Festival looks to the past to celebrate power of the people
TALKS covering subjects ranging from Empress Matilda and Margaret Thatcher to the fall of Troy and Tiananmen Square are among the events at this year’s Gloucester History Festival.
Tickets have gone on sale for the Festival, which runs from September
7 to 22 with the theme
Power and the People.
The women of Greenham Common will be celebrated with a two-day tented installation featuring oral histories of some of the 70,000 women who made a 14-mile human chain as US cruise missiles arrived on British soil in 1983.
The festival’s keynote talks will again take place in Blackfriars, England’s oldest library, with a new series of Scriptorium Shorts – free bite-size biography talks in the library where the monks worked in 1239.
And the community-led City Voices programme brings together public projects from across Gloucester, celebrating the county’s amazing history and local heritage.
The programme features parades, city trails and heritage walks, interactive days for families and lots of moon-based activities and exhibitions.
Talks curator, Sarah Smyth, said: “Over 700 years ago the monks brought the townspeople into Blackfriars Priory for the first time and its thrilling to be able to bring audiences into exactly the same space to soak up ancient and modern history in the most complete Dominican priory in Britain.”
Historian Dr Janina Ramirez, inset, returns for her fourth year as festival president, discussing the discoveries she unearthed while creating her BBC TV series Lost and Found.
She said: “I’m thrilled to introduce our most exciting programme yet. Some of the nation’s greatest historians will be on our magnificent stage to give audiences intriguing new perspectives and fresh voices on the past.”
The director of GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, will be speaking about the world-leading intelligence, cyber and security agency.
Other star names include Lucy Worsley on Jane Austen, Max Hastings on the Dambusters, Kate Adie on Tiananmen Square, Susie Dent on the secret power of words, Dominic Sandbrook on the 1980s and Alice Roberts on the Celts.
The festival also has Simon Winchester on history’s greatest engineers, Suzannah Lipscomb on Reformation women, David Olusoga on the Windrush generation and Cerys Matthews on Where the Wild Cooks Go.
Tickets are on sale at gloucesterhistoryfestival.co.uk.