May is Local and Community History Month

By Paula Kitching, published 1st May 2018

It’s time to focus on the immediate world around us – yes, it’s Local History Month 2018.

Everyone lives in an area of rich local heritage, even if they don’t know it yet. May is the time to investigate, explore and discover the history of the world immediately around you.

The Historical Association (HA) has over 50 branches across the UK with programmes covering local, national and international history. Many of those who attend or deliver those events also work in local heritage or support local heritage projects – now is the time to tell us and everyone else about those activities.

Find your local branch and get involved

Discover your local RAF base

Here at the HA we’ve been busily unearthing local history as part of our project for the Royal Air Force centenary (RAF100). We’ve created interactive maps plotting every RAF and related air base from 1916 to today. Using the time slider on the maps you can gain a visual understanding of the role of air power through the 20th century, and see British allied relationships at different times.

Importantly these maps also reveal how close most of us live to an existing or former RAF base. From 1916 to the middle of the Cold War, over 2,000 RAF bases were created across the UK and internationally. As the RAF has modernised many of these bases have been closed, some becoming commercial airports like Heathrow, others sold off and the land used for out-of-town shopping centres or housing developments.

Explore the RAF100 maps

Contribute to the RAF centenary legacy

As part of RAF100 we're encouraging communities to find out about their local bases, who worked there, and what the base did or does. Then we’d like you to send us your findings to become part of the map information. For schools and youth groups there’s even an opportunity to have your work entered into a competition.

Find out more and enter here

Tell us about your local history

Of course local history month is about far more than 20th-century history – this month is an opportunity to carry out research, raise awareness and share information about the many fascinating aspects of the UK and its heritage. Tell us about your local history or use this month to promote and advertise the heritage concerns near you.

If you have events or information that you want to share let us know here on our website, or on Twitter, on Facebook and Instagram.

It’s local history’s time to shine: #Localhistory18

Take a look at our resources and articles below to inspire you about Local History.