Archive – An Online Exhibition by University of St Mark and St John. The University was originally two separate Colleges which were situated in London – St. John’s College in Battersea and St. Mark’s College in Chelsea. The present University Archives document and reflect Marjon’s history. The collection includes student registers, committee minutes, textbooks and exam papers, plans and photographs, student reminiscences and memorabilia, as well as newer forms of media. This exhibition will share images and experiences of the archive volunteers who took part in a social-prescribing archive-based project called the “Connected Catalogue”. Weblink to follow.
Family History Helpdesk Online. As part of this year’s History Festival, the Devon Family History Society are offering one to one Tree House Help Desk sessions throughout the duration of the festival. The Tree House research centre has a wealth of information and resources along with experienced, friendly volunteers on hand to help and guide you. Whether you’re just starting out in family history or you’ve hit a brick wall and don’t know how to break it, the Tree House could open new pathways to the past. Your reward could be a realistic and meaningful discovery of your ancestors. To arrange a one-to-one Treehouse session, email and put Plymouth History Festival in the Subject Box, with brief details of your query in your message. A volunteer will email you with a suggested date and time.
A History of sport and leisure in Central Park Virtual Walk. An opportunity to explore the history of Central Park through the sports and recreational activities that have taken place there through the years. The walk can be accessed here.
Plymouth Synagogue and Ripple Theatre (1) Plymouth Cemetery Audio Trail and (2) Gifford Place Audio Trail Trail 1 – The Old Jewish Cemetery Audio Trail. Located on Plymouth’s historic Hoe, in the shadow of The Citadel, lies a hidden secret: The Old Jewish Cemetery. Contained within high stone walls it has always remained hidden from public view. The only clue to its existence…an insignificant door. In 2016 that door was opened and for the first time in its history the general public were given the opportunity to take a look inside. With the aid of funding from Vital Sparks and the Drake Foundation an audio trail was created in the garden cemetery, bringing to life the lives of those buried within this hidden gem. In 1740 this plot was a family garden; today it is a calm oasis that hides a wealth of history and culture. In light of the current pandemic and knowing that the old Jewish cemetery on Plymouth Hoe will not be open for some time the audio trail has been re-edited and can be accessed from the Ripple Theatre website. Trail 2 – A new audio from the people who created the popular Jewish Cemetery audio trail. Talking to families with ancestors buried in the Gifford Place Cemetery we are using these oral histories to create a new cemetery trail. Told by the families themselves, creating a sharing from one culture to another. Further information about these trails can be found here and the audios accessed here and the audios accessed here.
The Devonport Heritage Trail is going live on the Plymouth Trails app on Friday 7th May to mark the start of Plymouth History Festival 2021.The 4.5 mile route is an updated version of the hugely popular trail that has guided people around Devonport since 2011. Now, thanks to Real Ideas Organisation, the walking trail has been digitised and users will be guided along the route in the easy-to-use app.The Devonport Heritage Trail links historic and cultural points of interest in Devonport. It is a great way to explore the local area, once an important town in its own right. The trail will take you through Mount Wise, to the Guildhall and soon-to-open Devonport Market Hall (both run by Real Ideas). The Market Hall was formerly the market for the whole of Devonport, but has now been renovated to create a space that combines traditional elements with state-of-the-art technology including a 15m diameter dome which will allow you to explore immersive realities, without the need for a VR headset. From here, the trail also takes in North Corner and Devonport Park. The original trail was created by Plymouth City Council, Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership, local artist and historians, and the City Museum (now The Box). The trail has been updated by Visit Plymouth and contains more fantastic archival images from The Box collections. The Devonport Heritage Trail is the 9th trail to be added to the app, alongside the Mayflower Trail, Waterfront Walkway and Rainbow Connections Trail.You can download the Plymouth Trails app for free from the AppStore or PlayStore. For more information, including accessibility, head here.