Love Deal in White Cliffs Country, Kent? Now you can "live like a local" online! "The History Project" - a Deal-based non-profit initiative - is bringing history to life, digitally. Lovers of local Kentish history - including visitors who might normally join the Project's historic guided walking tours - can now enjoy the experience remotely, through a new series of digital Zoom talks, available to book now.
George and Peter from non-profit The History Project support schools with educational packages, bringing history to life in the classroom (image ©The History Project)
Bored? Fancy learning something new? Well, why not join Deal-based non-profit organisation 'The History Project' for a zoom talk and delve into Kent’s past. Whatever your tastes, they have a topic that will tickle your fancy. Ever heard about the brutal murder of Mary Bax and the hunt for her killer? Or maybe you’re more interested in castles, and have a question about the castles on our coast? If history local to Deal is your interest, why not take a nostalgic trip into the past and learn about a local legend many can remember, the late great beachcomber, Wimpy Fishlock. The talks last an hour and can be booked here.
Smuggling on the Kent Coast with George Chittenden, Friday 4th Dec - 2pm
Who Killed Mary Bax? by Sharon Powell, Saturday 5th Dec – 2pm
The Story of "Wimpy Fishlock" by Pete Fishlock – Saturday 5th Dec – 8pm
Castles on the Coast by George Chittenden – Friday 11th Dec – 7pm
The Mysterious Shell Grotto in Margate by Sharon Powell – Saturday 12th Dec – 7pm
The History Project was formed in 2017, after childhood friends George Chittenden and Peter Fishlock teamed up on a quest to use the topic of history to inspire, educate and entertain people of all ages and backgrounds. Having grown up in Deal, they were fascinated by the history of the Kentish coastal town.
“We both feel very proud of the history and heritage in our area and feel that Kent has witnessed more historical events than anywhere on the entire planet”, George said. “We wanted to showcase some of the history that sadly, doesn't get the light of day, and tell some of the stories that rarely get told.”
George and Peter aim to engage people on the importance of history and the lessons it teaches about the past, which help to guide the future. Attendees to The History Project’s online events will also help to support their community work, which includes providing children with enriching and interactive history experiences.
“As a non-profit organisation we are very community minded, and we wanted to bring the community together, so in 2018 we launched our 'Community History Night' at the Astor Theatre in Deal”, continued George. “We also visit schools and perform a wide range of educational packages, covering everything from the arrival of Caesar, Smuggling on the Kent Coast to WWII. We even get kids treasure hunting with a package that involves children searching, cleaning and researching actual historic artefacts”.
“The Community History nights not only entertained many people, but also provided a platform for a wide range of organisations to engage with the local community: English Heritage, National Trust, Deal Museum, The Timeball Tower, Kent's Museum of Moving Image, The Royal Marines Heritage Trail, Western Heights Preservation Society and the list goes on. The monthly event became very popular, and in many ways our Zoom talks are an extension of these great nights, which we have every intention of continuing in 2021. Digital media isn't particularly new to us, however the global pandemic has without doubt increased our reliance on it.”
Reaching out to people on a local and international level, since they formed “The History Project” George and Peter have also led their followers on history-related topics through walking tours, live talks and more – covering topics from ‘The Smugglers Trail’ to ‘The Story of Deal's Piers over the Years’ and the ‘Deal History Tour’. By delivering a range of virtual experiences, The History Project aims to “provide great and entertaining historical content that will lead to meaningful human interactions and raise funds to enable the Project to explode back into schools and theatres”, once restrictions are lifted and circumstances allow.
“It's fair to say that we had huge plans for 2020 but sadly the virus came along. However if anything it's left us even more determined and we plan on having a huge year in 2021. We plan on launching our Community History Hub in Deal. This will be an amazing community space which will function as a visitor information centre, and will allow us to take the next step. We plan on relaunching our historic walking tours and so much more, so watch this space.”