Histories of Everyday Life: The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918-1979 0198868332, 9780198868330

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THE PAST & PRESENT BOOK SERIES General Editor ALICE RIO

Histories of Everyday Life

Histories of Everyday Life The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918–1979 LAURA CARTER

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Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Laura Carter 2021 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2021 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2021938065 ISBN 978 0 19 886833 0 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198868330.001.0001 Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work.

For Peter Mandler

I begin to see why the schoolmasters keep education on a literary basis. It is easier to teach boys how to conjugate verbs, than to tell them of the complications of everyday life. C. H. B. Quennell to Mary Somerville, 18 May 1927

Acknowledgements Inklings of this book appeared in my undergraduate dissertation about the teaching of history in interwar England in 2010. My ideas subsequently developed through my M.Phil. research, and finally into a doctoral project at the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge between 2013 and 2017. Through all those projects, their many applications, false starts, and redrafts, I had the unparalleled good fortune to be supervised by Peter Mandler. This book is dedicated to him in honour of his intellect, of the head and the heart. But the dedication is mostly a recognition of Peter’s tremendous patience in shepherding me through my repeated bouts of imposter syndrome. He was the first person ever to refer to me as an historian, which means a lot when I have so often felt out of my depth in his world. My friends and family have been equally important in helping me keep my head above water. Thank you to my dad, Geoffrey Carter, a fountain of knowledge and true historian, from whom I undoubtedly inherited my passion for the subject. Thank you to my grandad, Keith Irwin, and my mum, Sharon Knowles, for their love and encouragement, and particularly to my mum for helping me with the tricky permissions for this book during the spring of 2020. Thank you also to my aunt, Lesley Southgate, for her support and her wisdom. During the past four years, as this book has taken shape, I have travelled many times between London, Lille, Paris, and Montpellier. I have had the special privilege of getting to know another culture and another language from the inside. Thank you to Guillaume Petit-Jean for opening that door to me, as if by magic, and to the Petit-Jean family for always providing such a warm welcome to this clumsy stranger. I wrote this book during a period that future historians of Britain will undoubtedly look back upon as one of profound upheaval, from Brexit to the university strikes, to climate change and coronavirus. Between 2016 and 2020 I have felt very grateful to be doing this kind of historical work, but I have also often felt worn down by the uncertainty of this life and these times. My gratitude lies not only with the many friends, family, and colleagues who have supported me, but with the sheer luck I have had in being consistently employed throughout this period, first at King’s College London, then at the University of Cambridge and Murray Edwards College, and finally at the Université de Paris, my new permanent home. Thank you to each of those institutions and the people within them for taking a chance on me. This kind of unbroken employment is now a luxury in contemporary academia, when we lose the contributions of many scholars, especially

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those without a family tradition of higher education and research careers, to precarity. It was in the nature of this project that I had to locate scattered and disparate threads and weave them into a meaningful whole. This is reflected in the places I did my research, as I tried to sniff out the ‘history of everyday life’ in a huge array of archives and repositories. The research underpinning this book would really not have been possible without the help of many archivists, librarians, curators, and administrators. I would like to thank them all for sharing their expertise, time, and patience with me, in particular Hannah Fleming, Louise North, Rosalind Grooms, Martin Maw, Elise Naish, and all the staff and Trustees of the Museum of Cambridge. Thank you also to Jenny Keating and to the ‘History in Education Project’ more broadly for sharing their materials with me as long ago as 2010. A special thank you is of course owed to the history teachers, listed in the Appendix, who shared their time and personal and professional stories with me in February 2019; making some sense of the 1970s comprehensive school would not have been possible without them. Kate Moorse was especially generous in opening up her personal archive of inner London education to me. Thank you to Alexander Quennell and Sarah Gibb, who shared their private family material and memories about their grandparents with me, and who welcomed me into their homes. Finally, I would like specifically to acknowledge and express my gratitude to the Peter Quennell Estate for allowing me to quote from Charles Quennell’s letter in the epigraph. This book has been made possible through the generous support of several funding bodies and sources. Thank you to the Arts and Humanities Research Council, for my doctoral studentship, as well as to Trinity Hall, the Fran Trust Foundation Scotland, the Royal Historical Society, Murray Edwards College, and King’s College London for providing research and travel grants at crucial points. Largely as a result of that funding, I have been fortunate enough to present aspects of this book at various seminars and conferences in the UK and abroad, and I would like to thank all the organisers, attendees, listeners, and questioners from those occasions. These include but are not limited to the History of Education Society Annual Conference, the Cambridge Modern Cultural History Seminar, the North American Conference on British Studies, and the Social History Society Annual Conference. I would also like to thank everyone involved, intellectually, administratively, and financially, in the New York–Cambridge Training Collaboration since 2015. It has become an unparalleled scholarly community and was formative for me during my Ph.D. Many colleagues and friends read my work and spoke to me thoughtfully about this project during my Ph.D. and over the years. Thank you to the remarkable Lucy Delap, also one of my Ph.D. examiners, for the continuous insight, challenge, encouragement, and friendship. Heidi Egginton and Zoë Thomas have remained a constant lifeline of feminist-historian wit and wisdom, both on Whatsapp and in

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real life. Thank you to Aled Davies, Alex Campsie, Alex Hutton, Alice Kirke, Amy Gower, Anna Neima, Carolyn Steedman, Emily Rutherford, Florence SutcliffeBraithwaite, Freddy Foks, Hannah Woods, Jeff Barda, Jon Lawrence, Kieran Heinemann, Laura Quinton, Laura Tisdall, Leslie Howsam, Lottie Hoare, Mark Freeman, Paul Readman, and Rebecca Lyons for reading my work and sharing ideas and conversations with me. I’d like to thank all my colleagues who supported me during a frenetic year of teaching at King’s College London, especially the formidable sisterhood of Alana Harris, Dorothee Boulanger, Hannah Dawson, and Roisin Watson. As I began the process of turning the Ph.D. into a book, my first thank you is owed to my other Ph.D. examiner, Claire Langhamer, for her advice and consistent enthusiasm for the project, even the unresolved and unconventional parts of it. Ren Pepitone read a first draft of the introduction and made some invaluable interventions. The Emmets reading group provided crucial comments on an early version of Chapter 6. Whilst writing this book I was also employed as a postdoctoral researcher on the project ‘Secondary education and social change in the United Kingdom since 1945’ (SESC), working with Peter Mandler, Chris Jeppesen, and Annie Thwaite. It is no exaggeration to say that the book would not exist without that project and those people, who have been unfalteringly generous in giving me, in equal measure, the space and comradeship I needed to work on two massive research projects simultaneously. Chapter 6 of the book is itself a product of SESC and of that parallel thinking, and I am grateful to Peter, to the SESC team and our funders, the Economic and Social Research Council, for indirectly supporting that new tranche of research. But in particular I owe an enormous thank you to Chris Jeppesen for reading and thoughtfully commenting on my work, for providing precious sources and reading suggestions, and for his endless patience with me as a far-from-perfect teammate. SESC has also bought me into contact with a number of other brilliant colleagues to whom I am grateful for thinking through aspects of this project with me, even when there was no overlap with SESC. A big thank you to all the members of the SESC Advisory Board. Thank you to Lindsay Paterson, in particular, who cheerfully corresponded with me through the uncertain weeks of the first coronavirus lockdown of 2020 as I finished the final draft. He shared with me his wealth of expertise on Scottish education, which this book does not do justice to, but also on issues of twentieth-century democracy and culture more broadly. Olivier Esteves has been a great support and colleague as I began, in earnest, to forge connections in the French world of British studies, just as this book came to completion. Finally, thank you to Alice Rio, Cathryn Steele, Katie Bishop, and all the anonymous readers from both the Past & Present Board and Oxford University Press for their work and feedback on this book, from proposal to publication.

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The Mass Observation material in this book is reproduced with permission of Curtis Brown Group Ltd, London on behalf of The Trustees of the Mass Observation Archive © The Trustees of the Mass Observation Archive. I am grateful to Cambridge University Press for permission to quote from their archives. Archival material from Oxford University Press appears by permission of the Secretary to the Delegates of Oxford University Press. The BBC copyright content that appears in this book is reproduced courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation (all rights reserved). Attempts have been made to contact the last known copyright holder of Rhoda Power’s unpublished writings. I would be pleased to acknowledge any copyright holder who subsequently comes forward. Laura Carter Paris, November 2020

Contents List of Illustrations and Tables

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Introduction: Education and Popular Social History in Britain

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P A R T I : D E F I N I N G A ND J U ST I F YI N G A N E W S O C I A L H I S TO R Y AF T E R 1 9 18 1. The Publishing of Popular Social History Books

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2. Social History for ‘Ordinary’ School Pupils

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P A R T I I : M I D -T W E N T I E TH - C E N T U RY PO P U L A R I Z A TI O N 3. The ‘History of Everyday Life’ on BBC Radio

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4. ‘Histories of Everyday Life’ in Local Museums

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5. The ‘History of Everyday Life’ as a Cultural Policy in London Local Government

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P A R T I I I : T H E ED UC A T I O N A L U N M A K I N G O F P O P U L A R S O C I A L H I ST O R Y 6. Social History and Mass Education in the 1970s Conclusion: Everyday Life at the End of the Educational Century Appendix: Teacher Interviews References Index

199 237 243 245 269

List of Illustrations and Tables Figures 1.1. Title page of G. G. Coulton, Medieval Panorama, 1949

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1.2. Illustrations for The Wheelwright’s Shop, 1923

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1.3. Cambridge University Press advertisement printed in The Listener, 30 November 1932

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2.1. ‘Tull’s Common Two wheeled Plough, 1733’, illustration by Charles Quennell in Everyday Things, Volume 3, 1933

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2.2. History classwork of an LCC Central School pupil, 1935 9

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3.1. Grace Hadow, BBC Aids to Study Pamphlet No. 37: Wayfaring in Olden Times, 1928

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3.2. Portrait of Rhoda Power at the BBC, 1947

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3.3. ‘Broadcasting a History Lesson’, Ogden’s cigarette card, 1935

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4.1. Enid Porter, curator of the Cambridge and County Folk Museum, inspecting an oven with two men outside the museum, c.1952

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4.2. Hat displays at Luton Public Museum, c.1940s

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5.1. Marjorie Quennell and schoolchildren in a period room at the Geffrye Museum, c.1938

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5.2. Schoolchildren sketching exhibits at the Geffrye Museum, 1951

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5.3. Handbills for ‘English Craftsmanship’ lectures, 1948, and ‘English Taste’ lectures, 1950, at the Geffrye Museum

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5.4. Local children dressed up in period costume at the Geffrye Museum, 1970s

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6.1. ‘How people lived in the middle ages’, info graphic from Peter Moss, History Alive Introductory Book, 1977

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6.2. Total number of girls’ and boys’ entries for CSE history, 1966 85

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6.3. Percentage of girls and boys achieving grade 1 in CSE history, 1966 85

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6.4. Schoolchildren working with family history objects in the classroom, 1970s

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Tables 3.1. Schedule of Grace Hadow’s ‘Exploration at Home’ series, 1933

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3.2. Schedule of the ‘Famous Trials’ programmes, 1934 7

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3.3. Schedule of BBC schools ‘Scottish Social History’ series, 1934

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6.1. Suggestions for the CSE history ‘Personal Topic’, 1968

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Introduction Education and Popular Social History in Britain

In a 1951 Picture Source Book for Social History young readers were encouraged to learn about everyday life in sixteenth-century England. The pages featured images of excavated leather bottles, woodcuts of a family dinner table, and photographs of museum workers reconstructing Tudor hurdle-making in Sussex. The source book contained a pedagogical invitation: ‘We can, if we study these pictures with care, discover an enormous number of interesting and exciting and charming things about men, women and children in 16th-century England.’ But the introduction also explained that it was not the author’s job to reveal this history, instead ‘ . . . actual 16th-century people are going to tell you about themselves’.¹ This proclamation was typical of mid-twentieth-century popular social history in Britain, which focused on everyday lives, objects, and practices in the past, all channelled through the subjective self. This book is about the production and consumption of that popular social history. Education was the dominant driver of social and cultural change in Britain after the First World War, and this book starts from the premise that we cannot understand popular history in this period without understanding mass education. From 1918, non-academic historians developed a new breed of social history, which I call the ‘history of everyday life’. They popularized it to ordinary people in educational settings; through books, in classrooms and museums, and on the radio. This ‘history of everyday life’ was an important form of popular social history in Britain from 1918 to the end of the 1960s. In the 1970s this popular social history declined, not because academics invented an alternative ‘new’ social history, but because bottom-up social change rendered the ‘history of everyday life’ untenable in the changing context of mass education.

Britain’s Educational Century In twentieth-century Britain knowledge, including historical knowledge, was democratized. This process of democratization happened through the interaction ¹ M. Harrison and M. E. Bryant, Picture Source Book for Social History: Sixteenth Century (London, 1951).

Histories of Everyday Life. The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918 1979. Laura Carter, Oxford University Press (2021). © Laura Carter. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198868330.003.0001

2     of a multitude of (sometimes antagonistic) forces: ordinary people making claims for themselves, the state and elites managing access to knowledge, and intellectuals and activists producing theories about how knowledge is created and received. Education was the arena of all of these interactions because the twentieth century was Britain’s educational century. From the 1918 Education Acts in England and Wales and Scotland, to the raising of the school leaving age to sixteen in 1972, the British state gradually committed to providing more secondary education for more of the population. As a result, education became the primary economic and social justification for cultural ventures. This book attempts to explain the democratization of historical knowledge during Britain’s educational century. Before the 1970s, democratization occurred as a process of negotiation between policymakers, elites, and educationists on the one hand, and ordinary people on the other. It happened through formal schooling in classrooms but also in many other commercial and cultural settings whose primary engine was education, and one of the guiding assumptions of this book is that mass education permeated all forms of mid-twentieth-century British culture. Technological improvements between the wars facilitated mass communication, and elites developed a heightened sensitivity towards the cultural needs of the masses.² Cultural settings, such as museums and the BBC, became infused with educational ideas and theories, making them as concerned with pedagogy as the schools. Disparate cultural activities, from the circulation of medieval manuscripts amongst commercial publishers to the reconstruction of Neolithic villages by public archaeologists, were driven by the very same educational justifications compelling citizens to stay in school for longer and learn more while they were there. As the educational century drew on, these justifications became as much about stimulating self-knowledge as they were about imparting academic knowledge. From the 1960s, the democratizing process was fundamentally recast through a series of intellectual, theoretical, and political interventions, many of them inspired by Marxism, which were a reaction to the unequal and elitist ways that culture and knowledge had been managed and controlled in British society. But this book is not about that movement, and readers searching for it will find themselves disappointed. Instead, it reveals a prehistory of the 1960s intellectual moment that has perhaps been overlooked, one in which women and mass education shaped the production and consumption of historical knowledge in Britain after 1918 in profound ways. Importantly, their influences were ideologically diverse, ranging from deeply conservative to radically leftist. Mid-twentiethcentury education, in all its forms, contained these paradoxes. It was a system that

² D. L. LeMahieu, A Culture for Democracy: Mass Communication and the Cultivated Mind in Britain between the Wars (Oxford, 1988).

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catered to and was indeed formed within what Christopher Hilliard has so perfectly termed Britain’s ‘double helix of democratization and deference’.³ The simultaneous democratization of knowledge and reinforcement of the existing social order relied upon a pedagogy that was successfully disassociated from politics and power for most of the educational century. The ‘history of everyday life’ was a pedagogical construct, created and disseminated as a form of popular social history for ‘ordinary’ people in the mid-twentieth century. Educationists constructed the ‘history of everyday life’ for the post-1918 classroom, museum, and airwaves, as a new form of social history for less able pupils, soon-to-be ‘ordinary’ citizens. This pedagogical discourse turned on selfhood, rather than social class. Claire Langhamer has argued that ‘ordinary’ was an affective, rather than socio-economic, identity in mid-twentieth-century Britain. It was enlisted to do political work precisely because of its malleability, inclusivity, and instability.⁴ Even domestic servants could describe their employers as ‘ordinary’, as a way of negotiating the complexities of social difference.⁵ We will see this affective and permissive category of ‘ordinariness’ at work in the construction and consumption of the ‘history of everyday life’ throughout this book. This sometimes worked to write class out of history, framing labour in terms of subjective and material experience rather than in terms of objective structural inequality. Into the 1960s, as social scientists sought to make sense of changing working-class identities, being ‘ordinary’ continued to pervade vernacular languages of class. Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite found that in working-class autobiographical writing, people ‘preferred to see themselves as individuals with a personal history and genealogy not as members of a class’.⁶ Being ‘ordinary’ was a defining feature of selfhood during Britain’s educational century. ‘Ordinariness’ was also a pedagogical category. Mass, historical education was underpinned by pedagogical assumptions about precisely how ordinary people acquired and made sense of knowledge about the past. These assumptions formed part of mid-twentieth-century ‘progressive’ education and were predicated upon social and psychological estimations of working-class and female intellectual ability. They were reproduced through educational and cultural institutions and reinforced the social order.⁷ However, this does not justify a casual eliding of the categories of ‘working class’ and ‘ordinary’. Acknowledging the operation of social reproduction on one level does not minimize the popular ‘throw’ of the ‘history of ³ C. Hilliard, English as a Vocation: The Scrutiny Movement (Oxford, 2012), p. 250. ⁴ C. Langhamer, ‘ “Who the hell are ordinary people?” Ordinariness as a Category of Historical Analysis’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 28 (2018), pp. 175 95. ⁵ L. Delap, Knowing their Place: Domestic Service in Twentieth Century Britain (Oxford, 2011), p. 62. ⁶ F. Sutcliffe Braithwaite, Class, Politics, and the Decline of Deference in England, 1968 2000 (Oxford, 2018), p. 77. ⁷ L. Tisdall, A Progressive Education? How Childhood Changed in Mid Twentieth Century English and Welsh Schools (Manchester, 2019).

4     everyday life’ on another. As Stuart Hall reflects, we ought always to understand education as a simultaneously conservative and subversive force.⁸ The chapters that follow hold this tension in the ‘history of everyday life’ at their heart.

What Was the ‘History of Everyday Life’? In 1920, the Museums Journal printed an anonymous commentary complaining of a tendency in Britain to ignore everyday life in the past: ‘It is only by the study of the commonplace remains of any country that its real history can be grasped or understood.’⁹ The ‘history of everyday life’ answered this call, as a distinctively mid-century, affective, local, and feminized way of imagining and representing ‘uneventful’ lives in the past. It was the story of the individual: her material environment, routine, skills, and the objects (or ‘things’) she owned and used at home and at work. Unconcerned with outward social structures or political events, the ‘history of everyday life’ was applied by its many advocates and practitioners to lives across all periods, from prehistory to the recent past. These lives were not always those of the marginalized. ‘Everyday life’ sometimes meant the ordinary lives of extraordinary individuals, such as what the queen ate for breakfast. The ‘history of everyday life’ evoked subjective historical experiences for ordinary people in the present, a way for them to understand their place in the changing, mid-century world around them. Raphael Samuel’s eclectic encyclopaedia of popular history, Theatres of Memory (1994), championed the ‘secret hands of Clio’ busy at work on historical activities across Britain. Samuel argued for the legitimacy of all vernacular productions of history, however kitsch, trivial, or haphazard. He was perhaps the first academic to call attention to the work of Marjorie and Charles Quennell.¹⁰ The Quennells gave the ‘history of everyday life’ its first, most iconic expression in their series of bestselling mid-century popular histories called A History of Everyday Things in England. These four books were published between 1918 and 1934 and remained in print until the late 1960s.¹¹ The Quennells invented the ‘history of everyday life’ in the jaws of the Great War, optimistic about the prospect of a new popular history for modern, post-war education. As self-defined amateurs, their histories drew upon objects such as historic costume patterns and ⁸ S. Hall, Familiar Stranger: A Life between Two Islands (London, 2017), p. 117. ⁹ ‘Notes and News Museum Specimens and the Common Life’, Museums Journal, 20 (1920), pp. 47 48, at p. 48. ¹⁰ R. Samuel, Theatres of Memory: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture (London, 2012 (first published 1994)), pp. 182, 216, 286. ¹¹ M. and C. H. B. Quennell, A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 1: 1066 1499 (London, 1918); A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 2: 1500 1799 (London, 1919); A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 3: 1733 1851 (London, 1933); A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 4: 1851 1934 (London, 1934).

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aspects of the physical environment such as ruined buildings, picked up on their driving tours around England on the weekends.¹² The Quennells make several cameos throughout this book, highlighting how the ‘history of everyday life’ evolved from its 1918 incarnation across the mid-century decades. The post-1918, Quennellite mode of popular social history was a democratic break from nineteenth-century popular history making. In Victorian Britain, both the Tory, unionist tradition personified by Sir Walter Scott and the Whig progressive narrative of Thomas Babington Macaulay saw historical change being guided from above, through the actions of princes and heroes in the case of the former, and literary and cultural figures in the case of the latter.¹³ This obscured everyday practices and environments as both expressions and drivers of social change. The Arts and Crafts movement of the late nineteenth century shifted focus onto material things and glorified the manual processes by which they were made. The democratic language of the Arts and Crafts movement was one of several threads of continuity with nineteenth-century popular histories contained within the ‘history of everyday life’. A second important one was the persistence of vibrant local historical cultures apparent at the fin de siècle in England, highlighted by Paul Readman, which drew on antiquarian practices and community history traditions.¹⁴ Arts and Crafts thinking and nineteenth-century local history were foundational to the ‘history of everyday life’. However, this book takes 1918 as an epochal shift in popular history. After the First World War, education for the mass democracy became the mainstream discourse of British society, and education was gradually replacing religion as a shared tool of social explanation.¹⁵ The (dashed) hopes surrounding the 1918 Education Act in England and Wales and the triumph of the 1918 Representation of the People Act combined to give the concept of education for citizenship a new and exceptional purchase on public life between the wars.¹⁶ Jostling with, and often serving to reshape, the local, vernacular, and parochial impulses identified by Readman, were new media such as radio and film, more accessible museums, and an expanding school system, all birthmarks of Britain’s educational century. Billie Melman has presented a compelling picture of this multifarious, visual culture in the early twentieth century. Countering the focus on conservative and rural depictions of history, Melman traces a series of ‘unconfident’, ‘uncosy’, and ¹² ‘The World of Books: Interview between Edward Blishen and Marjorie Quennell’, 4 August 1961: BBC Written Archives Centre, Caversham, Radio Talks Scripts T671. For a full discussion of the Quennells’ history making project, see L. Carter, ‘The Quennells and the “History of Everyday Life” in England, c.1918 69’, History Workshop Journal, 81 (2016), pp. 106 34. ¹³ P. Mandler, History and National Life (London, 2002), pp. 23 7, 33 6. ¹⁴ P. Readman, ‘The Place of the Past in English Culture c.1890 1914’, Past & Present, 186 (2005), pp. 147 99. ¹⁵ J. Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven; London, 2001). ¹⁶ P. Thane, ‘The Impact of Mass Democracy on British Political Culture, 1918 1939’, in The Aftermath of Suffrage: Women, Gender and Politics in Britain, 1918 1945, edited by J. Gottlieb and R. Toye (Basingstoke, 2013), pp. 54 69.

6     ‘urban’ national histories prevalent in modern British culture and its new media.¹⁷ The Arts and Crafts vision of history as a direct model for vocational training and the transmission of skills was also losing viability, because the economy and workforce were changing.¹⁸ Education was no longer just about spreading mass literacy or relaying specific vocational skills. It was tasked with determining the nature of democratic culture. Recent work on the inter-war period has refocused attention onto the local in order to understand political culture, citizenship projects, and women’s participation in public life.¹⁹ The ‘history of everyday life’ was woven throughout all of these activities, and it always had a local or regional flavour. The human interest of histories that came from within communities is both what kept the ‘history of everyday life’ operating on a small, disconnected scale and what made it endure. The discovery of buildings and objects that could be linked to the historical crafts and trades associated with a particular place, rural and urban, operated across all three British nations. Accounts of popular history focused on professionalization tend to point to the revival and rejuvenation of local history in the new provincial universities after the Second World War, but there is no evidence to suggest that the First World War diverted popular interest away from local history.²⁰ Instead, after 1918 the educational spaces where history was being reimagined, especially schools and museums, became more locally anchored because of the growing educational role of local government. In this way, the ‘history of everyday life’ consolidated and fed existing lay appetites for local stories.

Women, Education, and Popular Social History This unique educational culture generated new roles for female popularizers of history. We have a very limited understanding of what it meant to be a woman doing history in mid-twentieth-century Britain, situated as it is between the two cohorts of women historians associated with first- and second-wave feminism. There is an excellent body of literature on the first professional women historians in Britain in the early twentieth century. Against the odds, formidable academics such as Eileen Power and Ellen McArthur crafted histories informed by progressive politics and dedicated themselves to teaching the next generation of

¹⁷ B. Melman, The Culture of History: English Uses of the Past, 1800 1953 (Oxford, 2006). ¹⁸ Cf. C. R. Ashbee, Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry (Campden, 1908). ¹⁹ See, for example, T. Hulme, After the Shock City: Urban Culture and the Making of Modern Citizenship (London, 2019); H. McCarthy, The British People and the League of Nations: Democracy, Citizenship and Internationalism c.1918 45 (Manchester, 2011). ²⁰ See, for example, J. Obelkevich, ‘New Developments in History in the 1950s and 1960s’, Contemporary British History, 14 (2000), pp. 125 42, at p. 128.

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scholars.²¹ But less work has been done to unpack the relationship between gender and the making of popular history in professional settings other than universities. We will see throughout this book that women were the key workers of Britain’s educational century, since school teaching was by far the most likely profession for white, educated middle-class women to enter in this period.²² Those who did not teach for the entirety of their careers still very often remained tied to educational roles. The ‘history of everyday life’ was so often professed by women simply because of the spaces in which they were able to ‘do’ history: popular writing, classrooms, museums, broadcasting. Women achieved significant success as midcentury popularizers precisely because their historical expertise was pedagogical. Once again, the ‘history of everyday life’ bears markers of continuity with earlier periods here; women had long been involved in the production of popular history in Britain, as work by Rosemary Mitchell, Billie Melman, and Bonnie Smith has shown. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ‘amateur’ female historians penned literary and ‘picturesque’ histories for the commercial marketplace, writing about everyday topics such as travel, domestic interiors, social customs, and of course, women’s lives.²³ The ‘history of everyday life’ retained the under-intellectualized, aesthetic, emotional, and readily commercial character of this women’s history writing. But it was modernized to take advantage of the new technologies of the consumerist democracy: mass-market publishing, broadcasting on the radio, and public museums. These new cultural-educational industries and their associated public spaces endowed women’s ‘amateur’ history making with a respectability denied to their forebears, who were only associated with the crudeness of the market.²⁴ Understanding the gender politics of the ‘history of everyday life’ requires a crucial doublethink: this was a popular social history that prioritized women’s stories but at the same time used history to hem them into a traditional gender order. This paradox lies at the heart of the ‘history of everyday life’s’ mid-century appeal. It permitted women, the most ordinary of people, a central place in ²¹ M. Berg, A Woman in History: Eileen Power, 1889 1940 (Cambridge, 1996); A. L. Erickson, ‘Ellen Annette McArthur: Establishing a Presence in the Academy’, in Generations of Women Historians: Within and Beyond the Academy, edited by H. L. Smith and M. S. Zook (London, 2018), pp. 25 48. Cf. J. Thirsk, ‘The History Women’, in Chattel, Servant or Citizen: Women’s Status in Church, State and Society, edited by M. O’Dowd and S. Wichert (Belfast, 1995), pp. 1 11. ²² P. Thane, ‘Girton Graduates: Earning and Learning, 1920s 1980s’, Women’s History Review, 13 (2004), pp. 347 61, at pp. 354 5. ²³ R. Mitchell, ‘ “The Busy Daughters of Clio”: Women Writers of History from 1820 to 1880’, Women’s History Review, 7 (1998), pp. 107 34; B. Melman, ‘Gender, History and Memory: The Invention of Women’s Past in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries’, History and Memory, 5 (1993), pp. 5 41; B. G. Smith, The Gender of History: Men, Women, and Historical Practice (Cambridge, Mass.; London, 1998). Cf. B. Dabby, ‘Hannah Lawrance and the Claims of Women’s History in Nineteenth Century England’, Historical Journal, 53 (2010), pp. 699 722; R. Maitzen, ‘ “This feminine preserve”: Historical Biographies by Victorian Women’, Victorian Studies, 38 (1995), pp. 371 93. ²⁴ Smith, The Gender of History, pp. 7, 157.

8     the making of history without threatening a radical overhaul of mid-century masculinities and femininities. The feminized character of the ‘history of everyday life’ also underpinned its psychological and emotional functions, because women were regarded as the gatekeepers of human interiority and emotions were considered ‘an inferior and implicitly feminine way of knowing’.²⁵ The ‘history of everyday life’ functioned as an alternative psychological environment through recreating aesthetic environments and tapping into the emotional life of the past. Whilst history’s romanticism in the nineteenth century has been explored, most accounts suggest that the imaginative elements of history declined as the subject professionalized.²⁶ Romanticism for nationalistic ends, such as in J. R. Green’s Short History of the English People (1874), did gradually fall out of favour.²⁷ But history continued to wield a different, internalist imaginative appeal.²⁸ Patrick Wright has highlighted this in his careful dissection of the psychological value of history in modernity. He argues that as modernity dislocated, devalued, and disenchanted everyday life, so our subjective historical consciousness worked to reenchant it.²⁹ As the psychological ‘self ’ became a more normalized feature of emotional vocabularies, the ‘history of everyday life’ helped people to channel their subjective, everyday experiences into an historical idiom.³⁰ When historical accounts were amplified with personal feelings and richer scenery, it became easier for individuals to draw private meanings from history based on work, family, and self. As enacted in museums, the ‘history of everyday life’ operated somewhere on the boundary between realism and hyperrealism, offering both a physical and a sensory reconstruction of historical rooms, streets, and workplaces. Visitors listened to ‘Old Music with Old Instruments’, dressed up in historical costumes, and cooked and ate meals according to historical recipes. In print, the ‘history of everyday life’ could assume the intimate form of historical diaries, recounting everything from bodily pain to falling in love. BBC radio, with the addition of sound effects and music, rendered historical experiences as aural storyboards. On local school visits, the physical environment of industrial or prehistoric Britain was used to evoke a sense of continuity with the past. These aesthetic experiences required no special knowledge or expertise, just ordinary feelings. The emotional qualities of the ‘history of everyday life’ made it a particularly salient form of popular social history during the 1940s and 1950s, as Britain’s twin pillars of democracy and deference were reconstructed after the ²⁵ C. Langhamer, ‘Mass Observing the Atom Bomb: The Emotional Politics of August 1945’, Contemporary British History, 33 (2019), pp. 208 25, at p. 214. ²⁶ Cf. P. Mandler, The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home (New Haven; London, 1997), pp. 133 41. ²⁷ Mandler, History and National Life, pp. 38 41. ²⁸ Cf. Rose, The Intellectual Life, p. 130. ²⁹ P. Wright, On Living in an Old Country: The National Past in Contemporary Britain (Oxford, 2009 (first published 1985)), pp. 19, 25. ³⁰ Cf. M. Thomson, Psychological Subjects: Identity, Culture, and Health in Twentieth Century Britain (Oxford, 2006).

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Second World War. Claire Langhamer has argued that emotional literacy became a marker of good citizenship in the mid-century.³¹ This was particularly true in formal settings of mass education, where the post-war welfare state specifically sanctioned emotion as a language for ordinary pupils.³²

Race, Empire, and Nation in the ‘History of Everyday Life’ Whilst the pedagogical category of ‘ordinariness’ could successfully absorb gender and class difference before the 1970s, race was far more problematic. As Rob Waters points out, the rising importance of everyday life in the mid-century was based on an ‘ethnically homogeneous “everyday” ’.³³ Several influential accounts of early twentieth-century school resources have argued that the history taught in schools, via textbooks and readers, was central to the transmission of white, imperial citizenship in the metropole.³⁴ Across the British Empire, colonial education was a tool of subordination for curbing nascent nationalisms well into the twentieth century.³⁵ A parochial, English national history shored up a shared sense of Britishness, and children in the British Empire learned little history about their colonial selves.³⁶ But in domestic Britain the situation fundamentally changed after 1918, when the culture turned inwards and when education was reoriented towards democratic citizenship. Much of the literature on metropolitan attitudes to imperialism in the twentieth century struggles to account for popular history because of its emphasis on nation.³⁷ If we instead start from the premise that national history was already fragmented in 1918, and that popular history was very often local, empire’s absence begins to make more sense. The ‘history of everyday life’, which was about personal experiences usually occurring in domestic Britain, was neither chauvinistically imperial nor progressively internationalist. Empire was either

³¹ C. Langhamer, ‘An Archive of Feeling? Mass Observation and the Mid century Moment’, Insights, 9 (2016), pp. 1 15. ³² Cf. Tisdall, A Progressive Education?, p. 53. ³³ R. Waters, Thinking Black: Britain, 1964 1985 (Berkeley, 2018), pp. 136 7. ³⁴ S. J. Heathorn, For Home, Country, and Race: Constructing Gender, Class, and Englishness in the Elementary School, 1880 1914 (Toronto; London, 1999); K. Castle, Britannia’s Children: Reading Colonialism through Children’s Books and Magazines (Manchester, 1996); P. Yeandle, Citizenship, Nation, Empire: The Politics of History Teaching, c.1870 1930 (Manchester, 2015). ³⁵ See for example, R. Leow, Taming Babel: Language in the Making of Malaysia (Cambridge, 2016). Cf. P. G. Altbach and G. P. Kelly, Education and the Colonial Experience (New Brunswick; London, 1984). ³⁶ L. Howsam, ‘What the Victorian Empire Learned: A Perspective on History, Reading and Print in Nineteenth Century Textbooks’, Journal of Victorian Culture, 25 (2020), pp. 47 62. ³⁷ See the discussion in C. Hall and K. McClelland, Race, Nation and Empire: Making Histories, 1750 to the Present (Manchester, 2010), p. 6. Cf. J. Gascoigne, ‘The Expanding Historiography of British Imperialism’, Historical Journal, 49 (2006), pp. 577 92, at pp. 578 9.

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ignored or surreptitiously weaved into local histories.³⁸ Indeed, both nation and empire were jettisoned in favour of the self. This erasure of empire, and by extension race, was also a product of the gendered construction of the ‘history of everyday life’. White, middle-class women used the educational work of the ‘history of everyday life’ to anchor themselves in modernity, part of what Eve Colpus has described as ‘the idea and practice of service’ that ‘was at the heart of elite women’s search for self-understanding between the wars’.³⁹ As we will see in Chapter 6, this history for selfhood was destabilized in multi-racial, educational contexts. This book makes an argument about Britain in the mid-twentieth century, offering examples of the ‘history of everyday life’ at work in communities in England, Wales, and Scotland. The ‘history of everyday life’ was about practical and local stories of the past, speaking to place-based identities that were often regionally, rather than nationally, specific. In Chapter 2, we will see how pedagogical assumptions about how ordinary pupils made sense of the past unfolded in English educational thought and policy, and stretched out into the wider, midcentury British culture. Scotland had its own, similar ‘progressive’ education movement that was both homegrown and influenced by English practice. But the pedagogical assumptions that nourished it were also tempered by distinctive Scottish traditions and Scotland’s devolved education system. The firm commitment to ‘liberal universalism’ in Scottish education after 1918 functioned as a buffer to the most conservative effects of pedagogical ‘ordinariness’.⁴⁰ Thus, the ‘history of everyday life’ had a slightly altered character in Scotland, both because of this tempering and because, towards the end of the educational century, Scottish nationalism arose as a more confident force in late-twentieth-century popular history making. The later twentieth century also saw the arrival of a stronger cultural nationalism in Wales, linked crucially to language. But throughout the mid-twentieth century, this movement was contained and often frustrated by the British education system. Although possessing its own distinctive, Methodist educational traditions, Wales did not enjoy the same educational autonomy as Scotland. In fact, in educational terms it moved ever closer to England in the period after 1945.⁴¹ Pedagogical ‘ordinariness’ therefore functioned similarly in Wales. Before the 1980s, the teaching of a specifically Welsh national history was patchy in Welsh schools. It was fragmented, as in England, through the machinations of

³⁸ Cf. R. Hanley, K. Donington, and J. Moody (eds.), Britain’s History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery: Local Nuances of a ‘National Sin’ (Liverpool, 2016). ³⁹ E. Colpus, ‘Women, Service and Self Actualization in Inter War Britain’, Past & Present, 238 (2018), pp. 197 232, at p. 231. ⁴⁰ L. Paterson, ‘The Significance of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918’, Scottish Affairs, 27 (2018), pp. 401 24. ⁴¹ G. E. Jones and G. W. Roderick, A History of Education in Wales (Cardiff, 2003).

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region, school type, and examination criteria. Moreover, long-standing tensions within the Welsh nation between more and less Anglicized regions, localities, and their distinct histories, trades, and peoples, frequently produced fragmented histories that could work against nascent constructions of modern Welshness. Finally, Wales’s rich tradition of nineteenth-century antiquarianism and folklore was inherently locally grounded. For all these reasons, Martin Johnes has argued that ordinary people in Wales had only a limited sense of a national, collective past in the mid-twentieth century, and that this collective memory ‘competed with a multitude of representations and manifestations of British history in everyday culture in Wales’.⁴² The ‘history of everyday life’ thrived as a form of popular social history in Wales under these conditions. It successfully nurtured local and regional stories, whilst still folding cultural markers of Welshness into them. The story told in this book is a very British one because Britain’s educational century was local and regional. Democratization in the mid-twentieth century was operationalized through a highly devolved, decentralized education system. This educational devolution worked through regional structures in the form of local education authorities (LEAs), decentralized curricula and examination boards, and the selection of textbooks and resources being left to school and teacher choice. This can be contrasted with the clear emergence of centralized, national history narratives in twentieth-century post-conflict and postcolonial nation states, such as Japan and India.⁴³ In the USA history textbooks reigned supreme, adopted on the basis of a complex process of state-level governmental vetting and lobbying by publishers.⁴⁴ In Britain, the ‘history of everyday life’ was sanctioned by the state, the market, and communities not through any single, top-down act of political citizen making, but through the organic emergence of a shared, pedagogical consensus developed for democracy. Britain’s national history vacuum was also different from other western European nations. Those still undergoing the effects of industrialization in the late nineteenth century, such as in Scandinavia, built their national history projects around the effects of these ongoing processes.⁴⁵ The German historical construct of Heimat (homeland) was a deeply provincial one, but after unification in 1871, official steps were taken to build bridges between locality and nation in

⁴² M. Johnes, ‘History and the Making and Remaking of Wales’, History, 100 (2016), pp. 667 84, at p. 669. ⁴³ P. Cave, ‘Japanese Colonialism and the Asia Pacific War in Japan’s History Textbooks: Changing Representations and Their Causes’, Modern Asian Studies, 47 (2013), pp. 542 80; N. Bhattacharya, ‘Teaching History in Schools: The Politics of Textbooks in India’, History Workshop Journal, 67 (2009), pp. 99 110. ⁴⁴ J. Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (New York, 1995), pp. 278 85. ⁴⁵ B. Korte and S. Paletschek (eds.), Popular History Now and Then: International Perspectives (Bielefeld, 2012).

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service of national identity.⁴⁶ In France, the history taught in schools during the Third Republic was a centrally controlled and fixed national narrative with a philosophical edge.⁴⁷ From the 1960s, the French also had fierce debates about the reform of history teaching. But Abby Waldman has demonstrated that the origins of the cross-party, ideological consensus to protect a national narrative in school history that won out lay precisely in France’s nineteenth-century, nation-building project.⁴⁸

Popular History and Social History: Origins and Traditions By taking a mid-twentieth-century periodization and insisting upon mass education as the foundation of popular history, this book makes a departure from the existing literature. The professionalization of the discipline of history in universities from the 1880s has been the key area of historiographical enquiry. But this is not a study of professional, academic history and it makes a conscious effort to redirect the story of social history in modern Britain away from the tired lineage of ‘Great Men’. Social history’s academic origin story begins with the emergence of a quantitative economic history in British universities in the inter-war period and culminates in Edward Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class (1963) and the culturally inflected, New Left social history of the 1960s.⁴⁹ This story of mid-century academic, socialist social history is a vitally important one, but it already has its own histories and historians.⁵⁰ This book simply argues that popular social history in mid-twentieth century Britain was a different creature, which arose from and declined because of educational, rather than intellectual and ideological, impulses. Raphael Samuel’s reflections on his own arrival at visual-historical literacy, which revolve around his ‘discovery’ of two mid-Victorian photographs in 1965, are the best indication of ⁴⁶ A. Swenson, The Rise of Heritage: Preserving the Past in France, Germany and England, 1789 1914 (Cambridge, 2013), pp. 115 16. Cf. A. Confino, ‘The Nation as a Local Metaphor: Heimat, National Memory and the German Empire, 1871 1918’, History and Memory, 5 (1993), pp. 42 86. ⁴⁷ C. V. Langlois, ‘The Teaching of History in France’, History, 12 (1927), pp. 97 106; L. O. Ward, ‘Trends in History Teaching in France’, Teaching History, 24 (1979), pp. 12 13. ⁴⁸ A. Waldman, ‘The Politics of History Teaching in England and France during the 1980s’, History Workshop Journal, 68 (2009), pp. 199 221, at pp. 206 9. ⁴⁹ M. Berg, ‘The First Women Economic Historians’, Economic History Review, 45 (1992), pp. 308 29; S. A. Weaver, The Hammonds: A Marriage in History (Stanford, 1997); E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (London, 1963). ⁵⁰ H. J. Kaye, The British Marxist Historians: An Introductory Analysis (Cambridge, 1984); A. Campsie, ‘A Social and Intellectual History of British Socialism from New Left to New Times’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2017). Cf. M. Taylor, ‘The Beginnings of Modern British Social History?’, History Workshop Journal, 43 (1997), pp. 155 76; P. Satia, ‘Byron, Gandhi and the Thompsons: The Making of British Social History and Unmaking of Indian History’, History Workshop Journal, 81 (2016), pp. 135 70. See, for example, Wade Matthews, The New Left, National Identity, and the Break Up of Britain (Leiden, 2013).

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this juxtaposition. Samuel explained that for academic social historians by the early 1970s the discovery of the visual was ‘overdetermined’. It served to ‘give greater salience to what was called (not without a trace of condescension) “ordinary” people and “everyday” life’.⁵¹ As we shall see in the first two chapters of this book, the visual was an essential element in defining and justifying the ‘history of everyday life’ for mass audiences after 1918. Several other ‘expert’ languages of everyday life emerged in the mid-twentieth century. When Raymond Williams wrote in 1958 that ‘culture is ordinary’, he articulated in its simplest form the idea that the ‘common meanings’ of everyday life counted just as much as high culture.⁵² This idea was central to many midcentury intellectual and sociological projects of democratization in Britain and beyond, but they were largely not concerned with mass education.⁵³ For example, William Thomas and Florian Znaniecki’s series The Polish Peasant in Europe and America (first published in English in 1927) used newspaper accounts and ego documents detailing everyday life to investigate social organization within Polish peasant communities. Znaniecki, inspired by his links to Chicago School sociology, went on to champion participant-led sociological projects in the 1920s that closely mirrored the British social research organization Mass-Observation (M-O), founded in 1937.⁵⁴ The goal of these pursuits was elites knowing the ordinary other, rather than ordinary people knowing themselves.⁵⁵ Similarly, as a wave of new work on British social science has shown, deploying the language of ‘everyday life’ was part of the left’s reinvention of its relationship with working-class communities. This began with M-O in a more avant-garde guise and climaxed in Michael Young and Peter Willmott’s 1957 study Family and Kinship in East London.⁵⁶ This ethnographic study aimed to reconnect Labour’s post-war planning agenda to the everyday lives of ordinary working people.⁵⁷ There are clear affinities between the ‘history of everyday life’ and such social surveys: Family and Kinship is peppered with references to the spatial layout of homes and the material objects that punctuate everyday experience.⁵⁸ But ‘everyday life’ in these contexts operated fundamentally as a language of expertise

⁵¹ Samuel, Theatres of Memory, pp. 315 20. ⁵² R. Williams, ‘Culture is Ordinary (1958)’, in The Everyday Life Reader, edited by B. Highmore (London; New York, 2002), pp. 91 100, at p. 93. ⁵³ Cf. D. Holbrook, English for the Rejected (Cambridge, 1964). ⁵⁴ K. Lebow, ‘Autobiography as Complaint: Polish Social Memoir between the World Wars’, Laboratorium, 6 (2014), pp. 13 26, at pp. 16 17; J. Hinton, The Mass Observers: A History, 1937 1949 (Oxford, 2013). ⁵⁵ A. Campsie, ‘Mass Observation, Left Intellectuals and the Politics of Everyday Life’, English Historical Review, CXXXI (2016), pp. 92 121. ⁵⁶ M. Young and P. Willmott, Family and Kinship in East London (London, 2007 (first published 1957)). ⁵⁷ J. Lawrence, ‘Inventing the “Traditional Working Class”: A Re analysis of Interview Notes from Young and Willmott’s Family and Kinship in East London’, Historical Journal, 59 (2016), pp. 567 93. ⁵⁸ See, for example, Young and Willmott, Family and Kinship, p. 71.

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and shared few of the same functions with the ‘history of everyday life’ as an educational construct for consumption by ordinary people. These expert languages ultimately contributed more to the development of academic social history than to the popular, offering new approaches for critically reading and analysing qualitative, historical sources. As we will see at the end of this book, the social sciences did not impact the character of popular social history in Britain until they entered debates about comprehensive school pedagogy in the 1970s.

Methodology and Structure This is a book about popular history, a term I use deliberately over the term ‘public history’. Although these formulations are sometimes used interchangeably, distinguishing between them is part of the argument of this book. Popular history is about popular consumption, whether through agents of the state or the marketplace, but it does not denote any ‘official’ capacity. Public history is an invention of the academy, part of a wider discourse about how academics engage with their ‘publics’. The quest for understanding successful public history has generated the historiographical trend of using biographies of individual historians to uncover popular attitudes to history in Britain. As long ago as 1928, Virginia Woolf ruminated over the biographical details of the historian Oscar Browning’s life, in her discussion of women’s absences in the pages of history.⁵⁹ Works on G. M. Trevelyan, Arthur Bryant, A. J. P. Taylor, Eileen Power, and, more recently, a collection of essays on Asa Briggs and an account of Eric Hobsbawm’s life confirm biography as the standard approach.⁶⁰ These historians have been regarded as ideal candidates for understanding the place of history in national life because each brought their history making into the public domain, moving beyond the confines of academia to pen popular books, journalism, and broadcasting on the BBC. In an essay on this topic, Stefan Collini draws distinctions between academic and non-academic historians, and between those who contribute to public debate in relation to specialized knowledge and those whose commentary bears more broadly upon topical issues of the day. For Collini, the latter group are the historian-intellectuals.⁶¹ His typology, because of its basis in professional biography, presupposes that historical knowledge has only ever travelled in one direction, from the historian down to society. ⁵⁹ V. Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (London, 2000 (first published 1928)), pp. 55 7. ⁶⁰ D. Cannadine, G. M. Trevelyan: A Life in History (London, 1992); J. Stapleton, Sir Arthur Bryant and National History in Twentieth Century Britain (Lanham; Oxford, 2005); K. Burk, Troublemaker: The Life and History of A. J. P. Taylor (New Haven; London, 2000); Berg, A Woman in History; Miles Taylor (ed.), The Age of Asa: Lord Briggs, Public Life and History in Britain since 1945 (London, 2015); R. J. Evans, Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History (London, 2019). ⁶¹ S. Collini, ‘Historian Intellectuals? Eileen Power, Herbert Butterfield, Hugh Trevor Roper’, in Common Writing: Essays on Literary Culture and Public Debate (Oxford, 2016), pp. 241 65, at p. 243.

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In an attempt to decentre the professional historians and their ideas, this book is organized around educational sites of popular history making. From within these sites an eclectic cast of characters is assembled, serving both the public sector (for example, schools, local government, and the BBC) and the private sector (for example, publishers and some museums). Other sites more firmly tied to the marketplace, such as advertising, would also have been suitable places to locate vernacular social history in images and narrative.⁶² However, the ‘history of everyday life’ was a product of specifically educational contexts. Although the individuals featured in this book cannot be housed under any one common institutional or ideological umbrella, they were all engaged with the ‘history of everyday life’ as an educational project. Some figures reoccur, for example the author and broadcaster Rhoda Power (who features in Chapters 2 and 3), whilst others were limited to a single professional context, for example the collector and curator Enid Porter (encountered only in Chapter 4). These cameos are contextualized within broader institutional histories and discussions of dissemination and reception. Part I of this book explains how the ‘history of everyday life’ developed and why it had such purchase in mid-twentieth-century British society. The opening chapter uses the publishing of popular history books to investigate the emergence of the ‘history of everyday life’ as a new genre of popular social history in the interwar period. It shows that publishers began to repackage illustrated source books, memoirs, and diaries as history books after 1918, as the market for ‘traditional’ narrative and literary histories declined. This fed the appetites of an altered, postwar reading public, including women and juvenile workers. The second chapter is about formal schooling, laying the groundwork for the argument that the twentieth century was Britain’s educational century. This chapter explains the pedagogical framework in which ordinary consumers of history came to be conceptualized in the mid-twentieth century, through the context of mass education. We see that social history in schools was associated with average ability and younger pupils after 1918. The ‘history of everyday life’, with its premium on usability and practical skills, became a tool for teaching history to the ordinary, modern pupil, whose mind allegedly required references to real-life situations. This thinking not only forged a place for the ‘history of everyday life’ in the school classroom between the 1920s and the 1960s, it informed justifications for popular social history in all cultural spheres in the mid-twentieth century, covered in Part II. The second part of this book is about the ‘history of everyday life’ in practice: how was it captured and communicated? Part II opens with a chapter on the broadcasting of history on BBC radio before the 1960s. The BBC, its producers ⁶² Cf. J. de Groot, Consuming History: Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture (London, 2008), pp. 8 9.

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and many female broadcasters, were engaged in a holistic educational project in the mid-twentieth century. The ‘history of everyday life’ flourished within this Reithian, citizen-making project. This chapter reveals how the ‘history of everyday life’ was bound up with the emergence of new radiophonic technologies at the BBC in the 1930s. Sound and music helped to construct a genre of ‘light’ social history broadcasting, often in the form of historical dramas, which appealed to ordinary listeners. A particular shift is highlighted across the period from the 1940s to the 1960s, when history content on the radio became stratified between the ‘expert’ and the ‘popular’ due to gendered and professionalizing impulses within the BBC. As a consequence, the ‘history of everyday life’ gradually came to be regarded as history for leisure. The fourth chapter examines the ‘history of everyday life’ in practice in local community settings. It argues that folk museums, an entirely novel phenomenon in the twentieth century, were the museological vehicles of popular social history in Britain long before the heritage ‘boom’ of the 1970s. The British folk museum movement is traced via museum case studies in Luton, Cambridge, York, and the Highlands. Collecting practices, curation, visitors, and the educational programmes within each museum are analysed. The chapter argues that folk history, so often thought of as a talisman of the extreme right, was recast at a community level into a feminized and conservative ‘history of everyday life’ for ordinary people. The case of the Highland Folk Museum highlights the local flavour of popular social history in this period, showing that fracture lines did not run between four nation histories, but between regions that had their own ‘organic’ class histories to preserve and retell amidst a backdrop of rapid social and economic change in the present. The final part of the chapter connects the ‘history of everyday life’ to debates about the emergence of commercial and industrial heritage in Britain after 1945. Rather than being ‘new’ in the 1970s, we see that the currents of localism and active education that are so essential to the modern heritage industry emerged from post-1918 impulses. The final chapter of Part II looks at how popular social history became part of the cultural policy of local government in London, via the activities of the Education Office of the London County Council (LCC). It examines how the ‘history of everyday life’ was used in LCC extra-mural educational programmes to offer a radical model of London citizenship during the heyday of local authority reach and influence. This LCC project had its origins in turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts thinking and came to fruition in the collectivist climate of wartime, Blitz-shaken London. Again, this chapter highlights the prominent role of women as producers of popular history. Taken together, Chapters 4 and 5 reflect back upon one another—provincial onto metropolitan, conservative onto radical— demonstrating that the ‘history of everyday life’ had no fixed ideological status. It was a mass educational project that cascaded into all areas of British cultural life across the mid-twentieth century.

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Part III of this book consists of a chapter on social history in 1970s comprehensive schools. It examines how the ‘history of everyday life’ fared in the new context of mass secondary education to age sixteen, where rising demands for social education were beginning to clash with a traditionalist crusade in favour of academic, historical knowledge. Although comprehensivization was ‘official’ government policy from 1965, the 1970s was the decade when most secondary schools became all-ability comprehensives, leading to larger class sizes and very different agendas for the teaching of history. Through a tapestry of sources, we see first how the English comprehensive school utilized the ‘history of everyday life’ to teach its ordinary pupils, especially up to the age of fourteen and via the new ‘Certificate of Secondary Education’ (CSE) examination. However, these practices came to discredit the ‘history of everyday life’ as the decade drew on. Social history in comprehensive schools gradually became enlisted into technocratic projects of self-education that were geared towards more egalitarian school-leaving qualifications and more global, political concerns. At the same time, the ‘history of everyday life’ was proven to be entirely inadequate within the problematic project of ‘multicultural’ education and the teaching of British Empire history in comprehensive schools. As Britain’s population became more ethnically diverse and female participation in post-16 education increased, young citizens challenged the pedagogical limitations that ‘ordinariness’ imposed upon them. They demanded a social history that could accommodate the analysis of power. This shift ultimately evacuated the ‘history of everyday life’ from the educational spaces it had once occupied. Finally, the conclusion considers some educational connections between ‘history from below’ and the ‘history of everyday life’. Despite the conservative strands within the ‘history of everyday life’, it is in the women’s history of the 1970s and 1980s that we find the richest overlap between popular and academic cultures of social history in the late twentieth century. Histories of Everyday Life offers its readers an alternative, educational history of British social history, with different institutions and unfamiliar actors. This story is characterized by continuity between the 1920s and the 1970s, rather than by rupture in 1963. The intellectual innovations of a small coterie of male class warriors did not stimulate popular tastes for social history from the 1970s onwards. A democratic yet deferential mid-century culture, geared towards mass education, women, and community life, had already primed a new generation of consumers to use and think about everyday life in the past in their own everyday lives in the present.

PART I

DEFINING AND JUSTIFYING A N E W S O C I A L HI S T O R Y A F T E R 19 1 8

1 The Publishing of Popular Social History Books The end of the First World War and the passing of the Representation of the People Act in 1918 marked the beginning of Britain’s educational century. Although society remained deeply unequal along lines of social class, gender, region, and ethnicity, ideas of education, democracy, and civic participation permeated public discourse. This was coupled with waning confidence in both national and imperial discourses in the wake of the Great War. These changes set the stage for a new post-war popular social history, to replace nineteenth-century narratives characterized by progress, nation, and Empire. The first part of this book, encompassing this chapter and the next, defines this new popular social history as the ‘history of everyday life’. It explains what it was, how it developed, and why it had such purchase in mid-twentieth-century British society. An emblem of the new post-war social history arrived even before the Armistice had been signed. In October 1918, the independent Arts and Crafts publishing house B. T. Batsford published the first volume of a new series of popular social history books called A History of Everyday Things in England by Charles and Marjorie Quennell.¹ An early review in the Times Literary Supplement praised the book for telling readers about the uses of ‘things’ in the past, rather than just about how they looked. This was ‘filling in the background of history’ in a new way.² Understanding this innovation, and thus how popular history was recast after 1918, involves understanding the publishing context of the Everyday Things series as much as the content of the books themselves. Founded in 1843, Batsford focused on architectural material before the First World War, including publishing a social-architectural work by Charles Quennell called Modern Suburban Houses in 1906.³ Everyday Things was therefore an unusual populist venture for the publishers in 1918.⁴

¹ M. and C. H. B. Quennell, A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 1: 1066 1499 (London, 1918). Hereafter Everyday Things Vol. 1. ² A. Clutton Brock, ‘History in Things’, Times Literary Supplement, 12 December 1918, p. 622. ³ C. Brace, ‘Publishing and Publishers: Towards an Historical Geography of Countryside Writing, c.1930 1950’, Area, 33 (2001), pp. 287 96; J. Richardson, ‘Batsford: A Tradition of Arts and Crafts Publishing’, British Book News (February 1990), pp. 80 3; C. H. B. Quennell, Modern Suburban Houses (London, 1906). ⁴ Cf. P. Quennell, The Marble Foot: An Autobiography, 1905 1938 (London, 1976), p. 72.

Histories of Everyday Life. The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918 1979. Laura Carter, Oxford University Press (2021). © Laura Carter. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198868330.003.0002

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This chapter is about how publishers like Batsford recalibrated the genre of history from 1918, in line with commercial and educational demands. The Everyday Things series, published between 1918 and 1934, were perennial bestsellers. In 1968 Batsford estimated that by 1961 total sales of the Quennell books had exceeded one million copies, and a further quarter of a million had been sold in the succeeding seven years.⁵ The series was publicized alongside other highquality Batsford craft, artistic, and architectural books, building on a tradition of serious professional publishing for craftsmen. This placed the Quennells firmly outside of the very established Victorian tradition of popular illustrated histories, ensuring their illustrations were not regarded as merely ‘romantic’, but technical. The Everyday Things books were sold and consumed differently from the histories that had gone before them. By 1935 Batsford was publishing a whole ‘social history’ list using the Quennells’ ‘Everyday Life’ tagline. This list was dominated by travel, costume, and artisanal work, always boasting numerous illustrations from ‘rare prints’ or ‘original drawings’.⁶ These books sat alongside Batsford’s continuing stream of practical handiwork, drawing, and collecting books that were more expensive and aimed at an amateur middle-class audience. Authors of the latter works remained committed to a Victorian separation of elite and popular knowledge between the wars and prided themselves on the price of their books. As Howard H. Cotterell, a Batsford author, asserted, ‘It is neither possible, nor desirable, that authors should spend their lives gratuitously spoon-feeding Tom, Dick or Harry . . . ’⁷ Publishers were treading a careful line, and needed to identify areas where the democratization of knowledge had a viable supply chain. Through the success of the Quennell books and defining their genre as an accessible ‘history of everyday life’, Batsford had done just that. Batsford’s inter-war transition from specialized Arts and Crafts publishing to the ‘history of everyday life’ embodies the shifting genres of history publishing investigated in this chapter. Books, and their publishing contexts, are the best starting point for delineating the arrival of a new popular social history in Britain at the end of the First World War in the form of the ‘history of everyday life’. Book publishing explicitly demonstrates how and why the uniform category of social history is unsatisfactory for understanding the new manifestations of history packaged and presented for a mass audience in this period. The ‘ordinary’ or ‘everyday’ was a new topic of literary and journalistic enquiry between the wars. History publishing imbibed and reflected this through both writing and illustrative conventions. By the post-1945 period, as social history became a more clearly ⁵ ‘The Quennells and their Everyday Things: A Fiftieth Anniversary’, The Bookseller, August 1968, pp. 672 5, at p. 674. ⁶ B. T. Batsford, A Selected List of Batsford Books (London, 1936), pp. 7 11. ⁷ ‘Letters to the Editor Prices of Books on Collecting’, The Bazaar: The Ideal Weekly for Collectors and Connoisseurs, 24 November 1928, p. 189.

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defined pursuit amongst professional historians, the ‘history of everyday life’ was further absorbed into the territory of literary non-fiction, increasingly sold in paperback form, but no less influential as a way of making ordinary life in the past accessible, readable, and interesting. History books have long featured in assessments of the place of history in national life, most often as part of the biographies of influential historians.⁸ But identifying important authors, ideologies, and titles does little to advance our understanding of the diffusion of history into popular culture. Big ideologies were ceasing to be the guiding current of popular history in the twentieth century. Paying attention to publishing contexts removes the historian and their ideology from the centre of history making and refocuses the inquiry onto genre and reception. Books must be understood as one stage in a circuit of knowledge, subject to the demands of the marketplace and education, and in dialogue with other forms of popular leisure. In Past into Print (2009), Leslie Howsam argues persuasively that ‘bookhistory’ methods are vital to expanding our understanding of attitudes to history. The commercially oriented interventions of publishers and the material format of books (bindings, jackets, and illustrations) have shaped the public output of historical knowledge, as much as the authors themselves.⁹ These insights contribute to a much more comprehensive toolkit for understanding what history books ‘do to culture’.¹⁰ Commercial demands, stylistic conventions, and material ‘paratexts’ all contributed to the democratization of history in mid-twentieth-century Britain. This chapter therefore starts with publishers, their processes, and their markets.¹¹ It tracks the distinctive qualities of the ‘history of everyday life’—local, emotional, psychological, and practical—through the publisher’s archive. In doing so, the limitations of studying the output of history by historians are exposed. This revelation helps to elucidate the divergent paths taken by ‘academic’ and ‘popular’ history in twentieth-century Britain. Whilst the former was increasingly unified by a well-defined empiricist method, the latter was less bound by rules, was geared towards accessibility and mass education, and interacted with other genres and modes of writing and presentation. The ‘history of everyday life’ dealt in particularities, rather than universalities, and offered no grand explanatory promises. It was often concerned with the material and visual past, which had a direct practical bearing on domestic (rather than political) life in the present. And it often

⁸ For example, D. Cannadine, G. M. Trevelyan: A Life in History (London, 1992); M. Berg, A Woman in History: Eileen Power, 1889 1940 (Cambridge, 1996); S. A. Weaver, The Hammonds: A Marriage in History (Stanford, 1997). ⁹ L. Howsam, Past into Print: The Publishing of History in Britain 1850 1950 (London, 2009). ¹⁰ L. Howsam, ‘What Is the Historiography of Books? Recent Studies in Authorship, Publishing, and Reading in Modern Britain and North America’, Historical Journal, 51 (2008), pp. 1089 101. ¹¹ This approach is also taken by G. M. Pfitzer, Popular History and the Literary Marketplace, 1840 1920 (Amherst, 2008) in his study of the USA.

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distanced itself from elites and political biography, by being about the introspective and workaday lives of the everywoman and everyman. This chapter mainly concentrates on Oxford and Cambridge University Presses. As will be seen, OUP and CUP both developed strong commercial businesses in the inter-war years. Their popular social history publishing can therefore be plainly assessed against what they understood to be history ‘proper’, in their academic departments. Both of the ancient university publishers had established and growing academic history publishing interests by 1918, were strongly secured in educational markets, and were looking to compete actively with the more commercial London publishers. Reference will also be made to George Bell & Sons, John Lane, and B. T. Batsford. The chapter opens with a discussion of these publishing and reading contexts, explaining how a new mode of popular social history fitted in alongside the established genre of ‘history’. It is then divided into three sections exploring the publishing of the types of books through which the ‘history of everyday life’ became popularized: illustrated histories, historical diaries, and memoirs.

Publishers, Readerships, and the Genre of History The period after the First World War was a paradoxical time for publishing in Britain. An older generation of publishers was still running the established firms conservatively and comfortably. These firms were increasingly moving in unison under the guise of the Publishers’ Association. The Net Book Agreement, a collective protectionist measure introduced in 1900, was firmly in place to protect retail prices, offsetting production costs that remained consistently higher than pre-1914 norms. The commercial focus of these publishers was on how to maintain a share in the US market (where prices were not fixed and competition was rife), and on making the most of increasingly lucrative colonial sales, especially in the education market.¹² But this older generation was also uncertain about engaging with changing tastes precipitated by social upheaval at home. J. M. Dent, founder of the cheap Everyman’s Library in 1906, attributed sophisticated appetites for reading amongst working-class men to their having fought alongside more educated comrades in wartime.¹³ Iain Stevenson has highlighted the vibrancy and tenacity of the new firms that were founded in the 1920s by young entrepreneurial publishers, including Jonathan Cape, the Woolfs’ Hogarth ¹² J. Feather, A History of British Publishing (London, 2006), pp. 174 83, 195 6; I. Stevenson, Book Makers: British Publishing in the Twentieth Century (London, 2010), pp. 34 6. On the export market, see A. Flanders, ‘ “Our Ambassadors”: British Books, American Competition and the Great Book Export Drive, 1940 60’, English Historical Review, 125 (2010), pp. 875 911. ¹³ ‘Mr J. M. Dent’, The Bookseller, December 1918, p. 600. Cf. J. Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven; London, 2001), pp. 131 6.

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Press, and Faber & Faber, which filled a gap in the market for high-quality nonfiction books. But the global financial crisis at the end of the 1920s sent ripples well into the 1930s and the big publishers responded by becoming even more risk averse. They fell back on markets that were less affected by economic instability— educational, academic, and professional—and that were actually growing throughout the 1930s.¹⁴ In the first half of the twentieth century, mainstream publishers therefore expended much energy on professional history writing. The university presses were ploughing their resources into co-authored, multi-volume history projects.¹⁵ Publishers greatly valued expertise, and thus coveted those qualified and respected (but rare) academics who had proven themselves able to generate popular sales. Occasionally, large scholarly projects spawned cheap and popular abridgements, which satisfactorily split their markets and fulfilled publishers’ twin commercial and intellectual ambitions.¹⁶ But the educational markets (texts for teachers as well as for classroom use) remained the safest ground on which to commission new histories. The stability and predictability of history publishing for educational audiences structured history publishing for most of the mid-twentieth century. Authors of all political stripes were painfully aware of this magic portal to the mass market, often pressuring their publishers to migrate their books into ‘cheap’ school editions. J. L. Hammond was in continuous contact with his publisher, Robert Longman, about cheap classroom and WEA editions of the Labourer series (1911–19).¹⁷ More cautiously, the medievalist Eileen Power expressed doubts over whether her thesis-turned-first-book would sell out its 1,250 print run in 1922 (a friend gloomily predicted sales of 300). But she concluded if this did happen, she might ‘boil it down into a popular sketch without footnotes’.¹⁸ However, publishers were very wary of this transition, given the risk it posed to profit margins. During the Second World War, G. M. Trevelyan’s English Social History (1944), another Longmans title, did enjoy record sales. But this ‘blip’ has been attributed to a short-lived nostalgia boost, soon swept away by the more individualistic and consumerist turn of the 1950s.¹⁹ The history ‘bestseller’ was really becoming an endangered species. Why was this the case? A previously robust leisure market for history in the nineteenth century was dissolving into a variety of new trends, which coalesced

¹⁴ Stevenson, Book Makers, pp. 64 71, 84. ¹⁵ Howsam, Past into Print, pp. 62 71. ¹⁶ For example, Arnold Toynbee’s colossal Study of History undertaken by Oxford University Press in 1931: see Howsam, Past into Print, pp. 106 8. ¹⁷ R. Longman to J. L. Hammond, 3 August 1917; R. Longman to J. L. Hammond, 18 February 1918: Bodleian Library Special Collections, University of Oxford (hereafter BOD), MS. Hammond 17; R. Longman to J. L. Hammond, 21 September 1920: BOD, MS. Hammond 18; R. Longman to J. L. Hammond, 7 February 1925: BOD, MS. Hammond 20. ¹⁸ E. Power to G. Coulton, 23 December 1922: Archive and Special Collections, Girton College, University of Cambridge (hereafter GCA), GCPP Power, E 2/2. ¹⁹ P. Mandler, History and National Life (London, 2002), p. 82.

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around ‘light’ and accessible reading that often mirrored the ways in which historical material appeared in local newspapers and the popular periodical press.²⁰ This shift is bound up with the most marked publishing innovation of the inter-war period: Allen Lane’s Penguin Books, first established in 1935. Lane identified a hungry reading public at the cheaper end of the market, and in response issued his first series of six paperback reprints, marketed and sold through mainstream retail outlets rather than in intimidating bookshops.²¹ A non-fiction imprint, Pelican, was introduced in 1937.²² Initially, the established publishers (and especially the university presses) saw this venture as a crass affront to the ‘gentlemanly’ tradition of publishing as ‘improvement’.²³ It was not until well into the post-1945 years that the paperback ‘revolution’ became a crosspublisher phenomenon. At the same time, Victor Gollancz’s publication of A. L. Morton’s A People’s History of England in 1938 was a watershed moment for the popularization of Marxist history in Britain. The book led to the formation of the Communist Party Historians’ Group, which saw the historical analysis of class relations as a route to enacting a wider shift in British politics and society.²⁴ But Britain’s mid-twentieth-century reading public exhibited catholic disciplinary tastes that a diet of Marxist social history alone would never satisfy. History as pure ideology had a limited audience. Two observant contemporaries sketched out this situation at the time, with the aim of highlighting popular political opportunities for the left. In his classic 1939 essay ‘Boys’ Weeklies’, George Orwell wondered why the ephemeral reading material that was devoured regularly by the working classes tended to maintain pro-imperialist views and was perpetually stuck in 1910.²⁵ Writing three years later in a memo for the Fabian Society, Mass-Observation (M-O) founder Tom Harrisson identified a body of ‘marginal creative personnel’ producing vast swathes of apolitical reading matter that was having ‘major influences on the psychology of a great many working-class

²⁰ L. Howsam, ‘Growing Up with History in the Victorian Periodical Press’, in Popular History Now and Then: International Perspectives, edited by B. Korte and S. Paletschek (Bielefeld, 2012), pp. 55 73. ²¹ A. McCleery, ‘The Return of the Publisher to Book History: The Case of Allen Lane’, Book History, 5 (2002), pp. 161 85. ²² P. Mandler, ‘Good Reading for the Million: The “Paperback Revolution” and the Co production of Academic Knowledge in Mid Twentieth Century Britain and America’, Past & Present, 244 (2019), pp. 235 69. ²³ S. Bradley, The British Book Trade: An Oral History (London, 2008), p. 139. ²⁴ A. L. Morton, A People’s History of England (London, 1938); W. Thompson, ‘From Communist Party Historians’ Group to Socialist History Society, 1946 2017’, History Workshop Online, 10 April 2017 [http://www.historyworkshop.org.uk/from communist party historians group to socialist history society 1946 2017/], accessed 1 August 2020. ²⁵ G. Orwell, ‘Boys’ Weeklies’, in Inside the Whale and Other Essays (Harmondsworth, 1975 (first published 1939)), pp. 175 203, at p. 189.

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housewives’. Harrisson pointed out that if these writers were endowed with a political education, they might have a profound propagandist impact on the masses.²⁶ Since Orwell and Harrisson’s ethnographic enquiries, this mass reading public has been investigated by a number of historians. Drawing largely on the surveys created by Harrisson and his colleagues at M-O, Joseph McAleer identified 1914–50 as a distinct period in popular reading. During this time, ‘light’ escapist fiction such as westerns, thrillers, and romances emerged as the most popular adult reading category.²⁷ Throughout the Second World War, especially, fiction boomed, with lending libraries estimating that up to 80 per cent of books issued were fiction titles.²⁸ This marked a significant change, especially for the history reading market which had peaked in c.1910, to judge by the number of history titles published.²⁹ But Jonathan Rose’s study of working-class autodidacts demonstrates how much readers themselves shaped the meanings they took from published works. He also highlighted that between the wars ordinary readers were slow to catch up with literary modernism in their tastes. The more ambitious and serious were tackling nineteenth-century classics (including many histories) for the first time, whilst it is safe to assume the masses were largely absorbed by McAleer’s inconsequential, throwaway fiction.³⁰ Here, then, was the essential social context for the ‘history of everyday life’: a new reading public that sought a different form and format of history. People wanted demotic, but not revolutionary history, which encompassed ordinary lives, but which was not confined to the struggles of the male, industrial working class. With his finger on the pulse in 1938, Allen Lane told readers of the Left Review that Pelicans gave people ‘access to contemporary thought and to a reasonable body of scientific knowledge’, putting them ‘in a position to control our future in the light of our knowledge of the past’. Social history, ‘the daily lives of ordinary people’, along with science and art, was to be a significant part of this democratic apparatus.³¹ Within this context, anti-socialist ‘middlebrow’ readers were an important constituent and spawned a range of new literary categories. Virginia Woolf memorably characterized the ‘middlebrow’ as bloodless fence-sitters, lacking both the refinement of the ‘highbrow’ and the authenticity of the ‘lowbrow’ publics.³² Scholars have since rehabilitated the category. Julia Stapleton has shown that tapping into the ‘middlebrow’ audience through a combination of ²⁶ T. Harrisson, ‘Marginal Creative Personnel’, 16 June 1942: Mass Observation Archive, University of Sussex (hereafter SxMOA), 1/2/20/7/A. ²⁷ J. McAleer, Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain, 1914 1950 (Oxford, 1992), pp. 69 99. ²⁸ ‘Librarian’s Questionnaire’, 7 June 1942: SxMOA, 1/2/20/4/B. Cf. K. Bennet to P. Novy, 20 June 1942: SxMOA, 1/2/20/7/A. ²⁹ Mandler, History and National Life, p. 65. ³⁰ Rose, The Intellectual Life, pp. 125 31. ³¹ A. Lane, ‘Books for the Million’, Left Review, 3 (May 1938), pp. 968 70, at p. 968. ³² V. Woolf, ‘Middlebrow’, in The Death of the Moth and Other Essays (London, 1943), pp. 113 19.

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books and journalism enabled the professional historian Arthur Bryant to achieve unusual popular success with his conservative, patriotic history across the midtwentieth century.³³ Moreover, Nicola Humble has identified the popular female ‘middlebrow’ novel as a confident, hybrid genre in the mid-century, closely linked to middle-class self-consciousness.³⁴ Female writers and readers, especially, were confronting an altered discourse of femininity after the First World War. Alison Light has persuasively argued that the legitimate space given to women’s inner emotional lives and domestic habits through ‘middlebrow’ writing marked women’s ‘entry into modernity’.³⁵ Light’s insights underscore the links between individual interiority and the ‘history of everyday life’. In a critical review of A. L. Rowse’s Teach Yourself History series in 1948, Herbert Butterfield reflected upon the growing incompetence of academic historians to write for lay readers. According to Butterfield, the humble reader did not see history as a ‘thing which can be learned, a body of knowledge which may be usefully fixed and held in the memory’. This being the case, Rowse might have instead drawn upon ‘personal experience’ in his books, such as discussing encounters with the canals and roads that inevitably punctuate Britain’s history.³⁶ Batsford was particularly adept at weaving cultural historical threads into imaginative leisure-oriented genres for the ‘middlebrow’ reader in just the way that Butterfield proposed. During the 1930s, it developed a highly successful series of heritage ‘gift-books’ and travelogues. In 1961 Batsford issued its first series of paperbacks, containing eight of the firm’s most enduring titles. These were mainly travel and architectural writings, as well as works on vintage motor cars.³⁷ People were engaging with local landscapes, buildings, and archaeological heritage in a more personal way than the civic-spiritedness that characterized mid-nineteenthcentury excursions, and they wanted books that reflected and facilitated this.³⁸ Historians of the book have frequently approached publishing using the optic of ‘genre’. This may be a consequence of the fact that non-fiction is only recently attracting as much interest as fiction has done in this field, amongst literary scholars.³⁹ But there is evidence to suggest that formal genres did not hold much sway over reading habits. M-O found that authors and titles were by far

³³ J. Stapleton, Sir Arthur Bryant and National History in Twentieth Century Britain (Oxford, 2005). ³⁴ N. Humble, The Feminine Middlebrow Novel, 1920s to 1950s: Class, Domesticity, and Bohemianism (Oxford, 2001), pp. 58 9. ³⁵ A. Light, Forever England: Femininity, Literature and Conservatism between the Wars (London, 1991), p. 10. ³⁶ H. Butterfield, ‘The Teach Yourself History Library’, History, 33 (1948), pp. 193 202. ³⁷ Richardson, ‘Batsford’; J. Rose, ‘B. T. Batsford’, in British Literary Publishing Houses, 1820 1880, edited by P. Anderson and J. Rose (Detroit, 1991), pp. 15 18. ³⁸ P. Mandler, The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home (New Haven; London, 1997), pp. 85 106; K. Hauser, Bloody Old Britain: O. G. S. Crawford and the Archaeology of Modern Life (London, 2008), pp. 97 113. ³⁹ Howsam, ‘What Is the Historiography of Books?’, at p. 1097.

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the most important elements for readers choosing books, whilst The Bookseller had reported the same evidence anecdotally twenty years earlier.⁴⁰ Nor was a book’s imprint, especially before the arrival of Penguins, much of a factor.⁴¹ Social history, in publishing terms, was a capricious category before professionals staked out the discipline in the 1960s and to look for it as a discrete and stable genre in this period would be misleading. Whilst Allen Lane the populist immediately identified the ‘history of everyday life’, ‘social life’ or ‘social conditions’ were also commonly used phrases, and these were often lumped in by publishers with economic histories dealing with industry and trade. Conversely, Robert Graves and Alan Hodge’s The Long Week-End: A Social History of Great Britain 1918–1939, published by Faber & Faber in 1940, was a chatty survey of Britain’s social mores between the wars, written in a sweeping, literary prose.⁴² Avoiding a rigid focus on ‘history’ as a genre, this chapter defines the ‘history of everyday life’ through revealing how books produced across a broad spectrum of publishers’ lists fed popular appetites for everyday histories in the mid-twentieth century.

Illustrated Medieval and Early Modern Social Histories Illustrations were fundamental to the ‘history of everyday life’. In particular, the period before the eighteenth century was most meaningfully communicated through vivid, colour illustrations in books. This phenomenon had its roots in the very established genre of nineteenth-century illustrated histories. As Rosemary Mitchell has shown, the ‘picturesque’ popular history of the mid-nineteenth century was rooted in Romanticism. The publisher-historian Charles Knight put improving illustrations for a growing reading public, especially the mass reproduction of wood-engravings, at the top of his publishing agenda from the 1830s.⁴³ His Popular History of England (1855–62) featured copious images produced in this way, largely landscapes, urban scenes, architectural details, portraits, and coins and medals.⁴⁴ But the pictures of the past in popular circulation had assumed a very different quality and importance by the late nineteenth century. The professionalizing process asked more searching questions about evidence and provenance in history, and this had an impact on the types of illustration passable in history books by the inter-war years. ‘Social life’, although often described textually according to ⁴⁰ ‘Fulham Central Library Survey’, February 1940: SxMOA, 1/2/20/3/A; ‘The Reasons Why a ‘Best seller’ Sells Best are Thus Stated by Publishers’ Weekly’, The Bookseller, March 1918, p. 100. ⁴¹ Bradley, The British Book Trade, p. 140. ⁴² R. Graves and A. Hodge, The Long Week End: A Social History of Great Britain 1918 1939 (London, 1940). ⁴³ R. Mitchell, Picturing the Past: English History in Text and Image, 1830 1870 (Oxford, 2000). ⁴⁴ For example, C. Knight, The Popular History of England, Volume VI (London, 1860), pp. 75, 121, 348.

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economic forces, was being represented in a new mode, which was highly concerned with verisimilitude. This aroused anxieties about where material was sourced from, and how to gain access to original or accurate materials. Combined with this were innovations in image reproduction since Knight’s day. The halftone process, which was pioneered in popular illustrated journalism during the 1890s, made photographic reproduction easier and cheaper. The fluidity of photographs, hand-drawn line images, and traditional woodcuts in these publications helped to construct a visual sphere that comfortably combined aspects of old romanticism and new empiricism, which in turn satisfied popular demand for more realistic representations.⁴⁵ Book publishers had an array of options for furnishing their illustrated histories in the twentieth century. Whilst Batsford used collotype reproduction to produce high-quality photographs in its architectural histories, popular works of archaeology could combine hand-drawn imagined scenes of everyday life with cuttingedge aerial photography of archaeological sites.⁴⁶ The aim was to engage a visually literate general reader with images of the past that were diverse and novel but carried a stamp of historical authenticity. The ‘history of everyday life’ was especially suited to this type of illustration because it dealt in the sorts of practicalities (working, living, eating, and travelling) often portrayed in visual and material sources such as archaeological artefacts, medieval psalters, manuscripts, and woodcuts, but not always described in documentary sources. Whilst nineteenth-century histories had survived on a diet of recycled pictures from established sourcebooks, it is possible to detect a new premium being placed on finding and revealing lively visual sources first-hand for a mass audience by the 1920s. The educational value of such material was continually stressed. By 1963, the Council for Visual Education triumphantly reported on a project at the Bodleian Library that seemed to mark the culmination of this democratizing impulse. It was turning its medieval manuscript collection into colour filmstrips, translating these treasures into the most modern of mediums for educational communication: The illustrations are enchantingly gay and would bring many history lessons to life, with their dancing figures wearing animal masks, a group of monks and nuns apparently playing baseball, jousting, cockfighting . . . These small pictures would be unlikely to receive a great deal of attention in the original manuscripts, which

⁴⁵ G. Beegan, The Mass Image: A Social History of Photomechanical Reproduction in Victorian London (Basingstoke, 2008), p. 11. ⁴⁶ A. Crawford, ‘In Praise of Collotype: Architectural Illustration at the Turn of the Century’, Architectural History, 25 (1982), pp. 56 64; S. Smiles and S. Moser, Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image (Oxford, 2005).

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can only be seen by a limited number of people, but they are worth any number of ‘imaginative reconstructions’ of 14th century life.⁴⁷

OUP began publishing such illustrated ‘histories of everyday life’ in the 1920s. By this time, its London business had become a competitive general publisher.⁴⁸ It financially supported the less profitable, academic projects published out of Oxford (known as the Clarendon Press). OUP was reasonably experimental in its new London commissions, but was equally cautious about taking a title into the ‘cheap’ edition market when it had started out as a Clarendon book. John Johnson, assistant secretary to the Delegates from 1915, was a prodigious collector of everyday printed ephemera and was exceedingly interested in innovative book illustration. In 1925 he was appointed Printer to the Press, a position that often put him at odds with the other great inter-war OUP personality, Humphrey Milford. Milford occupied the omnipotent position of Publisher, running the London office (and hence holding the purse strings) from 1913 until his retirement in 1945.⁴⁹ Johnson’s interest in the visual and his dabbling in papyrology flavoured his taste for new titles, especially school history textbooks. But it was Milford’s prerogative to commission new ‘popular’ books out of London, and in 1921 Johnson pitched a book to Milford for the general reader on ‘social life in medieval England’.⁵⁰ Johnson had in mind Louis Francis Salzman, an amateur researcher and editor of the Victoria County Histories.⁵¹ He had previously written a book on medieval industries, first published in 1913.⁵² Salzman’s histories were textured, local, and noted for their assemblage of original and unpublished documents, rather than for influential arguments. It was this latter quality that made him an attractive author to Johnson, who boasted to Milford that ‘he has the sources of illuminated MSS. at his fingertips’.⁵³ Johnson also enlisted Salzman to help him with a project for a set of loose-leaf ‘class pictures’ for history lessons, showing architecture, armour, shipping, and social life, all ‘drawn in line by artists from the best original material which we could supply’.⁵⁴ The ‘social’ histories appearing from more commercial London presses in this period provide a useful point of comparison to Salzman at OUP. In 1927 Ernest Benn published Home Life in History: Social Life and Manners in Britain, ⁴⁷ Council for Visual Education, Newsletter April 1963 (London, 1963). ⁴⁸ A. Flanders, ‘The Press in London, 1896 1970’, in The History of Oxford University Press, Volume III: 1896 1970, edited by Wm. Roger Louis (Oxford, 2013), pp. 137 88, at p. 145. ⁴⁹ P. Sutcliffe, The Oxford University Press: An Informal History (Oxford, 2002), p. 202; Flanders, ‘The Press in London’, pp. 145 56. ⁵⁰ J. Johnson to H. Milford, 30 December 1921: Oxford University Press Archives, Oxford (hereafter OUPA), OUP875/8212518. ⁵¹ ‘Obituary Dr L. F. Salzman’, The Times, 6 April 1971, p. 18. ⁵² L. F. Salzman, English Industries of the Middle Ages (London, 1913). ⁵³ J. Johnson to H. Milford, 30 December 1921. ⁵⁴ J. Johnson to L. F. Salzmann, 2 January 1922: OUPA, OUP875/8212518.

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200 – 1926 by John Gloag and C. Thompson Walker. This was an illustrated work exploring social customs over the centuries through the eyes of a hypothetical British family. This personification device was starting to appear in school history books of the period. Although admired for its ambition in seeking to answer humanizing questions such as ‘What did they talk about?’, Home Life in History attracted criticism from Eileen Power (and an unfavourable comparison with the Quennells). She felt that some chapters approached ‘a credible if impressionistic reconstruction’, but ‘In general the authors show little more than a superficial acquaintance with medieval social conditions.’⁵⁵ Power’s own debut ‘popular’ work, Medieval People (1924), was itself a plea to combine source-based rigor with the vibrant ‘personification’ of history through the lives of ‘ordinary people’.⁵⁶ Her review contained the types of comment from academics that publishers such as OUP and CUP did not wish to risk associating with their imprints, when venturing into the popular social history sphere with ‘amateur’ authors. Salzman’s English Life in the Middle Ages was eventually published in 1926. The first print run was for 3,000 copies, and it was reprinted on average every six years in similar batches up to March 1960. Two special orders were made in 1944 and 1945 for the HM Forces’ Education Service, a good indication of a popular general readership.⁵⁷ It was a light and conversational survey of life in England up to the sixteenth century, containing thematic chapters including ‘Home Life’, ‘The Church and Religion’, ‘Art and Science’, ‘Industry’, ‘Women’, and ‘Wayfaring’. It claimed to study the people of the Middle Ages in ‘flesh and blood’, seeing that their experiences were essentially like ours, but noting that it was also a particularly joyous period because the nation was ‘in its youth’.⁵⁸ But highlighting such stadial development towards industrial maturity did not always equate to Whiggish progress. Like the Quennells, Salzman was convinced that the bonds of feudalism did not preclude a pleasant and simple dignity in life and work, celebrating plebeian humour, pastimes, and folklore.⁵⁹ Popular accounts such as these remained impervious to the aggressive quantitative analyses of living standards and industrialization which were starting to make academic waves by the

⁵⁵ J. Gloag and C. Thompson Walker, Home Life in History: Social Life and Manners in Britain, 200   1926 (London, 1927); E. Power, ‘Review of “Home Life in History” by J. Gloag and C. Thompson Walker, 1927’, Times Literary Supplement, 19 May 1927, p. 354. On personification, see for example the device of ‘Little Arthur’ in another OUP book: F. Clarke, Foundations of History Teaching (London, 1929). School history books are discussed in greater detail in Chapters 2 and 6. ⁵⁶ E. Power, Medieval People (London, 1924), preface. ⁵⁷ ‘Publishers Agreement’, 27 January 1922: OUPA, OUP875/8212518; ‘Order for reprint’, 20 November 1944: OUPA, OUP875/8212518. ⁵⁸ L. F. Salzman, English Life in the Middle Ages (London, 1926), pp. 21, 24. ⁵⁹ Salzman, English Life, pp. 29 35. Cf. Quennells, Everyday Things Vol. 1, p. ix; M. and C. H. B. Quennell, A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 3: 1733 1851 (London, 1933), p. 38. Hereafter Everyday Things Vol. 3.

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mid-1920s.⁶⁰ OUP did not fail to deliver on the illustrations. The book contained pictures on almost every other page, reproduced largely from manuscripts held in libraries such as the Bodleian and the British Museum. Salzman also used primary sources to reproduce contemporary descriptions of everyday life, for example of bedding, mealtimes, and domestic pets.⁶¹ The book was intended for school audiences, general students, and readers not already experts on the period, and was priced at 7s 6d.⁶² Reviewers received it enthusiastically on these terms, stressing its innovation against the dreary archetypal medieval textbook. Almost all of the reviews praised the book for its helpful illustrations, particularly for younger audiences who would ‘get a better idea of the life of their forefathers from these pictures than they could from many more pretentious books’. The pictures were particularly favoured for being drawn from original sources, if not always English ones. Reading of customs such as street games in London, wrote one reviewer of Salzman’s book, ‘is to find those dead centuries rising up to life again before our eyes’. It went on, ‘Mr Salzman and the Oxford University Press are to be congratulated on another excellent text-book, lively but always thoughtful, scholarly but never dull.’ But although welcomed for its interest, Salzman’s ‘history of everyday life’ still evaded categorization, with one review identifying it as a textbook in that ‘new realm’ of economic history for which students had previously had to cull information from political histories.⁶³ Especially because these works tended to deal with subject matter that could be easily dismissed as trivial, the pedigree of the OUP imprint and the scholarly underpinning that this implied was vital to elevating the ‘history of everyday life’.⁶⁴ The Nation confidently announced: . . . the last few years have seen the publication of a number of semi popular works on medieval life, which do much to rebut the old charge against social history, that it is vague stuff, without pith or marrow, which the constitutional and political historians do well to despise. Some of the best of these books, based on solid learning, and adorned with beautiful illustrations, have come from the Oxford University Press . . . ⁶⁵

A second work that stretched the boundaries of OUP’s populist illustrated history publishing in the 1920s was Joan Parkes’ Travel in England in the Seventeenth ⁶⁰ Weaver, The Hammonds, pp. 187 204. ⁶¹ For example, Salzman, English Life, pp. 89 100. ⁶² Salzman, English Life, preface. ⁶³ Manchester Guardian, 20 October 1926; The Observer, 12 September 1926; Glasgow Herald, 7 October 1926; Jewish Guardian, 8 October 1926; The Spectator, 16 October 1926; Birmingham Post, 12 November 1926; British Weekly, 24 October 1926; The Clare Market Review, October 1926, in ‘L. F. Salzman, English Life in the Middle Ages press cuttings file’, 1926: OUPA, OUP875/8212518. ⁶⁴ Cf. Eileen Power’s defence of social history in ‘On Medieval History as a Social Study’, Economina (1934), pp. 13 29, at p. 14. ⁶⁵ Nation, October 1926, in ‘L. F. Salzman, English Life in the Middle Ages press cuttings file’.

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Century (1925).⁶⁶ Like Salzman, Parkes was not an historian of professional university standing, but she offered the Press a forensically researched study on a subject that promised to engage audiences. Upon first surveying her manuscript in August 1923, reader Kenneth Sisam (an Oxford English Dictionary lexicographer) found it plagued with jargon, but detailing a good subject written by a well-informed author. He thought it could work if ‘enlivened’ by illustrations from Johnson and if her prose was ‘purified’ by his distinguished friend Sir Paul Harvey.⁶⁷ Meanwhile Charles Fletcher (OUP Delegate and historian) was impressed. ‘She is learned, lively and on the whole “literary” in the best sense— her reading in such literature must have been pretty extensive . . . She has authority free from all pretence and pretentiousness.’⁶⁸ The internal correspondence between OUP staff and Delegates thinly veiled their condescending attitude towards Parkes as a woman writer. She was identified as having an ‘archaic’ style of prose, and Sisam was indeed surprised to find upon meeting her that she was ‘a very pleasant and modern lady’.⁶⁹ Sisam offered a tongue-in-cheek rundown of all the Press’s testy authoresses to Fletcher in May 1924, labelling Parkes as a ‘blue-stocking’: ‘I admire her learning more than her way of writing.’⁷⁰ At a time when it was difficult for women to gain access to a professional life of scholarly research, many attempted to make their historical contribution as ‘amateur’ writers. This was a path riddled with insecurities. Although there was a strong tradition of women writing for the popular social history market in Britain, the types of intervention they could make were always highly prescribed.⁷¹ In the early twentieth century, publishers were therefore much more likely to take women writers seriously when their purpose was clearly defined as educational or relating to citizenship. This could be readily linked to the ‘feminine’, domestic side of the ‘history of everyday life’. But Parkes was not a professional historian and her work did not adhere to these acknowledged gender norms. Her book dealt plainly with the more ‘masculine’ topic of travel, associated with seafaring, the technicalities of navigation, and the machinery of vehicles, roads, and byways.⁷² OUP therefore sought to assuage its gender anxieties by reshaping the work of this ‘modern lady’ into a more marketable, illustrated version of the ‘history of everyday life’.

⁶⁶ J. Parkes, Travel in England in the Seventeenth Century (London, 1925). ⁶⁷ K. Sisam to H. Milford, 24 August 1923: OUPA, PB/ED/006284/821291. ⁶⁸ ‘Reader’s report’, n.d.: OUPA, PB/ED/006284/821291. ⁶⁹ K. Sisam to P. Harvey, 22 January 1924: OUPA, PB/ED/006284/821291. ⁷⁰ K. Sisam to C. Fletcher, 22 May 1924: OUPA, PB/ED/006284/821291. ⁷¹ R. Mitchell, ‘ “The Busy Daughters of Clio”: Women Writers of History from 1820 to 1880’, Women’s History Review, 7 (1998), pp. 107 34; B. Dabby, ‘Hannah Lawrance and the Claims of Women’s History in Nineteenth Century England’, Historical Journal, 53 (2010), pp. 699 722. ⁷² Cf. P. Yeandle, Citizenship, Nation, Empire: The Politics of History Teaching, c.1870 1930 (Manchester, 2015), pp. 88 92.

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The book was accepted by Milford for the London office of OUP on the condition that it would be ‘liberally illustrated’.⁷³ Milford particularly compelled Parkes to reduce her footnotes because ‘they make the book look too much of a learned treatise, which frightens the ordinary reader and book buyer’.⁷⁴ The Press was highly concerned to source illustrations of ‘ordinary life’ and to avoid ‘too much royalty and state procession’, although this proved tricky.⁷⁵ As with Salzman’s work, the majority of the illustrations were photographs of items from the British Museum and Bodleian Library collections, favoured over handdrawn reproductions, for their provenance. Once these photographs had been commissioned and the blocks produced, publishers operated an internal economy of lending and borrowing the blocks, which meant that the same images often appeared in different history books.⁷⁶ But Parkes’ work did not achieve a general readership like Salzman’s, because the subject matter was too narrow. Sales had trailed off almost completely by the early 1930s, and the Press resisted Parkes’ requests to try a cheap school edition, especially because of the economic slump.⁷⁷ Travel in England in the Seventeenth Century was reprinted again in a small batch for academic university libraries, in 1968, on the strength of its still original and scholarly contribution to the niche subject.⁷⁸ Over in Cambridge, CUP also published a good many trade titles under the guise of ‘General Literature’, distinct from its history lists, during this period. But it was slower than OUP to secure its foothold in general, intelligent London trade publishing (and in New York for the US market) over the course of the 1930s.⁷⁹ CUP therefore took a different route to illustrated medieval and early modern histories between the wars, working with better-known authors. One of its most prominent medievalists was the polemicist and professional historian George Coulton, known for his controversialist stance towards Catholic apologist historians and for being a tutor and mentor to Eileen Power.⁸⁰ Coulton first suggested Power’s thesis on medieval English nunneries to the Press for publication in 1916, as part of an elaborately planned series ‘Cambridge Monographs in Medieval

⁷³ K. Sisam to J. Parkes, 26 February 1924: OUPA, PB/ED/006284/821291. ⁷⁴ K. Sisam to J. Parkes, 3 June 1924: OUPA, PB/ED/006284/821291. ⁷⁵ K. Sisam to C. Fletcher, 4 November 1924: OUPA, PB/ED/006284/821291. ⁷⁶ By the later 1930s the British Museum was beginning to crack down on its copyright permissions, which subsequently made it harder for publishers to share images between themselves: see B. Blackwell to F. Kendon, 6 April 1938: University Archives, Cambridge University Library (hereafter UA, CUL), Press Pr.A.C.823. ⁷⁷ J. Parkes to R. W. Chapman, 30 November 1932; R. W. Chapman to J. Parkes, 2 October 1933: OUPA, PB/ED/006284/821291. ⁷⁸ E. S. de Beer to J. R. Raimes, 23 January 1966; ‘Reprint order’, 1 April 1968: OUPA, PB/ED/ 006284/821291. ⁷⁹ Stevenson, Book Makers, p. 80. ⁸⁰ G. Christianson, ‘G. G. Coulton: The Medieval Historian as Controversialist’, Catholic Historical Review, 57 (1971), pp. 421 41; G. G. Coulton, ‘Memories of Eileen Power’, Cambridge Review, 52 (1940), pp. 28 9; Berg, A Woman in History, pp. 75 6.

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History’, which he was zealously pitching.⁸¹ Coulton was extremely switched on to the precarious economics of academic publishing, acknowledging that sometimes university presses would deliberately lose money on publishing a scholarly piece.⁸² His letters to CUP detail carefully costed estimates, showing an understanding of the Press’s printing and marketing processes and, most importantly, its profits. He preached: ‘cheapness seems to me to be the essence of the scheme’.⁸³ Coulton was an avowed empiricist, insisting on absolute recourse to primary sources in all instances. In this sense he was very much an historian of his generation, coming of age in the 1870s in the heyday of Edward Freeman and William Stubbs and at the tail end of gentlemanly literary history.⁸⁴ Yet, academic commentators on his work struggled with the heaviness of his personality in his prose, described as an ‘uneasy atmosphere of overwrought emotion’.⁸⁵ Coulton was all the more troubling to the profession because he focused on the social implications of medieval institutions, and perhaps his most notable achievements were his attempts, as a popularizer, to bring these insights to the general reader.⁸⁶ Coulton produced two ‘source books’, A Medieval Garner (1910) and Social Life in Britain from the Conquest to the Reformation (1918), with CUP, whilst still establishing his scholarly reputation amongst academics.⁸⁷ Of the latter, a publisher’s notice in The Bookseller confidently explained, ‘We have presented here contemporary, and therefore accurate, descriptions of the everyday work and play of those bygone generations.’⁸⁸ In the 1930s Coulton began work on his magnum opus of popular social history, Medieval Panorama (see Fig. 1.1).⁸⁹ It was published in 1938 and amounted to something of a compromise, although it was commercially successful for CUP.⁹⁰ North American booksellers picked it up enthusiastically for both the library and trade markets, thanks to its ‘fancy jacket’.⁹¹ Medieval Panorama contained many illustrations, photographs of manuscripts and some line-drawn figures woven within the text body in the Quennells’ style (but still far fewer than ⁸¹ G. G. Coulton to CUP, 22 May 1916: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.C.823. ⁸² G. G. Coulton to A. R. Waller, 22 February 1918: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.C.823. ⁸³ G. G. Coulton to CUP, 22 May 1916. ⁸⁴ See Mandler, History and National Life, pp. 36 8. Coulton’s introduction to his Medieval Panorama (1938) was prefaced with a quote from Stubbs’ ‘Lectures on Medieval and Modern History’ (1886). ⁸⁵ F. M. Powicke, ‘The Historical Method of Mr Coulton’, History, 7 (1923), pp. 256 68, at p. 258. ⁸⁶ D. Crouch, ‘From Stenton to McFarlane: Models of Societies of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5 (1995), pp. 179 200, at p. 182. ⁸⁷ G. G. Coulton, A Medieval Garner (Cambridge, 1910); G. G. Coulton, Social Life in Britain from the Conquest to the Reformation (Cambridge, 1918). Cf. G. G. Coulton, Fourscore Years: An Autobiography (Cambridge, 1943). ⁸⁸ ‘Short Notices From the Cambridge University Press’, The Bookseller, July 1918, p. 314. ⁸⁹ G. G. Coulton, Medieval Panorama: The English Scene from Conquest to Reformation (Cambridge, 1938). ⁹⁰ Coulton would eventually attribute the book’s considerable success to his publisher’s interven tions; G. G. Coulton to F. Kendon, 12 February 1939: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.C.823. ⁹¹ F. R. Mansbridge to F. Kendon, 7 June 1938: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.M.196: NY1498.

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Fig. 1.1 Title page of G. G. Coulton, Medieval Panorama, 1949

Salzman’s work).⁹² It carried vast citations and references, but they were consigned to the back as endnotes. The chapters were short but numerous, darting ⁹² Coulton was certainly familiar with Batsford’s illustrated popular histories. He wrote to CUP in 1930: ‘Would you kindly look out for me those 2 little vols published by Batsford, of pictures illustrating social life by two ladies?’ G. G. Coulton to S. C. Roberts, 3 April 1930: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.C.823. Coulton was referring to D. Hartley and M. M. V. Elliot, Life and Work of the People of England: A Pictorial Record from Contemporary Sources (London, 1925). This volume was a clear heir to the Quennells.

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between themes and geographical settings to build up an informed picture of the period that escaped narrative monotony. The book’s subtitle—The English Scene from Conquest to Reformation—aptly foreshadowed Trevelyan’s wartime social history, which drew so much strength from its laying out of history ‘like scenes in a play’ (or, indeed, a pageant).⁹³ In the preface, Coulton explained that the work was the culmination of many years of pondering over how to provide a clear history for the intelligent lay reader (and how to ensure the cinema did not prevail as the main vehicle of information for this audience). He pronounced: It may be natural and right that universities should spend more time and labour upon the collection and minute criticism of evidence than upon weaving the threads into historical tapestry. But the fact is so; although to day’s public thirsts more than ever, probably, for history that shall be picturesque, yet reasonably accurate.⁹⁴

Here Coulton captured history’s Janus face, between the public and the professional, by the 1930s. His ‘historical tapestry’, a visual and collectively worked canvas constituting the public imagination of the past, contrasts aptly with the messy documentary nature of the scholarly project. Although Mitchell has used the term ‘picturesque’ to describe a mode of romantic history that was already in decline in the 1850s, we should continue to take illustrations in popular social history seriously into the twentieth century.⁹⁵ They were, by this time, less romantic, yet they still attracted lay audiences because they were accessible, often intriguing, and aesthetically pleasing. They gave history a way into the visual marketplace of popular mass culture. And it was the use of illustrations that helped publishers negotiate a niche for the ‘history of everyday life’ in the 1920s on their lists, at a time when social history had leaky parameters and few disciplinary claims. By demanding rigorous research but tempering this with primary source images depicting everyday activities, they made ‘lighter’ subject matter marketable to a general audience.

Historical Diaries Historians working from a range of perspectives have noted the growth of interest in the minutiae of everyday life in Britain between the wars, from M-O to the British documentary film movement.⁹⁶ Joe Moran has tied some of these threads ⁹³ Cf. M. Moorman, George Macaulay Trevelyan: A Memoir (London, 1980), p. 233. ⁹⁴ Coulton, Medieval Panorama, p. xviii. ⁹⁵ Mitchell, Picturing the Past, p. 18. ⁹⁶ N. Hubble, Mass Observation and Everyday Life: Culture, History, Theory (Basingstoke, 2010), p. 11; S. Anthony and J. G. Mansell, ‘Introduction: The Documentary Film Movement and the Spaces of British Identity’, Twentieth Century British History, 23 (2012), pp. 1 11.

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together in an investigation of the diary in twentieth-century Britain. Moran speculates on the relationship between the growth in diary keeping and the publication of historical diaries between the wars, suggesting that the latter might have ‘served to validate and re-enchant the routines of everyday life in ways that may have encouraged the ordinary diarist’.⁹⁷ Published historical diaries were another version of the ‘history of everyday life’. They resituated historical periods into the realm of ordinary activities that were recognizable and relatable, comfortably expressed through the optic of the ‘self ’ in a modern, confessional culture.⁹⁸ A 1965 article in The Times noted: The greater part of the time there is more companionship in the journals and diaries of writers who are doing things. Pepys, Evelyn, Parson Woodforde, George Sturt, W. N. P. Barbellion, all gain from being part of the busy world around them. This does not dilute their individuality, it heightens it. They take us with them into another world.⁹⁹

The diary of Rev. James Woodforde was one of the major documentary sources used by the Quennells in their third volume of the Everyday Things series dealing with ‘the rise of industrialism’, published in 1933. Woodforde’s diary contained details of the workings of everyday life such as farming, cooking, eating, and travelling.¹⁰⁰ Woodforde lived through both the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. But these events occur only in passing in his diaries. They operate instead as an intimate reconstruction of eighteenth-century country life from the perspective of a member of the local elite. John Beresford edited five volumes of the original manuscript diary for OUP, which were published successively from April 1924 to May 1931 as The Diary of a Country Parson.¹⁰¹ Sales of these detailed and scholarly volumes were slow, with each costing 12s 6d. OUP reported net losses on the fourth and fifth volumes by the 1960s.¹⁰² From the early 1930s OUP was urging Beresford to consider consolidating the diaries into a single-volume abridged version, a format tellingly referred to as an ‘Everyman’s Woodforde’ by the Press’s editors.¹⁰³ When it reached the London side of OUP the Woodforde project was scrutinized for commercial viability at ⁹⁷ J. Moran, ‘Private Lives, Public Histories: The Diary in Twentieth Century Britain’, Journal of British Studies, 54 (2015), pp. 138 62, at pp. 150, 141. ⁹⁸ Cf. J. Hinton, Nine Wartime Lives: Mass Observation and the Making of the Modern Self (Oxford, 2010), pp. 5 6; D. Cohen, Family Secrets: Living with Shame from the Victorians to the Present Day (London, 2013), pp. 195 226. ⁹⁹ ‘Solitaries’, The Times, 30 September 1965, p. 15. ¹⁰⁰ Quennells, Everyday Things Vol. 3, pp. 24 38. ¹⁰¹ J. Beresford (ed.), The Diary of a Country Parson (London, 1924); ‘Memo to the Secretary, The Clarendon Press’, 3 July 1966: OUPA, OP2214/16785. ¹⁰² ‘Memo to the Secretary, The Clarendon Press’. Only 2,000 3,000 copies of each volume were ever issued by OUP. ¹⁰³ G. Hopkins to J. Beresford, 15 March 1932: OUPA, OP2214/16785.

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every turn under Milford’s keen eyes, resulting in its eventual production as a one-volume abridgement.¹⁰⁴ This edition was published in 1935 and was a steady profitable success for OUP.¹⁰⁵ Although the diaries told the history of an everyday life, they were not sold or marketed as history books. OUP categorized the Woodforde diaries not as history but as ‘English Language and Literature’, a list which contained a range of historical personalities and their writings.¹⁰⁶ It was both the diary format and the light ‘social’ content of the Woodforde diary that earned it a place on this list, even more of a deviation from traditional notions of historical narrative than the visual histories already discussed. The Woodforde diary entered OUP’s World’s Classics library in December 1949, and was consistently reprinted in this format every few years until it became an Oxford paperback in May 1978.¹⁰⁷ Writing in 1976, educator Valerie Brierley championed the World’s Classics version for use in mixed-ability secondary school history lessons, offering a detailed lesson plan on the topic of ‘Travel’ using Woodforde’s meticulous descriptions of his coach journeys across England.¹⁰⁸ Oxford’s World’s Classics was the marker of OUP’s transition to the norm of mass paperback publishing after the Second World War. The series was a cornerstone of the London business throughout the mid-twentieth century, producing reliably profitable works of both fiction and non-fiction, always aimed at a general reader.¹⁰⁹ In marketing the Woodforde diary as light-hearted prose within a cheap universal series rather than as history proper, OUP connected new audiences to eighteenth-century history. For example, one of the more enduring afterlives of the Woodforde diary is the gastronomic enthusiasm of the Parson Woodforde Society. Members use the recipes contained in the diary to reconstruct eighteenth-century meals. Food was an extremely important part of the ‘history of everyday life’, offering a practical and entertaining opportunity to connect with the past technically and sensually via cooking and eating in the present.¹¹⁰ Another, much more famous, diarist also courted his first mass public between the wars. Samuel Pepys wrote his diary in code and the manuscript was preserved at the Pepys Library in Magdalene College, Cambridge. During the nineteenth century it was deciphered and parts of it were gradually published, culminating in the celebrated ten-volume edition by Henry B. Wheatley, published by George Bell & Sons ¹⁰⁴ G. Hopkins to W. P. Watt & Sons, 18 May 1932: OUPA, OP2214/16785. ¹⁰⁵ ‘Contract between John Baldwin Beresford and Oxford University Press’, 10 August 1935; G. Hopkins to W. P. Watt & Sons, 9 October 1939: OUPA, OP2214/16785. ¹⁰⁶ Oxford University Press General Catalogue, 7th edition, edited by H. Milford (Oxford, 1931), p. 118. ¹⁰⁷ J. Brown to W. P. Watt & Sons, 14 September 1971: OUPA, OP2214/16785. ¹⁰⁸ V. Brierley, ‘Parson Woodforde’s Diary as a Source Book in the Classroom’, Teaching History, 4 (1976), pp. 194 201. ¹⁰⁹ See Flanders, ‘The Press in London’, pp. 141 2. ¹¹⁰ See ‘The Society’, The Parson Woodforde Society, October 2016 [http://www.parsonwoodforde. org.uk/society.htm], accessed 1 August 2020. The Quennells used Woodforde’s diary to make eighteenth century mead: see Quennells, Everyday Things Vol. 3, p. 29.

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in 1893. Wheatley’s Pepys was the most complete to date, but it omitted medical and sexual entries deemed to be obscene.¹¹¹ The historian Arthur Bryant drew on the diary to publish a hugely successful three-volume biography of Pepys with CUP between 1933 and 1938. Julia Stapleton sees Bryant’s Pepys as a further iteration of his patriotic, national history, and a vehicle via which he sought to forge a Conservative–Liberal alliance to challenge progressivism in the 1930s. Stapleton notes that Bryant was keen to attract a broader and younger audience with this work, but her analysis focuses on Bryant’s rendering of the public personage of Pepys as a popular embodiment of the nation.¹¹² This argument, typical of readings of popular history in Britain based on the biographies of historians, misses what was essentially new and different about the Pepysian diaristic material functioning as historical reading matter. Pepys’s twentiethcentury publishing story reveals this. In 1923 Bell had brought out a condensed three-volume ‘thin-paper’ edition, still based on Wheatley’s work. But it was the company’s 1926 illustrated Everybody’s Pepys which democratized the diary.¹¹³ (Tellingly, Milford was repeatedly pushing his desire to be ‘doing something for Pepys’ in OUP’s World’s Classics series as early as 1925.)¹¹⁴ Bell’s new edition was edited by Owen Frederick Morshead (Pepys Librarian at Magdalene 1921–6) and illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, sometime Punch artist and creator of the original Winnie-thePooh illustrations for A. A. Milne. A review in The Observer emphasized the appropriateness of the title of Everybody’s Pepys, as the format and style of this edition made the personality of Pepys available and accessible as a national treasure.¹¹⁵ The illustrations in Everybody’s Pepys lightened impressions of the published diary considerably, and its success spurred Bell into contemplating a further cheap ‘Woolworth’ edition costing only 2s 6d, as well as specialized school editions of the diary.¹¹⁶ During the Second World War George Bell & Sons planned a new, scholarly edition of the diary, but its publication was repeatedly delayed throughout the 1950s.¹¹⁷ By 1960, discussion turned on whether to publish the full and explicit version of the diary, in light of the Obscene Publications Act of 1959. An article in the Daily Express puzzled, ‘Now that we can read the complete version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, surely we can be trusted with that dangerous piece of ¹¹¹ C. S. Knighton, ‘Pepys, Samuel (1633 1703)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/21906], accessed 1 August 2020. ¹¹² A. Bryant, Samuel Pepys: The Man in the Making (Cambridge, 1933); Stapleton, Sir Arthur Bryant, pp. 85 97. ¹¹³ G. Bell & Sons Ltd to Boek &Kunsthandel M.Dijkhoftz NV, 10 June 1955: Archive of British Printing and Publishing, Special Collections, University of Reading (hereafter RdABP), MS. 1640/1242; O. F. Morshead and E. H. Shepard, Everybody’s Pepys: The Diary of Samuel Pepys (London, 1926). ¹¹⁴ H. Milford to OUP Secretary, 10 March 1925: OUPA, Humphrey Milford Letter Book no. 122. ¹¹⁵ “Everybody”s Pepys’, The Observer, 7 November 1926, p. 9. ¹¹⁶ ‘PEPYS Memo’, 5 August 1932: RdABP, MS. 1640/5884. ¹¹⁷ ‘Notes of an interview with Latham’, 8 December 1960: RdABP, MS. 1640/2875.

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pornography, The Diary of Samuel Pepys?’¹¹⁸ Pepys’s diary, ostensibly an historical document, was subject to the same moral questions as controversial fiction, and was thus treated as operating outside of the parameters of history. Arthur Bryant supported Bell in its plan to publish the full text and offered to stand as an expert witness if the publisher was taken to court. He explained that he was going to decline Penguin’s invitation to testify in the D. H. Lawrence trial: ‘I feel that any claim I might have to speak with authority on Pepys’s Diary—an infinitely more important publication—might be weakened if I set myself up as a bogus authority on D. H. Lawrence’s novels!’¹¹⁹ The informal diaristic style popularized by Woodforde and Pepys was an important mode of the ‘history of everyday life’ that publishers found to have popular appeal in the interwar years. Other historical diaries published throughout the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had foreshadowed and augmented this. For example, after abortive efforts to tempt John Lane into publishing her own illustrated companion to Pepys’s diary, publishing assistant and aspiring editor Elizabeth D’Oyley produced two volumes of edited historical diary extracts in the 1930s with her employing firm Edward Arnold & Co.¹²⁰ The diary of John Evelyn was first successfully published in 1818 but was also made into popular editions by the early twentieth century.¹²¹ Celia Fiennes’s Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary was first published in 1888 but more accessibly abridged in 1947 as The Journeys of Celia Fiennes, whilst John Murray published selections from John Skinner’s ninety-eight volume journal as the Journal of a Somerset Rector in 1930.¹²² Whilst professional historians have gone back and forth over the potential value of these records for research, it is notable that publishers began to regard the publication of these diaries as viable popular ventures from the period after the First World War. The appetite for a universal story was waning. But the appetite for a history at once more personal and more practical was clearly on the increase. Diaries offered this insight into history: men (and occasionally women) negotiating their daily lives and at the same time revealing intricate secrets of how things looked, worked, and felt in the past. This was already more personal than the ‘social and economic conditions’ offered by those historians attempting to move beyond traditional political and constitutional history. Still, these diaries occupied ¹¹⁸ ‘The Unexpurgated Side of Samuel Pepys’, Daily Express, 20 January 1960. ¹¹⁹ Extract from Bryant’s letter reproduced in J. F. Burnet to A. W. Ready, 31 October 1960: RdABP, MS. 1640/2875. ¹²⁰ E. D’Oyley to B. W. Willett, 23 January 1924; E. D’Oyley to B. W. Willett, 3 February 1924; E. D’Oyley to John Lane, 14 May 1924: RdABP, JL 5/21; E. D’Oyley, English Diaries (London, 1930); E. D’Oyley, More English Diaries (London, 1938). ¹²¹ D. D. C. Chambers, ‘Evelyn, John (1620 1706)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/8996], accessed 1 August 2020. ¹²² P. Sharpe, ‘Travelling the Seventeenth Century English Economy: A Rediscovery of Celia Fiennes’, The Historian, 58 (1998), pp. 8 11; ‘A Somerset Antiquary’, The Listener, 14 January 1931, p. 47.

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a perpetually liminal space between the genres of history and literature. This chapter will now turn to ‘histories of everyday life’ even less invested with notions of historical scholarship, and that operated quite openly in the literary sphere.

Late-Nineteenth-Century Memoirs The Victorian tradition of biography celebrated the public actions of great men in a national chronology. This masculine conception of biography as history was formally institutionalized by the original Dictionary of National Biography project, which ran from 1885 to 1900, and was later reinforced by Churchillian political history.¹²³ Yet, different kinds of biographical and autobiographical writing enjoyed a boom in Britain between the wars, often fulfilling popular appetites for history. In Forever England, Alison Light showed how literary biography after the First World War was gendered feminine. She explained: ‘between the wars a sense of that other history, a history from inside, gained new significance, that the place of private life and what it represented became the subject of new kinds of national and public interest and found new literary forms’.¹²⁴ Focusing on the act of production more than the content produced, Christopher Hilliard has conceptualized self-narratives from the 1920s as part of the ‘democratization of writing’.¹²⁵ In the 1970s and 1980s scholars of workingclass life debated the value of memories bound by literary forms as a psychological resource for history.¹²⁶ Subsequently, a wave of innovative work on autobiography has offered sensitive ways to read these texts in order to recover working-class consciousness and experience.¹²⁷ This chapter is not an attempt to contribute to these debates. It instead argues that amidst the inter-war boom in biographical writing, autobiographical memoirs were unproblematically published and consumed as the ‘history of everyday life’. This phenomenon had an implicit political dimension, signalling a new valuing of the working-class voice that owed much to the ascendency of mainstream Labour politics and trade union activism. As The Bookseller noted in 1918, many of these new and numerous ‘books of personal reminiscence and autobiography . . . have often been written by lesser personages who have been ¹²³ L. Goldman, ‘Virtual Lives: History and Biography in an Electronic Age’, Australian Book Review (2007), pp. 37 44, at p. 37; D. Reynolds, ‘Churchill’s Writing of History: Appeasement, Autobiography and “The Gathering Storm” ’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 11 (2001), pp. 221 47. ¹²⁴ Light, Forever England, p. 5. ¹²⁵ C. Hilliard, To Exercise Our Talents: The Democratization of Writing in Britain (Cambridge, Mass.; London, 2006). ¹²⁶ See C. Steedman, Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives (London, 1986), pp. 9 12. ¹²⁷ For example, D. Vincent, Bread, Knowledge and Freedom: A Study of Nineteenth Century Working Class Autobiography (London, 1981); E. Griffin, Liberty’s Dawn: A People’s History of the Industrial Revolution (London; New Haven, 2014).

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concerned with events about which the ordinary reader feels a certain curiosity and interest’.¹²⁸ For example, Pat O’Mara’s 1934 memoir The Autobiography of a Liverpool Irish Slummy was praised by The Listener, among others, as both a ‘social document’ and a ‘moving story’.¹²⁹ Yet the ‘history of everyday life’ was not strictly class-bound and the ‘ordinary’ was always a permissive category, a point which will be expanded upon in the next chapter. Elite, vernacular works were also still appearing, such as Thomas Plowman’s In the Days of Victoria: Some Memories of Men and Things and J. S. Fletcher’s Memorials of a Yorkshire Parish, both published by John Lane as historical works.¹³⁰ It is highly significant that many of the books that were commercially successful as ‘histories of everyday life’ were women’s memoirs of nineteenth-century life. Sharon Marcus argues that such texts were ‘valued as a sort of time travel’ in the first half of the twentieth century: With its emphasis on everyday life and interchangeable, representative subjects, Victorian lifewriting fed an appetite for vernacular social history among general readers who anticipated the scholarly interest in the lives of ordinary people by several decades.¹³¹

The London arm of OUP was tuned in to this appetite. Although OUP did not publish fiction, its General Catalogues throughout the 1920s and 1930s boasted a range of titles under the heading ‘General Literature’ containing, amongst other things, biographical and travel writing with an historical twist. These loose generic conditions were orchestrated by Milford to allow him to publish freely according to his market instincts. He published two works of female autobiography in the 1930s that proved exceedingly popular and were subsequently enlarged as trilogies and sold as mass-market paperbacks long into the post-war period: Molly Hughes’s A London Child of the Seventies (1934) and Flora Thompson’s Lark Rise (1939).¹³² Recalling and describing the everyday lives of ordinary women in near contemporary periods, the two works were considered by the Press as complementary counterparts to one another geographically and in terms of class. Hughes dealt with urban life in genteel Islington, and Thompson explored

¹²⁸ ‘ “In the Days of Victoria: Some Memories of Men and Things’ by Thomas F. Plowman’, The Bookseller, April 1918, p. 174. ¹²⁹ ‘The autobiography of A Liverpool Irish Slummy’, The Listener, 2 May 1934. ¹³⁰ T. F. Plowman, In the Days of Victoria: Some Memories of Men and Things (London; New York, 1918); J. S. Fletcher, Memorials of a Yorkshire Parish: An Historical Sketch of the Parish of Darrington (London, 1917). ¹³¹ S. Marcus, Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England (Princeton; Oxford, 2007), p. 37. ¹³² M. V. Hughes, A London Child of the Seventies (London, 1934); F. Thompson, Lark Rise (London, 1939). Cf. Sutcliffe, The Oxford University Press, p. 206.

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a poor rural Oxfordshire community.¹³³ They were both, according to promotional OUP material, ‘classic descriptions of life in Victorian England’.¹³⁴ In the context of the OUP business at that time, these two books should be regarded as cautiously experimental commissions, as the Press emerged from the uncertain years of the economic slump. OUP was kind and encouraging towards Flora Thompson, once it had profited from the fabulous commercial successes of her pen both in Britain and, crucially, in the USA.¹³⁵ Contemporary reviews of Lark Rise are striking in their consistent praise for Thompson’s objectivity, integrity, and avoidance of sentimentality or nostalgia.¹³⁶ One reader mused over its place as sociology or rural economics; others simply saw the work as a history told ‘from within’, supporting Light’s argument.¹³⁷ Lark Rise disclosed details of everyday life interesting to the professional historian and lay reader alike. Barbara Hammond, for example, gratefully noted Thompson’s account of how young domestic servants were recruited in the 1880s, whilst George Dangerfield called the book a ‘vivid document’ which revealed the ‘Oxfordshire qualities’ of ‘pride, dignity, and independence’.¹³⁸ Lynton Lamb, an OUP staff illustrator, travelled to Flora’s home village to sketch scenes from observation for the book. Lamb wrote to Thompson about his experiences searching out village buildings to sketch from real life. He concluded that his drawings would be ‘a little more selective than photographs’.¹³⁹ In late 1941 the Press produced a ‘cheap’, 5s edition of Lark Rise, which was further welcomed by wartime readers.¹⁴⁰ In 1953 Milford’s successor, Geoffrey Cumberlege, wrote to the political scientist Ernest Barker about Lark Rise to Candleford, the completed trilogy that had been published in 1945 two years before Thompson’s death of a heart attack. He explained that the book had been extraordinarily successful to date but that it was time to transfer the title to World’s Classics, where it would make ‘double’ the profits. He invited Barker to write the introduction to the new edition:

¹³³ ‘OUP internal memo’, 6 October 1976: OUPA, OP3208/881340. ¹³⁴ Quoted on the back cover of the first OUP paperback edition of M. V. Hughes, A London Child of the Seventies (Oxford, 1977). ¹³⁵ G. Cumberlege to F. Thompson, 2 January 1940: Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin (hereafter HRC), Flora Thompson papers, box 3, file 3.11; G. Cumberlege to W. Thompson, 10 September 1947: HRC, Flora Thompson papers, box 3, file 3.2. Cf. R. Mabey, Dreams of the Good Life: The Life of Flora Thompson and the Creation of Lark Rise to Candleford (London, 2015), p. 168. ¹³⁶ ‘Lark Rise scrapbook’, 1921 65: HRC, Flora Thompson papers, box 4, file 4.2. ¹³⁷ W. N. C. Carlton, ‘Recapturing Childhood Scenes’, New York Herald Tribune, July 1939; Edith Oliver, ‘Books and Authors The Old Country Civilisation’, Country Life, March 1939, in ‘Lark Rise scrapbook’. ¹³⁸ B. Hammond, ‘Books of the Day: Life on Ten Shillings a Week’, Manchester Guardian, 31 March 1939; G. Dangerfield, ‘English Village Life’, New York Saturday Review of Literature, 8 July 1939, in ‘Lark Rise scrapbook’. ¹³⁹ L. Lamb to F. Thompson, 14 September 1938: HRC, Flora Thompson papers, box 3, file 3.11; Mabey, Dreams of the Good Life, pp. 168 9. ¹⁴⁰ Notes and Queries, 20 December 1941; Woman’s Magazine, February 1942, in ‘Lark Rise scrapbook’.

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    I think an introduction should stress the value of the book as a social document. As a self educated woman, she has been able to give so much of herself and her times and a description of a society which is not frequently articulate.¹⁴¹

Cumberlege envisaged Barker’s new introduction as solidifying the book’s identity as anthropological-cum-historical non-fiction. It was to replace the original introduction written by ruralist and journalist H. J. Massingham in 1944, which had cast Thompson’s story as the dying breath of the rural idyll.¹⁴² But Cumberlage’s plans were halted by Thompson’s daughter, Winifred Thompson. She implored him to retain the Massingham essay on her late mother’s wishes. Flora herself had written to Massingham in 1944, thanking him for serving as ‘godfather to my simple records’.¹⁴³ Winifred explained: From what you say about Sir Ernest Barker, I am afraid he will write something heavy and treat my mother’s work as so much social history, which is not what she would have liked. She hoped her work might some day take a lasting place as literature, for literature was what she loved if there is to be a new introduction at all she would have liked it to be ‘literary’ in the best sense rather than have it written by a solemn university political historian.¹⁴⁴

It is clear from this exhortation that the question of genre troubled Flora Thompson, whilst OUP considered marketing the book in the format of a memoir of ordinary life the crux of its popular postwar appeal. Flora Thompson biographer Richard Mabey notes that OUP’s labelling of the book as autobiography in 1939 ‘has affected the perception of Flora’s books ever since’. But he concludes that this superficial categorization is beside the point. Ultimately the compulsion to read her works as a personal history ‘springs from the character of the text itself, from its intimate detail and unadorned voice’.¹⁴⁵ A good deal of recent work on Thompson has revealed her long literary apprenticeship. She wrote short stories and imaginative columns for magazines from the 1910s, as well as establishing her own writers’ circle and correspondence course for aspiring writers in 1925, called the Peverel Society.¹⁴⁶ But in the end, Thompson’s most famous books were always regarded quite comfortably as something between history and fiction. Despite her literary aspirations, the observational character of Thompson’s writing (a skill she quietly honed throughout her working life as a postmistress) was

¹⁴¹ G. Cumberlage to E. Barker, 7 January 1953: OUPA, OP250524/010172/OP1368. ¹⁴² Cf. Mabey, Dreams of the Good Life, p. 173. ¹⁴³ F. Thompson to H. J. Massingham, 12 July 1944: HRC, Flora Thompson papers, box 3, file 3.9. ¹⁴⁴ W. Thompson to G. Cumberlage, 17 January 1953: OUPA, OP250524/010172/OP1368. Emphasis true to source. ¹⁴⁵ Mabey, Dreams of the Good Life, pp. 168, 187. ¹⁴⁶ Hilliard, To Exercise Our Talents, pp. 62 5. Cf. Mabey, Dreams of the Good Life, pp. 86 120.

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what attracted reviewers and the public to her works. This fact was reinforced by OUP’s treatment of the Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy as a ‘history of everyday life’. Fewer useful sources survive within the Press archives to provide insight into the crafting of Hughes’s work. Molly Hughes wrote four autobiographical volumes in total, depicting her childhood and later adult life as a London teacher and a mother and wife.¹⁴⁷ Although less stylistically accomplished than Thompson’s, Hughes’s books similarly told of the commonalities of domestic life drawn from observation and experience: exchanges with siblings, train journeys, childhood games. Reviews praised the first volume for its human voice. The Bookman contrasted Hughes’s memories to modern detective fiction: ‘the ordinary novel has got so far away from life that it is no longer amusing in its artificiality nor interesting in its improbability’.¹⁴⁸ Country Life explained, ‘The book has the charm of simplicity and frankness with faithfulness to fact and impression, and is delightfully human: no attempt is made to distort or colour occasions for effect.’¹⁴⁹ Three of Hughes’s books were combined into a trilogy, A London Family, in 1946, which went out of print in 1961.¹⁵⁰ In 1977 OUP revived it and published A London Child of the Seventies as a paperback, with an initial print run of 10,000.¹⁵¹ In an essay for The Spectator upon this reissue, Benny Green saw the book both as full of ‘historical utility’ and as a literary work of art: ‘At first we appear to be present at the performance of a conscientious annalist, but closer reflection also reveals a storyteller is at work, as she saves her dramatic climax for the final page.’¹⁵² Literary devices such as imagery, character descriptions, and cliffhangers did not obscure the historical value of Hughes’s autobiographical volumes. In fact, they heightened her depiction of history as the banalities of life in an ordinary Victorian middle-class suburb. As the examples of Hughes and Thompson show, OUP was happy to package memoirs as the ‘history of everyday life’. The gentle yet detailed prose of both women’s writings undoubtedly bolstered their attractiveness to the Press and to readers, who remained largely untroubled by questions of historical accuracy. Both works also benefited from the faintly nostalgic glaze that they offered, especially in their initial sales during the Second World War, although neither ¹⁴⁷ Hughes, A London Child of the Seventies; M. V. Hughes, A London Girl of the Eighties (London, 1936); M. V. Hughes, A London Home in the Nineties (London, 1937); M. V. Hughes, A London Family between the Wars (London, 1940). ¹⁴⁸ ‘A London Child of the Seventies’, The Bookman, December 1934, p. 122. ¹⁴⁹ Quote from Country Life on the hardback cover of Hughes, A London Child of the Seventies: OUPA, OP3208/881340. ¹⁵⁰ M. V. Hughes, A London Family, 1870 1900: A Trilogy (London, 1946); ‘OUP internal memo’, 7 September 1976: OUPA, OP3208/881340. ¹⁵¹ ‘OUP PUB 1 form: Hughes London Child of the 1870s’, 3 December 1976: OUPA, OP3208/ 881340. ¹⁵² B. Green, ‘A Distant Song’, The Spectator, 23 April 1977, pp. 23 4, at p. 23.

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writer intended to produce this effect. Ultimately, it was the authenticity of their voices that counted. Here were uniquely feminine perspectives on Victorian childhood and adolescence, often written from within the home, which could claim their authority on the inner workings of domestic routines and bygone customs otherwise inaccessible to the objective researcher. As seen in the instance of historical diaries, these first-hand accounts evoked social scenes in a way that was not achieved through the passive voice of the (male) historian. If the accomplishment of offering popular social history in this form came at the price of deploying a self-consciously literary author, publishers and readers did not seem to mind. One final figure illustrates the tensions underlying this point more than any other. George Sturt was an author, schoolteacher, and from 1884 proprietor of his family’s wheelwright business in Farnham, Surrey. Like Flora Thompson, he nurtured literary ambitions throughout his life. But, unlike her, Sturt engaged openly and actively with Morrisian romantic socialism that was allied to the loss of a traditional rural way of life.¹⁵³ His books, most prominently Change in the Village (1912) and The Wheelwright’s Shop (1923), were drawn upon and quoted extensively in F. R. Leavis and Denys Thompson’s 1933 tract Culture and Environment.¹⁵⁴ This book was intended for use in secondary schools and WEA classes, offering a schema of training in literary criticism that might counter the deadening conditions of mass culture. Leavis and Thompson used Sturt to construct what Christopher Hilliard has termed ‘a notionally historical utopia’.¹⁵⁵ This ‘organic community’ functions as a counterpoint to the ills of modern society in Culture and Environment. In the final chapters they explore how modern education might profitably ‘work against the [modern] environment’ with recourse to prose such as Sturt’s.¹⁵⁶ This appropriation of Sturt’s publications has been the most enduring.¹⁵⁷ But as a number of subsequent commentators have observed, straightforwardly extracting the ‘organic community’ from Sturt also amounted to something of a caricature. In a 1992 essay, E. P. Thompson was clear that we can justifiably regard Sturt’s output as social history, adding that we should be ‘grateful to literary critics for their percipience’. His lucid, observational prose that so powerfully communicates the practical processes of the wheelwright’s trade was, Thompson argues,

¹⁵³ E. P. Thompson, ‘George Sturt’, in Persons and Polemics: Historical Essays (London, 1994), pp. 256 62, at p. 257. ¹⁵⁴ See F. R. Leavis and D. Thompson, Culture and Environment: The Training of Critical Awareness (London, 1933), pp. 67 77, 78 86, 87 92. ¹⁵⁵ C. Hilliard, English as a Vocation: The Scrutiny Movement (Oxford, 2012), p. 49. ¹⁵⁶ Leavis and Thompson, Culture and Environment, p. 106. ¹⁵⁷ P. Brassley, ‘The Wheelwright, the Carpenter, Two Ladies from Oxford, and the Construction of Socio economic Change in the Countryside between the Wars’, in The English Countryside between the Wars: Regeneration or Decline?, edited by J. Burchardt, P. Brassley, and L. Thompson (Woodbridge, 2006), pp. 212 34, at pp. 212 14.

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an epistemology: ‘formation of knowledge not from theory but from practical transmission, from the ground up’.¹⁵⁸ Just as the Quennells insisted ruined castles were not to be regarded as charming settings but were a resource for learning about the necessities of everyday life when they were built, Sturt reminded his readers that waggons had been made as beautiful things, ‘not to please artists who gushed about them, but to satisfy carters and to suit the exigencies of field and crop and road’.¹⁵⁹ Sturt’s books, particularly The Wheelwright’s Shop but also A Small Boy in the Sixties (1927), should be regarded as classic examples of the ‘history of everyday life’. Emancipating Sturt from his Leavisite constraints is no mean feat, but with reference to the publishing contexts around his works, it is possible to uncover fresh earth in this well-tilled ground. CUP published both The Wheelwright’s Shop and A Small Boy in the Sixties in the 1920s, by which point Sturt had acquired something of a literary reputation, which no doubt moved the Press to consider his mature works.¹⁶⁰ Sturt was preparing The Wheelwright’s Shop under the affliction of severe illness, and by April 1923 when advance copies were ready for inspection, he was too ill to respond to his editors.¹⁶¹ His sisters, Mary and Susan, supported him through these later years. It is evident through their correspondence with CUP on his behalf that they had an intimate intellectual stake in the project.¹⁶² Mary passed away in 1922 and latterly Susan took charge, and Sturt left all his copyright interests in her name.¹⁶³ He said his sisters lent him the ‘hands and feet and at last the voice I wanted’.¹⁶⁴ During the months leading up to publication, and through these collective efforts, George Sturt continued to take fastidious care over the index and illustrations for his book.¹⁶⁵ These were a combination of technical figures inserted within the text and contemporary photographs as plates (see Fig. 1.2). For example, a labelled diagram of a cross-section of a wheel spoke is provided to demonstrate how the ‘heart’ of the oak must be used for the backs of the spokes to make them strong.¹⁶⁶ The appended notes and glossary were also exhaustive, explaining in the finest mechanical detail precisely the inner workings of the trade and all of its waning colloquialisms. These practical elements of The ¹⁵⁸ Thompson, ‘George Sturt’, pp. 257 9. ¹⁵⁹ Quennells, Everyday Things Vol. 1, pp. 116 18; G. Sturt, The Wheelwright’s Shop (Cambridge, 1974 (first published 1923)), p. 67. ¹⁶⁰ His earlier works, published under the pseudonym George Bourne, included A Year’s Exile (London, 1898); The Bettesworth Book: Talks with a Surrey Peasant (London, 1902); Memoirs of a Surrey Labourer (London, 1907). ¹⁶¹ S. Sturt to S. C. Roberts, 20 April 1923: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.S.1201. ¹⁶² Thompson, ‘George Sturt’, p. 261. ¹⁶³ F. Sturt to C. E. Carrington, 21 February 1930: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.1200. ¹⁶⁴ Sturt, The Wheelwright’s Shop, preface. ¹⁶⁵ G. Sturt to S. C. Roberts, 31 January 1923: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.S.1201; G. Sturt to S. C. Roberts, 1 March 1923: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.S.1201. ¹⁶⁶ Sturt, The Wheelwright’s Shop, p. 96.

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Fig. 1.2 Illustrations for The Wheelwright’s Shop, 1923, ‘Cut Book 26’, 1922 3: UA, CUL, Press CUP 34/54, p. 495 Source: Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.

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Wheelwright’s Shop have been less commented upon by historians than have Sturt’s more self-reflective passages and his intimate portraits of the shop’s tradesmen.¹⁶⁷ An early BBC radio broadcast review by A. E. Forrest at first situated the work in this familiar setting of industrial alienation. But Forrest concluded that Sturt’s most compelling contribution was his infectious ‘Interest’: To read how the author ‘tumbled’ that is the right word to the secret why cart wheels are made concave, or saucershape, is to light upon the path of all inventions, and exhibits the workings of the unconscious mind the mind that is always, whether we sleep or work, revolving round problems that intrigue us, and if we are sufficiently interested, will win to success. Here is Mr Sturt’s secret, and yours Interest.¹⁶⁸

The review concluded that the book might therefore be useful for those ‘stepping out on life’s journey’, echoing the Quennells’ hope that their histories of everyday things would be primers for children making vocational choices in the modern world.¹⁶⁹ In August 1930 CUP hybridized The Wheelwright’s Shop for its ‘Craftsman’ series, producing an abridged version with selected and edited passages, priced at only 2s 6d (the original had been priced at 12s 6d). The ‘cheap’ full edition of The Wheelwright’s Shop, first published in January 1934 and priced at 7s 6d, sold consistently and was reprinted almost annually until the mid-1960s. The first paperback edition was published in 1963 and reprinted in 1974.¹⁷⁰ George Sturt’s final work, A Small Boy in the Sixties, was his most unequivocally autobiographical. CUP considered the manuscript of this work in November 1926, three months before Sturt passed away.¹⁷¹ The Press Secretary S. C. Roberts felt that the sections of the book that dealt with ‘various features of middle-class life in a country-town’ in the 1860s were the best written, whilst his ‘detailed geography of the house and the shop’ were ‘rather overdone’. Here the focus is on prose style; his lucidity gave ‘a certain distinction to his narrative’. Roberts went on to assess the book as a commercial proposition. In 1926 it was felt that, although Sturt had acquired a keen and select band of readers, his reminiscences would not be bought and read on the strength of his name alone. Roberts cautiously recommended publication with some changes: ‘Five or six hundred copies would probably be sold very easily. Would another six hundred also be sold? This would depend partly ¹⁶⁷ Particularly the section on George Cook, Sturt, The Wheelwright’s Shop, pp. 53 4. ¹⁶⁸ ‘Typescript of a broadcast talk by A. E. Forrest on “The Wheelwright’s Shop” ’, 17 July 1923: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.S.1201. ¹⁶⁹ ‘Typescript of a broadcast talk by A. E. Forrest’; Quennells, Everyday Things Vol. 1, p. x. ¹⁷⁰ ‘Stock, sales and royalty payment books’, 1930 71: UA, CUL, Press 3/4/2/41; ‘Stock, sales and royalty payment books’, 1939 72: UA, CUL, Press 3/4/2/29. I would like to thank Rosalind Grooms and Jacqueline Cox of Cambridge University Library for their help in interpreting these documents. ¹⁷¹ ‘Press Syndicate Minutes’, October 1924 November 1929: UA, CUL, Press Pr.V.80, at 12 November 1926.

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upon the reviewers, but still more upon that incalculable factor—the public taste.’¹⁷² As it happened the book had sold out of its first 1,250 print run by the end of 1934, priced at 10s 6d.¹⁷³ A cheap 3s 6d ‘miscellany’ edition was published with a 2,000 print run in October 1932, selling out by the end of 1945 (see Fig. 1.3).¹⁷⁴ CUP was keen for A Small Boy in the Sixties to adhere to the same conventions as Sturt’s previous book, and so revisions to the manuscripts included the compilation of a comprehensive index. This was put together posthumously by Susan and Frank Sturt, who were surprised by the request: they had thought ‘so discursive a book did not want [an index]’.¹⁷⁵ The book eventually appeared in the autumn of 1927, categorized by CUP in its seasonal listings as a memoir and described as recounting ‘many quaint old customs which then survived in the town but have since perished’.¹⁷⁶ The handling of Sturt’s work by CUP, before he became fully immortalized as the literary genius he had himself hoped to be, is telling. The Press published Sturt’s books as the ‘history of everyday life’, a document of personal history framed by informational conventions like the index, so that it was not anecdotal but sound and erudite. The public had an appetite for this compromise between history and literature, if the right balance between the two was struck. This publication process, too, was heavily gendered. Whilst Thompson and Hughes’s works were observational histories of the domestic routines and temporal patterns of community life, Sturt was favoured for his ability to reveal the nuts and bolts of tradesmanship. His attempts to write on private, domestic everyday life were rejected by Roberts, whereas his descriptions of public rituals and how ‘things’ worked were welcomed.

Conclusion History publishing in Britain diversified between the wars, making space for a new breed of popular social history in mid-century culture. This chapter has demonstrated that this ‘history of everyday life’ appeared in a range of new and miscellaneous forms for the mass market after the First World War, all of which challenged the existing generic norms of history. It has emphasized commercial and material publishing processes, as cheap editions and paperbacks became the mass publishing norm from the 1940s to the 1970s. These publishing trajectories reveal a distinctively mid-century discourse of popular social history in Britain that was ambivalent towards questions of social class. ¹⁷² ‘Reader’s report’, 4 November 1926: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.S.1201. ¹⁷³ ‘Press Syndicate Minutes’, at 23 September 1927 and at 28 October 1927. ¹⁷⁴ ‘Stock, sales and royalty payment books’, 1930 71. ¹⁷⁵ F. Sturt to S. C. Roberts, 13 October 1927: UA, CUL, Press Pr.A.1200. ¹⁷⁶ Cambridge University Press, Announcements of Forthcoming Books, Autumn 1927 (Cambridge, 1927), p. 1.

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Fig. 1.3 Cambridge University Press advertisement printed in The Listener, 30 November 1932 Source: The Listener, Immediate Media Co.

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The salience of ‘democratization’ in public rhetoric in this period primed the ground for new breeds of ‘social’ history, but the forms in which it manifested were undoubtedly shaped by publishers trying to keep in line with market demands. Whilst it remains very difficult to capture and assess the history tastes of a mass reading public ‘on the ground’, paying attention to publishers as commercial agents (instead of authors as idea makers) provides a useful window onto popular reading.¹⁷⁷ What began to emerge was a way of expressing and enjoying history unconcerned with universality and nationality. Personal identities, expressed so clearly through the gendered and regionalized ‘histories of everyday life’ in this chapter, were served instead. This eclecticism was one of the ‘history of everyday life’s’ most important strengths, making it useable for a vast range of different causes and through a range of mediums beyond print. Three themes emerge from this chapter that help to define the ‘history of everyday life’. The first is the importance of historically accurate images and primary source material as devices for communicating an unromanticized, but aesthetically appealing, past. Secondly, the small and seemingly inconsequential details of life in the past (such as how people cooked, how people decorated their homes, or how machines and mechanisms were assembled and functioned), which had hitherto been the reserve of eccentric antiquarian knowledge, were being woven together to create a different narrative about skills, creativity, and individual agency. Finally, history was favourably consumed by a popular audience when communicated through the personal and familiar voice, putting readers in touch with the intimate and sometimes even visceral aspects of lives lived. Although this mode of history lacked the stability and authority of the conventional historian’s narrative, it spoke to ‘truths’ of history in other ways. These three aspects of the ‘history of everyday life’ are traced throughout the rest of this book, as we follow popular social history out of the publishers’ offices and into the world.

¹⁷⁷ Howsam, Past into Print, p. 5.

2 Social History for ‘Ordinary’ School Pupils During the 1920s and 1930s British mass culture was remade along more democratic lines. This remaking involved a careful dance between state and market, refereed by a cohort of concerned middle classes who regarded themselves as the shepherds of Britain’s transition to democracy.¹ Mass education was the driving force behind this transition, and as a unifying purpose it allowed both state and market to move in the same direction. The previous chapter showed that the commercial literary marketplace defined popular social history after the First World War, endowing the ‘history of everyday life’ with distinct characteristics that were appealing to a mass reading public. This chapter addresses how this popular social history was justified in educational terms. Once again, the Quennells provide a handy entry point, connecting culture to pedagogy. As we have seen, from 1918 Batsford’s publishing of the Everyday Things books captured a cross-section of the general and educational reading markets. For the latter, the illustrations were of primary importance. These illustrations were not akin to ‘storybook’ drawings designed to crystallize epochs in the text’s narrative, as seen in the plates of Henrietta Marshall’s popular Our Island Story (1905).² Executed by a master draughtsman and skilled artist, they were accurate representations of costumes, buildings, and objects frequently drawn from life or primary sources.³ They included renderings of women’s changing fashion accessories, gunlock mechanisms, and intricate architectural interiors. Reviewers praised them specifically.⁴ In the Everyday Things books the prose was ordered around the illustrations, many of which were highly technical.⁵ One reviewer noted, ‘The Quennells . . . really enable us, if we take a little trouble with the A’s and B’s of their diagrams, to understand how the new machines worked’ (see Fig. 2.1).⁶ These presentation methods were pedagogically

¹ D. L. LeMahieu, A Culture for Democracy: Mass Communication and the Cultivated Mind in Britain between the Wars (Oxford, 1988). ² H. E. Marshall, Our Island Story (London, 1905). The illustrations were drawn by A. S. Forrest. ³ M. Quennell, ‘Costume sketchbooks’, n.d.: Private collection of Alexander Quennell, Peter Quennell Estate. Cf. M. and C. H. B. Quennell, A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 3: 1733 1851 (London, 1933), pp. 7, 123, 138 44, hereafter Everyday Things Vol. 3. ⁴ ‘Review of “A History of Everyday Things in England: 1066 1499” ’, Manchester Guardian, 21 October 1918, p. 3; F. S. Marvin, ‘Reviews’, History, 4 (1919), pp. 46 8. ⁵ For example, Quennells, Everyday Things Vol. 3, pp. 65 9. ⁶ ‘More Everyday Things’, The Observer, 10 December 1933, p. 5.

Histories of Everyday Life. The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918 1979. Laura Carter, Oxford University Press (2021). © Laura Carter. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198868330.003.0003

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Fig. 2.1 ‘Tull’s Common Two wheeled Plough, 1733’, illustration by Charles Quennell in Everyday Things, Volume 3, 1933, p. 8 Source: Peter Quennell Estate.

innovative, inserting the Everyday Things books into debates about modern education in the 1920s. The Quennell focus on how ordinary people lived and worked was a conscious shift away from what H. G. Wells called the ‘elaborate, bloodstained twaddle of kings and wives and princes, campaigns, annexations and national prestige’.⁷ This kind of critique of political history was not entirely new, but far more was at stake with the expansion of educational apparatus from 1918. The Quennell books were too expensive to be used in the average state school classroom during the interwar years, although they were in use in approximately 45 per cent of public and secondary schools in England by the mid-1930s.⁸ It was not until after the Second World War that they became available to a working-class audience in ordinary state schools.⁹ However, the Everyday Things books did play significantly into the

⁷ H. G. Wells, ‘ “Elaborate, Bloodstained Twaddle!” Mr H. G. Wells on History Teaching in Schools’, Teachers World, 1 October 1930, p. 1, p. 41. Cf. H. Read, ‘The Mirror of History’, Times Literary Supplement, 21 November 1929, p. 935; Cf. M. Quennell and C. H. B. Quennell, A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 1: 1066 1499 (London, 1918), p. vii. Hereafter Everyday Things Vol. 1. ⁸ ‘Obituary Mr C. H. B. Quennell The Story of Everyday Things’, The Times, 7 December 1935, p. 14. My percentage calculation based on 1938 Board of Education figures. Each volume of Everyday Things was priced at 8s 6d, whilst a ‘cheap’ school edition of a book typically cost between one and two shillings. ⁹ See ‘The Quennells and their Everyday Things: A Fiftieth Anniversary’, The Bookseller, August 1968, pp. 672 5; ‘The World of Books: Interview between Edward Blishen and Marjorie Quennell’, 4 August 1961: BBC Written Archives Centre, Caversham (hereafter BBC WAC), Radio Talks Scripts T671, p. 8.

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professional debate around school history teaching between the wars.¹⁰ This chapter interrogates those debates in theory and in practice, in the context of educational change in Britain after the First World War down to the 1960s. After 1918 the ‘history of everyday life’, with its premium on usability and practical skills, became a tool for teaching history to the ‘ordinary’, modern secondary pupil. History teaching in schools has been a pet topic for British historians.¹¹ Some have focused exclusively on history textbooks and historical readers (the most common classroom resources) to examine how national consciousness was raised in the classroom.¹² In the 1990s Patrick Brindle suggested that the tendancy of historians to focus on conventional conservative and jingoistic textbooks had privileged one side of a two-sided debate about history teaching in the inter-war years.¹³ I argue that this discourse analysis approach, centred on textbooks, simply does not measure up to present standards of cultural and social history. We must sensitively parse how and why particular historical discourses were put into practice by teachers and, as far as possible, internalized by pupils and citizens. Our explanations must attend as much to pedagogy as they do to politics.¹⁴ This book devotes two chapters to school history teaching covering the period from the 1920s to the 1970s, deploying a much wider range of experiential source material. Sources from the History in Education Project (HiEP) archive are used in this chapter and in Chapter 6. This project resulted in David Cannadine, Jenny Keating, and Nicola Sheldon’s 2011 study The Right Kind of History, which charted history teaching in the English classroom for the whole of the twentieth century. The HiEP generated survey forms completed by and interviews with pupils and teachers of history in England, as well as gathering school exercise books and other classroom ephemera.¹⁵ For England at least, The Right Kind of History concluded that school history teaching is not a good barometer of national identity and that teachers have proven consistently hostile to patent ideological ¹⁰ See F. Roscoe, A Note on the Methods and Influence of C. H. B. and Marjorie Quennell on History Teaching in Schools (London, 1936); G. K. Menzies, ‘A History of Everyday Things in England (Book Review)’, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, 87 (1938), p. 75. ¹¹ J. M. MacKenzie, Imperialism and Popular Culture (Manchester, 1986); P. Mandler, History and National Life (London, 2002); B. Porter, The Absent Minded Imperialists: Empire, Society, and Culture in Britain (Oxford, 2004). ¹² V. E. Chancellor, History for Their Masters: Opinion in the English History Textbook, 1800 1914 (Bath, 1970); S. Heathorn, For Home, Country, and Race: Constructing Gender, Class, and Englishness in the Elementary School, 1880 1914 (Toronto, 1999); P. Yeandle, Citizenship, Nation, Empire: The Politics of History Teaching, c.1870 1930 (Manchester, 2015). ¹³ P. Brindle, ‘Past Histories: History and the Elementary School Classroom in Early 20th Century England’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, 1998). ¹⁴ Cf. Yeandle, Citizenship, Nation, Empire, especially pp. 105, 139, and 176. ¹⁵ J. Keating, D. Cannadine, and N. Sheldon, The Right Kind of History: Teaching the Past in Twentieth Century England (Basingstoke, 2011). The History in Education Project archive is held at the Institute of Education Archives and Special Collections, University College London (hereafter HiEP), and online: see ‘Browse the data’, History in Education, Institute of Historical Research, November 2011 [https://archives. history.ac.uk/history in education/browse.html], accessed 1 August 2020.

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teaching.¹⁶ Attuned to the different educational traditions and the unique national flavours of their history teaching debates, this chapter draws on alternative material for Scotland and Wales, finding much common pedagogical ground with England. Across the three nations, national identities were not as prominent as has been assumed in mid-twentieth-century schools. New questions therefore need to be asked about the pedagogical assumptions underpinning school history teaching during Britain’s educational century. The other main sources used in this chapter are the records of the Historical Association (HA), a professional organization for history teachers formed in 1906.¹⁷ The HA records and the HA journal History (from 1916) tap into the dialogue occurring between history educationists and history academics between the 1920s and 1960s, as well as offering some evidence of grassroots activity.¹⁸ The HA’s professional structure consisted of educationists (policymakers, school inspectors, civil servants, and writers) and academics at committee level, with history teachers and other interested parties participating locally. The HA is a reminder that the divide between professional and ‘amateur’ historians can be overstated: when academics took an active interest in popularization, robust networks could develop. These networks were populated by many women, who participated in HA activity at all levels. The HA was indeed conceived by two female teacher trainers seeking to share professional practice, but once it was established the upper ranks were colonized by prominent male figureheads.¹⁹ Nonetheless, women drove the HA, even if they did not sit at the top table: education was, as always, a vital route into allowing women to participate in the construction of historical knowledge. From the early twentieth century the Board of Education advocated the use of history as ‘indirect’ citizenship instruction in schools. After the First World War, and the granting of universal male and partial female suffrage in 1918, citizenship was high on the national agenda. History teaching in schools has therefore also attracted attention from scholars interested in ideas of citizenship, but they too have prioritized the nation over the local or individual and have overestimated how far the citizenship ideal was confined to elites. In fact, the citizenship ideal in mid-century Britain was multifarious, a far broader church in practice than prosaic intellectual formulations might suggest. Tenets of conservative patriotism, especially romantic, emotional, and individualistic elements, could be ¹⁶ Keating, Cannadine, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 225 30. ¹⁷ The archives of the Historical Association (HA) are held in the University of Nottingham Manuscripts and Special Collections (hereafter HAn). Cf. Historical Association, The First 50 years Historical Association Jubilee Pamphlet 1906 1956 (London, 1956). ¹⁸ Cf. R. Samuel, Theatres of Memory: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture (London, 2012 (first published 1994)), pp. 37 8. ¹⁹ Keating, Cannadine, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 31 2. Cf. J. Thirsk, ‘The History Women’, in Chattel, Servant or Citizen: Women’s Status in Church, State and Society, edited by M. O’Dowd and S. Wichert (Belfast, 1995), pp. 1 11.

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accommodated into a basically liberal and rational version of what it meant to be a citizen.²⁰ Recent work has probed the layers below central state policy to reveal the diversity and fluidity of local and urban citizenship activities in this vein.²¹ The local should therefore be the starting point for any consideration of history teaching as a vehicle of citizenship in modern Britain, when school infrastructure across England, Wales, and Scotland was governed by local education authorities (LEAs) in a decentralized and locally autonomous system of formal education.²² This chapter shows how reformers after 1918 sought to introduce the ‘history of everyday life’ into the classroom as a new breed of social history for less able pupils, soon-to-be ordinary citizens (that (wo)man-in-the-street, the general reader, radio-listener, museum-goer). What was implicit in the commercial realm of publishing became explicit in the pedagogical realm of schooling: the ‘history of everyday life’ was about accessibility and ability. It was aligned with the progressive approaches to teaching that became the fulcrum of educational debates across the period; thus this chapter will show how the ‘history of everyday life’ was central to debates about secondary education as a whole in midtwentieth-century Britain. The ‘history of everyday life’ was aesthetic, emotional, practical, and technical. Such characteristics applied directly to pedagogical and psychological estimations of the capability of the average, non-academic pupil. These pupils would form the majority of modern society, a democracy conceptualized as ‘visually minded’ and apparently more attuned to the physical world around them than the abstract printed word. These assumptions were forged in inter-war mass education. They were carried through into the secondary modern school and lasted well into the 1970s when, as we will see in Chapter 6, they were tested to breaking point in the comprehensive school. Schools are an essential context for understanding all modes of popular dissemination. Formal education was never conducted in isolation; history learnt by the school pupil was not clearly distinct from the history imbibed by the everyday citizen.²³ Mass education coloured all aspects of mid-twentieth-century British culture, therefore all history popularizers (publishers, curators, and broadcasters) were engaged in a constant dialogue with education. The first section of this chapter provides context on the teaching of social history in British schools and the place of progressive education in British ²⁰ J. Stapleton, ‘Citizenship versus Patriotism in Twentieth Century England’, Historical Journal, 48 (2005), pp. 151 78; ‘Introduction’, in The Right to Belong: Citizen and National Identity in Britain, 1930 1960, edited by R. Weight and A. Beach (London, 1998), pp. 1 17. ²¹ T. Hulme, ‘Putting the City Back into Citizenship: Civics Education and Local Government in Britain, 1918 45’, Twentieth Century British History, 26 (2015), pp. 26 51. ²² Cf. G. McCulloch, ‘Local Education Authorities and the Organisation of Secondary Education, 1943 1950’, Oxford Review of Education, 28 (2002), pp. 235 46. ²³ R. Samuel, ‘History, the Nation and the Schools Introduction’, History Workshop Journal, 30 (1990), pp. 75 80. Cf. Keating, Cannadine, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 14, 219.

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education. This is followed by three sections examining reoccurring themes in mid-twentieth-century school history teaching: the local, the visual, and the emotional. Contemporary debates surrounding each theme are considered and assessed against classroom practice and experience in inter-war elementary and post-primary education, and in the secondary modern school between the late 1940s and the 1960s. Despite the ferocity of public debate, change in schools has been gradual and undramatic, and the classroom has been a site of compromise and negotiation. Teachers and pupils always faced practical restraints which limited the realization of the most idealistic schemes for history teaching.²⁴

‘Ordinary’ Pupils and Social History Social history in schools was consistently linked to average ability and younger pupils in mid-twentieth-century Britain. As secondary education expanded, the ‘history of everyday life’ was conceived as a suitable social history for ‘ordinary’ pupils (and hence ‘ordinary’ people in society) because it related to everyday experience. The year 1918 saw the passage of an Education Act (the Fisher Act) for England and Wales, which enlarged LEA powers and set the wheels in motion for the expansion of secondary education. Whilst elementary schools still educated 75 per cent of all pupils in England and Wales after 1918, the nature of a new secondary system (referred to as ‘post-primary’) was hotly debated. Reform was limited because the education budget fell victim to staunch austerity measures between the wars, most notably the 1922 ‘Geddes Axe’.²⁵ In the 1920s and 1930s, therefore, state education in England and Wales was basically elementary until the ages of twelve to fourteen, with the provision of secondary education varying dramatically between regions.²⁶ The 1944 Education Act (the Butler Act) mandated that all English and Welsh LEAs had to provide a variety of secondary educational provision and abolished fees in the (secondary) grammar schools. Most (although not all) LEAs responded by implementing a tripartite or bipartite

²⁴ Cf. E. A. Fulton, ‘Freedom in the Teaching of History: A Discussion’, History, 13 (1928), pp. 118 25. ²⁵ D. W. Dean, ‘H. A. L. Fisher, Reconstruction and the Development of the 1918 Education Act’, British Journal of Educational Studies, 18 (1970), pp. 259 76; H. Dent, ‘To Cover the Country with Good Schools: A Century’s Effort’, British Journal of Educational Studies, 19 (1971), pp. 125 38; Keating, Cannadine, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 64 5. ²⁶ Statistical analysis shows schools slowly and patchily reorganized from the mid 1920s. The number of senior departments grew by 2,425 between 1927 and 1938 but the overall percentage of children in reorganized secondary departments or separate secondary schools was only 48.3 per cent by 1938: see B. Simon, The Politics of Educational Reform, 1920 1940 (London, 1974), appendix III, table 8. Reorganization varied substantially when the figures are broken down by region: see appendix III, table 9. Cf. D. Parker, ‘ “Not worth spending money upon”: The Demand for Variety and Parity in Post Primary Educational Provision: The Hertfordshire Experience, 1918 1939’, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 32 (2000), pp. 19 45.

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system and used the ‘eleven-plus’ examination to allocate pupils aged eleven to fifteen into either academic grammar schools, non-academic secondary modern schools, or vocational technical schools. By the late 1950s the precarious grassroots consensus for this system was unravelling, forcing LEAs and eventually politicians of all parties to move towards a comprehensive, non-selective school system.²⁷ Scotland followed a different trajectory. The Education (Scotland) Act of 1918 was a far more robust underpinning for a system of ‘secondary education for all’, raising the school leaving age to fifteen, strengthening the curricular provision of core academic or ‘liberal’ subjects, and enshrining teacher professionalism. The Education (Scotland) Act of 1945 only consolidated these reforms.²⁸ Although tripartism existed, its meaning in practice varied widely according to local conditions. Overall, secondary education in Scotland by the 1950s was already less differentiated and more democratic, making the eventual transition to fully comprehensive schooling less stark.²⁹ History has never been a compulsory school subject. There was no national curriculum until 1988 in England and Wales and there is still no prescribed curriculum in Scotland.³⁰ In the mid-century, LEA-led system, teachers and locality were therefore the most important factors governing the teaching of history. Although teachers were centrally trained, they were rarely schooled specifically in history and much evidence suggests that there was a wide gulf between training recommendations and the realities of classroom practice. A 1907 memo on the teaching of history in training colleges (at a moment when efforts were being made to elevate the teacher-training process) stressed the need to establish a partnership between pupil and teacher, and the power of invoking the ‘humanity’ and ‘picturesqueness’ of history.³¹ In 1933 a survey of history teaching announced: ‘The most important factor in history teaching is the personality of a cultured teacher, free from any control but that of pride in his art.’³² Teachers coveted their freedom, which in some cases allowed space for experimentation and innovation. ²⁷ P. Mandler, ‘Educating the Nation I: Schools’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 24 (2014), pp. 5 28, at pp. 12 14. ²⁸ L. Paterson, ‘The Significance of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918’, Scottish Affairs, 27 (2018), pp. 401 24. ²⁹ L. Paterson, ‘Democracy or Intellect? The Scottish Educational Dilemma of the Twentieth Century’, in The Edinburgh History of Education in Scotland, edited by M. Freeman, R. Anderson, and L. Paterson (Edinburgh, 2015), pp. 226 45. ³⁰ R. Phillips, ‘Contesting the Past, Constructing the Future: History, Identity and Politics in Schools’, British Journal of Educational Studies, 46 (1998), pp. 40 53. Since the 1990s and devolution, Scotland has brought in a series of reforms known as the ‘Curriculum for Excellence’: see S. Wood and F. Payne, ‘The Scottish School History Curriculum and Issues of National Identity’, Curriculum Journal, 10 (1999), pp. 107 21. ³¹ ‘Memo on history in training colleges’, 1907: The National Archives, Kew, London (hereafter TNA), ED 24/479. ³² ‘History Teaching in English Secondary Schools’, History, 18 (1933), pp. 230 5, at p. 231.

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The little history teaching that was occurring during the mid-twentieth century was predominantly delivered by ‘chalk and talk’ methods and with a heavy reliance on (often outdated) textbooks.³³ History teaching was also severely curtailed by poor classroom accommodation and lack of resources. History teaching ‘Suggestions’ issued by the Board of Education were infrequent, and they tended to be idealistic, loosely reflecting, rather than driving, the debates already occurring in professional circles.³⁴ During the 1920s important struggles regarding pay and conditions for teachers were fought in line with hopes for the expansion of secondary education, and teaching remained unique as a majority graduate profession that women had a lot of access to.³⁵ There was also an increasing effort to encourage teacher specialization. Journals marketed to the schoolteacher appeared, such as Teachers World and the New Era, which provided templates for lively lessons with less emphasis on the textbook. However, reports on actual practice remained broadly negative between the wars.³⁶ With the momentous changes that occurred in secondary education in England and Wales after 1944, external examinations in the form of the General Certificate of Education (GCE) began to direct how more school pupils learnt history in the grammar schools.³⁷ However, the un-prescribed and decentralized model remained intact in the English and Welsh secondary modern schools and in many junior secondaries in Scotland until at least the late 1950s.³⁸ The HiEP found that decentralization and teacher autonomy produced a lot of continuity in the teaching of history across the mid-century: the average pupil trawled through a broad and often unsatisfactory chronological sweep of British history, from prehistory to the nineteenth century.³⁹ As such, very few HiEP participants had recollections specific to the teaching of history. The ‘three Rs’ reigned supreme. Typical comments referred to ‘kings, dates & the main events’ and ‘the old traditional Kings, Queens and battles theme’.⁴⁰ Another explained, ‘All I can remember are the Piers Ploughman “textbooks”, they concentrated on medieval social history. Somehow I also learned a bit about Alfred and the cakes, the battle of Hastings, and Henry VIII.’⁴¹ These remarks highlight the relative ³³ Keating, Cannadine, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 43 4. ³⁴ The Board of Education issued circulars on history teaching in 1908, 1923, 1924, and 1932. ³⁵ L. Schwarz, ‘Professions, Elites and Universities in England, 1870 1970’, Historical Journal, 47 (2004), pp. 941 62, at pp. 946 7. ³⁶ For example, see J. A. White, ‘The Board of Education Report on the Teaching of History in London’, History, 12 (1928), pp. 322 8. ³⁷ In 1951 the General Certificate of Education (GCE) in individual subjects at ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level replaced the old School Certificate. Cf. Keating, Cannadine, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 111 17. ³⁸ Cf. V. Brooks, ‘The Role of External Examinations in the Making of Secondary Modern Schools in England 1945 65’, History of Education, 37 (2008), pp. 447 67; G. E. Jones and G. W. Roderick, A History of Education in Wales (Cardiff, 2003), pp. 154 8. ³⁹ Keating, Cannadine, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, p. 227. ⁴⁰ ‘Pupils born 1910s 1940s: aids to lessons’, n.d.: HiEP, RM/P20/HiE4; BE/P19/HiE55. ⁴¹ ‘Pupil survey: John Pollock’, 19 December 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/3.

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futility of focusing solely on the content of formal history teaching in schools found in textbooks and readers. Questions over methods of teaching, noting the ways in which historical knowledge of the everyday environment seeped into many other areas of formal education, are much more revealing. The central tension point with regards to method was whether to teach history chronologically or via topics. This debate has reoccurred, in different guises, across the whole twentieth century. Foreign imports, such as the European philosophies of Froebel and Montessori and the American ‘Dalton Laboratory’ method, were taken up in the more affluent environment of independent schools.⁴² In 1939 M. V. C. Jeffreys published his manual on history teaching by ‘lines of development’, perhaps the most influential mid-century methodology for topic teaching.⁴³ ‘Lines of development’ taught themes (such as money) by beginning with a plain object or concept familiar to the child (like a stone) and escalated outwards via coins, exchange notes, eventually arriving at complex subjects such as the historical development of the stock exchange and the institution of the Bank of England.⁴⁴ One HiEP correspondent fondly remembered learning through this method in a London primary school between the wars, reflecting that ‘It was all down to earth—it was my ancestors’ History.’⁴⁵ Chronological teaching was traditionalist and more likely to cover political and constitutional affairs with an emphasis on dates and events. Topic teaching was the innovation, conceived with the pedagogical needs of children in mind, and the content more often contained social and economic history in various forms. Although a traditional chronological framework remained intact, more ‘social’ topics were gradually being included. By 1964 one practitioner summarized the twentieth-century position as follows: The interest shifted to the ordinary people: their lives and struggles and their collective impact on the course of events. Even they were seen as, essentially, the product of their conditions which, in turn, were shaped by what it became fashionable to call ‘underlying trends’, for example economic pressures, social factors, scientific and technical progress and cultural developments. The recog nition of the significance of these trends challenged the traditional syllabus, which had for so long been monopolized by political and military matters and the kings, ministers, or generals who conducted them.⁴⁶

⁴² See, for example, C. Watkins, ‘Inventing International Citizenship: Badminton School and the Progressive Tradition between the Wars’, History of Education, 36 (2007), pp. 315 38. Cf. V. Davis, The Matter and Method of Modern Teaching (London, 1928), p. 323; C. K. F. Brown, The History Room (London, 1931), p. 14. ⁴³ M. V. C. Jeffreys, History in Schools: A Study of Development (London, 1939). ⁴⁴ B. Endersby to J. Keating, 26 April 2010: HiEP, HEP/5/8. ⁴⁵ ‘Pupil survey: Ernest William Endersby’, 17 December 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/3. ⁴⁶ P. Carpenter, History Teaching: The Era Approach (Cambridge, 1964), p. 17.

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In 1928 F. J. Gould linked a nascent and positive shift in British methods of teaching history to J. R. Green’s Short History of the English People (1874): ‘its human and social picturesqueness, its sense of continual ethical movement, and its most skillful presentation of the national literature as an integral element of English experience and aspiration’.⁴⁷ These nineteenth-century populist roots buttressed assumptions that the aesthetic and experiential elements of history would appeal to ordinary pupils in the formal mass education system. In a series of interviews with grammar school history teachers conducted in 1965–6, Martin Booth found that social history was typically stressed in the first three years of secondary schooling. One teacher remarked: ‘Social history is what people in the lower school can most easily comprehend. It is more or less within their own experience.’ Booth also highlighted the malleability of what was meant by teaching ‘social history’. It was not necessarily consciously socialistic, rather ‘a reflection of the broad interpretation of the world’.⁴⁸ The ‘history of everyday life’ injected the ‘human and social picturesqueness’ for those pupils deemed in need of it, whether younger or less intelligent. What intellectual groundwork lay beneath this idea of ‘modern’ education for ordinary pupils? The Board of Education Consultative Committee’s 1926 report on The Education of the Adolescent, known as the Hadow Report, was issued on 16 December 1926 and addressed the question of education beyond the age of eleven for the majority of the population in England and Wales, but crucially not those within the ‘grammar’ school system.⁴⁹ Its central recommendations were the clear division of primary and secondary education with a break at the age of eleven or twelve, and the raising of the school leaving age to fifteen (not actually implemented until 1947).⁵⁰ But the Hadow Report was also significant because it offered the first clear articulation of the ‘modern’ pupil type. Hadow’s fourth chapter, ‘Curricula for Modern Schools and Senior Classes’, recognized the ‘need of bringing the curriculum into relation with local conditions’, a tendency that the committee saw developing organically already. The subjects studied should be the same as in the secondary ‘grammar’ schools, only for the ‘modern’ pupil they needed to be more closely related to the ‘living texture of industrial or commercial or rural life’.⁵¹ The local environment was a crucial medium, particularly for nonacademic pupils:

⁴⁷ F. J. Gould, ‘Transformations in History Teaching’, History, 13 (1928), pp. 232 8. ⁴⁸ M. Booth, History Betrayed? (Harlow, 1969), p. 19. ⁴⁹ Board of Education, The Education of the Adolescent (the Hadow Report) (London, 1926). For background information on the Hadow committee, see Simon, The Politics of Educational Reform, pp. 125 32. ⁵⁰ Hadow Report, pp. xix xxii. Cf. G. McCulloch, T. Woodin, and S. Cowan, Secondary Education and the Raising of the School Leaving Age: Coming of Age? (Basingstoke, 2013), pp. 58 69. ⁵¹ Hadow Report, pp. 107, xx.

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We regard it as most important that in Modern Schools and Senior Classes the teaching in several subjects of the curriculum should have throughout the course some relation to the local environment, and should be bought into close associ ation with the every day surroundings of the pupils. This will secure their interest and shew[sic] them the bearing of the teaching upon the facts of their every day life.⁵²

Two further documents following the Hadow Report framed the development of secondary education in England and Wales down to 1965. Published in 1938, the Spens Report built on the Hadow Report’s construction of the ‘modern’ contingent through dismissing the option of ‘multilateral’ (or comprehensive) schools and defining the grammar school curriculum as discrete and separate.⁵³ The Spens Report was eclipsed by the events of the Second World War and by the ideas of the 1943 Norwood Report, which was foundational to the 1944 Education Act. As Gary McCulloch has shown, the Norwood Report further entrenched the grammar school’s right to the ‘liberal’ academic curriculum, whilst remaining vague on other forms of secondary education.⁵⁴ Both the Spens and the Norwood Reports left the Hadow principles on the purposes and aims of secondary education for ‘modern’ pupils in England and Wales intact. Underpinning all of this was the powerful professional discourse of educational psychology, highly influential by mid-century. The psychological codification of average ability, measured through standardized testing, reinforced the idea that education should be adapted to how ‘modern’ or ‘ordinary’ pupils engaged with different subjects.⁵⁵ Lindsay Paterson has convincingly argued that this bipartite curricular divide between ‘ordinary’ and academic pupils was more fragile in Scotland.⁵⁶ Following the 1707 Acts of Union, Scotland’s retention of its distinctive education system remained a key aspect of national and cultural autonomy. Structurally, Scotland had a long tradition of omnibus (i.e. comprehensive) schools and after the Second World War fewer secondary schools in Scotland were separated between junior and senior (i.e. secondary modern and grammar) schools. Even those, mostly urban junior secondaries, that did function as a separate school offered a threeyear course that loosely adhered to the Scots tradition of liberal universalism. By

⁵² Hadow Report, p. 118. ⁵³ Board of Education, Report of the Consultative Committee on Secondary Education with Special Reference to Grammar Schools and Technical High Schools (the Spens Report) (London, 1938), pp. xix xx. ⁵⁴ G. McCulloch, Cyril Norwood and the Ideal of Secondary Education (Basingstoke, 2007), pp. 150 6. ⁵⁵ G. Sutherland and S. Sharp, Ability, Merit and Measurement: Mental Testing and English Education 1880 1940 (Oxford, 1984), pp. 128 30, 145 62. ⁵⁶ Paterson, ‘Democracy or Intellect?’

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1963, 51 per cent of the 744 secondary schools in Scotland were providing examination courses.⁵⁷ Paterson has also shown that there was an ideological bulwark against differentiation in the Scottish system: the ideal of the ‘democratic intellect’, which was bolstered by the recommendation for a common curriculum in the Education (Scotland) Act of 1918.⁵⁸ In Scotland the ‘liberal’ curriculum was modernized during the 1920s and 1930s as a route to widening educational access. The subject of English, which included a literary form of history, became the basis of academic secondary education in Scotland between the wars, with effects lasting up to the 1970s.⁵⁹ ‘Ordinary’ school pupils in Scotland were therefore not subject to exactly the same assumptions, derived from the Hadow Report, as their English and Welsh peers. But, as we will see, organic connections between pedagogical ideas of ‘ordinariness’ and everyday knowledge still occurred, flavoured by Scottish local and regional traditions highly compatible with the ‘history of everyday life’. Aware of these differences north of the border, some English reformers and educationists were suspicious of inter-war recommendations for ‘modern’ pupils. Critics feared that denying working-class pupils (by which they primarily meant working-class boys) access to the prestigious ‘liberal’ curriculum was tantamount to sacrificing them to manual work. The Hadow Report therefore recommended that ‘liberal’ education should be adapted for ‘modern’ pupils, that learning ‘will be more widely diffused than the desire to acquire book-knowledge and to master generalisations and abstract ideas’.⁶⁰ The Report could not commit to vocational education proper as the alternative, due to the presence of committee members such as R. H. Tawney and Albert Mansbridge, both working-class education activists. In 1922 Tawney published Secondary Education for All, a statement of the parliamentary Labour Party’s educational policy. Critical of progress since 1918, the pamphlet argued forcefully for the division of primary and secondary education and for the universal provision of the latter. As a committed socialist, Tawney presented these policies as part of the collective and emancipatory class struggle. But he still endorsed a liberal and organic system of mass secondary education based on cultivating the individual interests of children and the ‘varying social traditions, moral atmospheres, and economic conditions of different localities’.⁶¹ Tawney’s doctrine could therefore be read as endorsing the casual links being made between ‘ordinary’ pupils and teaching methods built around ‘concrete things and situations’.⁶² For leftists (Tawney onside), negotiating the ⁵⁷ Scottish Education Department, Education in Scotland in 1963 (Edinburgh, 1964), p. 115. ⁵⁸ Paterson, ‘The Significance of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918’. ⁵⁹ L. Paterson, ‘The Modernising of the Democratic Intellect: The Role of English in Scottish Secondary Education, 1900 1939’, Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 24 (2004), pp. 45 79. ⁶⁰ Hadow Report, p. 108. ⁶¹ R. H. Tawney, Secondary Education for All: A Policy for Labour (London, 1922), pp. 33, 28. ⁶² Hadow Report, p. 108. Cf. L. Goldman, The Life of R. H. Tawney: Socialism and History (London, 2013), pp. 203 5.

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paradox of fostering individualism and collective uplift was the major educational challenge of mid-twentieth-century Britain. Teaching the ‘history of everyday life’ using the methods of progressive education helped to contain the paradox. Progressive education refers to a contradictory coalition of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century pedagogical theories and practices that were eventually combined with educational psychology in the early twentieth century.⁶³ Progressive education is usually associated with social justice and the left. However, a recent history of mid-twentieth-century progressive education by Laura Tisdall has challenged this orthodoxy. Tisdall argues that progressive education was not ‘child-centred’ in practice, since its foundations in developmental psychology imposed a rigid set of rules on children and adolescents, dictating how they ought to think, behave, and learn. Moreover, it was only ever ‘half-implemented’ in English and Welsh schools due to teacher resistance. A Progressive Education? ultimately concludes that this awkward compromise disempowered and stigmatized those young people who were not able-bodied, white, male citizens-in-the-making.⁶⁴ This book takes a similar critical and revisionist stance towards mid-century progressive education in its application to the teaching of history, although we will be moving well beyond the school classroom and finding more ambivalence in the social and personal effects of the ‘history of everyday life’. Yet Tisdall’s identification of contradictions in ‘child-centred’ education when applied to the needs of the ‘non-academic child’ are vital to understanding how the ‘history of everyday life’ was pedagogically constructed.⁶⁵ The ‘history of everyday life’ appealed to individual faculties associated with the ordinary child (practical, aesthetic, emotional), but it also conjured non-elite, workaday, narratives that satisfied the social-democratic impulses operating right across Britain’s educational landscape. Moreover, when history teaching via progressive methods is considered in practice, the ideological and structural differences between Scottish and English and Welsh education begin to blur. The developmental psychology underpinnings of progressive education that operationalized the ‘history of everyday life’ gained much traction in Scottish settings.⁶⁶ Progressive methods of history teaching often forewent the history textbook altogether, advocating handwork, drama, and the use of illustrative material such as maps and lantern slides.⁶⁷ J. P. Lund, headmaster of Heywood Central School in Lancashire, devised a ten-part course entitled ‘The Practical Subjects from a New ⁶³ P. Cunningham, Curriculum Change in the Primary School since 1945: Dissemination of the Progressive Ideal (London; New York, 1988). ⁶⁴ L. Tisdall, A Progressive Education? How Childhood Changed in Mid Twentieth Century English and Welsh Schools (Manchester, 2019). ⁶⁵ Tisdall, A Progressive Education?, pp. 15, 33 4. ⁶⁶ Scottish Education Department, Junior Secondary Education (Edinburgh, 1955). ⁶⁷ See, for example, H. Finlay Johnson, The Dramatic Method of Teaching (London, 1911); E. L. Hasluck, The Teaching of History (Cambridge, 1920); F. E. Parker, History and Handwork for

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Angle’, which was serialized in 1930 in Teachers World. He championed the history of science as a suitable combination of the academic and the practical. In dealing with children whose next step would undoubtedly be ‘to enter the ranks of the wage-earners’, Lund asserted that ‘the purpose of history teaching should be to explain things as they are to-day’.⁶⁸ The history master at Stockton Secondary School for boys explained how his previous experience in the army had enabled him to understand ‘what historical studies might be expected to appeal to the ordinary mind’. He aimed to establish older boys’ interest in things that could be followed up after leaving school by teaching topics from local examples such as castles and tapestries.⁶⁹ Another correspondent to History likewise cited his military encounters with ‘ordinary men’ as providing insight into secondary education, suggesting that each historical period should be taught only in relation to ‘human interest’, in lieu of recounting dates and events.⁷⁰ Equally, an article published in 1940 echoed Hadow by calling for history teaching ‘directly and concretely related to the interests and environment of the child’. This would involve focusing on social movements and events whose roots could be shown to have a direct impact on pupils’ everyday lives. The tumult of wartime, the author argued, rendered this easier than ever.⁷¹ This handful of examples highlights the striking consistency in approaches to teaching history to ordinary pupils in schools. This chapter now turns to explore three more specific themes, in order to explain why the ‘history of everyday life’ became the perfect ally to this pedagogical thinking.

From the International to the Local In the aftermath of the First World War, tension arose over the place of national history in the classroom. Its detractors presented an internationalist history as the progressive alternative.⁷² In April 1919 a conference called by the President of the Board of Education, H. A. L. Fisher, was held on history teaching. The minutes made it clear that ‘it was necessary to adjust the teaching of History to the altered [political and educational] situation’. The war had made the necessity of teaching European and colonial history ‘obvious’.⁷³ By contrast, school history in Germany Young Children Aged 7 to 9 (London, 1925); R. R. Reid, ‘The Exeter Exhibition of Handwork Illustrative of History’, History, 8 (1923), pp. 111 14. ⁶⁸ J. P. Lund, ‘The Practical Subjects from a New Angle’, Teachers World, 26 February 14 May 1930, ‘Science and History’, 23 April 1930, p. 152. ⁶⁹ G. G. Armstrong, ‘The Teaching of History in Stockton Secondary School for Boys’, History, 24 (1939), pp. 113 20. ⁷⁰ Lieut A. H. Hanson, ‘Why Do We Study History?’, History, 30 (1945), pp. 177 80. ⁷¹ D. Roland, ‘History Teaching in War Time’, History, 25 (1940), pp. 44 5. ⁷² Cf. Keating, Cannadine, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 70 7. ⁷³ ‘Report on the conference on the teaching of history’, April 1919: TNA, ED 24/1680, pp. 7 8.

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was labelled ‘the slave of Jingoism’.⁷⁴ (The spectre of German nationalism would re-emerge from the later 1930s when the ‘Nazi falsification of history’ was again a useful foil in arguments for democratic history teaching in Britain.)⁷⁵ The teaching of ‘world history’ was propagated by many as an antidote to the mistakes of prewar practices.⁷⁶ Other influential voices remained cautious. For example, in 1923, the medievalist T. F. Tout feared that ‘the “patriotic bias” of the past is to be corrected by an anti-patriotic bias that shows our country to be nearly always wrong’.⁷⁷ These now very familiar battlelines framed an ongoing conversation which, perhaps surprisingly, led to a place for the ‘history of everyday life’ in school history teaching. The League of Nations was central to the promotion of internationalist history in the classroom as part of a push to educate citizens for a more peaceful future. This was a policy pursued via the League’s cultural arm and engine of the British peace movement, the League of Nations Union.⁷⁸ A survey of the League and schools in March 1932 optimistically stated that ‘even the apathetic teacher who follows textbooks automatically will find himself encouraged to give League instruction, whether he mentions the fact in his syllabus or not’. The same pamphlet made clear the close links between League instruction and progressive methods.⁷⁹ But how far the League of Nations was taught in history lessons remained a matter of teacher choice. Aside from some committed internationalist activists (many of whom were women), teachers remained fiercely opposed to ‘politics in the schoolroom’; they did not wish to teach a distinct separate lesson on the League.⁸⁰ Empire stood Janus-faced in this debate. The League of Nations Union made the newly coined Commonwealth central to its project of ‘enlightened patriotism’. Advocates sought to accommodate existing facets of domestic imperial culture (including quasi-militaristic public ritual) into internationalist citizenship, and thus promoted the teaching of imperial history in relation to trade and

⁷⁴ ‘The Effect of the War on the Teaching of History’, History, 3 (1918), pp. 10 24, at p. 16. ⁷⁵ W. H. Burston, ‘The Contribution of History to Education in Citizenship’, History, 33 (1948), pp. 226 40, at p. 235. ⁷⁶ G. M. Morse, ‘The Teaching of World History’, History, 4 (1920), pp. 208 10. ⁷⁷ T. F. Tout, ‘The Place of the Middle Ages in the Teaching of History’, History, 8 (1923), pp. 1 18, at p. 3. ⁷⁸ H. McCarthy, The British People and the League of Nations: Democracy, Citizenship and Internationalism c.1918 45 (Manchester, 2011), pp. 109 17. ⁷⁹ Board of Education, Educational Pamphlet No. 90 Report on the Instruction of the Young in the Aims and Achievements of the League of Nations (London, 1932), p. 12. McCarthy found that no fewer than 164 LEAs by the late 1920s were instructing schools to mention or include the League in Empire Day activities; McCarthy, The British People, p. 104. ⁸⁰ Board of Education, Educational Pamphlet No. 90, pp. 8 10. Cf. D. S. Birn, The League of Nations Union 1918 1945 (Oxford, 1981), p. 139; ‘Notes and News’, History, 9 (1924), pp. 43 5; ‘Notes and News’, History, 12 (1927), p. 236; J. W. Herbert, ‘Freedom in the Teaching of History: A Discussion’, History, 18 (1934), pp. 330 9, at p. 334.

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transnational cooperation.⁸¹ On the other hand, the spectacle of empire was a powerful tool for nationalists seeking to reinforce racial hierarchies, seen in the 1924 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, which was attended by approximately 5 million schoolchildren.⁸² Peter Yeandle’s study of school history teaching between 1870 and 1930 argues that the latter prevailed, and that the core values of late-Victorian imperial history teaching remained in place after the First World War precisely because they had always been more subtle than aggressive propagandist imperialism.⁸³ A more recent study of ‘Britishness’ in Canadian and Australian education by Stephen Jackson, also using textbooks, argues that a version of this white imperial citizenship lasted in Britain’s former ‘settler’ colonies well into the 1960s.⁸⁴ But as ever, the HA and history teachers in Britain were suspicious of both ideologies and their encroachment on the teaching of history in the classroom.⁸⁵ A 1933 commentary delicately conveyed the general mood: ‘The general public expects its children to learn the outlines of English History, while the more enlightened demand also European and a certain stress on social history.’⁸⁶ Prominent historians allied to the pacifist cause including Eileen Power, G. P. Gooch, H. G. Wells, and F. S. Marvin (a former schools inspector and stalwart HA member) lent academic credibility to the League’s efforts to enter the school classroom. They ran lecture series and summer schools, and wrote and published influential history textbooks.⁸⁷ They stressed the advance of civilization and the inherent unity of mankind, underpinned by Eurocentric assumptions about what it meant to achieve progress. Marvin’s The Living Past, already published by OUP (Clarendon) in 1913, was the archetype, and continued to sell well into the 1920s. For Marvin, the advance of science and technology was central to the growth of a common humanity, rather than political decisions and institutions.⁸⁸ H. G. Wells told Teachers World in 1930: ⁸¹ McCarthy, The British People, pp. 137 49. ⁸² I. Grosvenor, ‘Teaching the Empire: The Weekly Bulletin of Empire Study and the British Empire Exhibition, London, 1924’, in Modelling the Future: Exhibitions and the Materiality of Education, edited by M. Lawn (Oxford, 2009), pp. 107 27. ⁸³ Yeandle, Citizenship, Nation, Empire. ⁸⁴ S. Jackson, Constructing National Identity in Canadian and Australian Classrooms: The Crown of Education (Basingstoke, 2018). ⁸⁵ Cf. C. H. K. Marten, ‘The Board of Education Report on the Teaching of History’, History, 9 (1924), pp. 30 40. ⁸⁶ ‘History Teaching in English Secondary Schools’, p. 231. ⁸⁷ E. Power, A Bibliography for Teachers of History (London, 1921); G. P. Gooch, The Unity of Civilisation (London, 1924); H. G. Wells, The Outline of History (London, 1920); F. S. Marvin, The Unity Series IV: The Evolution of World Peace (London, 1921). Cf. McCarthy, The British People, pp. 106 7, 117 23; M. Berg, A Woman in History: Eileen Power, 1889 1940 (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 232 4. ⁸⁸ F. S. Marvin, The Living Past: A Sketch of Western Progress (Oxford, 1913); Humphrey Milford to OUP Secretary, 28 September 1923: Oxford University Press Archives, Oxford (hereafter OUPA), Humphrey Milford Letter Book no. 114. Cf. Quennells, Everyday Things Vol. 1, p. 153; Everyday Things Vol. 3, p. 171; M. and C. H. B. Quennell, Everyday Life in the Old Stone Age (London, 1921), p. 97.

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. . . it is possible to teach history in such a manner that, instead of presenting life as a drama, a competitive drama, in which nations as principals strut the stage, we can present it as the great adventure of the whole human species.⁸⁹

A response to Wells’s well-publicized criticisms of history teaching came from a London Chief Education Officer, who used the example of cooperation between the League of Nations Union and Welsh education authorities to suggest that some modest progress was under way to counteract the dangers of nationalism.⁹⁰ Moreover, a discussion of the teaching of history at the International Congress of Historical Sciences held in Warsaw in August 1933 confirmed the ‘universal revolt against purely political history’ amongst internationalists. A session on the inclusion of art history and the history of literature elicited the following response from the British representative: ‘one is so accustomed to the claims of economic and social history that the appeal for the recognition of what may be called the aesthetic aspect of the history of civilisation came as an agreeable change’.⁹¹ The polarization of the 1930s and the advent of the Second World War stabilized the question of history teaching for democratic citizenship, setting the agenda for the post-1945 years.⁹² Reflecting on the implications of the Norwood Report of 1943, S. M. Toyne argued that history teaching as a remedy for future mistakes (internationalist) and as a formula for making ‘good’ British citizens (nationalist) could no longer be regarded as opposing motivations.⁹³ The perceived excesses of both jingoism and internationalism were gradually discarded in favour of the ideals of a ‘militant democracy’.⁹⁴ This ideal accommodated both the anti-fascism and anti-socialism of internationalism and tenets of patriotic nationalism.⁹⁵ For example, in 1948 W. H. Burston saw history as a form of rational training in judgement for the citizen of the modern democratic state.⁹⁶ The debates outlined above are well-tilled ground in the historiography of citizenship, national identity, and imperialism. But these polarized political positions overemphasize the effectiveness of school history as a vehicle for national or ⁸⁹ Wells, ‘ “Elaborate, Bloodstained Twaddle!” ’, p. 41. ⁹⁰ F. Evans, ‘Some Things Mr. Wells Ought to Know’, Teachers World, 8 October 1930, p. 1, 91. Cf. G. T. Hankin, ‘The Poison of History’, History, 23 (1938), pp. 139 40. ⁹¹ G. T. Hankin, ‘The International Study of the Problems of History Teaching’, History, 19 (1934), pp. 30 6, at pp. 33 4. ⁹² R. Muir, ‘The New Era of History’, History, 22 (1938), pp. 289 302. ⁹³ S. M. Toyne, ‘History and the Norwood Report’, History, 29 (1944), pp. 68 71, at p. 70. ⁹⁴ See the debate between Mackie and Marvin in History in 1940 41: J. D. Mackie, ‘The Teaching of History and the War’, History, 25 (1940), pp. 132 42; F. S. Marvin, ‘The Teaching of History and the War’, History, 25 (1941), pp. 344 6. ⁹⁵ C. H. D. Howard, ‘International Understanding and the Teaching of History: A Discussion’, History, 31 (1946), pp. 64 9; UNESCO, History, Geography and Social Studies: A Summary of School Programmes in Fifty Three Countries (Paris, 1953). ⁹⁶ Burston, ‘The Contribution of History to Education in Citizenship’. Burston was influential in the formation of history teacher training at the Institute of Education in London from 1948 to the 1960s: see ‘Transcript of an interview with David Anderson’, 15 June 2009: HiEP, HEP/4/44.

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international identities in the first place.⁹⁷ They must be understood in the context of a wider historical culture, a culture permeated with the ‘history of everyday life’. Internationalist history and the ‘history of everyday life’ were born out of the same post-nationalist impulses of 1918 that undermined a sense of shared national narrative. Both promoted human endeavours over political abstractions and hyperbole. The case for internationalist history was more vocal, but also more suspect because of its overt political aims. The ‘history of everyday life’ was therefore launched into classrooms under the cloak of a vague ‘new’ social history championed by the liberal internationalists. A local ‘history of everyday life’ became the focus of social history teaching emerging from the post-1918 furore because it was far less controversial than the internationalist alternative: its malleable politics suited the mainstream teaching profession. Rather than reworking the history of empire into a palatable story of global community as the internationalists had wanted, the ‘history of everyday life’ whitewashed it in favour of everyday experiences in the metropole that were allegedly untouched by racial and ethnic difference. It is ironic that the version of history that was able to champion the new, post-war values in the classroom was remarkably parochial in comparison to internationalist schemes. Localities, imagined as totally white prior to the advent of post-1945 mass immigration, were concrete, tangible, and accessible. This made them perfectly suited to the burgeoning constituency of ordinary pupils attending school for longer than ever before. This point has perhaps been overlooked because of the casual links made between local history and nineteenth-century antiquarianism.⁹⁸ However, articles published in History across this period demonstrate quite decisively how local history satisfied the preoccupations of modernity and the pedagogical and psychological demands of mass education. In 1917 J. A. White argued for invoking a sense of presentism in the teaching of history via local surroundings: Every railway, every road, every post office, every field and hedgerow, every official title, every religious order, every rate, tithe, tax or rent charge in fact every aspect of national, municipal, and social life has its time of emergence into the historic fabric.⁹⁹

Writing of her experiences to History in 1948, a Dorset schoolteacher argued for local history as the antidote to ‘scorn for a mechanically backward age’.¹⁰⁰ Local history animated the universality of human experience. In a detailed 1933 article ⁹⁷ Keating, Cannadine, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 14 15, cf. p. 230. ⁹⁸ P. Readman, ‘The Place of the Past in English Culture c.1890 1914’, Past & Present, 186 (2005), pp. 147 99. ⁹⁹ J. A. White, ‘The Teaching of History: In Elementary Schools’, History, 2 (1917), pp. 153 8, at p. 158. ¹⁰⁰ P. J. Staples, ‘Another Plea for Local History’, History, 33 (1948), pp. 127 8.

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on the subject, J. B. Plymouth advocated visiting the local parish church for its ‘historical value’, and studying the archaeology of the district to reveal ‘unwritten chapters of history’.¹⁰¹ If pupils could develop a visual awareness of the physical representations of the past around them, connecting to this what is inherited physically in the immediate environment in their locality, perhaps they could understand the national story more clearly. He explained: I think it is in the teaching of local history that we have the best opportunity of correcting the delusion that human progress is to be measured in terms of material advance. National history is, almost inevitably, mainly the records of the doings of exceptional men; it is in local history that we touch the lives and doings of ordinary men and women like ourselves . . .¹⁰²

The HiEP captured a few inter-war memories of this mode of local learning. One participant, who attended schools in Derbyshire and Manchester in the 1930s and 1940s, remembered fairly traditional history teaching but conflated her learning experiences with a broader sense of the local and political environment. She linked her knowledge of the Industrial Revolution to her proximity to Cromford Mill, an eighteenth-century cotton mill developed by Richard Arkwright. She wrote: ‘I wonder now if they were a little left wing as social history (Lord Shaftesbury) figures large in my memories. I remember we had debates in class about current topics.’¹⁰³ With such limited and subjective evidence, definite assertions are unobtainable. The majority of social history teaching in Britain between the wars was, most likely, abstract and absorbed into a bigger national, political story. However, it is clear that during this early period of the ‘working out’ of secondary education, foundations were being laid to connect history teaching with everyday concerns that easily bled into the local environment. Even less is known about what was taught and how it was taught in secondary modern schools from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s, although it has been well documented that these schools were under-resourced and poorly staffed.¹⁰⁴ Following an early period of experimentalism, secondary moderns typically became more formalized as the 1950s drew on.¹⁰⁵ In 1952 Harold Dent toured secondary modern schools in England and Wales. His survey found that about one third of the schools considered were doing either ‘good original work’ (group one) or ‘sound work showing touches of originality’ (group two). He repeated his ¹⁰¹ J. H. B. Plymouth, ‘The Teaching of Local History’, History, 18 (1933), pp. 1 10, at pp. 3 5. Cf. E. C. Walker, History Teaching for To Day (London, 1935). ¹⁰² Plymouth, ‘The Teaching of Local History’, pp. 9 10. ¹⁰³ ‘Pupil survey: Enid Deeble’, 23 April 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3. ¹⁰⁴ G. McCulloch and L. Sobell, ‘Towards a Social History of the Secondary Modern Schools’, History of Education, 23 (1994), pp. 275 86. ¹⁰⁵ L. Carter, ‘ “Experimental” Secondary Modern Education in Britain, 1948 1958’, Cultural and Social History, 13 (2016), pp. 23 41.

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enquiries in 1956, finding that 16 per cent of the schools he surveyed were by then in group one, and 36 per cent in group two; 43 per cent of schools, however, were still doing ‘sound but unremarkable work’, and 5 per cent ‘definitely poor work’.¹⁰⁶ Dent and other contemporaries paid lengthy homage to the inter-war progressive movement in the making of the secondary modern school.¹⁰⁷ Laura Tisdall’s study also found that ‘child-centred’ or progressive education was central to secondary modern pedagogical practice between the 1940s and the 1960s, and that these philosophies actually gave secondary modern schools ‘a positive rationale for their existence’.¹⁰⁸ Despite being the rallying cry of leftist educational reformers, ‘childcentred’ methods that emphasized the intelligibility of the immediate local environment clearly limited the scope of pupils’ learning experience.¹⁰⁹ As we will see in the final chapter of this book, this limitation came to be contested in the altered social environment of the 1970s comprehensive school. Yet, these arguments underscore why the ‘history of everyday life’ had a strong appeal in the secondary moderns. It kept history grounded in self-centred narratives of local historical explanation. In 1964, former secondary modern and grammar school history teacher Peter Carpenter published a guide to history teaching called The Era Approach. Carpenter’s aim was to update and reform Jeffreys’ ‘lines of development’ in light of his experience and the social change that had occurred since the 1930s.¹¹⁰ Carpenter presented a more balanced approach to the limitations posed by a purely environmental approach to history teaching. He argued that stimulating ‘the imaginative faculty’ in children actually allowed ‘their range of experiences to be extended’. He continued: Whenever possible, the attempt should be made to link imaginative experiences with experiences of everyday life and to follow up any clue which the local and social environment may offer for exploring the past. The importance of using the familiar as the point of departure cannot be overstressed. But to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else would be a mistake.¹¹¹

In their study, Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon emphasized material constraints, the threat of history being ‘watered down’, and the variety of experiences contingent on individual teachers in secondary moderns.¹¹² The evidence suggests ¹⁰⁶ H. Dent, Secondary Modern Schools: An Interim Report (London, 1958), pp. 13 14. Cf. J. A. Russell, ‘Survey of the Junior Secondary School’, Scottish Educational Journal, 40 (1957), pp. 724 5. ¹⁰⁷ Dent, Secondary Modern Schools, p. 8. Cf. W. Taylor, The Secondary Modern School (London, 1963), p. 91. ¹⁰⁸ Tisdall, A Progressive Education?, p. 177. ¹⁰⁹ Cf. Tisdall, A Progressive Education?, pp. 122, 181 3. ¹¹⁰ Carpenter, History Teaching, preface. Cf. ‘Teacher survey: Peter Carpenter’, 13 January 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/2. ¹¹¹ Carpenter, History Teaching, p. 5. Cf. Booth, History Betrayed?, pp. 98 115. ¹¹² Keating, Cannadine, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 132 6.

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that these factors all plainly bolstered the teaching of local ‘histories of everyday life’. A HiEP participant who attended a secondary modern school followed by a grammar school between 1946 and 1955 described how the contrast between freedom and exam-learning affected his ability to enjoy history lessons in the grammar school.¹¹³ One 1950s secondary modern teacher, with a special interest in teaching less able pupils, explained that if a teacher happened to have a knowledge of history that went wider than the textbook, real interest could be aroused using new methods. ‘I found the best way was to make people live and encourage pupils to use their imagination. These might be real people like Florence Nightingale or an imaginary medieval peasant living in their village.’ He further explained the importance of school trips (‘to a ruined monastery or abbey’) and ‘the need of original documents as stimulus’ to teach social and economic history, but both required resources.¹¹⁴ Another HiEP participant who taught in secondary moderns put her approach to her history curriculum plainly: ‘Purely on local history as it affected our lives and what had gone before.’¹¹⁵ A further teacher recalled teaching courses on ‘Famous people’ interspersed with topics on ‘earning one’s living’ and local studies illustrated by school trips.¹¹⁶ Such activities were foreshadowed in a 1949 Ministry of Education documentary called Near Home, which featured secondary modern pupils in Bishop Auckland carrying out a local study through a combination of experiential learning (for example, talking to a local farmer) and studying local library books.¹¹⁷ At another secondary modern school in Derbyshire, the Head of History found himself in charge of the ‘Newsom Group’ in the 1960s. The group derived its name from the 1963 Newsom Report, which had considered the present state and future of secondary education for the majority of ordinary, non-academic pupils, or, as the report introduced them: ‘half the citizens of this country, half the workers, half the mothers and fathers and half the consumers’.¹¹⁸ At the Derbyshire school these teenagers were considered incapable of taking exams and were persistently truant, thus their history teacher recalled, ‘I had to turn that around, and make them feel that there was somebody.’ He designed a special course in English, Maths, Geography, and History. The history was ‘nearly all social, social history, particularly change. The changes that had come in [the town], things like that, what had happened since their grandparents . . . ’ The aim of the course was to ¹¹³ ‘Pupil survey: David Newham’, 13 December 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/3. ¹¹⁴ ‘Teacher survey: Roy Lewis’, 26 September 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2. ¹¹⁵ ‘Teacher survey: Margot Hutchinson’, 4 December 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2. ¹¹⁶ ‘Teacher survey: Henrik John Bernard Murden’, 30 May 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2. ¹¹⁷ K. Mander, ‘Near Home’ (1949), BFI Player, North East Film Archive [https://player.bfi.org.uk/ free/film/watch near home 1949 online], accessed 1 August 2020. ¹¹⁸ Ministry of Education, Half Our Future (the Newsom Report) (London, 1963). Cf. G. McCulloch, Failing the Ordinary Child? The Theory and Practice of Working Class Secondary Education (Buckingham, 1998).

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boost the pupils’ morale and self-worth through practical tasks that rooted them in their locality.¹¹⁹ Examples of the ‘history of everyday life’ in Scotland must be understood as operating within the stronger Scottish tradition of universalism. The work of Aberdonian educationist Robert Frazer Mackenzie is illustrative of this. Mackenzie’s philosophy was nourished in part by English utopian thinking, but he also believed in and saw himself as an example of the ‘democratic intellect’ ideal.¹²⁰ He hoped that progressive educational methods might help blend practical and academic education and thus expand opportunities within the state education system in Scotland.¹²¹ Mackenzie first put his ideas into practice as headteacher of Braehead Junior Secondary School in Fife during the 1950s. Mackenzie introduced democratic elements to school governance, allowing pupils to make their own decisions about school punishment and policy.¹²² He also strongly favoured experimentalism, outdoor education, and regionalism, which led directly to ‘histories of everyday life’. In 1956 Mackenzie participated in a film about junior secondary education in Scotland showing pupils undertaking a local history study: ‘they visited old buildings, questioned parents and grandparents, looked up library books, and drew and painted fast disappearing landmarks’.¹²³ In a similar vein, from the 1960s the Saltire Society ran an award open to junior secondary or non-certificate pupils recognizing projects reflecting ‘the Scottish tradition or life in Scotland today’. Examples of school projects entered in 1965 included a puppet-show reconstruction of the Battle of the North Inch in Perth and a study of traditional dairy farming and cookery (for girls) in Argyll and Bute. Projects required pupils to ‘delve deep into local history’. Another Lanarkshire local study focused on ‘what it’s like to live and work in this area’ and it encompassed historical and topographical studies of local industries.¹²⁴ Despite being framed by Scottish cultural nationalism, these activities were grounded in the practicalities of local, everyday life, and were targeted at ordinary pupils. In this mid-century, decentralized education system, local identities were just as

¹¹⁹ Interview with Anon 2, 22 February 2019. This interview is one of a series of interviews with teachers, conducted for Chapter 6. See the Appendix of this book for further information on these interviews. ¹²⁰ R. F. Mackenzie, A Question of Living: Common Humanity and Public Education (London, 1963). ¹²¹ W. Humes, ‘R. F. Mackenzie’s “Manifesto for the Educational Revolution” ’, Scottish Educational Review, 43 (2011), pp. 56 72; P. Murphy, ‘The Legacy of R. F. Mackenzie’, Scottish Educational Review, 37 (2005), pp. 175 81. ¹²² ‘Minutes of Braehead School Council’, 1957 61: Fife Archives, Glenrothes, 4/14/3/1; 4/14/3/2. I would like to thank Chris Jeppesen for providing access to these sources. ¹²³ W. J. Maclean, ‘Learning for Living: The Junior Secondary School in Scotland’ (1956), National Library of Scotland, Moving Image Archive [https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/0416], accessed 1 August 2020. ¹²⁴ D. Gray, ‘Saltire Schools Project’ (1965), National Library of Scotland, Moving Image Archive [https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/3883], accessed 1 August 2020.

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prominent in Scotland as in England, and localness stood at the heart of the ‘history of everyday life’.

Visual Histories A second theme that made the ‘history of everyday life’ particularly useful for teaching ordinary pupils was a new emphasis on the visual. The HA sought to regulate the illustrations used in school history lessons, pushing for visual learning intelligible in relation to the everyday environment. The history teaching profession was turning decidedly away from ‘romantic’ illustrations and towards a visual history that was technically accurate and utilized technology. ‘Imaginative illustrations’ were deemed to be of ‘no special value’.¹²⁵ The shift from the historical ‘reader’ of the Victorian period to the modern textbook was enhanced in the 1920s with the work of the HA’s Illustrations Committee, established in 1909. Its chief activities were the production of leaflets and assembling collections of visual teaching resources (available on loan from the HA) and liaising with publishers on the quality of historical illustration.¹²⁶ In 1922 the Illustrations Committee discussed ‘the future and function of Historical Readers’, and it was widely agreed that the ‘History Reader’ should be ‘abandoned’, and replaced with a textbook ‘written in an interesting style’.¹²⁷ The committee reviewed a variety of sets of illustrations and following a discussion with the London County Council (LCC) in 1923 it produced a definite list of subjects suitable for ‘wall pictures’ in the classroom. Accuracy and realism reigned. The list was comprised largely of reproductions of famous works of art (for example, Holbein’s depiction of Sir Thomas More and family), and pictures of buildings through time, with specified locations.¹²⁸ A memorandum on the provision of History books for elementary schools, forwarded to the Board of Education in 1927, urged that all teaching resources needed to be accompanied by pictorial examples as a necessity. The same memo made explicit the point of recognizing the difference in material used ‘for the slow children and for the quick, for those from poor homes and for those from better ones’.¹²⁹ By 1930, the committee had published a list, aiming to help schools to find good material at small cost. The pamphlet affirmed that ‘new “Modern” schools will contain children to whom the visual appeal is far stronger and more permanent ¹²⁵ ‘Short Notices’, History, 3 (1918), p. 124. Cf. F. J. C. Hearnshaw, ‘Review of A Graphic History of Modern Europe by C. Morris and L. H. Dawson’, History, 2 (1917), pp. 119 21. ¹²⁶ ‘Illustrations Committee Minute Book’, 6 April 1910: HAn, 13/1/1; ‘Illustrations Committee of HA Plea for Volunteer’, History, 7 (1923), p. 279. ¹²⁷ ‘Illustrations Committee Minute Book’, 17 June 1922. ¹²⁸ ‘Illustrations Committee Minute Book’, 28 September 1923. ¹²⁹ ‘The Selection and Provision of History Books for Elementary Schools’, History, 12 (1927), pp. 227 33, at p. 229.

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than any other’, a clear reference to the growing intake of children from workingclass backgrounds. The practicalities of using the illustrations were stressed, focusing more on loose pictures as they enabled children to interact tangibly with them in their ‘own hands’.¹³⁰ Finally, the committee wrote a memorandum on illustrations in textbooks in 1937, which entirely dismissed pictures which were only an ‘aid to the imagination’. This marked the culmination of the idea that the illustration should itself be a source of precise historical information; superfluous pictures were weeded out accordingly. The onus was placed on the use of photographs of existing historical sites: ‘a valuable use of the modern photograph is to emphasize present-day connections with historical monuments’.¹³¹ Enthusiasts for archaeology also promoted the use of aerial photographs as educational resources, and the popularization of archaeology in British culture went hand in hand with the case for progressive history teaching in schools.¹³² These visual, topic-based ideas for history teaching had some impact in those inter-war schools that were trialling nascent forms of secondary education for average pupils. ‘Post-primary’ history was developed in Central Schools, one inter-war solution to secondary education distinct from academic grammar schools, which aimed to ‘train for life as well as livelihood’. Central Schools became the LCC’s official policy for secondary education from 1910. By 1925 there were sixty-two London Central Schools affording accommodation for 22,000 pupils.¹³³ The ‘history of everyday life’ appears to have been important in these Central Schools. One pupil who attended an LCC Central School in the mid-1930s recalled some thematic topics and the use of maps, cut-out images, and charts and tables in history lessons (see Fig. 2.2).¹³⁴ Another Central Schooler who learnt history via the ‘lines of development’ method connected his experiences to the fact that the schools were intended to ‘prepare people for commerce’.¹³⁵ The clear link between visual history and commercially oriented schools was an urban phenomenon but it was not limited to London. One participant described history lessons in her Bristol schools as focusing on housing and agriculture. At a junior commercial school during the war they ‘[c]overed the whole period from the Romans to about 1918, seen mostly from the point of view of how people lived, and, from the late 18th century, major legislation passed’.¹³⁶ Conversely, another Central School pupil retained no distinct memory of their history teaching, ¹³⁰ Historical Association, A List of Illustrations for Use in History Teaching in Schools (London, 1930), pp. 3, 5. ¹³¹ ‘Memorandum on Illustrations in Textbooks’, History, 22 (1937), pp. 228 33, at pp. 228, 229. ¹³² J. H. Johnson, ‘Aerial Photographs for Illustrations’, History, 14 (1929), p. 55; S. S. and D. H. S. Frere, ‘Archaeology and Education’, History, 27 (1942), pp. 97 110. Cf. K. Hauser, Bloody Old Britain: O. G. S. Crawford and the Archaeology of Modern Life (London, 2008), pp. 144 53. ¹³³ S. Maclure, A History of Education in London 1870 1990 (London, 1990), pp. 95 7; Hadow Report, p. 60. ¹³⁴ ‘Pupil survey: Norman Roper’, 4 April 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3. ¹³⁵ ‘Pupil survey: Ernest William Endersby’. ¹³⁶ ‘Pupil survey: Sheila Kotak’, 15 December 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/3.

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Fig. 2.2 History classwork of an LCC Central School pupil, 1935 9 Source: Norman Roper.

because their acquisition of historical knowledge came later through personal initiative and professional experience.¹³⁷ Although rich, the HiEP survey forms and interviews inevitably attracted (English) individuals with a predisposition towards history. The ‘average’ pupil, especially, is an elusive constituent in such studies and their experiences remain largely refracted through the perceptions of teachers, experts, and reformers. Drawing parallels with adult education in the same period can help to strengthen the picture. British economic and social history also formed the backbone of adult education history teaching. As we have seen, educationists made explicit links between ordinary pupils learning history and a social history conceived as the ‘history of everyday life’. Some of these characteristics were also present in Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) social history classes, as they aimed to reach out and appeal to ordinary working men and women. In 1932 Richard Lambert, a leading-light of adult education at the BBC, published A Historian’s Scrapbook. In the introduction he denounced the ‘despotism of printing’ in favour of visual education: But there has always been, throughout the long centuries of the rule of printed word, a minority more or less vocal, of so called uneducated or ill educated

¹³⁷ ‘Pupil survey: John Geddes’, 23 November 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/3.

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Lambert’s scrapbook provided a series of images of the nineteenth century, arranged according to themes reflecting the teaching of social history in secondary schools and adult classes, for ‘the basis of actual teaching and learning’ in a ‘class of adults beginning to study 19th-century social and economic history for the first time’.¹³⁹ As well as such common thinking, personnel also crossed over between the broad world of adult education and history teaching in schools.¹⁴⁰ A 1933 History synthesis of history teaching in English secondary schools attributed the influence of such networks to the teaching of ‘social and economic aspects’, seeing the entire process as an organic accumulation of knowledge and best practice between bodies working towards a common goal of mass education.¹⁴¹ From as early as the 1920s visual history debates began to hone in on the value of the cinematograph. The effect of the cinema on the young in everyday life was a prominent concern of the inter-war years; there were already 3,000 cinemas in Britain by 1914.¹⁴² It was considered that the visual appeal of film in history would be incomparably powerful and lasting, and enthusiasts warned that if films were not home grown, British children could be forced to use films made by foreign nations in their history lessons.¹⁴³ But the creation of films for schools lacked the assurances of regulation that radio broadcasts for schools gained from the structure and national monopoly of the BBC, covered in the next chapter of this book. In an effort to stabilize this situation, the author Hilaire Belloc drafted a memo for the President of the Board of Education in 1919 entitled ‘A memorandum on using cinema to teach history’.¹⁴⁴ Belloc was a traditionalist and a patriot who accused progressives of ‘hijacking’ history to the nation’s detriment.¹⁴⁵ He believed that the most fitting purpose for the use of the cinematograph was the teaching of history, but was dismayed that this was happening through commercial films concerned only with ‘pageantry’ and ‘sensation’. His proposal was for a set of historically accurate films illustrating ‘the chief episodes in English History, and presenting to the eye the habit and manners of the actors in the national story’, keen to remind his reader that history was the only academic subject which had ‘certain practical utility for the State’.¹⁴⁶ ¹³⁸ R. S. Lambert, A Historian’s Scrapbook: A Picture Gallery of Life during the Nineteenth Century (London, 1932), p. 5. ¹³⁹ Lambert, A Historian’s Scrapbook, pp. 7 8. ¹⁴⁰ Muir, ‘The New Era of History’. ¹⁴¹ ‘History Teaching in English Secondary Schools’, p. 232. ¹⁴² R. McKibbin, Classes and Cultures: England 1918 1951 (Oxford, 1998), p. 419. ¹⁴³ W. T. Waugh, ‘History in Moving Pictures’, History, 11 (1927), pp. 324 9; A. M. Field, ‘The Educational Value of the Film’, History, 12 (1927), pp. 142 3. ¹⁴⁴ H. Belloc, ‘A memorandum on using cinema to teach history’, 7 July 1919: Churchill Archives Centre, University of Cambridge (hereafter CAC), MCKN 9/8. ¹⁴⁵ H. Belloc, ‘The Teaching of History’, Teachers World, 12 March 1923, p. 1118. ¹⁴⁶ Belloc, ‘A memorandum on using cinema to teach history’, pp. 2 4.

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The HA officially appointed a Cinema Sub-committee on 10 February 1923.¹⁴⁷ Its chairman was Gerald Hankin, a schools inspector at the Board of Education.¹⁴⁸ The Cinema Sub-committee justified its purpose by explaining that ‘so many children, particularly those with no innate capacity for reading, are more susceptible to visual impressions than to instruction of any other kind’.¹⁴⁹ Addressing the HA’s annual meeting in January of 1923, Hankin reminded members that most American high schools were already equipped with theatres, urging the HA to act immediately.¹⁵⁰ He later defended the film as good preparation for the half a million children leaving school each year as ‘potential citizens’.¹⁵¹ In 1924 Hankin published a mock scenario of a film dealing with the Industrial Revolution in History, ‘offered as a first sacrifice on the altar of criticism’. Hankin’s scenario was met with a fierce debate in the journal about the history film, since many HA members remained committed to traditional teaching methods and were extremely wary of the new technology.¹⁵² The first part of Hankin’s Industrial Revolution film script traced the process of woollen manufacturing in Yorkshire in 1700 and featured scenes set in a clothier’s yard, on a sheep farm, and in a spinner’s house. Attention was paid to the aesthetic setting of interiors, the time of day, and the weather, as a background to the processes of production. The second part of the film contrasted the old cottage industry with wool manufacturing on a mass scale in 1923. The raw wool arrives into Hull from Australia and the process is interspersed with trade union negotiations over piece rates.¹⁵³ The film concluded with a familiar domestic scene in the factory worker’s home, mirroring the everyday lives of the schoolchildren in the audience: The kitchen of a small house, entered from passage. Cooking range with high Yorkshire oven; table covered with American cloth; wooden chairs and armchair, with cushion. Gas chandelier; linoleum on floor; dresser with crockery and some books casually laid there; ornaments on mantelpiece; oleographs and photos on walls.¹⁵⁴

¹⁴⁷ ‘Films sub committee and Cinema Minute Book’, 1923 24: HAn, 13/6/1. ¹⁴⁸ ‘Mr G. T. Hankin’, The Times, 21 November 1952. ¹⁴⁹ ‘Notes and News Cinema Sub committee’, History, 8 (1924), p. 285. ¹⁵⁰ ‘Films in Schools Aids to Teaching History’, The Times, 6 January 1923. ¹⁵¹ ‘The Use of the Film in the Teaching of History: A Discussion’, History, 11 (1926), pp. 37 40, at p. 38. ¹⁵² G. T. Hankin, ‘The Cinematograph in the Classroom: Scenario of a Film Dealing with the Industrial Revolution’, History, 8 (1923), pp. 275 83, at p. 275; H. Heaton, ‘Response to “The Cinematograph in the Class Room” (I)’, History, 9 (1924), pp. 46 7; E. R. Adair, ‘Response to “The Cinematograph in the Class Room” (II)’, History, 9 (1924), p. 47; G. F. Bridge, ‘Response to “The Cinematograph in the Class Room” (III)’, History, 9 (1924), pp. 48 9; G. T. Hankin, ‘Response to “The Cinematograph in the Class Room” (IV)’, History, 9 (1924), pp. 114 15; W. J. Harte, ‘History and the Cinema’, History, 11 (1926), p. 45. ¹⁵³ Hankin, ‘The Cinematograph in the Classroom’, pp. 277 81, 281 2. ¹⁵⁴ Hankin, ‘The Cinematograph in the Classroom’, p. 283.

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In February 1929 the HA commissioned an investigation into the value of films in history teaching, with funding from the Carnegie Trust. The investigator was Dr F. Consitt, who visited fifty-two schools across the country. Consitt found the ‘greatest scope for film’ in poor districts. This was because ‘the teachers train children with little help from many of the homes’.¹⁵⁵ The conclusions of the Consitt investigation were overall favourable for the use of film, finding that it stimulated the imagination of the pupils and helped them to assimilate and remember. Following this investigation the value of the history film as an aid to learning was less in dispute.¹⁵⁶ Into the 1930s more school film projects were being financed, with which Hankin remained engaged. Hankin encouraged the British Film Institute to invite historians to supervise any historical films it prepared.¹⁵⁷ Scotland had a separate, vibrant educational film movement from the 1930s, and the advent of new visual technologies in the classroom was closely linked to the ‘democratic intellect’ ideal.¹⁵⁸ Many of the films produced by the Scottish film bodies featured everyday Scottish activities anchored in their practical and domestic historical contexts, including ‘Crofting in Skye’ (1939) and ‘Day in the Home’ (1951).¹⁵⁹ During the Second World War, the Ministry of Education, with one eye on wholesale educational reform, maintained several experimental ‘visual education’ units focused on producing educational films relating to present-day society.¹⁶⁰ They developed the types of endeavour that Hankin had championed, creating historical films on the Iron Age in Britain and the development of the English wool trade, with special attention to the pedagogical requirements of less able pupils.¹⁶¹ Film was seen to have the potential to stamp upon the minds of young citizens an indelible image of history. Hankin concluded in 1930 that in 1914 ‘the supremacy of the printed word had seemed unchangeable’, but society had since changed irrevocably. The war had given birth to a world in which cinema and radio were the ‘normal methods of acquiring information’. Simultaneously, ¹⁵⁵ F. Consitt, The Value of Films in History Teaching (London, 1931), p. 121. ¹⁵⁶ C. B. Firth, ‘The Use of Films in the Teaching of History: Some Comments on Two Reports’, History, 17 (1932), pp. 128 40. ¹⁵⁷ ‘The Film in Modern Education New British Pictures this Year’, The Times, 8 January 1936; ‘Notes and News British Film Institute’, History, 18 (1934), pp. 346 7; ‘Notes and News Problem of the Historical Film’, History, 21 (1936), pp. 34 5. ¹⁵⁸ M. Powell, ‘ “Nothing Similar in England”: The Scottish Film Council, the Scottish Education Department and the Utility of “Educational Film” to Scotland’, in Regional Aesthetics: Mapping UK Media Cultures, edited by H. Chignell, I. Franklin, and K. Skoog (Basingstoke, 2015), pp. 212 30. ¹⁵⁹ Scottish Educational Film Association, Glasgow Group, ‘Crofting in Skye’ (1939), National Library of Scotland, Moving Image Archive [https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/0934]; Joint Production Committee of Scottish Educational Film Association and Scottish Film Council, ‘A Day in the Home’ (1951), National Library of Scotland, Moving Image Archive [https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/0017], accessed 1 August 2020. ¹⁶⁰ K. Guthrie, ‘Democratizing Art: Music Education in Postwar Britain’, Musical Quarterly (2015), pp. 575 615, at p. 577. ¹⁶¹ BBC, ‘Jacquetta Hawkes’, Desert Island Discs, 21 November 1980 [http://www.bbc.co.uk/ programmes/p009mvpr], accessed 1 August 2020.

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secondary schools were dealing with ‘less bright pupils from poorer homes’, and ‘must develop some method of teaching which would grip their interest and hold their thoughts even outside school hours’. He reminded the school history teacher of her responsibility in an era of mass education, ‘concerned with the whole mental attitude of the next generation whom he is helping to prepare for their adult life’.¹⁶² Such assertions demonstrate how explicitly visual learning was tied to average ability citizens. The ‘history of everyday life’ was distinctive because it was a social history conveyed via visual teaching methods, such as the use of pictures, objects, and films, and thus was most suited to the citizens of the mass democracy. These methods were taken up and spread with vigour as technology developed later in the century. In 1976 education lecturer Jack Duckworth turned his hand to teaching social history in an adult male prison. After several other techniques were aborted, he concluded that films, particularly social realism, were the best route to connecting his students’ social and political concerns to history. He argued, ‘Social history on film is easy to organize, most films are themselves living documents of the age they seek to illustrate.’¹⁶³

Emotional Training Finally, the notion of history as emotional training linked the ‘history of everyday life’ to teaching ordinary pupils. During the national curriculum debates of the 1980s and 1990s, how far history could be used to inculcate empathy with people in the past, and therefore serve as a form of emotional training, was a controversial topic. ‘Personal growth’, nurtured by progressivism, gradually gained purchase as a goal of all educational activities in the mid-twentieth century.¹⁶⁴ As Yeandle’s study has deftly revealed, this form of emotional instruction had its roots in Herbartian educational psychology. Herbartians promoted the teaching of citizenship via biography, or people ‘doing things’, which would elucidate an emotional reaction in the child and cause them to form connections between their sympathies with the historical character and their own duties of action as good citizens.¹⁶⁵ Biography was therefore a vital and ubiquitous tool in the teaching of history, with deep roots in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century methods of character building and moral instruction. But after 1918 it was altered by the ascendance of the ‘history of everyday life’. ¹⁶² G. T. Hankin, ‘The Decline of the Printed Word’, History, 15 (1930), pp. 119 23, at pp. 119 21. ¹⁶³ J. Duckworth, ‘Teaching Social History to Adults in Prison’, Teaching History, 4 (1976), pp. 331 3, at p. 332. ¹⁶⁴ M. Freeman, ‘From “Character Training” to “Personal Growth”: The Early History of Outward Bound 1941 1965’, History of Education, 40 (2011), pp. 21 43; C. Steedman, ‘State Sponsored Autobiography’, in Moments of Modernity: Reconstructing Britain: 1945 1964, edited by B. Conekin, F. Mort, and C. Waters (London, 1999), pp. 41 54. ¹⁶⁵ Yeandle, Citizenship, Nation, Empire, pp. 52 64, 118 21. Cf. pp. 55 8.

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The ‘history of everyday life’ dignified the actions of a broader cast of characters, enrolling them in the role of hero or heroine. Empathy was thus more simplistically linked to feelings, tasks, and physical environments. In 1926 Rhoda and Eileen Power published the book Boys and Girls of History with CUP. Its format was a series of twenty-four chapters narrating the life of children living in different historical contexts. The Power sisters struck a delicate balance between portraying ‘important’ historical personages (for example, chapter 10, ‘The Childhood of Lady Jane Grey’) and the simple peasant child (chapter 7, ‘The Glover’s Apprentice’). The preface explained, ‘in the choice of our little heroes and heroines we have tried to illustrate as wide a range of types as possible’.¹⁶⁶ The book introduced children to social history by providing a mirror through which they could envisage themselves living in the past. The Power sisters had thus evolved traditional biographical storytelling into ‘a day in the life’, featuring the lives of ordinary as well as elite children. The educative value no longer came from the moral actions of guiding figures, but in their human experience of the wider social milieu. Rhoda, whose work and ideas are covered in detail in the next chapter, later explained that she saw putting an ordinary person into his or her own historical setting as ‘personifying’ social history. It was important to ‘concentrate on the everyday little things within our own children’s experience’. One ten-year-old wrote her that this technique was much loved because she could tell that ‘the girl in the story thought things like me’.¹⁶⁷ How did contemporaries imagine empathy might be introduced into the classroom and suffused into a more general philosophy of the teaching of history? It was a particularly useful method to those arguing for the teaching of premodern historical periods. For example, Tout argued that studying the remote past helped to build up knowledge of modern institutions, beginning from the minutiae of the ‘king’s wardrobe’.¹⁶⁸ Surveying years of experience as a history examiner for the departing School Certificate in 1947, D. M. Vaughn identified the twin pitfalls of social history teaching as chronological vagueness and contempt for the past. He attributed the latter to an ‘ideological twist’ arising from the nineteenth-century belief in progress, the idea that the present must ‘in every way excel the past’. Pupils, according to Vaughn, too readily condemned their forefathers for failing to implement sanitation in their town planning, or for the paucity of educational provision in the eighteenth century. These mistakes arose from a lack of empathy, the ability to apply experience of contemporary social issues (for example, the conditions of a housing crisis) to the past, and thus

¹⁶⁶ E. and R. Power, Boys and Girls of History (Cambridge, 1926), preface. Cf. L. Howsam, Past into Print: The Publishing of History in Britain 1850 1950 (London, 2009), pp. 95 6. ¹⁶⁷ R. Power, ‘Broadcasting History Lessons’, 25 February 1933: BBC WAC, S68/9, p. 16. ¹⁶⁸ Tout, ‘The Place of the Middle Ages’, pp. 13 14.

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understand more readily the challenges faced by historical men and women.¹⁶⁹ These arguments amounted to a call for the ‘history of everyday life’ because, as progressives continued to stress, history was about human beings operating in their various environments. Connecting with this demanded immediate empathy, achieved through emotional and aesthetic engagement with personal narratives. Teachers who were convinced by these arguments often used the locality to arouse empathy with individuals and their daily practices in the past. One West Yorkshire history teacher, who was an archaeology enthusiast, specified that the freedom of the early secondary modern school allowed him to incorporate industrial archaeology into his syllabus. Such historical fieldwork was a readymade resource, ‘because if you can talk about places the kids know, and put a time emphasis onto it, they suddenly realise that where they are actually has a history’.¹⁷⁰ A second teacher also recalled the freedoms of teaching history in secondary moderns in the 1960s affectionately. Teaching in Cumbria, she organized weekend field trips to Hadrian’s Wall. She favoured teaching social history because ‘history is about human beings as well as about events, and I think children can get so involved in social history’. She argued that the Industrial Revolution illustrated by local examples, in particular child labour in mines and factories, allowed the children to ‘empathize . . . and they enjoyed it’.¹⁷¹ The teaching of history as an emotional skill was plainly mapped onto estimations of pupil ability, because the ways in which emotions have shaped everyday life across time were regarded as more stable and easily recognizable than political and constitutional changes. Thus, for some teachers, making history about people naturally implied drawing a connection with feelings. This case should not be overstated, however. Those who pushed back against empathy often felt as though the very identity of history was at stake, at a time when new social science subjects were becoming popular in schools and allegedly threatening to dilute history proper. This reaction and its attendant politics are explored in greater detail in Chapter 6.

Conclusion This chapter has argued that in schools the ‘history of everyday life’ was about making history relevant to pupils. Changes in history teaching after 1918 were driven by progressive educational thought and the expansion of secondary education, which put pressure on reformers to make history deliver as a viable vehicle

¹⁶⁹ D. M. Vaughn, ‘Justice to the Past in the Teaching of Social History’, History, 32 (1947), pp. 51 6. ¹⁷⁰ ‘Transcript of an interview with Eric Houlder’, 2 July 2010: HiEP, HEP/4/57. ¹⁷¹ ‘Transcript of an interview with Patricia Anne Dawson’, 12 April 2010: HiEP, HEP/4/51.

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for citizenship. The question of citizenship was under tremendous strain following the traumas of the First World War. This debate tends to be simplistically cast as ‘nationalist’ vs. ‘internationalist’, but, as this chapter has demonstrated, the lines were far more blurred. Vocal, progressive internationalists did much to make the case for social history in schools by contrasting it with the perils of jingoism. But the ‘history of everyday life’, a more flexible social history, attracted teachers in practice. This was because of its distance from the heavily politicized debates that most teachers wanted to see abandoned at the classroom door. Chapter 6 will pick up the story started in this chapter with the comprehensive schools of the 1970s, where politics and pedagogy finally clashed head on. Between the 1920s and the 1960s secondary education in Britain migrated from theory to practice. Mass education for the new democracy was to be differentiated according to ability, mapping onto separate pathways into either everyday life and the juvenile labour market or scholarly studies in further and higher education. Girls and lower-ability pupils destined to pursue the labour market route were deemed to have specific needs and capacities that social history could satisfy. Whilst in Scotland this differentiation was less marked than in England and Wales, educationists across Britain identified particular characteristics as being suitable for ‘ordinary’ learners of history in schools. This pedagogical ‘ordinariness’ underpinned the ‘history of everyday life’ and justified it as a new, post-1918 popular social history in Britain. It was thus sanctioned by the state for citizenship, and by the market for consumption. In Part II of this book we will see how the pedagogical arguments outlined in this chapter carried over into other cultural settings up to and beyond the Second World War. The associations drawn by educationists between the local, visual, and emotional and ordinary people infused popular social history at the BBC, in museums, and in local government throughout Britain’s educational, twentieth century.

3 The ‘History of Everyday Life’ on BBC Radio Part II of this book is about the educationalization of popular culture in midtwentieth-century Britain. From the late 1920s fears about the Americanization of British culture were rising. Imbued with this discourse and with the economic and political drive towards mass education, popular culture in Britain took on an educational flavour. The British Broadcasting Company (BBC), formed as a consortium in 1924 and endowed with a public monopoly in 1926, stood at the helm of Britain’s cultural mission. Under John Reith (the first Director-General, 1922–38), the BBC has been widely noted as an institution geared towards a paternalistic liberal democratization. The social history that we saw defined and justified in Part I was widely popularized in this cultural climate, ripe for a mass democracy in which women and young people played an important role. They were considered most responsive to versions of the past rooted in work, family, and self. This chapter explores the place of social history on BBC radio from the 1920s to the 1960s, revealing how and why the ‘history of everyday life’ flourished on the airwaves. Recent scholarship has used the BBC as a prism through which other aspects of British culture can be refracted. This builds on Dan LeMahieu’s exploration of the intellectual project of the early BBC, and especially how Reithian liberalism advocated the distillation of elite culture for a mass audience.¹ But crucially, subsequent work has sought to show how this paternalism was shaped by a range of parallel, contemporary discourses. For example, James Nott’s book on popular music between the wars exposed the ironies of an overbearingly topdown policy designed to ingratiate elite music to ‘the people’, which in reality only turned the working classes onto more commercial and Americanized alternatives.² Shundana Yusaf has argued that BBC radio in the 1930s and 1940s provided a space for architectural discourse to flourish and innovate, at a time

¹ D. LeMahieu, A Culture for Democracy: Mass Communication and the Cultivated Mind in Britain between the Wars (Oxford, 1988); D. LeMahieu, ‘Entrepreneur of Collectivism: Reith of the BBC’, in After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty, 1880 1950, edited by S. Pedersen and P. Mandler (London, 1994), pp. 188 206. ² J. Nott, Music for the People: Popular Music in Britain between the Wars (Oxford, 2002).

Histories of Everyday Life. The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918 1979. Laura Carter, Oxford University Press (2021). © Laura Carter. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198868330.003.0004

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when the professional practice of architecture was in its doldrums.³ And Amanda Wrigley’s reception study of Classics on the BBC has suggested that radio popularized the literature and culture of ancient Greece at precisely the same early twentieth-century moment when the subject was being marginalized in British higher education.⁴ In each of these instances, the line between pure entertainment and broad educational programming was often blurred. As Eve Colpus has argued, we need to think about the BBC as mass media outside of a cultural vs. commercial dichotomy. Reithian ideology contained the vital balance between state and market forces that underpinned inter-war mass culture. The BBC was a communicative vehicle that effectively re-moulded liberal Victorian messages of citizenship to meet the needs of the educational century.⁵ But whilst the Reithian project is now well defined, more needs to be done to connect up the BBC’s cultural interventionism with the ubiquitous mid-twentiethcentury educational discourses traced in the previous chapter.⁶ As such, this chapter argues that during the period from the mid-1920s to the mid-1960s the BBC subscribed to modes of the ‘history of everyday life’ because it put the listener in touch with the ‘real world’. The aim of making academic subject matter ‘relevant’ was widespread across the corporation.⁷ The familiar liberal cultural paternalism associated with the BBC must be understood as both a Victorian survival and a product of contemporary discourses on education and citizenship, which were themselves infused with the twin notions of active democratic participation and individual personalization. This personalization, especially, had exceptional consequences when played out in the ‘space’ of radio, in the case of history. New broadcasting techniques endowed history with a kind of humanity: different voices, dialogue forms, and sound effects brought the local and the private to the fore of a national, public story. This chapter uncovers these techniques through focusing on BBC programming, rather than the institution and its actors.⁸ Broadcast programmes, both their production and content, are treated as history ‘texts’, the same as the books, classroom practices, and museum exhibitions dealt with throughout this book. As in all these instances, attention must be paid to the instability of these ‘texts’; BBC radio scripts went through many drafts, were scrutinized and altered by committees and consultants, and there is no guarantee that the preserved script was ³ S. Yusaf, Broadcasting Buildings: Architecture on the Wireless, 1927 1945 (Cambridge, Mass., 2014). ⁴ A. Wrigley, Greece on Air: Engagements with Ancient Greece on BBC Radio, 1920s 1960s (Oxford, 2015). ⁵ E. Colpus, ‘The Week’s Good Cause: Mass Culture and Cultures of Philanthropy at the Inter war BBC’, Twentieth Century British History, 22 (2011), pp. 305 29. ⁶ Cf. K. Guthrie, ‘Democratizing Art: Music Education in Postwar Britain’, Musical Quarterly, 97 (2015), pp. 575 615. ⁷ BBC, The BBC Handbook 1929 (London, 1929), pp. 79 82; BBC, The BBC Handbook 1939 (London, 1939), pp. 74 9. ⁸ Cf. D. Hendy, ‘Radio’s Cultural Turns’, Cinema Journal, 48 (2008), pp. 130 8.

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broadcast as written down since very few original recordings survive. The following, first section provides context for understanding history as a discrete ‘subject’ within BBC radio programming. The chapter then proceeds in three sections. The first two focus on social history within general educational broadcasting and within schools broadcasting during the inter-war years. The final section considers the impact of the Second World War on history broadcasting across the BBC, and its aftermath down to the 1960s.

History on BBC Radio How much history was there on BBC radio from its inception in the 1920s to the 1960s? Isolating a topic within the BBC’s programming schedule is a real challenge. The BBC was constantly growing throughout the 1930s and its departments were regularly shifted, renamed, and reconceptualized. From 1933, the ‘Programmes’ and ‘Talks’ branches each produced programming roughly categorized by output, such as current affairs, music, religion, and drama, but a subject like history had no set place.⁹ After the Second World War, when the BBC was even larger and television was emerging as a new medium, departments became more tightly defined by output. Within such ill-defined boundaries, it is not always even as simple as identifying a particular format or focusing on a list of broadcasters who were also ‘historians’. Historical content was ubiquitous, manifest in many forms, and professed by a range of individuals beyond the historical profession. Amidst this diversity, the ‘history of everyday life’ was only one version of history broadcast on BBC radio. But its placement and prominence made it the history most closely connected to the BBC’s mid-century educational mission. Education reigned over discipline at the BBC. In July 1924 John Clarke Stobart, recently appointed BBC Director of Education, invited Charles Quennell to give a series of history talks on the radio, due to the success of the Everyday Things series.¹⁰ Although Charles initially struggled to translate the books’ visual matter into spoken word form, his seven broadcasts on everyday life from Prehistoric to Renaissance times finally went on the air at ten past seven in the evening from October to December 1924.¹¹ In content the talks closely mirrored the Everyday Things books, exploring how ‘things’, costume, architecture, and transport, looked ⁹ A. Briggs, The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume II: The Golden Age of Wireless (Oxford, 1995), pp. 408, 413. For clarity, I refer to ‘branches’ as offshoots of ‘divisions’, and ‘departments’ as offshoots of ‘branches’ uniformly. ¹⁰ J. C. Stobart to C. H. B. Quennell, 21 July 1924: BBC Written Archives Centre, Caversham (hereafter BBC WAC), RCONT 1 Quennell, Marjorie and Charles talks file 1 (1924 62). Cf. Yusaf, Broadcasting Buildings, pp. 11 14. ¹¹ C. H. B. Quennell to J. C. Stobart, 23 July 1924; 28 July 1924; 10 September 1924; 1 October 1924; 28 October 1924: BBC WAC, RCONT 1 Quennell, Marjorie and Charles talks file 1 (1924 62). Cf.

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as an expression of each age and its people.¹² These social history broadcasts were some of the very first educational radio talks ventured by the BBC under Stobart’s direction. On the Reithian model, this was education intended to expand and develop existing knowledge. Stobart urged Charles to include less context: some knowledge of the history of each period could be assumed amongst the listeners. Charles’s task was to illuminate ‘the social aspect’.¹³ At the BBC this ‘social aspect’ developed quite differently from the workerist idea of social history emerging within the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), making a space for the ‘history of everyday life’ on the radio. From very early on, educationally minded apostles like Stobart were interested in making effective and engaging history education for an audience ‘listening in’. Yusaf proposes that the essential ‘problem of broadcast culture’ confronted by Reith’s workforce by the 1930s was how to successfully convey classically elite art forms to a mass audience. She argues that architecture proved a favourable democratizing topic because it had a tangible relationship to everyday life, whether via housing debates, household interiors, or the design of public parks.¹⁴ History presented different challenges to broadcast culture, but the solution the BBC found was not dissimilar: personalizing ‘high’ intellectual ideas and relating them to everyday things and everyday life. It was a conscious attempt to connect history to the ‘ordinary folk’ listening, without relying on a partisan narrative of class struggle. From its inception the BBC was consistently under pressure to remain politically neutral, and the ‘history of everyday life’ often helped it to avoid the politicization of history. More active links to social issues in broadcast histories could occasionally make the BBC appear to be leaning towards a leftist social history, whilst jingoism was always discouraged and considered backward looking.¹⁵ This chapter will further reveal the role of women and of ‘amateur’ historians in BBC history broadcasting. Kate Murphy has convincingly argued that, relative to other large inter-war institutions, the BBC was a positive and progressive place for women at all levels to work. The working environment was particularly conducive to the ambitions of industrious and educated middle-class women. As a newborn organization it did not have the entrenched traditions and cultures that tended to propagate sexist practices.¹⁶ Yet even as a unique creative space, the BBC was

P. Scannell and D. Cardiff, A Social History of British Broadcasting, Volume 1: 1922 1939: Serving the Nation (Oxford, 1991), p. 162. ¹² ‘ “Everyday Life” scripts’, 8 October 31 December 1924: BBC WAC, Radio Talks Scripts T419. ¹³ J. C. Stobart to C. H. B. Quennell, 20 November 1924: BBC WAC, RCONT 1 Quennell, Marjorie and Charles talks file 1 (1924 62). ¹⁴ Yusaf, Broadcasting Buildings, pp. 83 117. ¹⁵ Cf. B. Harker, ‘ “The Trumpet of the Night”: Interwar Communists on BBC Radio’, History Workshop Journal, 75 (2013), pp. 81 100. ¹⁶ K. Murphy, Behind the Wireless: A History of Early Women at the BBC (London, 2016), pp. 5 6, cf. p. 116. Cf. Briggs, The Golden Age, p. 424.

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subject to the gendered discourses operating in Britain after the First World War, notably the idea that women’s professional fulfilment must be hitched to an educational or moral agenda. Education was woven into the institution’s founding fabric as part of Reith’s legendary mantra, to ‘inform, educate, and entertain’. For these reasons radio was an important space where women made popular history throughout the mid-century, whether as full-time members of staff, regular broadcasters, researchers, or consultants. As I have argued elsewhere, the cohort of women historians operating between first- and second-wave feminism worked across a much broader range of cultural settings due to the falling age of marriage and the hostility of the higher education system to female scholars.¹⁷

Inter-war Social History Broadcasting During the inter-war years the BBC was intensely aware that its ‘factual’ output was consistently less popular than ‘light’ entertainment on the radio, especially music.¹⁸ History education on the radio was embroiled within this wider dilemma over how to ‘educate’ listeners, without dictating to them and boring them. This was initially pursued through a formal adult education policy, which was in place from the foundation of the BBC in 1922. But the failure to integrate programming successfully with the existing networks of the movement meant that adult education was all but absorbed into Talks by the mid-1930s, and much social history content was aired outside the parameters of formal adult education. The BBC and the adult education movement had developed close ties by the middle of the twentieth century. The teething problems in establishing this relationship in the 1920s are worth exploring, since they had significant reverberations for the aims of general educational broadcasting and the character of social history on the inter-war BBC. By 1926 Stobart was in charge of a large swathe of programming, including Talks, News, and Religion. But his health was deteriorating. In April 1927 former adult education tutor Richard Stanton Lambert was installed with the specific job of arranging an adult education policy.¹⁹ Shortly afterwards, the BBC launched a joint inquiry with the British Institute of Adult Education which published its findings in March 1928. The report, New Ventures in Broadcasting, was an ambitious statement of broadcasting’s reach. It recommended an educational publication (realized as The Listener from 1929 with Lambert as editor), the creation of an advisory council, and the setting up of listening groups.²⁰ ¹⁷ L. Carter, ‘Women Historians in the Twentieth Century’, in Precarious Professionals: Gender, Professional Identities and Social Change in Modern British Culture, c.1850 1970, edited by H. Egginton and Z. Thomas (London, forthcoming 2021). ¹⁸ Nott, Music for the People, pp. 63 6. ¹⁹ Briggs, The Golden Age, pp. 116, 202. ²⁰ BBC, New Ventures in Broadcasting: A Study in Adult Education (London, 1928).

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Adult education on the BBC was to be broadly conceived as ‘the widening of experience and the cultivation of new interests’.²¹ The New Ventures report stressed that the BBC had a more universalist remit than existing bodies and that it wasn’t intending to supplant the WEA. The WEA was formed in 1903 and grew rapidly over the course of the 1920s and 1930s. It had close links with the labour movement but was committed to a liberal, literary, and non-partisan educational programme, much like the BBC’s.²² The content of WEA classes could be diverse and wide ranging, but they were focused on educating and elevating a particular constituent already politically committed to the left.²³ Indeed, many of the New Left historians who became champions of academic social history in the 1960s had backgrounds in this type of WEA teaching. But BBC broadcast talks were to be far more general than what the WEA offered, arousing interest that could be developed through other channels.²⁴ Promoting ‘active’ listening was therefore a chief concern. Moreover, the BBC positioned itself as reaching out to the new constituents whose appetites for democracy and for education had been stimulated by the First World War, especially women and juvenile school leavers. It was no coincidence that the BBC’s New Ventures inquiry was chaired by Sir Henry Hadow, the same man behind the Board of Education Consultative Committee’s 1926 report on adolescent education. As we saw in the previous chapter, that ‘Hadow Report’ had argued for a system of mass education attuned to pupils’ environments, situated somewhere between the academic and the directly vocational. The BBC’s 1928 report made similar claims for general adult education. They were, after all, addressing the next life stage of those same ordinary pupils, male and female, who were attending secondary schools for the first time. The requirements of a new and inclusive democracy of listeners, the report argued, could not be satisfied by a scheme of adult education devised for ‘industrial workers whose interest is chiefly in economic and political problems’.²⁵ Controversial subjects, such as political nationalism in Wales and Scotland, would be treated judiciously and often in the format of a ‘for and against’ debate.²⁶ The principal model proposed was of teaching all subjects through ‘familiar objects and experiences’.²⁷ In the case of history, the report explained:

²¹ BBC, New Ventures, p. xvi. ²² M. Freeman, ‘ “An advanced type of democracy”? Governance and Politics in Adult Education c.1918 1930’, History of Education, 42 (2013), pp. 45 69, at p. 46. ²³ A. Hutton, ‘Culture and Society in Conceptions of the Industrial Revolution, 1930 1965’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2014), pp. 101 8. ²⁴ BBC, New Ventures, p. 28. ²⁵ BBC, New Ventures, p. 25. ²⁶ For example, the ‘Attack and Defence’ series on the Scottish Regional Programme, J. Cameron, ‘Scottish Nationalism’, The Listener, 7 December 1932, p. 810; C. Davis, ‘Is Nationalism the Best Policy?’, The Listener, 20 May 1936, p. 964. ²⁷ BBC, New Ventures, p. 89, p. 38.

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Experience has shown also that it is possible to deal with history in such a way as to link it to the interests and experience of listeners who have no particular historical sense, and who can only be brought to visualize the past if it is made to exist for them, not in dates and lists of events, but in a form which has some relation to themselves and their own lives.²⁸

In practice this technique had already proved successful in history programmes through the creation of ‘typical characters’ and ‘fictitious biography’ from original archival sources, ‘in order to give reality to [the] treatment of the social history of the early nineteenth century’.²⁹ Much of this expertise was learned from a process of cross-fertilization with history broadcasting for schools. It was abundantly clear by the mid-1930s that the BBC did not wish to be regarded as a formal body of ‘adult education’. It was to be a liberal distributor of broadly educative material for an audience who were listening casually at home, rather than organized in WEA classrooms. In this sense, the BBC largely opted out of the struggles that were to take place subsequently within the adult education movement from the 1940s to the 1960s.³⁰ But, the principles laid down in 1928 instigated the BBC’s ongoing efforts to make talks, including history, more accessible. An article in the 1931 BBC Yearbook facetiously asked ‘Are the Talks Too Highbrow?’, triumphantly concluding that, in fact, ‘there is scarcely a subject on earth which cannot be made palatable to the ordinary man or woman’.³¹ Significantly, the 1928 report also defined the BBC’s intended audience as the educationally underserved citizens of the mass democracy. The BBC continued attempts to engage with their defined constituency, forming the ‘Under Twenty Club’ to cater for working adolescents in 1938, and promoting listening groups within Women’s Institutes (WIs), Townsmen’s Groups, and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).³² A total of 1,349 of such listening groups were identified between the autumn of 1933 and the summer of 1934. This showed a small growth on the 1930–1 figures, despite the corporation’s continued detachment from adult education proper.³³ The BBC instead began inviting professional historians to broadcast talks from the late 1920s, as part of its general educational programming. The historians chosen were those who already possessed popularizing credentials. Their broadcasts often used economic and social change as a putatively neutral way to broach political topics, allowing the BBC to avoid controversy whilst still showing

²⁸ BBC, New Ventures, p. 39. ²⁹ BBC, New Ventures, pp. 38 9. ³⁰ J. McIlroy, ‘Asa Briggs and the Emergence of Labour History in Post War Britain’, in The Age of Asa: Lord Briggs, Public Life and History in Britain since 1945, edited by M. Taylor (London, 2015), pp. 108 41, at p. 112. ³¹ BBC, The BBC Yearbook 1931 (London, 1931), p. 216. ³² BBC, BBC Handbook 1939, pp. 74 9. ³³ H. E. M. to G. Hadow, 3 July 1934: BBC WAC, R14/73; Briggs, The Golden Age, p. 210.

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audiences how history connected to their own duties as citizens. Behind the scenes, the BBC carefully vetted scripts for overt political stoking and monitored listener feedback on ‘hot’ topics. The goal was to keep history as neutral as possible, but still accessible and relevant to present concerns. For example, the 1927 series ‘Europe Throughout the Ages’ offered a panorama of the progress of Western democracy, emphasizing historic unity across Europe. It was presented by Norman Baynes, Eileen Power, and David Somervell and closely reflected Eileen Power’s commitment to comparative social-economic history.³⁴ Broad historical surveys of ‘English Life’ tended to focus on an economic reading of social change. This can be seen in a 1929 series of twelve talks over September to December: George Coulton on ‘England in the Middle Ages’ followed by A. V. Judges’ ‘Life and Labour in England from Elizabeth to Anne’.³⁵ Judges, a London School of Economics (LSE) historian, offered ‘a simplified sketch’ of the ‘restless, shifting background of humanity’ contained in the ‘lives of ordinary men and women’.³⁶ Coulton, as explained in Chapter 1, was also interested in delineating social phenomena in the past and making historical source material accessible to a popular audience. As a broadcaster, he was styled as the ‘interpreter to the general public of the fruits of research’, praised for his ‘simple, conversational manner . . . very well suited to broadcast education and the listener’s needs’.³⁷ In 1927 a talk on pre-industrial England by G. M. Trevelyan (his first talk at the microphone), ‘A Glance into Bygone England’, was broadcast.³⁸ Trevelyan used the ‘the manner of everyday life’ to introduce the changes ‘which history calls the Industrial Revolution’ to deflect away from the actions of ‘great men and great events’. He promised only to fulfil the historian’s job of revealing the difference between then and now, rather than offering an opinion on which way of life was better.³⁹ However, ever the rural eulogist, Trevelyan erred towards the romanticization of the eighteenth-century peasant’s lot: ‘the natural pleasures and simple wholesome interests of country life were at almost everyone’s door’.⁴⁰ The BBC thus remained essentially politically pluralist, letting all the flowers of history bloom, yet undoubtedly retaining a distinctly Establishment flavour. This pluralism is also illustrated by the Welsh and Scottish variants of interwar radio history. Thomas Hajkowski’s study of the mid-century BBC and ³⁴ ‘Europe Throughout the Ages’, 8 November 1927 21 February 1928, 19:30, 2LO London and 5XX Daventry. ³⁵ ‘English Life’, 26 September 12 December 1929, c.19:30, 2LO London and 5XX Daventry. ³⁶ A. V. Judges, ‘Life and Labour in “Merrie England” ’, The Listener, 12 November 1929, pp. 652 3, at p. 652. ³⁷ ‘Dr Coulton on Medieval England’, The Listener, 7 August 1929, p. 195; ‘A Listener’s Commentary’, The Listener, 2 October 1929, p. 448. ³⁸ ‘A Glance into Bygone England’, 20 September 1927, 21:15, 2LO London and 5XX Daventry. ³⁹ Cf. Hutton, ‘Culture and Society’, pp. 5 6. ⁴⁰ G. M. Trevelyan, ‘A Glance into Bygone England’, 20 September 1927: BBC WAC, T613. Cf. D. Cannadine, G. M. Trevelyan: A Life in History (London, 1992), pp. 143 54.

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national identity counters the prevailing assumption that the corporation was a centralizing agent of Englishness. He sees the significant output of home-grown Welsh and Scottish programming from the 1930s as indicative of the emergence of BBC ‘national regions’.⁴¹ Within this, Scotland and Wales had quite different structural arrangements. Wales did not exist as a separate transmitting region until 1937, prior to which it was catered for as part of the ‘Western’ English region (although there were stations in Swansea and Cardiff from the 1920s). Scotland, on the other hand, had its own national transmitter from 1932, which strengthened and increased the Scottish programming that had been developing through its four stations during the 1920s.⁴² History, intertwined with culture, language, and music, was an important element in sustaining this ‘national regions’ model. The BBC in Scotland was fiercely committed to protecting Scottish history content for its listeners, sometimes leading to tensions with London.⁴³ On the National Service a unionist narrative naturally held strong, such as in Trevelyan’s characteristically Whiggish 1929 lecture on the 1707 Acts of Union. The talk celebrated the spirit of compromise contained in the Acts and praised the English and the Scots for their shared imperial enterprises.⁴⁴ But, as elsewhere on the inter-war airwaves, the ‘history of everyday life’ could disguise thornier topics with a light cultural backdrop. For example, in a series of 1930 talks, Provost of Inverness A. M. MacEwan drew heavily upon imagery of the historical everyday lives and traditions of the ‘old Highlanders’ to make his case for contemporary economic rejuvenation and a ‘Scottish Renaissance’.⁴⁵ Welsh histories on inter-war BBC radio frequently emphasized the topographical synergies between Wales and the adjacent English regions of the South West and West Midlands, to which Wales was appended by the technological infrastructure. For example, an ‘historical fancy’ titled ‘Hallowe’en at Hereford’ broadcast in 1932 on the Midland Regional Service blended Welsh and English local histories in a story based around the resurrection of ‘ghosts of the past’.⁴⁶ In January 1936 the historian A. C. F. Beales wrote and presented ‘Gower in Bygone Days’ on the Western Regional Service, which told the romantic history of the Gower peninsula near Swansea through the sporadic historical visions of an ageing local man. In this talk, the vessel of history was a member of the ‘ordinary folk’, carving out his own personal, local history.⁴⁷

⁴¹ T. Hajkowski, The BBC and National Identity in Britain, 1922 53 (Manchester, 2010), pp. 2 3. ⁴² Hajkowski, The BBC, pp. 168, 138 40. ⁴³ Hajkowski, The BBC, p. 137. ⁴⁴ G. M. Trevelyan, ‘The Parliamentary Union of England and Scotland, 1707’, The Listener, 20 November 1929, pp. 669 98. Cf. Cannadine, G. M. Trevelyan, pp. 115 16. ⁴⁵ A. M. MacEwan, ‘The Highlands’, The Listener, 31 December 1930, pp. 1097 100. Cf. D. Hall, ‘Welsh Peasantry’, The Listener, 16 September 1931, pp. 460 1. ⁴⁶ ‘Hallowe’en at Hereford’, 21 November 1932, 20:15, Midland Regional Service. ⁴⁷ ‘Gower in Bygone Days’, 14 January 1936, 18:45, Western Regional Service.

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Inter-war advocates of cultural nationalism did have some success, however, in lobbying the BBC for more consistent and authentically Welsh programming.⁴⁸ The result was quasi-historical broadcasts that combined Welsh language, poetry, and music, underpinned by the strong tradition of song and lyricism in Welsh Methodist education.⁴⁹ From 1930 Iorwerth Peate, a folklorist whom we will meet again in Chapter 4, began presenting the Welsh language series Egwyl Gymraeg (A Welsh Interlude). This semi-regular series continued into the middle of the decade and featured a combination of sweeping historical topics and smaller, local stories.⁵⁰ As these examples suggest, the ‘history of everyday life’—a local, aesthetic, and emotional form of social history—was particularly suited to alleviating the BBC’s Welsh problem between the wars. It carried Welshness onto the airwaves because the BBC had essentially cast Wales as a succession of diverse localities, sidestepping the question of nation altogether.⁵¹ Another area where BBC social history shifted decisively into the mode of the ‘history of everyday life’ was with female listeners and broadcasters. Throughout the mid-twentieth century both women historians and women consumers of history were expected to focus on domestic topics within their realm of experience.⁵² To reach out to that talismanic target listener, ‘the housewife’, the BBC were less concerned with enlisting the services of professional historians. Male academics seemed inappropriate and likely to alienate a daytime audience.⁵³ This preoccupation with capturing the housewife listener re-emerged with a racial inflection in the 1970s, when the BBC’s Asian Programme Unit launched the television-based ‘Parosi Project’ ‘to encourage Asian women to seek help in learning English’.⁵⁴ But after 1918 the need to feminize messages of citizenship was just freshly apparent. The political culture of post-suffrage Britain was suffused with constructions of and communications with the female citizen, and the BBC’s history programming was no exception. The Women’s Institute, founded in 1915, was considered an ideal route for providing women’s adult education through broadcast talks and especially for engaging previously underserved rural housewives.⁵⁵

⁴⁸ J. Medhurst, ‘ “Minorities with a Message”: The Beveridge Report on Broadcasting (1949 1951) and Wales’, Twentieth Century British History, 19 (2008), pp. 217 33, at pp. 221 2. ⁴⁹ J. Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven; London, 2001), pp. 238 44. Cf. Ll Wyn. Griffith, ‘Early Welsh Music’, The Listener, 8 August 1934, pp. 239 40. ⁵⁰ The first series of monthly episodes was ‘Egwyl Gymraeg: Early Chapters in the History of Wales’, 30 September 1930 17 February 1931, 19:00, 5WA Cardiff. ⁵¹ Cf. Hajkowski, The BBC, pp. 179 82. ⁵² Cf. E. Power, ‘Women of Cambridge’, The Old Cambridge, 14 February 1920, p. 11. ⁵³ Cf. Murphy, Behind the Wireless, pp. 189 90. ⁵⁴ D. Cook and J. Robottom, ‘A report on the contribution made by broadcasting to meeting the educational needs of immigrant workers and their families in Great Britain’, November 1977: BBC WAC, R103/341, p. 22. ⁵⁵ M. Andrews, Domesticating the Airwaves: Broadcasting, Domesticity and Femininity (London, 2012), p. 31.

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Whilst the BBC’s progressivism and pro-suffrage stance chimed with the founding vision and national leadership of the WI, across Britain’s regions it was a highly localized organization with an official ‘non-party’ stance and grassroots of conservative femininity. Its take on British social history, especially the recovery of traditional techniques in handicraft education, was local and practical.⁵⁶ In January 1927 the BBC aired a series of winter talks in association with the WI on ‘Village Life in Olden Times’, deemed to be of special interest to those women ‘trying to revive village life to-day’. The talks mapped the decline of the English village as a ‘healthy social unit’, a narrative designed to bolster the case for contemporary rural regeneration.⁵⁷ Like so many inter-war projects seeking to integrate women into the public sphere, the BBC’s attempts to make history appeal to female listeners hinged on reinforcing a traditional gender order.⁵⁸ The only woman on the adult education advisory committee resulting from the 1928 report was Grace Hadow, Sir Henry Hadow’s younger sister. Grace Hadow was a scholar and social worker. She also dabbled in writing literary history, publishing Chaucer and his Times in 1914.⁵⁹ She ran Barnett House, a spin-off of Toynbee Hall in Oxford, and was active in developing rural adult education in the surrounding area. She later became principal of the Society of Oxford Home Students (later St Anne’s College). This work naturally dovetailed with her close involvement in the WI from its inception.⁶⁰ Hadow provided a link to these ‘on the ground’ educational initiatives to the BBC. In November 1929 she requested a series of talks on ‘progress between 1830 and 1930’, keen for the BBC to synchronize with WI County Federations who would be discussing this subject at their monthly meetings.⁶¹ The previous autumn Hadow had herself broadcast a series on ‘Wayfaring in Olden Times’.⁶² The series was accompanied by an ‘Aids to Study’ pamphlet, the small booklets designed to maximize the educational impact of Talks that were probably the BBC’s most sustained contribution to listener-end technology in adult education.⁶³ Hadow’s pamphlet encouraged listeners to empathize with medieval travellers and draw parallels with present-day concerns (see Fig. 3.1). ⁵⁶ H. McCarthy, ‘Parties, Voluntary Associations, and Democratic Politics in Interwar Britain’, Historical Journal, 50 (2007), pp. 891 912; A. Kirke, ‘Education in Interwar Rural England: Community, Schooling and Voluntarism’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University College London, Institute of Education, 2016), pp. 218 27. ⁵⁷ ‘Village Life in Olden Times’, 19 January 23 February 1927, 15:45, 2LO London; Radio Times, 28 January 1927, p. 17. ⁵⁸ Cf. H. McCarthy, The British People and the League of Nations: Democracy, Citizenship and Internationalism c.1918 45 (Manchester, 2011), pp. 202 3. ⁵⁹ T. Smith, ‘Hadow, Grace Eleanor (1875 1940)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/33630], accessed 1 August 2020. ⁶⁰ J. Burchardt, ‘Rethinking the Rural Idyll: The English Rural Community Movement’, Cultural and Social History, 8 (2011), pp. 73 94; H. Deneke, Grace Hadow (London, 1946). ⁶¹ G. Hadow to C. Siepmann, 11 November 1929: BBC WAC, R14/73. ⁶² ‘Wayfaring in Olden Times’, 7 November 12 December 1928, 15:30, 2LO London and 5XX Daventry. ⁶³ Briggs, The Golden Age, pp. 181 2, 203.

Source: BBC copyright content reproduced courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Fig. 3.1 Grace Hadow, BBC Aids to Study Pamphlet No. 37: Wayfaring in Olden Times, 1928, pp. 16–17

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Questions for discussion included ‘How would it affect your daily life if goods could reach you only by horseback or on human back?’ and ‘Do you consider central or local government should be responsible for the making and upkeep of roads?’⁶⁴ In a 1918 article on the WI, Hadow explained: ‘Controversial subjects, religious or political, are taboo, but interest in their own home tends naturally and inevitably to questions of housing, sanitation, infant welfare, and kindred topics.’⁶⁵ Hadow’s notion of a useful history for women citizens was built on her conviction that a prosperous rural life grew out of mutual understanding. The ‘history of everyday life’ was a resource for generating such understanding. It revealed the intimate historical bonds that united rural communities otherwise divided by class, generation, and economic change, and gave the countryside a modern voice in a period when it felt silenced. In 1933 Grace Hadow undertook a more high-profile series of talks on the National Service, which were also widely promoted in The Listener. The ‘Exploration at Home’ series covered amateur historical pursuits such as tracing local place names, backgarden archaeology, puzzling out the origins of superstitions, and discovering the history of your hometown (see Table 3.1).⁶⁶ The first talk opened: These talks are not intended for experts. They do not profess to be more than jottings from notebooks which have been kept for many years and in which from time to time have been entered odds and ends of information collected from books or from people; suggestions which gave a fresh interest to the ordinary surroundings of everyday life and led to further reading and research.⁶⁷

Each of the six talks weaved nuggets of historical facts, cribbed and quoted from authoritative sources, into a ‘do-it-yourself ’ guide to the ‘history of everyday life’. Table 3.1 Schedule of Grace Hadow’s ‘Exploration at Home’ series, 1933 Date

Time

Title

26/05/33 02/06/33 09/06/33 16/06/33 23/06/33 30/06/33

19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30

I. Names and Their History II. Traces of Prehistoric Peoples III. Searching for Traces of Medieval life IV. On the Track of the Old Time Traveller V. How Superstitions Linger VI. Tracing the Story of Your Home Town

Source: BBC copyright content reproduced courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

⁶⁴ ⁶⁵ ⁶⁶ ⁶⁷

G. Hadow, BBC Aids to Study Pamphlet No. 37: Wayfaring in Olden Times (London, 1928), pp. 16, 9. G. Hadow, ‘Women’s Institutes’, Journal of the Board of Agriculture, 25 (1918). ‘Exploration at Home’, 26 May 5 July 1933, 19:30, National Service. G. Hadow, ‘Names and Their History’, The Listener, 31 May 1933, pp. 857 8, at p. 857.

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They were thematically organized and therefore not chronological, although one talk was devoted entirely to ‘Traces of Prehistoric Peoples’. Hadow spoke as if she was learning along with the listener: ‘By all means let us try to think for ourselves what a name or a word means, and then if we are lucky enough to be within reach of a library let us see how right or wrong we are.’⁶⁸ In making constant reference to named historical works throughout her talks, Hadow assumed a specifically gendered form of deference towards expertise and styled herself as an interpreter rather than as an historian. She remarked elsewhere that ordinary persons regarded history scholars ‘with an admiration tinctured by a sense of thankfulness that they are not called upon to tread such steep and arid paths of learning’.⁶⁹ Grace Hadow’s talks spurred a number of local museums to arrange special exhibitions of their specimens to illustrate their content (such museums are considered in more detail in the next chapter). Supplementary broadcasts by the archaeologist Samuel Winbolt were arranged, in which he offered guidance on locating related material in local museums.⁷⁰ Broadcasting was the cultural intermediary between the inhibited private individual and the learned public museum, inducing the listener to action and thus to self-improvement: ‘His first step after the broadcast is not likely to be a journey to the British Museum or either to some other nearer collection, but rather a ramble at some early date to some barrow, dene-hole, white horse, camp, or stone-circle within easy reach of his home.’⁷¹ Winbolt also wrote an article in The Listener about minor archaeological finds made on the plot of land around his house. He concluded on an encouraging note for the amateur enthusiast: ‘I need not quit my garden if I want to converse with the Muse of History.’⁷² The discovery of history in everyday life extended from the garden to the kitchen. Odd-jobbing journalist Dorothy Hartley occasionally offered broadcasts on historical food; her first was on medieval ox-roasting and aired on the Empire Service on 21 June 1937. She later had a wartime slot talking about ‘Country Cooking in the British Isles’.⁷³ Hartley was selected by the BBC during the war for possessing more than the usual ‘folksey’[sic] approach to rural history, also coded language for the demotic appeal of her Welshness.⁷⁴ In 1954 her hugely popular Food in England was published, formally fusing the ‘history of everyday life’ with practical domesticity.⁷⁵ The BBC’s endorsement of this shift away from history as ⁶⁸ G. Hadow, ‘Tracing the Story of Your Home Town’, The Listener, 5 July 1933, pp. 26 7, at p. 26. ⁶⁹ G. Hadow, ‘A Scholar’s Notebook’, The Listener, 22 May 1929, p. 706. ⁷⁰ ‘Where to Find the Past’, 29 May 26 June 1933, 20:40 21:30, 2LO London. ⁷¹ ‘Active and Passive Culture’, The Listener, 7 June 1933, p. 892. ⁷² S. Winbolt, ‘History at Home’, The Listener, 6 September 1933, p. 360. ⁷³ D. Hartley to R. Power, 2 May 1938: BBC WAC, Dorothy Hartley talks file I (1937 62); ‘Wise Housekeeping: Country Cookery in the British Isles’, 31 March 12 May 1942, 10:45, National Service. ⁷⁴ ‘BBC Memorandum: Miss Dorothy Hartley, Rural England’, 11 November 1941: BBC WAC, Dorothy Hartley talks file I (1937 62). ⁷⁵ ‘Introduction’, in Lost World: England 1933 1936, edited by L. Worsley, A. Bailey, and D. Hartley (Totnes, 2012).

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an abstract narrative to something essentially domestic and personal is fundamental to understanding how popular history in Britain changed between the wars. History was democratized by virtue of it being all around and in the most mundane places: a ubiquitous and dynamic environment in the present from which the individual, even a working-class woman in her home, was free to pick and choose their own stories and meanings. Broadcasting was established and accepted as a viable educational medium by the end of the 1920s. The new challenge was producing programmes that played to the strengths of the aural broadcast form and made receiving new information dynamic and entertaining, as well as educational. In 1929 Charles Siepmann (head of BBC Talks and adult education from 1931 to 1935) told a congregation of museum professionals that educators should behave more like salesmen: ‘We have not only to provide good fare but to provide it in a form and under circumstances which make it palatable to our consuming public.’⁷⁶ This more flexible and creative political vision amongst BBC professionals initiated a freer approach to educational broadcasting. From 1932, the Talks department was overall shifting towards a more realist line, focusing on representing social realities and everyday life. This ‘actuality’ was achieved through the new technical achievement of the outside broadcast, pioneered in the regions. BBC regional outside broadcasting drew upon the same avant-garde cultures that produced Mass-Observation (M-O) and the documentary film movement.⁷⁷ Melanie Tebbutt’s study of youth broadcasting highlights how these energies were also channelled into giving ordinary juvenile workers a voice of their own on the radio.⁷⁸ In 1940 Director of Features and Drama Val Gielgud confidently hailed all of this as the arrival of broadcasting ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’, arguing that the roots of such programming ‘lie in their democratic character’.⁷⁹ This more open and risk-taking era of radio established the ‘history of everyday life’ as a unique mode of history broadcasting in new ways. One particularly notable new format of the 1930s was historical dramatization.⁸⁰ In 1934 a series of ‘Famous Trials’ began with the ‘King’s Tryall’, ‘an exact and most impartial presentation’ of the High Court’s trying and judgment of Charles I in 1649.⁸¹ This initial experiment was a huge success, hailed as ‘a new medium of dramatic ⁷⁶ C. Siepmann, ‘The Relation of Broadcast Education to the Work of Museums’, Museums Journal, 29 (1929), pp. 116 25, at p. 117. ⁷⁷ Scannell and Cardiff, A Social History, pp. 135, 146 52; Harker, ‘ “The Trumpet of the Night” ’, p. 89. ⁷⁸ M. Tebbutt, ‘Listening to Youth? BBC Youth Broadcasts during the 1930s and the Second World War’, History Workshop Journal, 84 (2017), pp. 214 33. ⁷⁹ BBC, The BBC Handbook 1940 (London, 1940), p. 59. ⁸⁰ A. Crisell, ‘Better than Magritte: How Drama on the Radio became Radio Drama’, Journal of Radio Studies, 7 (2000), pp. 464 73. ⁸¹ ‘King’s Tryall’, 1 February 1934, 20:00, Western Regional Service; Radio Times, 26 January 1934, p. 51.

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Table 3.2 Schedule of the ‘Famous Trials’ programmes, 1934 7 Date

Time

Title

01/02/34 18/05/34 16/07/34 07/12/34 29/01/35 07/05/35 24/02/36 21/02/37

20:00 20:00 20:00 19:30 20:00 20:00 20:40 17:00

The King’s Tryall Famous Trials: Simon Lord Lovat of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 Famous Trials: Richard Hathaway Famous Trials: John Byng Famous Trials: Lady Alice Lisle Famous Trials: William Penn Famous Trials: Maximilian Hapsburg Famous Trials: Major Stede Bonnet and other Pirates

Source: BBC copyright content reproduced courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

expression for the microphone’.⁸² The series returned a few months later on the National Service and thereafter different historical trials were periodically dramatized into 1937 (see Table 3.2). Professional actors, some famed in the West End, were commissioned to broadcast, although care was taken to emphasize that the episodes remained a legitimate historical exercise ‘based on authenticated documents’.⁸³ In 1936 the script for an episode on the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots caused a disagreement between Gielgud and BBC Scotland on the grounds that its inaccuracies were offensive to Scottish history and culture.⁸⁴ These national tensions exposed how radio histories traded judiciously in the currency of historical authenticity in order to achieve their primary goal of sensory experience.⁸⁵ The Radio Times explained the success of the ‘Famous Trials’ series: Here in the realism of the Court room, the echo of hoofs in Whitehall, the stamp of feet in the corridors, was drama all the more real and tense because it was based on facts and not conceived in fiction. The human story of a man who lived and died, the actual words he spoke, the way he faced his judges and execution ers, held listeners as perhaps no radio drama had ever done before.⁸⁶

Dramatic forms on the radio relied on a type of thick description, a threedimensional reconstruction of the sensual conditions of historical settings.⁸⁷ Despite often recounting elite lives or political events, they evoked a sense of reality through the sounds and scenery of everyday life. The audience at home was encouraged to imagine themselves as ‘eye witness’ to history in the making.⁸⁸ In ⁸² Radio Times, 30 November 1934, p. 64. ⁸³ Radio Times, 13 July 1934, p. 30. ⁸⁴ Hajkowski, The BBC, p. 143. ⁸⁵ Cf. M. Vandrei, Queen Boudica and Historical Culture in Britain: An Image of Truth (Oxford, 2018), pp. 67 72. ⁸⁶ Radio Times, 30 November 1934, p. 64. ⁸⁷ Cf. Wrigley, Greece on Air, p. 113. ⁸⁸ Cf. Scannell and Cardiff, A Social History, p. 166.

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one episode it was explained that listeners were ‘seated just behind [the Lord Chief Justice’s] elbow, and will hear the trial from exactly the same position as he will’. Witnesses for the defence included ‘A Rude Medley of the Vulgar’, evoked through sound effects.⁸⁹ The trials aimed to expose the ordinary to the extraordinary. They were highly entertaining yet still educational, tapping into the historical imagination in the manner of Shakespearian histories.⁹⁰ The original ‘King’s Tryall’ was the work of Peter Creswell. Later episodes were created by Lance Sieveking, an avant-garde producer noted for his high-concept approach to dramatic features.⁹¹ Other experiments of the Sieveking era included ‘Historic Occasions’ which reconstructed episodes in recent history through a mish-mash of diplomatic dispatches, telegrams, and extracts from memoirs and diaries.⁹² As David Hendy has argued, Sieveking connected the BBC to the wider currents of British modernist culture, especially cinema, and his influence was long lasting on a generation of professional radio producers.⁹³ The ‘montage’ and ‘mosaic’ techniques that Sieveking invented were realized to their fullest historical effect in the long-running ‘BBC Scrapbooks’ programmes, which interspersed actors’ voices playing composite characters and public figures with contemporary clips and music from a chosen year. This series was written and produced by Leslie Baily and Charles Brewer, and began airing on the Northern Regional Service in 1932. From 1933 the Scrapbooks were being transmitted nationally at eight o’clock in the evening. Airing on average five times per year, they were amongst the most popular ‘peak’ features on BBC radio during the 1930s with an estimated audience of 32 million listeners.⁹⁴ The Scrapbooks continued to be made and broadcast in various forms after 1945 and up to 1970.⁹⁵ In 1934 ‘A Scrapbook for 1909’ was billed as ‘A Microphone Medley of TwentyFive Years Ago . . . no history book—just a scrapbook of cherished fragments’.⁹⁶ In a Radio Times article of the same year, Baily explained that the scrapbooks were responding to a demand for ‘authentic radio reminiscence’.⁹⁷ Like so many ‘histories of everyday life’, the Scrapbooks relied on a history that was faintly in living memory, yet faded enough to evoke a sentimental reaction to a past just lost.⁹⁸ Their primary aim was, unashamedly, to entertain: ‘if they educate as well, it is a secondary purpose’.⁹⁹ These experimental forms of broadcasting purposefully played with the limits of history education. They relied on making an explicit ⁸⁹ Radio Times, 13 July 1934, pp. 30, 102. ⁹⁰ Cf. B. Dobree, ‘Different Kinds of History’, The Listener, 31 May 1933, p. 881. ⁹¹ Scannell and Cardiff, A Social History, p. 136. ⁹² See, for example, Radio Times, 17 August 1934, p. 57. ⁹³ D. Hendy, ‘Painting with Sound: The Kaleidoscopic World of Lance Sieveking, a British Radio Modernist’, Twentieth Century British History, 24 (2013), pp. 169 200. ⁹⁴ L. Baily and C. Brewer, The BBC Scrapbooks (London, 1937), p. 17. ⁹⁵ See R. Bickerton, ‘Scrapbook’, Radio Plays, Diversity Website, [http://www.suttonelms.org.uk/ articles31.html], accessed 1 August 2020. ⁹⁶ Radio Times, 16 February 1934, p. 38. ⁹⁷ Radio Times, 2 November 1934. ⁹⁸ Baily and Brewer, The BBC Scrapbooks, pp. v vi. ⁹⁹ Radio Times, 2 November 1934.

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connection between historical episodes and the emotional and visceral responses of the listener as a human being. All kinds of social history found a place on the BBC history agenda between the wars, but the most important thread that united them was the principle of making history ‘relevant’. This directly echoed the logic that guided the development of mass history education for ordinary school pupils, described in the previous chapter. This approach to history for a general, adult audience went uncontested, as long as the Reithian vision of a single cultural nation remained. Sometimes it could be achieved through tracing the historical background of a present-day political or social issue, but this frequently led to contentious territory. Inter-war BBC history programmes were far more comfortable, and far more successful, when they provided access to history via the ‘things’, local places, and feelings of everyday life. Very often these approaches could avoid the politics of class altogether, ideal for an institution actively seeking a more conciliatory political positioning throughout the 1930s. But nor were these programmes politically purposeless. The historian Arthur Bryant was keen to see the BBC promote a patriotic national history, and he vociferously critiqued what he saw as the left-wing prejudice of BBC history programmes in the 1930s.¹⁰⁰ Bryant’s complaints focused on the promotion of trade unionism in talks, which in reality was closely monitored by the BBC and far less common on the inter-war wireless than the ‘history of everyday life’, as we have seen. Something subtler than left versus right was afoot. The ‘history of everyday life’ connected with the listener on the level of personal history and memory. This functioned as a kind of popular, progressive counter to Bryant’s own national pageantry, and to inter-war Conservative uses of the wireless embodied in Stanley Baldwin’s ‘fireside chats’.¹⁰¹ Indeed, all of the programmes discussed so far exhibit signs that the BBC was developing a greater ease with activities and techniques associated with the market as a route to engaging its public, by the 1930s. Here are the germs of a leisure-oriented history that was to prove wildly popular via the new mediums of television and ‘blockbuster’ museum exhibitions later in the century.

BBC Schools Broadcasting and Social History between the Wars As a subdivision of the Talks branch before the Second World War, the schools broadcasting department was connected to the wider educational broadcasting landscape at the BBC. But schools broadcasting, like many educational topics, has ¹⁰⁰ J. Stapleton, Sir Arthur Bryant and National History in Twentieth Century Britain (Lanham; Oxford, 2005), pp. 101 3. ¹⁰¹ R. McKibbin, ‘Class and Conventional Wisdom: The Conservative Party and the Public in Inter war Britain’, in The Ideologies of Class: Social Relations in Britain, 1880 1950 (Oxford, 1991), pp. 259 93.

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suffered much scholarly neglect in social and cultural history, and in BBC history.¹⁰² Unlike the famed ‘Children’s Hour’ broadcasts, schools talks on the radio were subject specific and so can tell us a lot about the democratization of knowledge in mid-twentieth-century Britain. Moreover, the impact of women was especially felt in the schools broadcasting department. It therefore functioned as an important node in disseminating and amplifying female contributions to midcentury history making. That said, the first ever BBC broadcast to schools for history came in September 1924 with a series of fifteen-minute talks by Professor J. A. Ireland, memorably titled ‘Men Who Have Made History’.¹⁰³ The early phase of BBC work with schools in the 1920s was patchy since the corporation was insufficiently connected to the LEAs. Moreover, Britain’s impoverished elementary schools rarely had adequate equipment to receive schools broadcasts and teachers were highly sceptical of the efficacy of classroom broadcasting.¹⁰⁴ The BBC’s National Advisory Committee on Education met in May 1924 and heard a report on the first experimental schools transmissions, which identified the ‘lack of physical presence of the lecturer’ as the biggest problem.¹⁰⁵ By June 1926 it was estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 London schools were listening in. Of these, 70 per cent were elementary schools, 16 per cent private, 10 per cent high schools and secondary schools, and 4 per cent the new (postprimary) Central Schools.¹⁰⁶ This section explains how schools history broadcasting developed from this starting point. It demonstrates how common educational thinking about the needs of ordinary listeners underpinned BBC programming, realized through innovative broadcasting techniques that gave further form and focus to the ‘history of everyday life’ as a distinctive way of rendering historical lives, actions, and feelings. In 1927 the Carnegie Trust funded a special investigation into the value of schools broadcasting and a pilot study was conducted in Kent. The Kent inquiry enabled the BBC to directly observe listening conditions in schools.¹⁰⁷ It was the first step in a sustained partnership that would eventually see BBC Education ¹⁰² Although Briggs considered BBC education holistically, neither Scannell and Cardiff nor Hajkowski cover schools broadcasting in their studies. Histories of education have focused on particu lar subjects within children’s and schools broadcasting. See, for example, G. Cox, ‘School Music Broadcasts and the BBC 1924 47’, History of Education, 25 (2006), pp. 363 71; S. Parker, ‘Teach Them to Pray Auntie: Children’s Hour Prayers at the BBC, 1940 1961’, History of Education, 39 (2010), pp. 659 76. ¹⁰³ B. J. Elliott, ‘BBC History Talks for Schools: The Early Years’, Teaching History, 4 (1976), pp. 350 8, at p. 350. ¹⁰⁴ ‘BBC Memorandum: School Broadcasting’, June 1932: BBC WAC, S68/9; Elliott, ‘BBC History Talks for Schools’, pp. 351, 357. ¹⁰⁵ J. C. Stobart to G. Gater, 13 June 1924: London Metropolitan Archives, Clerkenwell, London (hereafter LMA), LCC/EO/GEN/01/083. ¹⁰⁶ ‘Meeting of the Education Advisory Committee’, 30 June 1926: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/083. ¹⁰⁷ Educational Broadcasting: Report of a Special Investigation in the County of Kent during the Year 1927 (Dunfermline, 1928). Cf. K. Fawdry, Everything but Alf Garnett: A Personal View of BBC School Broadcasting (London, 1974), pp. 43 5.

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Officers deployed on the ground in schools and reporting back to the BBC. Since the actual listener research department was not established until 1936, this schools work was probably the BBC’s longest-running and most successful listener liaison project.¹⁰⁸ At the centre of the investigation into schools was Mary Somerville, the first BBC woman producer recruited by Reith in 1925, who became Director of Schools Broadcasting in 1929.¹⁰⁹ She regarded the Kent inquiry as a crucial turning point.¹¹⁰ The Quennells broadcast a schools series on ‘Everyday Things of the Past’ over the summer term of 1927, as part of the work of the Kent inquiry.¹¹¹ But comments on this series were disappointing. Pupils basically found Charles Quennell to be dull and impersonal on the radio; he spoke too quickly and failed to pause between sentences, and his phrases were too complex.¹¹² More positively, the series did inspire 60 per cent of listening teachers with ideas for future lessons.¹¹³ But as Charles wrote to Somerville gloomily: ‘I begin to see why the schoolmasters keep education on a literary basis. It is easier to teach boys how to conjugate verbs, than to tell them of the complications of everyday life.’¹¹⁴ The Kent inquiry concluded that broadcast lessons were definitely valuable, but more needed to be done to suit the needs of the listening schools and to aid them in a technical capacity.¹¹⁵ Administrative changes followed, the most important of which was the formation of the Central Council for Schools Broadcasting (CCSB) in 1929.¹¹⁶ The CCSB was charged both with ‘educational responsibility’ for programme proposals at the transmitting end, and with helping schools at the listening end. The internal BBC schools broadcasting department therefore operated as an ideas factory, submitting proposals to the CCSB’s various subject subcommittees for approval. By 1932 the schools department had five full-time members of staff in London and two in Scotland, reporting to Somerville, and its annual expenditure was £16,000.¹¹⁷ The CCSB’s history subject sub-committee consisted of historians (often members of the Historical Association Council), teachers, and a representative from the Board of Education. They were broadly receptive to unconventional ideas. Scriptwriters generally valued their input and constructive criticism, although clashes occurred when programmes were deemed too propagandist for a ¹⁰⁸ ‘BBC Memorandum: School Broadcasting’. Cf. Briggs, The Golden Age, pp. 176 7. ¹⁰⁹ Murphy, Behind the Wireless, pp. 159 67. ¹¹⁰ BBC, The BBC Yearbook 1945 (London, 1945), pp. 64 6. ¹¹¹ ‘Everyday Things of the Past’, 13 June 18 July 1927, 15:00, 2LO London. The final talk was reserved for ‘summing up and examination’ for the purposes of the Kent inquiry. ¹¹² Central Council for School Broadcasting, The Evidence Regarding Broadcast History Lessons (London, 1930), appendix B. ¹¹³ Elliott, ‘BBC History Talks for Schools’, p. 352. ¹¹⁴ C. H. B. Quennell to M. Somerville, 18 May 1927: BBC WAC, RCONT 1 Quennell, Marjorie, and Charles talks file 1 (1924 62). ¹¹⁵ Educational Broadcasting. ¹¹⁶ BBC, The BBC Yearbook 1930 (London, 1930), p. 223. ¹¹⁷ ‘BBC Memorandum: School Broadcasting’.

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particular cause.¹¹⁸ The CCSB conducted an inquiry in 1929 specifically to assess children’s responses to history broadcasts. They set a fifteen-minute test to school pupils who had been following a series of autumn broadcasts. Based on 1,191 pupil responses ranging from ages seven to seventeen, the report found that the episodes enjoyed the least were those outside the ‘experience range’ of the child. These were ‘Tournament Day at the Castle’, ‘St Bertha’s Day in Palestine’, ‘St Thomas’ Day in Canterbury’, and ‘Hungry Days in the 14th Century’. The ‘daily life’ element proved popular across all age ranges. The examiner concluded that to succeed pedagogically the history broadcasts must have ‘a direct personal appeal’, leading naturally to histories of everyday life.¹¹⁹ Invested in the developmental psychological discourses of ‘progressive’ education, BBC programme makers estimated that their younger listeners possessed only a limited sense of historical time.¹²⁰ Instead of hearing the detailed historical context behind a new period or place, children were eased into unfamiliar settings through the familiar actions and routines of another child in history.¹²¹ One retrospective account described the ‘history of everyday life’ in broadcast talks as follows: Everyday life in the past may be presented in these programmes in many different ways. Details about the way people have lived find a place in many broadcasts which cannot be labeled ‘social history’. In any story of the past which has life, the characters betray the habits of their age. The food they eat, the songs they sing, their methods of travelling or fighting or lighting their houses, even the flavour of their speech, are all woven into the story.¹²²

The number of listening-in schools rose consistently over the 1930s, as steady improvements were made at both the transmitting and listening ends. The CCSB closely monitored how schools actually used the broadcasts and ensured that accompanying study pamphlets became a regular fixture.¹²³ The last few years of the 1930s were a period of considerable momentum, with more schools programmes being broadcast than ever before.¹²⁴ In 1938 it was reported that 10,000

¹¹⁸ See, for example, ‘BBC Memorandum: Senior History, Wolfe and Montclam at Quebec’, 23 October 1941: BBC WAC, R16/421/1; ‘BBC Memorandum: History Broadcast by Eileen Power “The Rise of the Workers” ’, 7 March 1936: BBC WAC, 910 RCONT 1, Eileen Power talks 3, 1936 1940. ¹¹⁹ ‘Report on History Test’, 1929: BBC WAC, S68/9, pp. 3, 5, 9. Cf. ‘Putting the Schoolchild in Touch with the World’, The Listener, 27 September 1933, p. 457. ¹²⁰ Cf. L. Tisdall, A Progressive Education? How Childhood Changed in Mid Twentieth Century English and Welsh Schools (Manchester, 2019), pp. 50 5. ¹²¹ ‘New Steps in School Broadcasting’, The Listener, 17 September 1930, p. 452. ¹²² R. Palmer, School Broadcasting in Britain (London, 1947), p. 88. ¹²³ ‘Experts in Council’, The Listener, 4 June 1930, p. 976; D. P. Dobson, ‘Wireless Lessons in History’, History, 15 (1930), pp. 34 8. The schools pamphlets were similar in layout and content to the general ‘Aids to Study’ pamphlets and were first published around the same time: ‘A Still Higher Standard’, The Listener, 18 September 1929, p. 372; ‘New Steps in School Broadcasting’. ¹²⁴ Briggs, The Golden Age, p. 176.

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classes of children were listening to weekly history broadcasts, divided between three courses for different age ranges.¹²⁵ Syllabuses from 1929 to 1935 had varied year on year, but by the mid-1930s the department had hit upon a winning formula: ‘World History’ for nine- to eleven-year-olds (elementary/juniors), ‘British History’ for eleven- to fourteen-year-olds (post-primary/secondary), and ‘History in the Making’ for the thirteen-plus group (leavers). For each series there were typically twelve talks in the autumn term, ten in the spring term, and eight in the summer term (owing to common interruptions such as berry picking).¹²⁶ The CCSB continued to consult and inquire over how schools were listening, debating the merits of topic teaching over straight chronology. But it remained impossible to discern how many schools listened regularly and fully integrated the broadcasts into their teaching.¹²⁷ Welsh and Scottish schools could make use of the main programmes designed out of the London schools broadcasting department, but the BBC in Scotland and Wales also had their own Education Officers and their own roster of supplementary programmes. Following the general trend, Scotland enjoyed a lot more autonomy than Wales. The BBC in Scotland had its own dedicated schools staff in Glasgow and Edinburgh, who liaised with a separate Scottish sub-council of the CCSB to produce Scottish schools broadcasts.¹²⁸ Hajkowski argues that after 1932 the nationally transmitted Scottish Regional Programme bound Scottish listeners together in a community defined by radio.¹²⁹ In the case of schools broadcasting, which Hajkowski’s study does not cover, this imagined community was evident in the emphasis on Scottish cultural content, but the Scottish ‘national region’ still tended to mirror or imitate pedagogical patterns in London. Schools broadcasting for Scotland was indeed well established by the mid1930s. During 1937 the number of schools recorded as listening in Scotland rose by 17.5 per cent (England and Wales saw a 37.8 per cent increase).¹³⁰ From 1931 to 1932 J. D. Mackie presented the series ‘Scotland and Her Neighbours’, which placed Scotland in a Scandinavian and European context. From January 1934 the schools’ series ‘Modern Scotland in the Making’ first aired, which shifted to a more industrial and agricultural historical narrative. This was followed in the autumn term by ‘Scottish Social History’, presented by Martha C. Scott-Moncrieff and R. L. Mackie, a series which continued into 1935 (see Table 3.3).¹³¹ By ¹²⁵ G. T. Hankin, ‘The Poison of History’, History, 23 (1938), pp. 139 40, at p. 139. ¹²⁶ ‘Broadcasts to Schools September 1936 to June 1937’, 1936, pp. 22, 42, 45; ‘Broadcasts to Schools September 1937 to June 1938’, 1937, pp. 28, 46, 52, 57; ‘Broadcasts to Schools September 1938 to June 1939’, 1938, pp. 28 32; ‘Broadcasts to Schools September 1939 to June 1940’, 1939, pp. 26 30. All: BBC WAC, Box S322. ¹²⁷ ‘BBC Memorandum: Fortnightly Courses in History’, 25 October 1938: BBC WAC, R16/421/1. ¹²⁸ Fawdry, Everything but Alf Garnett, pp. 122 4; ‘Broadcasts to Schools’, The Listener, 29 December 1938, p. 1386. ¹²⁹ Hajkowski, The BBC, p. 140. ¹³⁰ BBC, The BBC Handbook 1938 (London, 1938), p. 21. ¹³¹ ‘Scotland and Her Neighbours’, September 1931 June 1932, 14:40; ‘Modern Scotland in the Making’, January June 1934, 14:05 14:10; ‘Scottish Social History’, September 1934 March 1935, 14:05 14:10, all on the Scottish Regional Programme.

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Table 3.3 Schedule of BBC schools ‘Scottish Social History’ series, 1934 Date

Time

Title

26/09/34 03/10/34 10/10/34 17/10/34 24/10/34 31/10/34 07/11/34 14/11/34 21/11/34 28/11/34 05/12/34 12/12/34

14:05 14:10 14:10 14:10 14:05 14:05 14:10 14:05 14:10 14:10 14:10 14:10

1: Workers in Ancient Scotland at Home 2: Workers in Ancient Scotland; Natives and Strangers 3: Workers in Ancient Scotland; Team Work 4: On the Roman Frontier 5: Interlude: Trimontium (Newstead  180) 6: Missionaries and Saints 7: The Vikings: The Men from the North 8: Interlude: Monk and Viking ( 825) 9: Malcolm and Margaret 10: The Normans: The Men from the South 11: Church and Monastery 12: Interlude: Benighted (Melrose Abbey, Christmas Eve, 1191)

Source: BBC copyright content reproduced courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

1939–40 the course was split into Junior (ages nine to twelve) ‘Stories from Scottish History’ and Senior (ages twelve to fifteen) ‘Scotland Since the Union’, the latter emphasizing ‘the social and economic aspects of modern Scottish History’.¹³² Scottish schools history broadcasting therefore offered an alternative Scottish narrative, set in a similar pedagogical frame as the British programmes planned in London. Welsh schools history programmes, meanwhile, tended to introduce Welsh cultural figures that could be inserted into the British story. This began with the ‘Great Leaders and Movements in Welsh History’ series from 1929, followed by ‘Makers of Modern Wales’ from 1937.¹³³ During the Second World War more of this history was broadcast in Welsh, signalling the slow and uneven trend towards Welsh language education that would unfold over the post-war decades.¹³⁴ Rhoda Power, whom we met in the previous chapter as the co-author of history books with her sister Eileen, was a highly influential figure in British schools broadcasting (see Fig. 3.2). Rhoda’s distinctive vision of social history shaped the educational output of BBC radio throughout the mid-twentieth century.¹³⁵ The CCSB’s history sub-committee chiefly valued her ability to present history dramatically, ‘in terms of the children’s own lives’.¹³⁶ From 1927 Rhoda worked for ¹³² ‘Broadcasts to Scottish Schools 1939 40’, 1939: BBC WAC, Box S322, pp. 24 7, at p. 26. ¹³³ ‘Great Leaders and Movements in Welsh History’, April June 1929, 14:30, 5WA Cardiff; ‘Makers of Modern Wales’, September 1937 June 1938, 11:05, Midland Regional Service. ¹³⁴ Cf. G. E. Jones and G. W. Roderick, A History of Education in Wales (Cardiff, 2003), pp. 157, 159 60. ¹³⁵ For a full discussion of Rhoda Power’s life and her work at the BBC, see L. Carter, ‘Rhoda Power, BBC Radio, and Mass Education, 1922 1957’, Revue française de civilisation britannique, XXVI 1 (2021) [http://journals.openedition.org/rfcb/7316], accessed 18 March 2021. ¹³⁶ Elliott, ‘BBC History Talks for Schools’, p. 352.

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Fig. 3.2 Portrait of Rhoda Power at the BBC, 1947 Source: BBC Photo Library/BBC copyright content reproduced courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

the BBC as an ad-hoc scriptwriter and broadcaster. She began a part-time contract in July 1937 and became full time from September 1939.¹³⁷After an industrious war, Rhoda emerged as a senior member of staff in the schools broadcasting department and was amongst the highest-earning women professionals at the BBC.¹³⁸ She was recognized with an MBE in 1950 for her contribution to history

¹³⁷ ‘BBC Memorandum: Miss Rhoda Power’, 23 June 1936; ‘BBC Memorandum: Miss Rhoda Power’, 16 January 1939; ‘BBC Memorandum: Miss Rhoda Power’, July 1943: BBC WAC, R94/2 962 2; ‘Miss Rhoda Power’, The Times, 11 March 1957, p. 12. ¹³⁸ Rhoda’s salary rose from £600 per annum when she began her full time contract in September 1939 to reach £1650 in April 1955, ‘Rhoda Power contract log’, 22 July 1937 25 April 1948; ‘Rhoda Power contract log’, 22 July 1937 9 March 1957; ‘Note on School Broadcasts scriptwriters on Programme Contract’, 5 November 1945: BBC WAC, R94/2 962 2. For context, see Murphy, Behind the Wireless, appendix 3.

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education, and died in 1957 whilst still working at the BBC. Rhoda Power’s thirtyyear career at the BBC made her the quintessential woman broadcaster of wireless’s ‘golden age’.¹³⁹ After her death, Mary Somerville recorded her amazement that Rhoda had never pursued a broadcasting career outside of the schools department.¹⁴⁰ Rhoda is best known as a sidekick to her sister, the economic historian Eileen Power. Indeed, after an image of Rhoda in the BBC recording booth appeared on an ‘Ogden’s’ cigarette card in 1935, she joked to a colleague: ‘it’s very useful when Eileen & Beryl are given fresh academic & civic honours. I just take it out in their presence & look at it quietly & significantly, to remind them of what real fame is’ (see Fig. 3.3).¹⁴¹ The sisters collaborated on the 1927 schools series ‘Boys and Girls of the Middle Ages’, a broadcast spin-off from their CUP history books discussed in Chapter 2. The radio talks were co-written, but Rhoda broadcast them all.¹⁴² Rhoda had broadcast before Eileen and she continued to do so long after Eileen’s BBC career dwindled following an altercation with Mary Somerville in 1936 over

Fig. 3.3 ‘Broadcasting a History Lesson’, Ogden’s cigarette card, 1935. From left to right, the card depicts Norman Shelley, Rhoda Power, and Philip Wade Source: BBC copyright content reproduced courtesy of the British Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

¹³⁹ Cf. Murphy, Behind the Wireless, pp. 135 7. ¹⁴⁰ ‘Miss Rhoda Power’, The Times, 13 March 1957, p. 13. ¹⁴¹ R. Power to Edith, 15 April 1935: BBC WAC, Rhoda Power talks file I. Emphasis true to source. The third sister, Beryl Power, had a long and distinguished career as a civil servant in the Ministry of Labour and the Foreign Office: see H. McCarthy, Women of the World: The Rise of the Female Diplomat (London, 2015 (first published 2014)), pp. 124 8. I would like to thank Rozemarijn Van De Wal for alerting me to the existence of this cigarette card. ¹⁴² ‘Boys and Girls of the Middle Ages’, 26 September 12 December 1927, 14:30, 2LO London and 5XX Daventry. Cf. ‘The Listener’s Book Chronicle’, The Listener, 20 February 1929, p. 218.

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the politicization of world history broadcasting.¹⁴³ An active League of Nations Union lecturer and peace campaigner, Eileen was impassioned in her use of broadcasting to promote her favoured causes. She pushed back against accusations of a leftist bias in her scripts.¹⁴⁴ In doing so she was veering away from the type of history the BBC could feasibly accommodate. Stefan Collini has questioned the reach of Eileen Power’s public impact during her lifetime, in contrast to her posthumous, feminist reputation. He contends that she did not connect her historical work to her political commitment to internationalism in a way that had genuine resonance with a broader public.¹⁴⁵ This argument implies that being a public intellectual has a set of fixed criteria, criteria that women were unlikely to be in a position to fulfil between the wars. Rhoda was also deeply interested in world politics but she shrewdly incorporated internationalism into her histories in a cultural capacity. She chose a pathway that connected social history to Britain’s mid-twentieth-century educational culture, rather than to politics. If we are to fully comprehend the contribution of women to public life in Britain after 1918 a profound new appreciation of the extent of this educational culture is essential, including its connection to cultural industries, voluntarism, and local politics. Rhoda’s participation in Britain’s educational culture had a significant ‘public impact’, beyond the intellectual elite, during her lifetime and after. It has been widely noted that Eileen Power’s travels in Asia influenced her historiographical outlook, making it more humanist and interdisciplinary.¹⁴⁶ Rhoda also regarded international travel and exposure to different cultures as fundamental to an understanding of society, politics, and ultimately, history. Most of her career was punctuated by long spells of foreign travel, especially to Central and South America. These sojourns were an exercise in social-historical time travel and formed the basis of her anthropological approach to the ‘history of everyday life’.¹⁴⁷ This approach was also formed through a decidedly white, imperial gaze, highlighting how effortlessly progressive history teaching accommodated mid-century British colonial discourses.¹⁴⁸ Rhoda’s second ever broadcast talk was entitled ‘How it’s Done: How the Australian Sultana is Raised’ in July

¹⁴³ See M. Berg, A Woman in History: Eileen Power, 1889 1940 (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 232 4. ¹⁴⁴ See, for example, E. Power to G. Deacon Cog, 2 March 1936; E. Power to G. Deacon Cog, 20 March 1936: BBC WAC, 910 RCONT 1. ¹⁴⁵ S. Collini, ‘Historian Intellectuals? Eileen Power, Herbert Butterfield, Hugh Trevor Roper’, in Common Writing: Essays on Literary Culture and Public Debate (Oxford, 2016), pp. 241 65, at pp. 245, 248. ¹⁴⁶ E. Jacobs, ‘Eileen Power’s Asian Journey, 1920 21: History, Narrative, and Subjectivity’, Women’s History Review, 7 (1998), pp. 295 319. Cf. Berg, A Woman in History, pp. 162 3. ¹⁴⁷ ‘Rhoda Power contract log’, 22 July 1937 9 March 1957; ‘Rhoda Power: Letters from America’, 1946 7: Archive and Special Collections, Girton College, University of Cambridge (hereafter GCA), GCPP Power, R 2/3. ¹⁴⁸ Cf. B. Melman, ‘Under the Western Historian’s Eyes: Eileen Power and the Early Feminist Encounter with Colonialism’, History Workshop Journal, 42 (1996), pp. 147 68.

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1927.¹⁴⁹ She also lectured to the WI on ‘Maori Life in New Zealand Before the British Came’ in May 1928.¹⁵⁰ As an educationalist and amateur anthropologist, Rhoda saw history differently to most inter-war historians. For her it was part of an unfolding, universalist story of human culture: If [history] is to be pleasurable and valuable, it must give one an intimate knowledge of human beings, not an outline of facts, nor a mere grouping of certain aspects under headings economic history, constitutional history, polit ical history. Men and women of all time have not lived by bread alone. They have had more than an economic life. Institutions, constitutions, politics are their attempts to conduct life, the result of human effort in the adventure of living. Studied apart from their human interest, they lose the greater part of their meaning . . . Events are really always either the outcome or accompaniment of human passion. And that is why I plead for the humanizing of the history lesson.¹⁵¹

Rhoda saw this humanization as the translation of history into ‘real life’. She stressed the importance of the broadcaster establishing an earnest connection with the audience, and of being constantly aware of them so as to avoid ‘insincere’ detachment.¹⁵² Her approach was therefore wholly in sync with the BBC’s overall policy of bringing the abstract down to earth. Rather than ‘dumbing it down’, they wanted to thicken intellectual topics with life and experience. As one listener matter-of-factly wrote to The Listener in 1931, the broadcaster ought to ‘put oneself in the listener’s shoes for radio more than for someone preparing a subject for delivery in a pure academic sense’.¹⁵³ Rhoda crafted a particular technique to respond to these demands. Humanizing history on the radio meant tapping into the listener’s ‘oral vision’, or making people ‘see through their ears’.¹⁵⁴ Her innovation was to create the ‘illustrated talk’ with dramatic interludes including sound effects, dialogue, and music. The institutionalization of this technique across schools broadcasting had a lasting impact. But the CCSB history subcommittee favoured and prioritized Rhoda’s creative flair over her expertise as a public ‘historian-intellectual’.¹⁵⁵ After receiving a series of criticisms of her talks in 1930, they felt she ‘should refrain from dealing with the future’.¹⁵⁶ It was far more permissible for women to profess historical expertise in pedagogy than in relation to politics. ¹⁴⁹ ¹⁵⁰ ¹⁵¹ ¹⁵² ¹⁵³ ¹⁵⁴ ¹⁵⁵ ¹⁵⁶

‘How it’s Done: How the Australian Sultana is Raised’, 22 July 1927, 17:00, 2LO London. ‘Maori Life in New Zealand Before the British Came’, 8 May 1928: BBC WAC, S68/9. ‘Dramatization in the Teaching of History’, 30 April 1932: BBC WAC, S68/9. ‘Sincerity in Broadcasting’, The Listener, 13 May 1931, p. 820. ‘The Technique of Broadcast Speaking’, The Listener, 21 January 1931, p. 118. R. Power, ‘Broadcasting History Lessons’, 25 February 1933: BBC WAC, S68/9. Cf. Collini, ‘Historian Intellectuals?’ Elliott, ‘BBC History Talks for Schools’, p. 353. Emphasis true to source.

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In her 1928 series ‘Boys and Girls of Other Days’, Rhoda first experimented with sound effects such as cheering crowds, a marching regiment, spinning wheels, and the use of extant songs.¹⁵⁷ The noises were initially improvised live in the studio, but as the technology improved, pre-existing recordings could be cut in. The BBC gradually amassed a library of sound effects, including the crowing of ‘some very ancient birds’ recorded outside the Tower of London.¹⁵⁸ Rhoda researched old music and lyrics in the library, and the BBC often arranged live singers to accompany her. As the technique developed, she made consistent efforts to ensure each interlude was technically adapted to the suit the age range targeted by the series.¹⁵⁹ From 1931 the new ‘World History’ series for twelve- to fifteen-year-olds hinged on Rhoda Power’s ‘illustrated talk’ concept: a typical programme lasted twenty minutes, fifteen of which were taken up by three ‘dramatic interludes’, plus one and a half minutes of sound effects.¹⁶⁰ By the mid-1930s full historical dramas were being produced, which ultimately placed the ‘history of everyday life’ at the heart of the BBC’s history output for schools. For example, in June 1933 a talk entitled ‘Caxton’s Printing Press’ was aired, which took the form of a dialogue between an ordinary woman and a scribe. The woman explains to the scribe why the coming of printing is of benefit to ‘the people’. The conversation is set amidst crowds outside Caxton’s workshop in 1477, whilst Edward IV is inside inspecting the new press.¹⁶¹ Often in Rhoda’s broadcasts the ‘great men’ formed the background in this way, whilst an ‘ordinary’ voice was foregrounded to describe the effect of social change on the masses. This inverted the Trevelyanite notion of ‘social life’ filling in the background to political history and economic change.¹⁶² Rhoda Power’s technique was readily used by other broadcasters, as it became an entrenched device in broadcasts for schools and school leavers.¹⁶³ For example, in the British History series for 1937, the children’s author Hugh Chesterman wrote a series of dramatic interludes to illustrate how education and food had changed between the sixteenth century and the present day.¹⁶⁴ The ‘illustrated talk’ was equally as popular in Scotland; R. L. Mackie’s ‘Round the Clock in a Thirteenth Century Burgh’ episode, part of the 1935 regional ‘Scottish Social History’ series, featured a merchant and his family waking up to the sights and sounds of Dundee High Street.¹⁶⁵ Indeed, all episodes of the ‘Senior Scottish ¹⁵⁷ Rhoda Power, ‘Broadcasting History Lessons’. ¹⁵⁸ R. Power to J. Hawkes, 2 February 1948; D. Hartley to R. Power, 17 May 1938: BBC WAC, S68/6/1. Cf. Hendy, ‘Painting with Sound’, p. 196. ¹⁵⁹ R. Power to Edith, 15 April 1935. ¹⁶⁰ Elliott, ‘BBC History Talks for Schools’, p. 354. ¹⁶¹ ‘Caxton’s Printing Press’, 19 June 1933: BBC WAC, RCONT 1 COPYRIGHT. ¹⁶² G. M. Trevelyan, English Social History: A Survey of Six Centuries, Chaucer to Queen Victoria (London, 1944). ¹⁶³ Cf. Tebbutt, ‘Listening to Youth?’, p. 226. ¹⁶⁴ ‘New Schools Set Up’, 25 March 1937, 14:00; ‘Diet’, 17 June 1937, 14:30, National Service. ¹⁶⁵ ‘Interlude: Round the Clock in a Thirteenth Century Burgh’, 13 February 1935, 14:10, Scottish Regional Programme.

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History’ course were delivered ‘through the combination of narrative and dramatization which has been unanimously approved by schools’ by 1939.¹⁶⁶ The dramatic form added emotion and everydayness to the historical setting. By the end of the 1930s the aim within the department was consistent: ‘to make the child the explorer of his own reality’, and this had to involve ‘children’s feelings as well as their minds’.¹⁶⁷ Richard Palmer, a programme official who had begun working on science broadcasts in 1940, explained how radio reconstruction worked to endow original historical sources with more historical meaning for the average, non-historian, listener: The actor’s interpretation helps us to get more from the words than if we read them in print, because he does part of the job for us. He and the scholars who guide his interpretation supply for us the informed imagination which the historian provides for himself, and so help to bring this historical occasion, with all its significance, within our scope.¹⁶⁸

History Broadcasting during and after the Second World War The Second World War left the BBC with an altered conception of its audience and its output. Wartime service made the corporation more representative of the nation, if not from the ‘bottom up’, at least robustly national as ‘a barometer of public concerns and the public mood’.¹⁶⁹ The extraordinary circumstances of wartime also allowed for some genuinely new voices to be heard on the airwaves: in 1941 Una Marson was one of the first black African-Caribbean voices broadcast on the BBC World Service, introducing the co-mingling tenets of race, empire, and gender to the ears of wartime listeners.¹⁷⁰ Following the introduction of the Forces Programme in January 1940, which quickly became a hit with civilian listeners, the BBC began to accept ‘casual listening’ as a benign norm, abandoning the earlier emphasis on ‘active’ listening.¹⁷¹ A June 1940 survey noted the age range and social diversity amongst Talks listeners, and that ‘a liking for talks is greater among working-class listeners’.¹⁷² By the end of the war the corporation decided to formalize alternative listening habits, resulting in a tripartite split into ¹⁶⁶ ‘Broadcasts to Scottish Schools 1939 40’, p. 26. ¹⁶⁷ Fawdry, Everything but Alf Garnett, p. 45. ¹⁶⁸ Palmer, School Broadcasting, p. 85. ¹⁶⁹ S. Nicholas, ‘Broadcasting Carries On! Asa Briggs and the History of the Wartime BBC’, in The Age of Asa: Lord Briggs, Public Life and History in Britain since 1945, edited by M. Taylor (London, 2015), pp. 165 83, at p. 175. ¹⁷⁰ L. Thomas, ‘Making Waves: Una Marson’s Poetic Voice at the BBC’, Media History, 24 (2018), pp. 212 25. ¹⁷¹ S. Nicholas, ‘The People’s Radio? The BBC and Its Audience 1939 45’, in Millions Like Us? British Culture in the Second World War, edited by N. Hayes and J. Hill (Liverpool, 1999), pp. 62 92, at p. 71. ¹⁷² ‘LR/142 Current Opinions of Listeners to Talks’, 1940: BBC WAC, R9/9/4.

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the Light Programme, the Home Service, and the Third Programme, in 1945.¹⁷³ This final section considers the fate of social history broadcasting, both for schools and for general audiences, in light of this stratification. It shows how the ‘history of everyday life’, pervasive and widespread across the BBC between the wars, became more strictly confined to certain audiences and listening habits from the 1940s. The newly established Third Programme encompassed contradictory threads of conservatism and the avant-garde, but even its foray into experimental drama from the 1950s remained relatively highbrow.¹⁷⁴ Over the course of its first year, it was consistently found that the proportion of the listening public that the Third Programme strongly appealed to was only 8 per cent; a full third of the listening population exhibited absolutely no interest whatsoever. Moreover, in the late 1940s there was still a large proportion of the UK where the Third Programme was not being transmitted at all.¹⁷⁵ The result for history programming was the return of more formal didactic programmes on the Third Programme, whilst the Home Service catered for populist historical tastes.¹⁷⁶ Joe Moran’s history of television watching in post-war Britain has convincingly shown how new television shows and formats interacted with the hybridization of leisure practices, rather than turning people into homogenized consumers as was assumed by the critics of mass culture.¹⁷⁷ ‘Light entertainment’ on the radio likewise took its lead from and interacted with existing trends, and history was no different. Social history could be fed into hobbies, habits, and popular entertainment in radio programmes, which were, after all, received by individuals in their homes. The Home Service was a direct descendant of the unified wartime domestic service, which had often been a beacon of Englishness and had caused tension with the BBC in Scotland during the Second World War.¹⁷⁸ For many listeners the post-war Home Service continued to function as a kind of national security blanket into the 1950s: reassuringly inoffensive and comforting in an age of austerity. It broadcast some much-loved classics, such as ‘The Brains Trust’, but basically failed to innovate. Couched between the Light and the Third, it became the epitome of ‘middlebrow’.¹⁷⁹ Thus history on the Home Service included drama and readings, the same general blurring of literary ‘everyday lives’ and traditional histories that had been germinating before the war. This generic blending mirrored the bestselling ‘history of everyday life’ paperbacks of the post-1945 years explored in Chapter 1. For example, the 1955 series ‘Three Somerset Diarists’ ¹⁷³ Nicholas, ‘The People’s Radio?’, p. 91. ¹⁷⁴ H. Chignell, ‘British Radio Drama and the Avant Garde in the 1950s’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 37 (2017), pp. 649 64. ¹⁷⁵ ‘LR/47/1778 A Year of the Third Programme’, 6 November 1947: BBC WAC, R9/9/11. ¹⁷⁶ Cf. Wrigley, Greece on Air, pp. 51 3. ¹⁷⁷ J. Moran, Armchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV (London, 2013). ¹⁷⁸ Hajkowski, The BBC, pp. 155 61. In 1945 the Scottish Regional Programme returned as the Scottish Home Service. ¹⁷⁹ D. Hendy, Life on Air: A History of Radio Four (Oxford, 2007), pp. 24 31.

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alternated a narrator’s voice providing historical and personal context with excerpts from the diaries of John Skinner, James Woodforde, and Francis Kilvert.¹⁸⁰ Other staple literary favourites, such as Flora Thompson’s Lark Rise to Candleford, were serialized as history broadcasts.¹⁸¹ This was social history programming for leisure, mildly enriching and broadly accessible yet less obviously avant-garde, and therefore naturally more popular in Britain, than the experimentalism of the 1930s.¹⁸² During the war, many academics had found themselves undertaking publicserving intellectual work at state institutions such as the BBC for the first time. For example, the historian A. J. P. Taylor, later the doyen of television history, honed his broadcasting skills as a foreign affairs expert during the war.¹⁸³ By the later 1940s, the new Third Programme was fast becoming the official radio ‘space’ of professional historians like Taylor. On the Third in 1946–7, Taylor gave detailed portraits of British prime ministers and a series on ‘The Roots of British Foreign Policy’, whilst on the Home Service he did not broadcast history at all, only roundups of current world affairs.¹⁸⁴ The expansion of grammar school education after 1944, driven by examinations, provided the motivation to frame history talks by academics more formally and didactically than had been the case between the wars. Political and diplomatic histories were high on the agenda. The broadcasting trajectory of the LSE historian Lance Beales aptly illustrates this shift. In the 1930s, Beales became known for his diverse broadcasting output which used nineteenthcentury history as a tool for liberal social commentary. From the late 1940s his broadcasts became much more tightly defined and historiographical.¹⁸⁵ Often on the Third Programme, lectures given by academics on special occasions were condensed into digestible broadcast form. Series were sometimes commissioned on an historian’s new book or their research in progress. There were also historiographical debates set up around landmark new publications and ruminations on the theory and practice of the discipline, further mirroring the practice of the academy.¹⁸⁶ But it was the elaborate 1948 Third Programme series ‘Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians’ that confirmed the service as an academic forum from which learned opinion might ‘trickle down’ into the general culture.

¹⁸⁰ ‘Three Somerset Diarists’, May 1955: BBC WAC, T200. ¹⁸¹ Radio Times, 8 March 1962, p. 46. ¹⁸² Cf. Hendy, ‘Radio’s Cultural Turns’, p. 134. ¹⁸³ A. J. P. Taylor, ‘Accident Prone’, Journal of Modern History, 49 (1977), pp. 1 18, at p. 9. ¹⁸⁴ ‘List of A. J. P. Taylor’s broadcasts’, 1980: Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin (hereafter HRC), A. J. P. Taylor papers, box 1, file 5. ¹⁸⁵ A. N. Hutton, ‘ “A Repository, a Switchboard, a Dynamo”: H. L. Beales, a Historian in a Mass Media Age’, Contemporary British History, 30 (2016), pp. 407 26. ¹⁸⁶ For example, G. M. Trevelyan broadcast versions of his Cambridge lectures such as ‘Thomas Carlyle’, 26 September 1947, 19:30; H. Trevor Roper, ‘Historical Imagination’, 23 February 1958, 20:25; P. Laslett, ‘A World We Have Lost’, 27 March 5 May 1960, 19:35 21:55 (foreshadowing his book of the same name, which was published in 1965). All Third Programme.

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‘Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians’ was billed as ‘the most ambitious series of talks which has been planned by the Third Programme since its inception’.¹⁸⁷ The series was initially researched by a female assistant, Joan Rowntree, during the summer of 1947.¹⁸⁸ It ran from 1 February to 28 May 1948, incorporating a total of fifty-six talks, one one-hour discussion, and twenty-six readings.¹⁸⁹ It featured a glittering array of prominent historians, including Noel Annan, G. D. H. Cole, and G. M. Trevelyan (who introduced himself as ‘a relic of the Victorian age’). Although, as the title suggested, most of the talks focused on the intellectual currents of the nineteenth century, the ‘social aspect’ was dealt with in a section on ‘The Working-Out of Victorian Ideas’, including talks by Beales on the ‘The Victorian Family’ and ‘Victorian Ideas of Sex’. Other non-historian academics took part, such as the sociologist Viola Klein speaking on women’s emancipation and the biologist Julian Huxley on ‘Evolution and Human Progress’.¹⁹⁰ The ‘expert’ flavour was unmistakable, and the thread of ‘reassessment’ that ran throughout was itself an academic conceit, setting the talks within an assumed knowledge of pre-existing debates. The aim of the series, it was stated, was to ‘examine the assumptions of the Victorian age, to appraise its ideals and to reassess its controversies in the belief that such an examination will shed light on the urgent issues of today’.¹⁹¹ The framing of such post-war history broadcasting was far removed from the domestic characteristics of the ‘history of everyday life’. History’s ‘relevance’ was here being recast as intellectual, philosophical, and masculine (rather than personal, practical, and feminine). A more populist social history experiment was tried in 1951. ‘1851 week’ attempted to recreate the atmosphere of 100 years ago, including the device of ‘news bulletins from the past’. From 21 to 28 April 1951 a nightly news broadcast reviewed the news of 1851 on the Third Programme.¹⁹² This technique of implanting radio transmissions ‘from the past’ had previously been suggested for a schools broadcast about the Great Exhibition of 1851 in 1944.¹⁹³ The feedback on the Third was mixed, the novelty was appreciated but many listeners expressed a desire not to be returned to the ‘barren culture’ of 1851.¹⁹⁴ As Asa Briggs has noted, a vernacular Victorian revival gradually took place over the course of the 1950s and 1960s, but was not ‘complete’ until 1975.¹⁹⁵ ¹⁸⁷ ‘ “Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians” ’, n.d.: BBC WAC, R51/254/1. ¹⁸⁸ BBC, Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians: An Historic Revaluation of the Victorian Age (London, 1949), foreword. ¹⁸⁹ ‘Memorandum from Assistant Head of Talks Department to Miss Orr, Third Programme’, 18 June 1948: BBC WAC, R51/254/1. ¹⁹⁰ BBC, Ideas and Beliefs, introduction and contents. ¹⁹¹ ‘ “Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians” ’. ¹⁹² ‘The News’, 21 8 April 1951, 19:55 20:15, Third Programme. ¹⁹³ ‘Memorandum from Mary Somerville to Controller (Programmes)’, 11 February 1944: BBC WAC, R16/421/3. Cf. Palmer, School Broadcasting, p. 88. ¹⁹⁴ ‘LR/51/1009 The Third Programme 1851 Week’, 5 June 1951: BBC WAC, R9/9/15. ¹⁹⁵ A. Briggs, Victorian Things (London, 1988), pp. 12 13.

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The stratification of audience tastes that occurred as a result of the Second World War saw ‘everyday’ social history become almost purely for pleasure and entertainment. By contrast, history on the Third Programme was formal and exclusive. Although the dominant political discourse of 1945 was one of national triumph and togetherness, many scholars have stressed that class disunity was not far from the surface. At the BBC, middle-class progressive producers of history pre-emptively recognized that post-war cultural unity would depend upon carving out better-defined spaces for voices from ‘below’ and ‘above’ to flourish. They were also closely invested in the structural changes in Britain’s education system that would serve to further stratify the next generation. As Lottie Hoare has shown, BBC broadcast discussions on secondary education during the 1950s and 1960s were dominated by individuals effectively seeking to shore up the 1944 settlement.¹⁹⁶ The new model for BBC history catered to the privatized, individualistic citizen, whilst still accepting deference to a separate and intact elite culture led from the top. Elite education, private and grammar schools, sat at the pinnacle of this hierarchy alongside the Third, which was considered to be their natural home. We will now turn to how the schools broadcasting department catered to the rest: populist historical education for ordinary listeners, a constituent finally defined with the realization of secondary modern schools after 1944. In September 1939 the schools broadcasting department decamped to ‘Somewhere in England’ (Wood Norton, a stately home in Worcestershire).¹⁹⁷ It was considered important from the outset that the schools service continued during the war, amidst a significant scaling down of the BBC’s overall transmission.¹⁹⁸ There were many wartime achievements in response to the unusual situation that had lasting effects for the BBC’s history output. Schools broadcasting ended the Second World War in a stronger position than when it started, with more staff, more programmes, and more listeners. It was estimated after 1944 that between one half and one third of all schools were making use of the broadcasts in some way.¹⁹⁹ As a way of informing listeners about current affairs during the war, the department adopted a policy of ‘indirect propaganda’.²⁰⁰ A trend that had been developing in the 1930s to link history broadcasts for senior pupils to contemporary politics was eased up because it was deemed impossible to maintain objectivity. For example, ‘History in the Making’, which it was estimated by July ¹⁹⁶ L. Hoare, ‘Secondary Education in BBC Broadcast 1944 1965: Drawing Out Networks of Conversation and Visions of Reform’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2018). ¹⁹⁷ BBC, BBC Handbook 1940, pp. 68 72. ¹⁹⁸ A. Briggs, The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume III: The War of Words (Oxford, 1995), pp. 105 6. ¹⁹⁹ D. Crook, ‘School Broadcasting in the United Kingdom: An Exploratory History’, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 39 (2007), pp. 217 26; Briggs, The War of Words, pp. 538 9, 636; Palmer, School Broadcasting, p. 83. ²⁰⁰ Briggs, The War of Words, p. 106.

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1939 that two thirds of all recognized secondary schools in England and Wales were tuning into, was halted.²⁰¹ BBC schools broadcasting instead adopted a more skills-based ethos for wartime history. Mary Somerville explained the guiding policy: ‘The underlying moral issues of the stand against aggression can be illustrated simply and appropriately in the history broadcasts, which tell of the fights made by our forefathers to establish securely the liberty of the individual and the rule of law’.²⁰² The Second World War essentially established the principle that one of broadcast history’s functions should be to help senior pupils interpret present problems via the past. As Helen Duncan, a programme assistant from 1942, put it, ‘in a democratic state every child remotely capable of it should be given the kind of history that makes a background for intelligent thinking about current affairs’.²⁰³ This impulse only heightened during post-war reconstruction and did not diminish until the 1960s.²⁰⁴ BBC schools history also easily embraced the new tripartite structures. Whilst grammar school pupils, especially sixth formers, were encouraged to get to grips with the Third Programme, schools programmes (broadcast on the Home Service from 1939) consciously catered to the ‘B’ streams, i.e. secondary modern pupils, as well. Throughout the 1940s the varying ability range of age groups was taken into consideration more explicitly when planning programme content. Social history, drawing on Rhoda Power’s biographical and dramatic methods, remained the favoured broadcasting mode for younger age groups.²⁰⁵ For children under fourteen, the inclusion of the lives of ordinary people in the past was regarded as ‘one of the best trainings for an understanding of different peoples today’.²⁰⁶ If current affairs further married history to experiences in the present, there was also a demand for some bigger accounts across a longer period during the war. Even more so than in the 1930s, such explanations were to come from an authentic source. Thus, the ‘eye-witnessing’ technique that Rhoda Power had earlier pioneered was built upon during wartime broadcasting. In autumn of 1928 she had produced ‘What the Onlooker Saw’, which explored epochs such as ‘The Coming of Christianity to England’ and ‘The Last Journey of Queen Eleanor’.²⁰⁷ This method became known as the ‘observer’ technique, and was later developed into the series ‘What the Pot Boy Saw’, which continued into

²⁰¹ ‘Broadcasts to Schools September 1936 to June 1937’; Elliott, ‘BBC History Talks for Schools’, p. 356. ²⁰² BBC, BBC Handbook 1940, p. 72. ²⁰³ ‘Memorandum from Miss Helen Duncan to DSB’, ‘World History’‘, 16 January 1943: BBC WAC, R16/421/2. ²⁰⁴ Fawdry, Everything but Alf Garnett, p. 50. ²⁰⁵ ‘History proposals 1944 47 preliminary draft’, 1944: BBC WAC, R16/421/3. ²⁰⁶ ‘BBC Memorandum: Considerations affecting the teaching of history in senior Elementary Schools (and to all children)’, 18 March 1942: BBC WAC, R16/421/1. ²⁰⁷ ‘What the Onlooker Saw’, 24 September 10 December 1928, 14:30, 2LO London and 5XX Daventry.

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wartime.²⁰⁸ The ‘observer’ technique was used to its fullest effect in the landmark series ‘How Things Began’, a concoction of history, archaeology, natural history, and geography. The original series was written by journalist-turned-scriptwriter Honor Wyatt, and broadcast in 1941. It was gradually updated throughout the 1940s, first featuring children visiting a local museum and learning from the curator. In 1943 a more successful format was realized for ‘How Things Began’. The new adult guide was Jim Smith (‘Uncle Jim’), more accessible and demotic than the ‘elite’ museum curator. Jim explored prehistory each week with two ordinary schoolchildren, Alice and George.²⁰⁹ They were encouraged to explore settings near their house, such as a local chalk pit, to ‘see what they can find’.²¹⁰ In each episode, Jim travelled back in time to collect further evidence to illustrate his explanations. Foreshadowing the ‘1851 week’ news broadcasts on the Third Programme, Jim was fashioned as a news anchor reporting for ‘the BBC service from the past’.²¹¹ This device seamlessly connected the modern to prehistory, making the deep past appear as familiar and as everyday as the wireless set in the living room. The external consultant on ‘How Things Began’ from 1947 was Jacquetta Hawkes, a prominent archaeologist noted for her sensual and aesthetic approach, who was increasingly building a career as a popularizer.²¹² During and after the war she worked with Rhoda Power on the ‘visual education’ unit in the Ministry of Education, succeeding in creating a film called The Beginning of History, which featured a reconstructed Iron Age site.²¹³ By 1948 ‘How Things Began’ was so popular that the department saw fit to circulate official guidelines on the preparation and execution of the series. Incoming correspondence was becoming unmanageable (especially Uncle Jim’s fan mail).²¹⁴ A summary of feedback in 1950 showed that the ‘observer’ technique remained the most popular element. How far children had understood the technical phrases used and processes (such as the skills of early man) described was constantly dissected, and the reports also show that the series succeeded in encouraging children to question historical evidence themselves.²¹⁵ The historian was replaced by ‘ordinary folk’ who were out and about, discovering things for themselves. This emphasis on active participation in history is a thread that

²⁰⁸ Fawdry, Everything but Alf Garnett, p. 45. ²⁰⁹ Fawdry, Everything but Alf Garnett, p. 50. ²¹⁰ ‘How Things Began No. 2 Why Fossils are Found on Land’, 27 September 1948: BBC WAC, 63/64. ²¹¹ ‘How Things Began No. 1 What is a Fossil?’, 20 September 1948: BBC WAC, 63/64. ²¹² R. Palmer to J. Hawkes, 24 July 1947; R. Power to J. Hawkes, 15 December 1947; R. Power to J. Hawkes, 2 February 1948: BBC WAC, S68/6/1. ²¹³ BBC, ‘Jacquetta Hawkes’, Desert Island Discs, 21 November 1980, [http://www.bbc.co.uk/ programmes/p009mvpr], accessed 1 August 2020. ²¹⁴ ‘How Things Began Statement of Procedure (draft)’, n.d.: BBC WAC, S68/6/2. ²¹⁵ ‘Summary of criticisms and suggestions made on “How Things Began”, Spring Term, 1950’, 1 June 1950: BBC WAC, S68/6/2.

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runs through all BBC history programming from the 1920s, highlighting the significance of individual agency in Britain’s populist historical culture. ‘How Things Began’ was one of the most successful versions of the ‘history of everyday life’ devised for schools broadcasting in the mid-twentieth century, running in various forms until 1968. It combined ‘demotic’ characters with a mature take on Rhoda Power’s immersive ‘illustrated’ and dramatic techniques and a strong interdisciplinary flavour. It was also tapping into an existing popular appetite for domestic archaeology that had hatched amongst middleclass enthusiasts in the 1930s. By the 1950s, archaeology was enjoying a ‘golden age’ of televisual success, buoyed by charismatic academic popularizers such as Mortimer Wheeler appearing on programmes like Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?²¹⁶ Throughout the 1950s ‘The Archaeologist’, which began as a monthly review of domestic archaeology, was also a popular fixture on the Home Service. This type of archaeological programming often had a regional flavour. For example, Glyn Daniel’s October 1958 talk on the Welsh Home Service, ‘The Earliest People of Wales’, featured hints of cultural nationalism but put Wales’s archaeological curiosities in their British and European contexts.²¹⁷ In many ways, archaeology offered the most intrinsically demotic view into the past. Its sources were material: digging was an active and physical (rather than scholarly) occupation. Moreover, archaeology often sought to answer the most basic questions about everyday life, such as what people ate and how they lived. In lieu of official, documented narratives and with interpretation regularly in flux, much more was up for grabs. This enabled popularizers and educators fully to enlist the imagination of the layman, who was allowed to picture historically remote scenes on his or her own terms. ‘How Things Began’ traded heavily on this device: ‘Alice looks down at the cottages and haysticks below the hill and imagines a scene millions of years ago, when the dry land was empty and bare and the only life was in the water.’²¹⁸ Much like in Jacquetta Hawkes’s lyrical and experimental topographical history of Britain, A Land (1951), such dream-like visions of history were more democratic than any official academic versions because they were highly personal. This point is illustrated in a letter Rhoda Power received in 1947 from a seventy-five-year-old listener, thanking her for the ‘beautiful pictures’ portrayed in ‘How Things Began’: I have a very vivid imagination and often sit here all on my lonesome looking out over the fields and conjure up a picture of ten or twenty thousand years ago watching the primitive man searching for berries roots leaves etc.

²¹⁶ Moran, Armchair Nation, pp. 97 8. ²¹⁷ G. Daniel, ‘The Earliest People of Wales’, The Listener, 30 October 1958, pp. 689 91. Cf. G. Daniel to Rhoda Power, 16 January 1948: BBC WAC, S68/6/2. ²¹⁸ ‘How Things Began No. 4 Going Ashore’, 11 October 1948: BBC WAC, 63/64.

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The writer, George Leates, went on to explain that he had left school at twelve to go out to work. He asked Rhoda to recommend a not too costly and not too scientific book that he might use to ‘shed more light upon the science’.²¹⁹ Leates later gratefully responded that, having ordered the books, he would be able finally to pursue the study of history that he should have done years ago: ‘Here sitting in my farm workers cottage ½ a mile from the nearest house is a delightful situation for me to contemplate the past.’²²⁰ There is little concrete evidence determining how many adult listeners, like George Leates, came to enjoy history through the schools broadcasts. But Rhoda Power did receive a sprinkling of other letters from adult fans, and the BBC occasionally alluded to the phenomenon.²²¹ In 1940 the listener research department conducted an inquiry into the attitude of adults to schools broadcasts. It found widespread appreciation amongst adult listeners, the majority of them listening regularly for particular series (rather than ‘casually’), and for genuine enjoyment rather than simply to ‘keep up’ with their children. History was the second most popular subject, clocking only a few fewer votes than music.²²² The Second World War was a crucial watershed in history broadcasting across the BBC. The citizen-making project was evolving. Whereas previously a ‘democratic’ approach to social history had meant keeping politics at bay, the ideological extremities of war emboldened the BBC to use history to advance certain causes deemed fundamental to building a viable post-war democracy. Many of the schools broadcasting staff and outside broadcasters linked their educational vocation to other progressive, even radical, causes. They updated Reith’s paternalism, which had envisaged education as a one-way civilizing force, to the new social climate of the 1940s and 1950s. Citizens were not only expected to feel a connection to the curiosities of everyday life, they were to apply practical knowledge of its history to the social and scientific advancement of the future. Richard Palmer spelled out his intentions in an internal memo of October 1944: I would be prepared to argue that these three great themes: growth of man’s power over nature, the rise of democracy, and the growth of humanitarianism should be the main threads round which school history teaching is woven.²²³

²¹⁹ G. J. Leates to R. Power, 5 March 1947: BBC WAC, S68/6/2. ²²⁰ G. J. Leates to R. Palmer, 24 March 1947: BBC WAC, S68/6/2. ²²¹ For example, B. Walters to R. Power, 8 June 1948: BBC WAC, S68/6/1. Cf. ‘Putting the Schoolchild in Touch with the World’; ‘People You Hear . . . Described by Guy Fletcher “World History” ’, Radio Times, 21 June n.d.: GCA, GCPP Power, E 1/1. ²²² ‘LR/187 Adult and School Broadcasts’, 6 December 1940: BBC WAC, R9/9/4. Cf. Nicholas, ‘The People’s Radio?’, p. 65. ²²³ ‘Memorandum from Senior Assistant Schools Broadcasting to DSB’, 11 October 1944: BBC WAC, R16/421/3.

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This optimistic yet deferential schools history lasted long after Rhoda Power passed away in 1957. Nick Whines, who joined the BBC as a radio producer in the schools broadcasting department in September 1972, described how the Rhoda Power tradition was still strong when he arrived and that her scripts were still being used as late as 1970. He was hired to take the broadcasts in a new direction. As the school system shifted fully to comprehensivization (a context considered fully in Chapter 6 of this book), the BBC developed links with teacher-training colleges in order to keep abreast of developing pedagogy.²²⁴ Content for teaching history in the new age 9–13 middle schools was also being trialled, such as the pupil-as-detective series ‘History in Evidence’.²²⁵ By this time, too, television history was becoming a major priority, and was considered a boon in the mixed-ability history classes typical of the large new comprehensives.²²⁶

Conclusion History on mid-century BBC radio was centred on providing an education for the social-democratic age. Never dogmatic, this was a history that wanted to represent human subjects in an accessible way and had to be connected to the everyday experiences of the listener. It allowed citizens, male and female, to be part of the national story, but in doing so the national story had to be made more pluralistic, showing that ‘histories of everyday life’ could be found locally and were down to the individual to interpret. The impetus for this project came from the staff and contributors that worked on BBC history. They were individuals with a vocation for education, rather than for history. They regarded broadcast education as a means to pursue the wider task of building a democracy of informed and engaged citizens. Many women, such as Grace Hadow, Rhoda Power, and Jacquetta Hawkes, found this educationally oriented environment gave them the opportunity to make histories that drew on their lived experiences. This always involved a degree of gendered deference and an acceptance of limits being placed on the reach of their historical expertise. As a technological innovation, radio created hybrid histories that beget a richer form of storytelling. The wireless consolidated the power of the imagination, too often disregarded as a casualty of nineteenth-century romantic histories, in twentieth-century popular history making. Social history could be rendered through dramatic forms, dialogue, first-person observation, and even ‘time travel’. As the technology advanced, sound clips and sound effects became more ²²⁴ ‘Transcript of an interview with Nick Whines’, 19 January 2010: History in Education Project, Institute of Education Archives and Special Collections, University College London (hereafter HiEP), HEP/4/45. ²²⁵ A. Ereria, ‘History Broadcasts for Secondary Schools’, Teaching History, 1 (1970), p. 219. ²²⁶ Fawdry, Everything but Alf Garnett, pp. 9 12.

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sophisticated, resulting in dynamic histories than could never be achieved via the traditional textbook (a contrast that BBC radio producers gleefully pointed out).²²⁷ Broadcasting freed social history from the constraints of narrativism and was therefore an obvious medium through which the ‘history of everyday life’ could develop and thrive. The BBC had calibrated its social history output on a democratic formula of the 1920s. But estimations of the educational needs of ordinary pupils were being put into practice, often highly ineffectually, in secondary modern schools after 1944. This was directly counterposed to the academic needs of grammar school candidates. The association between the ‘history of everyday life’ and average ability was reinforced at the BBC and this inferior mode of social history was confined to ‘light’ broadcasting from the 1950s. At the same time, professional academic history was ascending more forcefully into the public spaces previously occupied by the ‘history of everyday life’, such as the BBC, because the expanded grammar school constituent demanded their expertise on the Third Programme. Just as the ‘history of everyday life’ became more widespread and established in Britain’s mid-century educational culture, its purpose was becoming more tightly prescribed.

²²⁷ Baily and Brewer, The BBC Scrapbooks, p. 18.

4 ‘Histories of Everyday Life’ in Local Museums Museums are a second cultural sphere that became fully oriented towards mass education in mid-twentieth-century Britain. Between the wars, Britain’s museums began a period of transition, slowly shedding the patrician ethos of Victorian ‘improvement’ and embracing more democratic practices. By the 1970s democratization and commercialization were the defining features of Britain’s booming heritage industry. The road to this renewal was an educational one. The shift was starkest and happened earliest in the world of local and provincial museums, outside of London, where dwindling funding streams were reinvigorated from the 1930s through a democratic appeal to educating the ordinary public. These museums popularized a tactile and local social history, usually described as folk culture. This chapter considers folk museums in Britain, finding the ‘history of everyday life’ at work in communities.¹ Research on folk revivalism in the twentieth century has focused on the political extremities, but these were not the mainstream manifestations of the folk culture movement.² In the world of mid-century local museums, folk history was, for the first time, in an active dialogue with the modern democracy. From this perspective, a very different story emerges. Museological folk culture was part of popular social history, interacting with the mainstream concerns of Britain’s educational century. This educational imperative has often been overlooked. In the museological literature, folk museums have been considered in relation to the professionalization of social history curating that developed from the 1970s in Britain. For example, Gaynor Kavanagh finds that the persistence of haphazard antiquarian collecting in many of the early English folk museums hampered the realization of the modern professional social history museum.³

¹ A shorter version of this chapter has been published as L. Carter, ‘Rethinking Folk Culture in Twentieth Century Britain’, Twentieth Century British History, 28 (2017), pp. 543 69. ² G. Boyes, The Imagined Village: Culture, Ideology and the English Folk Revival (Leeds, 2010 (first published 1993)); C. Shaw and M. Chase, The Imagined Past: History and Nostalgia (Manchester, 1989); W. B. Leslie, ‘Creating a Socialist Scout Movement: The Woodcraft Folk, 1924 42’, History of Education, 13 (1984), pp. 299 11. ³ G. Kavanagh, History Curatorship (Leicester, 1990), pp. 22 38. Cf. C. Ross, ‘Collections and Collecting’, in Making City Histories in Museums, edited by G. Kavanagh and E. Frostick (Leicester, 1998), pp. 114 32.

Histories of Everyday Life. The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918 1979. Laura Carter, Oxford University Press (2021). © Laura Carter. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198868330.003.0005

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Meanwhile, anthropological scholars have stretched the focus back to the final third of the nineteenth century, when domestic ethnographic collecting had to accommodate a narrative of white ‘civilization’. In this imperial model, folk objects and customs were explained as ‘survivals’ of earlier, less civilized cultures, a theory advanced by the Victorian cultural anthropologist E. B. Tylor.⁴ Chris Wingfield argues that as the confidence of Empire fell away, and as anthropology professionalized, English folk museums became an expression of an insular national mood that relied on the ‘salvage paradigm’ to shelter itself from modernity.⁵ Both of these interpretations treat folk museology as amateur and reactionary because it never amounted to a highly professionalized, nation-building or post-imperial project. This chapter offers a revisionist reading of folk history, situating it in a democratic rather than elitist framework and foregrounding the local over the national and imperial. A major study of UK museums since 1960 has recently found that local history museums were a driving force in the late-twentieth-century museums boom. Between 1960 and 2017 the number of local history museums in the UK rose from 181 to 751, a 313 per cent increase.⁶ Although England, and especially the South, powered this boom, Scotland and Wales also saw significant growth in small independent museums across the period and much more growth in local authority museums than in England, both of which favoured local history.⁷ In studies of folk revivalism, of which local history museums are a vital component, locality has typically been elided with questions of ‘Englishness’. This elusion often sets up false four-nations tensions. This chapter, and indeed this book overall, holds that local and regional social histories, styled as the ‘history of everyday life’, were much more central to mid-twentieth-century British identities than were national ones. Evidently, local and regional histories folded English, Scottish, and Welsh national identities into them, yet that does not compromise the widespread significance of the ‘history of everyday life’ as a way of imagining the British past in communities. A recent study of twentieth-century historical pageants has found that a place-based historical culture was as prevalent in Scotland as it was in England, especially in small and medium-sized towns. Local pageants enabled Scottish communities to affirm unionist sentiments through figures such as Sir Walter Scott, whilst still accommodating and celebrating nationalist heroes such ⁴ O. Douglas, ‘Folklore, Survivals, and the Neo archaic’, Museum History Journal, 4 (2011), pp. 223 44; C. Wingfield and C. Gosden, ‘An Imperialist Folklore? Establishing the Folk lore Society in London’, in Folklore and Nationalism in Europe during the Long Nineteenth Century, edited by T. Baycroft and D. Hopkin (Leiden, 2012), pp. 255 74. ⁵ C. Wingfield, ‘From Greater Britain to Little England’, Museum History Journal, 4 (2011), pp. 245 66. ⁶ F. Candlin, J. Larkin, A. Ballatore, and A. Poulovassilis, Mapping Museums 1960 2020: A Report on the Data (London, 2020), pp. 18 19. ⁷ Candlin, Larkin, Ballatore, and Poulovassilis, Mapping Museums, pp. 30 3.

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as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.⁸ Linda Fleming has explored an exception to this trend: the ‘Scots Pageant’ at Arbroath Abbey on Scotland’s east coast. The inaugural 1947 performance was accompanied by several ‘pageant week’ additions that embodied the ‘history of everyday life’, including the reconstruction of a Highland village. Over the course of many performances between 1947 and 2005, the Arbroath Abbey pageants held a ‘contest of ambitions between the cultural and the political at its centre’.⁹ Fleming concludes that community engagement was a far more compelling driver of the pageant than Scottish nationalism, despite its many explicit links to the cause. Even in Scotland, where political nationalism was slowly climbing up the political agenda from the 1950s, mid-century popular history was resolutely local. Returning to museums, we shall see in this chapter that attempts to establish a national folk museum for England failed in the mid-twentieth century, whilst successful institutions were established for Wales and Northern Ireland, and Scotland found a Highland–Lowland compromise. The history of folk museums in twentieth-century Britain initially appears straightforward: subordinated nations on the periphery asserting cultural nationalism, whilst ‘Englishness’, at the centre, proved too tricky to codify. This explanation has produced a clear divide between English and Celtic cultures in the existing literature.¹⁰ Yet considering the folk museum question at the local level complicates this. Although a ‘Little England’ refrain was present in the folk museum movement, it was superficial.¹¹ Unlike in other European countries where state-sanctioned public histories helped to construct collective national identities well into the twentieth century, England’s national historical consciousness had long since fractured and proliferated beyond its ‘official’ boundaries. Indeed, local folk museums exhibited common impulses across all four nations, especially in rural locations. Local folk museums were part of grassroots articulations of personal identities, which historians working with first-hand testimonies of mid-twentieth-century Britain are increasingly locating in the regional. In this context there was space for the romantic imagination, for myth and superstition in popular social history, a far cry from the Whiggish teleology of an ‘official’ Protestant patriotism of a national history.¹² ⁸ A. Bartie, ‘Performing the Past: Historical Pageants in Scotland’, History Scotland, 16 (2016), pp. 22 4. ⁹ L. Fleming, ‘ “The Scots Pageant”: The Arbroath Abbey Pageants 1947 2005’, in Restaging the Past: Historical Pageants, Culture and Society in Modern Britain, edited by L. Fleming, A. Bartie, M. Freeman, A. Hutton, and P. Readman, (London, 2020), pp. 226 51, at p. 234. ¹⁰ P. Burke, ‘Popular Culture in Norway and Sweden’, History Workshop Journal, 3 (1977), pp. 143 7, at p. 145; J. Roper, ‘England the Land without Folklore?’, in Folklore and Nationalism in Europe, pp. 227 53; J. Belchem, ‘The Little Manx Nation: Antiquarianism, Ethnic Identity, and Home Rule Politics in the Isle of Man, 1880 1918’, Journal of British Studies, 39 (2000), pp. 217 40. ¹¹ Cf. P. Mandler, ‘Against “Englishness”: English Culture and the Limits to Rural Nostalgia, 1850 1940’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 7 (1997), pp. 155 75. ¹² Cf. Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707 1837 (New Haven; London, 1992).

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This chapter now proceeds in four sections. The first explains the failure of bids for a ‘national’ English folk museum across the twentieth century and details the rise of, what I have called, ‘first-wave’ folk museology in its stead. First-wave folk museology showcased the ‘history of everyday life’ as a local and regional popular social history that was available outside of languages of the nation. In the second section we examine the people, ideas, and community engagement activities of these first-wave folk museums. The third section explores how first-wave folk museums collected and organized the ‘history of everyday life’ as a form of social knowledge. This was a vernacular pursuit that sat adjacent to expert and scholarly iterations of a similar, mid-century sociological impulse that fed directly into the ‘new’ academic social history of the 1960s. The final section introduces and maps the triumph of a ‘second-wave’ folk museology from the 1950s. Through this second wave, it documents a shift in the ‘history of everyday life’ from the rural to the industrial, which paved the way for the new heritage landscape of the 1970s and beyond.

Folk Museums and the National History Vacuum The Welsh Folk Museum opened in 1948 and a folk museum for Ulster was established by the government of Northern Ireland in an Act of Parliament in 1958, and opened in 1964.¹³ By contrast, in the mid-twentieth century there was an ongoing national campaign for a folk museum for England, which ultimately failed. Calls for this national English folk museum came from across the political spectrum, but primarily from middle-class, democratizing figures who were invested in the idea of museums as vehicles for social change through education. As Charles Quennell wrote to the Western Gazette newspaper in 1934: ‘I have for some years past with no success, been agitating for an agricultural museum, on the lines of the Skansen at Stockholm, where all the everyday things of the countryside could be preserved.’¹⁴ The earliest concerted call for this manner of English national folk museum had come in 1912 when a committee of folklorists and anthropologists publicly lobbied for the Crystal Palace and grounds to be utilized for a museum ‘illustrating in a comprehensive and educational manner the culture-history, and the modes of life in times past, of the English peoples’.¹⁵ This campaign lost momentum when the First World War broke out in 1914. But the choice of the Crystal Palace had anyway doomed this first attempt. It linked

¹³ I. C. Peate, ‘The Folk Museum’, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, 97 (1949), pp. 794 806; G. Thompson, ‘The Social Significance of Folk Museums’, in Museums Are for the People (Edinburgh, 1985), pp. 26 39. ¹⁴ ‘Dorset Farm Waggons Interesting Examples’, Western Gazette, 1 June 1934, p. 2. ¹⁵ ‘A National Folk Museum’, The Times, 3 January 1912, p. 6.

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the project to a highly metropolitan, Victorian approach to heritage incompatible with twentieth-century cultural appetites. Mass education became the primary justification for heritage projects after 1918. In 1928 a comprehensive survey of local and regional museums, funded by the Carnegie Trust, was published. It concluded that these institutions needed to adapt to the educational needs of their constituents. The report advocated a more even spread of museum provision across the country, with collections bearing a clear relation to their localities.¹⁶ It also highlighted the absence of a national folk museum, spawning a joint advisory committee between the Office of Works and the Board of Education to tackle the question. The committee met several times in the early 1930s.¹⁷ They devised a scheme for a small, reconstructed village made up of architecturally consistent English buildings from the early Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. Adopting a crossclass language characteristic of this version of the ‘history of everyday life’, the museum was described as providing ‘a sort of key to the social history of peasant and middle-class England’.¹⁸ The committee hoped that the scheme would be administered by the Board of Education, noting that Britain’s rising enthusiasm for preservationism needed to be supplemented with ‘a definite educational policy’.¹⁹ The maintenance budget estimated an annual cost of £16,500. This was modest compared to the British Museum at £450,000 per year and the Victoria & Albert Museum at £130,000 annually, though still more than the National Portrait Gallery’s humble £14,000 price tag.²⁰ Nonetheless, in March 1930 the Chancellor explained that, in a time of national financial turmoil, burdening the taxpayer with such a novel liability was unthinkable.²¹ An internal Treasury memo actively mocked the scheme, calling it ‘more suited to a Museum Director’s utopia than to a world of financial stringency’.²² Thus the main obstruction to a national folk museum being established for England was a lack of stable financial backing: successive governments preferred to leave such a large intervention in public education to the voluntary or private sector. There was little political will to augment the portfolio of public London museums that were all decidedly metropolitan and only already administered by central government for historic reasons.

¹⁶ H. Miers, A Report on the Public Museums of the British Isles, other than the National Museums, to the Carnegie United Kingdom Trustees (Edinburgh, 1928). ¹⁷ ‘A National Folk Museum Government Committee to Advise’, The Times, 3 February 1931, p. 17. ¹⁸ ‘An English Folk Museum: Its scope and cost by M. Wheeler’, 17 November 1930: The National Archives, Kew, London (hereafter TNA), WORK 17/322, p. 5, p. 4. ¹⁹ ‘An English Folk Museum: Its scope and cost’, p. 4. ²⁰ ‘National Folk Museum: Maintenance Budget’, n.d.: TNA, ED 24/1399. ²¹ Sir C. Trevelyan and Mr Lansbury to Chancellor of the Exchequer, 13 March 1930: TNA, T 162/ 265/1; Chancellor of the Exchequer to Sir C. Trevelyan, 3 June 1930: TNA, ED 24/1399. ²² ‘Internal Memorandum’, 29 May 1930: TNA, T 162/265/1.

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In the summer of 1948, the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) established a committee tasked with revisiting the question of an English folk museum. The committee published a scheme in 1949 and later a system of classification for English folklife material.²³ This time it was stressed from the outset that any claims made upon public money would be slight. Local museum curators would act as honorary curators, assuming responsibility for material from their region.²⁴ But it still proved impossible to secure long-term funding for such an elaborate project from charities, again during a period of national austerity.²⁵ Moreover, by the early 1950s the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) had been established at Reading University and appeared to fulfil the aims of a national folk museum enough to satisfy those holding the purse strings.²⁶ Meanwhile, in Wales a thriving national institution had evolved from a ‘collection of Old Fashioned Things/Welsh “Bygones” ’, nurtured by the department of folklife set up at the University of Cardiff in 1936. As we saw in the previous chapter, educational and cultural projects frequently treated Wales as a region of Britain, rather than as a constituent nation, in the mid-twentieth century.²⁷ Even the founder of Wales’s national folk museum, Iowerth C. Peate, highlighted that Wales’s advantage was that it was ‘a singularly appropriate and compact topographical unit’.²⁸ He recognized already in 1934 the problem of scale that English plans would continue to face. Indeed, behind the scenes, the RAI committee’s consultations revealed a persistent tension between the overall scheme and desires to keep folk museum projects locally grounded. The Director of Bristol City Museum wrote to the committee chair: ‘The average Englishman is in general more in favour of regionalisation than centralisation.’²⁹ Another correspondent noted that if these kinds of museum were to attract ‘working people’ and ‘ordinary folk’, they needed to appeal to them directly by displaying the evolution of their own particular trades from their region.³⁰ This implied active identification and participation in social history. The very idea of a national folk museum was finding itself obsolete. The history needed to be intimate and personal, and despite

²³ ‘RAI Proceedings A Scheme for the Development of a Museum of English Life and Traditions’, Man: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, XLIX (1949), pp. 41 3; ‘A simplified scheme for the establishment of an English Museum’, 1951: Archives and Manuscripts, Royal Anthropological Institute, Fitzrovia, London (hereafter RAIA), A59/6/35/d; ‘Suggestions Concerning Classification, Storage, and Labelling of Objects Illustrating English Life and Traditions’, n.d.: RAIA, A59/16/7. This scheme is discussed in detail in P. Rivière, ‘Success and Failure: The Tale of Two Museums’, Journal of the History of Collections, 22 (2010), pp. 141 51. ²⁴ ‘Plan for a Museum with dispersed storage for folk material’, 1948: RAIA, A59/1/26/1. ²⁵ T. W. Bagshawe to F. Stallman, 1 March 1952: RAIA, A59/7/4. ²⁶ Rivière, ‘Success and Failure’, p. 147. ²⁷ R. Mason, Museums, Nations, Identities: Wales and Its National Museums (Cardiff, 2007), pp. 21, 6. ²⁸ I. C. Peate, ‘A Folk Museum for Wales’, Museums Journal, 34 (1934), pp. 229 30, at p. 229. ²⁹ F. S. Wallis to T. W. Bagshawe, 12 September 1949: RAIA, A59/2/134. ³⁰ R. A. Salaman to T. W. Bagshawe, 19 February 1949: RAIA, A59/2/23.

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their efforts, the various schemes proposed could not encapsulate this within such a large-scale institution for England. Many first-wave folk museums were established between the wars in the place of this national vacuum. In 1938 a survey of local museums observed that these new institutions had sprung up all over the country since 1918. Forty ‘period’ museums were identified, including those labelled as ‘folk’. But many of the other 400 ‘general’ local museums that the report covered could be considered folk museums, because they were preserving and displaying everyday life, work, and customs.³¹ This was the main goal at Luton Public Museum, Cambridge Folk Museum, and the Highland Folk Museum (also referred to as Am Fasgadh), which form the main case studies of this chapter. York Castle Museum will also be discussed. The story of Luton Public Museum revolves around a man named Thomas Wyatt Bagshawe.³² Bagshawe used his position in the family engineering firm to open a local museum for Dunstable in 1925. From 1927 he was in talks with Luton Council about establishing a similar collection for Luton, the neighbouring town. This plan bore fruit, and Luton’s Public Museum opened in February 1928 with Bagshawe as the honorary curator.³³ In 1931 the museum moved from its original premises in the local library to a nineteenth-century manor house named Wardown House.³⁴ Luton Public Museum thrived at Wardown throughout the 1930s and 1940s, and into the post-1945 period. From 1936 Charles E. Freeman was the paid curator and Bagshawe was Director.³⁵ Another influential figure was Anne Buck, an expert on historical costume, who stood in for both men during the Second World War but left in 1947.³⁶ Bagshawe also served as honorary curator of the folk museum for Cambridgeshire in this period, where he gave guest lectures and donated objects. Bagshawe was a prolific private collector who (along with this wife) loaned or donated thousands of items to Luton Public Museum and other museums in the region. This tactic shored up his museum connections in a traditional, patrician sense, even as these institutions became more professionalized and modernized at the behest of funding and governing committees.³⁷ A committee of local elites had opened the Cambridge and County Folk Museum in 1936 in the rooms of an ³¹ S. F. Markham, A Report on the Museums and Art Galleries of the British Isles (Other than the National Museums) (Edinburgh, 1938), pp. 45 6. ³² On Bagshawe, see P. Rivière, ‘An English Theme Park’, Journal of Museum Ethnography, 23 (2010), pp. 155 8. ³³ ‘Museum Progress’, Luton News, 19 May 1927; ‘Luton’s Museum Preparing for Monday’s Opening’, Saturday Telegraph, 4 February 1928. ³⁴ ‘Luton Museum Re opening’, Luton Pictorial, 7 July 1931. ³⁵ ‘Honorary Curator No Longer’, Beds and Herts Evening Telegraph, 24 September 1936. ³⁶ ‘Women’s Viewpoint’, Dunstable Borough Gazette, 24 January 1947; ‘Helen’s Feature for Women’, Luton News, 1 May 1947. ³⁷ See T. Bagshawe to C. Freeman, 19 August 1963; C. Freeman to T. Bagshawe, 19 July 1963: Wardown Park Museum Archives, Wardown House Museum & Gallery, Luton (hereafter WPMA),

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abandoned pub to ‘collect and preserve for the benefit of the general public and for the purposes of education, objects of local interest and of common use’.³⁸ Although many founding members were connected to the ancient university in Cambridge, a facet of the museum’s civic identity was a remit to preserve the local, everyday things that the research-driven university museums overlooked.³⁹ At Cambridge Bagshawe acted as a mentor to Enid Porter, a thirty-eight-yearold former schoolteacher with ancestral roots in the county who had been hired as a museum assistant in 1947. In 1950 Enid Porter was appointed as full curator.⁴⁰ She spent the rest of her life collecting personal objects, street names, and anecdotes from private conversations with the local people of Cambridgeshire on behalf of the museum (see Fig. 4.1). As she explained in a 1956 letter to the

Fig. 4.1 Enid Porter, curator of the Cambridge and County Folk Museum, inspecting an oven with two men outside the museum, c.1952, ref. JC 233 Source: John Carter Archive held at the Cambridgeshire Collection, Cambridge Central Library. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Bagshawe Documents 1960 80. Cf. K. Hill, Women and Museums 1850 1914: Modernity and the Gendering of Knowledge (Manchester, 2016), pp. 54 6. ³⁸ ‘Cambridge and County Folk Museum 1st Annual Report’, 31 December 1936: Cambridge and County Folk Museum Archives, Museum of Cambridge (hereafter CCFMA), Annual Reports. ³⁹ See R. Proctor, ‘ “From Papua to Pampisford”: The Origins of Cambridge & County Folk Museum’ (MA dissertation, University College London, 2010), pp. 7 8. ⁴⁰ ‘Cambridge and County Folk Museum 15th Annual Report’, 31 December 1950: CCFMA, Annual Reports.

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Carnegie Trust seeking funding: ‘We carry on the work of collecting where the University Museum of Archaeology ceases, and we lay claim to the somewhat rare characteristic of being a purely local museum.’⁴¹ From the early 1960s Porter lived in a purpose-built cottage adjacent to the museum, and although her health often failed, she was writing and publishing on local history until after her retirement in 1976.⁴² The founder of the Highland Folk Museum, Isabel Grant, shared many of Porter’s objectives, and the two women swapped notes on their methods.⁴³ Grant was a Scottish woman of aristocratic descent who first became interested in Highland customs when she deciphered the account book of an eighteenthcentury ancestor for her uncle, published in 1924 as Every-Day Life on an Old Highland Farm, 1769–1782.⁴⁴ She had previously worked as a research assistant to John Maynard Keynes in London, who encouraged her to pursue social and economic history. Grant’s tiny folk museum first opened in a church in Iona in 1935, but it was an arduous struggle for her to establish long-term funding for the project.⁴⁵ The ‘history of everyday life’ was central to this first wave of folk museology because it was more populist than the emerging academic disciplines of anthropology and archaeology, and more social-historical than folklore proper. In the mid-nineteenth century, anthropology, archaeology, and folklore were closely intertwined, but during the early twentieth century they crystallized into their own distinct fields. In the domestic British context archaeology and anthropology were heavily skewed towards prehistory and they gradually established themselves as social sciences within universities. In doing so they were defining themselves against the romantic study of folklore, or ‘popular antiquities’, which had been thriving in Britain since the 1840s, but had retained an interest in habitual customs and oral tradition. G. L. Gomme, a pre-eminent Victorian folklorist, described the products of folklore in 1890 as ‘relics of an unrecorded past’, distinguishable from anthropology in dealing with ‘observable phenomena in

⁴¹ E. Porter to G. Dyson, 8 March 1956: National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh (hereafter NRS), GD 281/91/30. All extracts from items in the NRS collection GD 281 ‘Records of the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust’ are credited to the Carnegie UK Trust and I am grateful to them for granting me permission to reproduce them here. ⁴² See E. Porter, Cambridgeshire Customs and Folklore (London, 1969), preface; J. D. Pickles, ‘The Publications of Enid Porter’, Review of the Cambridgeshire Association for Local History, 16 (2007), pp. 43 8; C. Blacker, ‘Enid Porter 1909 1984’, in Women and Tradition: A Neglected Group of Folklorists, edited by C. Blacker and H. R. Ellis Davidson (Durham, NC, 2000), pp. 233 44. ⁴³ I. F. Grant, The Making of Am Fasgadh: An Account of the Origins of the Highland Folk Museum by Its Founder (Edinburgh, 2007), p. 60. ⁴⁴ Grant, The Making of Am Fasgadh, pp. 14 15; I. F. Grant, Every Day Life on an Old Highland Farm, 1769 1782 (London, 1924). ⁴⁵ Grant, The Making of Am Fasgadh, p. 169; H. Cheape, ‘Dr I. F. Grant (1887 1983): The Highland Folk Museum and a Bibliography of Her Written Works’, Review of Scottish Culture, 2 (1986), pp. 113 25.

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man’s mental and social history’.⁴⁶ Comparing various European folklore cultures in the late nineteenth century, Chris Manias has stressed the ‘contested’ and ‘ambiguous’ nature of British folklore.⁴⁷ Anthropology and folklore in Britain became uncoupled amidst an imperial discourse struggling with the distinction between ‘civilized’ and ‘uncivilized’ cultures. By the 1920s British folklore objects were regarded as anomalies in indigenous anthropological museums.⁴⁸ In the mid-twentieth century domestic folklore was instead being studied haphazardly in local museums, often by women, and was being justified on educational grounds. These ‘folklorists’ rarely used the antiquarian tradition to frame their activities. They instead cited a modern (and foreign) forebear: Artur Hazelius in Sweden. Hazelius, a former schoolteacher, founded the Nordic Museum of folklife in central Stockholm in 1873. But it was his pioneering open-air museum, Skansen (opened in 1891), that became a source of inspiration and place of pilgrimage for advocates of the ‘history of everyday life’, including Charles Quennell.⁴⁹ Hazelius essentially provided local museum folklorists with coherent methodologies for the display and categorization of ‘everyday life’ for the general public. The international association with the Scandinavian project helped British practitioners mark themselves out as popularizers.⁵⁰ First-wave collectors and museum workers only reluctantly defined what they did as ‘folklore’ and sought to eschew associations inherited from the later nineteenth-century British context. They saw their inquiries as a broad and interdisciplinary ‘history of everyday life’ and part of a nascent, democratic museological profession that separated them from academics. For example, Enid Porter thought ‘folk’ was an awful word adopted in lieu of anything better: ‘it’s everything to do with the way of life of the people, the clothes they wore, the things they believed in’.⁵¹ Likewise, Isabel Grant was uneasy about the ‘peasant’ connotations of ‘folk’, but as her biographer noted, ‘It was of course difficult to find the right term for a museum of wide-ranging social history; it required a name which people could understand’.⁵² Local folk museums were able to connect social history to citizenship because their collections were explicitly related to local knowledge. They tapped into genuine appetites to document waning industries ⁴⁶ G. L. Gomme, ‘What Folk lore Is’, in The Handbook of Folklore (London, 1890), pp. 1 7. ⁴⁷ C. Manias, Race, Science, and the Nation: Reconstructing the Ancient Past in Britain, France and Germany (London, 2013), pp. 221 6. ⁴⁸ Wingfield and Gosden, ‘An Imperialist Folklore?’; T. Cadbury, ‘Home and Away: What Was “Folklore” at Cambridge?’, Journal of Museum Ethnography, 22 (2009), pp. 102 19. ⁴⁹ See S. Rentzhog, Open Air Museums: The History and Future of a Visionary Idea (Carlssons, 2007); E. A. Chappell, ‘Open Air Museums: Architectural History for the Masses’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 58 (1999), pp. 334 41. ⁵⁰ See C. E. Freeman, ‘Museums Methods in Norway and Sweden’, Supplement to the Museums Journal, 47 (1938). ⁵¹ ‘Folk Museums by Enid Porter’, n.d.: CCFMA, Enid Porter collection; ‘The Way I Found a Future in the Past’, Cambridge Daily News, 26 August 1968. ⁵² Cheape, ‘Dr I. F. Grant’, p. 114.

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and customs during the 1920s. For example, Hereford Museum’s ‘Old Country Life’ section contained old-fashioned smocks and dairy utensils. At Northampton Central Museum there was a reconstruction of a cobbler’s shop, showing how shoes were made in cottage industry.⁵³ From the beginning of his tenure at Luton, Charles Freeman contributed a regular column to the local newspaper describing the museum’s latest accessions of everyday things, always linking them to the rapid industrial and social progress of the town in the present.⁵⁴ Whilst the Tylorian ‘survivals’ approach to folk objects emphasized universality, in local folk museums objects were endowed with significance via the memories and voices of the community. They carried a humanistic anti-intellectualism that could be directly opposed to the scientific practice of history. In a lecture promoting the Cambridge Folk Museum one year after it opened, John Saltmarsh drew this contrast poetically: There is too much danger that to the historian history may become an abstract game with symbols dates and names of men and names of institutions if he is an economic historian, abstractions like ‘the manor’ and ‘the gild’ and ‘the craftsman’. So that in his anxiety to see the wood for the trees, the historian is blind to the colour and strength and beauty of the green tree of life. He sees only a spectral skeleton within.⁵⁵

Social History and Community Engagement in First-Wave Folk Museology As we found in Chapter 1, the ‘history of everyday life’ flourished in a post-First World War culture of ‘conservative modernity’ because it foregrounded individual interiority in the past as a topic of national interest.⁵⁶ This idea of a modernity still tethered to established social and gender norms is useful in explaining the enduring purchase of folk museums on communities in mid-twentieth-century Britain.⁵⁷ What did ‘conservative modernity’ look like in first-wave folk museums? ⁵³ ‘Hereford Museums, Old Country Life Section’, Museums Journal, 33 (1933), pp. 65 6; ‘Museum Publications Northampton’s Boot & Shoe Collection at the Central Museum By Reginald W. Brown’, Museums Journal, 29 (1929), p. 129. ⁵⁴ For example, ‘Chicksands Priory Mangle’, Beds and Herts Evening Telegraph, 24 August 1937; ‘Giving Man Back a Pride in His Job’, Beds and Herts Evening Telegraph, 7 February 1939; ‘Gifts that Help Make a Picture of the Past’, Saturday Telegraph, 24 June 1944. ⁵⁵ J. Saltmarsh, ‘Folk Museum’, 7 September 1965: Archive Centre, King’s College, University of Cambridge, JS/1/34. Although the cover page of this lecture is dated 1965, it is clear from the body of the text that the lecture was delivered in 1937. ⁵⁶ A. Light, Forever England: Femininity, Literature and Conservatism between the Wars (London, 1991). ⁵⁷ A. Bingham, Gender, Modernity and the Popular Press in Interwar Britain (Oxford, 2004), pp. 95 110.

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One aspect of ‘volkish’ conservatism has been the utilization of folk culture as a manifesto for racial ‘purity’ and eugenics in the present.⁵⁸ National folk museum projects were more inclined than local ones to deploy rhetoric promoting racial nationalism—for example, the 1912 letter to The Times in support of the Crystal Palace scheme referenced ‘promoting love of country and pride in race’.⁵⁹ Nonetheless, Bagshawe, Porter, and Grant each espoused the importance of authentic, ancestral claims on their respective communities. Bagshawe in particular was grossly anti-Semitic.⁶⁰ But what mattered most was the local distinction between objects and stories, much less easily tied to the differentials of character and mental capacity central to nationalistic racial theory.⁶¹ The subjective museological practices of these individuals show how a metropolitan, imperial society deeply invested in a traditional gender and class order used the local past to negotiate twentieth-century modernity. Their histories were not explicitly racial projects, but the ‘history of everyday life’ enabled them to bury racist, colonial discourses in local, democratic narratives. Local folk museum narratives were framed by the ideal of a conservative organic community as a basis for stable politics within which individuals knew their position, but also exercised agency and creativity. In her account of the origins of the Highland Folk Museum, Isabel Grant noted how her exhibits united all grades of Highland society in a common aesthetic community: ‘The dress, the highly stylized music, the complex meters of verse, the austerity of the epic tales were common to everyone in a many-sided society.’⁶² From Carlyle through Ruskin and Morris to Leavis, recourse to the organic community was about enacting a radical break from the industrial (or even deindustrializing) present. But the local folk museum sought to physically embody a web of organic community relations that had developed unbroken over time and would continue to bind the community together in the future. This picture of a finely tuned and stable hierarchal society was especially potent during volatile times such as the Second World War. The 1941 annual report of the Cambridge Folk Museum reported: During 1941 the Museum has continued to fulfill its function of reminding the present age of the life and times of our fathers and grandfathers, and the exhibits tend to show that in spite of wars the continuity of ordinary life in England has been unbroken.⁶³ ⁵⁸ See M. Jefferies and M. Tyldesley (eds.), Rolf Gardiner: Folk, Nature and Culture in Interwar Britain (Farnham, 2011). ⁵⁹ ‘A National Folk Museum’, p. 6. ⁶⁰ T. Bagshawe to C. Freeman, 30 September 1962: WPMA, Bagshawe Documents 1960 80. ⁶¹ Cf. P. Mandler, The English National Character: The History of an Idea from Edmund Burke to Tony Blair (New Haven; London, 2006), pp. 155 6. ⁶² Grant, The Making of Am Fasgadh, p. 27. ⁶³ ‘Cambridge and County Folk Museum 6th Annual Report’, 31 December 1941: CCFMA, Annual Reports.

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Twentieth-century folk revivalism was patriarchal, whilst deploying women as its major advocates and foot soldiers.⁶⁴ This paradox was amplified in the world of museums, where the semi-professionalized status quo meant women’s work opportunities were fluid, as Kate Hill has explored. Whilst women were ‘channelled out of most prestigious and scholarly roles’, the tasks they performed were varied and complex.⁶⁵ Such fluidity could give women an opportunity to wield genuine intellectual authority over collections. This was certainly the case in local folk museums, yet the centrality of domesticity to the genre kept women tied to a gendered conservatism. Local folk museums were a space for the articulation of an explicitly feminine social history, traceable in literary culture back to the pioneering amateur women historians in the nineteenth century who wrote about travel, customs, and women’s lives.⁶⁶ The gendered spatial layout of these museums enforced a crude separation of spheres but also celebrated the creativity in feminine domestic handicrafts practised inside the home. For example, the Cambridge Folk Museum had two ladies’ workrooms displaying objects relating to spinning, lace making, and straw plaiting, as well as a nursery and a kitchen where ‘a woman is very properly in her place’. Contrasting with this was the men’s room and a display of tools in the Bar Parlour, where men’s crafts were shown to be more ‘practical, directed and varied’ than those of women.⁶⁷ This extremely traditional codification of gender roles presented women as unproblematically bound to the domestic sphere, but it also put them at the centre stage of history in a way that they rarely were in published history books. In her museum, Grant argued that the ‘homely concrete contact with the past’ appealed more to ‘simple folk, especially women’.⁶⁸ The Glasgow Herald declared of Grant in 1948, ‘One woman’s hobby has become a national asset’.⁶⁹ Home-based feminine practices were central to constructing a ‘history of everyday life’ that was accessible to a community audience, which gave women’s technical skills and knowledge a legitimate place in the narrative of social history. The roles of woman curator and woman visitor were therefore mutually reinforcing, mirroring the relationship between female broadcasters and female listeners seen in Chapter 3. Our understanding of women’s contributions to history in this period is mostly seen through a radical, social-reformist and internationalist lens. This unites first- and second-wave

⁶⁴ Boyes, The Imagined Village, pp. 30 1. ⁶⁵ Hill, Women and Museums, pp. 38 9. ⁶⁶ B. Melman, ‘Gender, History and Memory: The Invention of Women’s Past in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries’, History and Memory, 5 (1993), pp. 5 41; R. Mitchell, ‘ “The Busy Daughters of Clio”: Women Writers of History from 1820 to 1880’, Women’s History Review, 7 (1998), pp. 107 34. ⁶⁷ Saltmarsh, ‘Folk Museum’. ⁶⁸ I. F. Grant to Dr Russell, 17 October 1937: NRS, GD 281/37/147. ⁶⁹ ‘The Lady of Am Fasgadh’, Glasgow Herald, 2 July 1948.

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feminisms intellectually and forms part of the origin story of women’s history as a discipline.⁷⁰ But the construction of a populist social history that spoke to communities that were not part of the metropolitan elite relied on a more parochial, conservative, and domesticated women’s history, which has often been bypassed by focusing on the more radical paths of professional women historians or on the activities of suffrage activists.⁷¹ The ‘history of everyday life’ effectively operated as modern and democratic in local folk museums precisely because it put domestic femininity at the heart of its humanistic and ‘commonsense’ appeal. A central contention of this book is that there was an idiosyncratic synergy between progressive educational techniques for ordinary consumers of history and conservative impulses focused on emotional and individualistic responses to history. We see this paradox once again at work in local folk museums. Because of their novelty as twentieth-century institutions, folk museums were wedded to a democratic educational mission from their beginnings, and they therefore prioritized practical education over research and conservation. During the First World War, museums up and down the country proved their social utility to the mass public for the first time. Many formed partnerships with LEAs and undertook educational experiments (a point that is developed in the next chapter).⁷² In 1918 the Ministry of Reconstruction’s Adult Education Committee recommended that LEAs take control of all public libraries and museums. The Museums Association (MA), a professionalizing body founded in 1889, had vehemently opposed this move. Its representatives argued unequivocally that the educational function of museums was subordinate to their technical, curatorial, and research roles.⁷³ Gradually, these two functions became more clearly separated, such as in York museums where Her Majesty’s Inspectorate (HMI) observed that ‘Curators and Educators are thus somewhat at variance.’⁷⁴ Education became the public-facing, and often ancillary, purpose of museums. These tensions reflected a broader bifurcation of ‘popular’ and ‘expert’ knowledge occurring in mid-twentieth-century Britain. This split was

⁷⁰ See B. Melman, ‘Changing the Subject: Women’s History and Historiography 1900 2000’, in Women in Twentieth Century Britain, edited by I. Zweiniger Bargielowska (Harlow, 2001), pp. 16 31. ⁷¹ Cf. Z. Thomas, ‘Historical Pageants, Citizenship, and the Performance of Women’s History before Second Wave Feminism’, Twentieth Century British History, 28 (2017), pp. 319 43. ⁷² Board of Education, Memorandum on Increased Co operation between Public Museums and Public Educational Institutions (London, 1931). Cf. Markham, A Report on the Museums, p. 115. ⁷³ ‘Report of a Conference between Representatives of the Board of Education and a Committee of the Museums Association on the Proposed Transfer of Museums to the Local Education Authorities’, Museums Journal, 19 (1920), pp. 123 9. Cf. J. L. Teather, ‘The Museum Keepers, the Museums Association and the Growth of Professionalism’, Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, 9 (1990), pp. 25 41. ⁷⁴ ‘Museum of York and their use by schools’, 1946 51: TNA, ED 149/97.

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gendered: women were most likely to gain entry to museums work in an educational capacity as purveyors of ‘popular’ knowledge.⁷⁵ Most folk museums were founded in the early twentieth century at the very moment that this gulf was widening; they became sites for the formation of ‘popular’ social knowledge and were conceived of as public-serving institutions from the beginning. This won them funding from private charitable bodies, and sometimes from the state. For example, one of the earliest rationales for a Welsh Folk Museum justified it as a form of unemployment relief in the short term (the pulling down and re-erection of a large number of buildings) and a site of social community services and a source of touristic revenue in the long term.⁷⁶ Grant similarly conceptualized her museum work as an extension of the social work she had undertaken in London during the First World War.⁷⁷ Elderly visitors told her that she was ‘helping people to feel their roots’, that they felt ‘nearer this day to my youth than I have for years’ after visiting.⁷⁸ This public service ethos further galvanized women’s roles as communicators, mediators, and ‘care-givers’ in public spaces of history such as museums. In 1932 Luton Public Museum received one of the first Carnegie Trust museum development grants of £200, matched in kind by the Luton Corporation.⁷⁹ The Carnegie Trust endorsed museums with tightly focused regional collecting, as at Luton, because it maximized the relevance and accessibility of local museums to their communities.⁸⁰ With this grant Luton Public Museum built up one of the first special ‘travelling’ loan collections for circulation amongst schools. In 1937 the local newspaper noted, ‘As it is not always convenient to take schoolchildren to the Museum, the modern idea is to take the Museum to the schoolchildren.’⁸¹ The objects were used to illustrate various lessons in the ordinary school timetable. These efforts continued, and during the Second World War numerous weekly lectures in the museum, with Quennellite titles such as ‘Everyday Life in the Middle Ages’, were run for the hundreds of new pupils in Luton who had been evacuated from London.⁸² In 1953 Islay Doncaster, a history teacher and lecturer at a local training college, undertook a more formal educational experiment at Luton. A few years later, Doncaster published a book for schoolteachers and the general public explaining ⁷⁵ Cf. Hill, Women and Museums, p. 19. ⁷⁶ Letter from L. T. Winston Davies, 2 May 1937: TNA, EB 3/11. ⁷⁷ Grant, The Making of Am Fasgadh, p. 14. ⁷⁸ I. F. Grant to Mr Laughton, 1937: NRS, GD 281/37/147. ⁷⁹ ‘Museums Sub Committee meeting’, 8 September 1931: WPMA, Museum Sub Committee minute books; ‘Museums and the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust’, Museums Journal, 31 (1932), pp. 489 90. ⁸⁰ ‘Carnegie United Kingdom Trust: Report of the Working Party on a new policy for Museums’, November 1949: NRS, GD 281/33/13. ⁸¹ Evening Telegraph, 2 June 1937. ⁸² ‘Museums Sub Committee meeting’, 14 December 1949; ‘Museums Sub Committee meeting’, 15 January 1940: WPMA, Museum Sub Committee minute books.

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how original sources and objects could illuminate historical collections and monuments.⁸³ At Luton she focused her energies on running classes with secondary modern (or ‘B’ stream) pupils in the museum, arguing that these ‘less intelligent children gain more from the visual and tactile approach to learning in the Museum’. The classes, ranging from ‘History from Local Archaeology’ to ‘Nineteenth Century Social Life’, required pupils to identify and draw objects from the galleries. They were then permitted to handle museum specimens such as primitive tools and straw splitters, which they used to make straw plait themselves.⁸⁴ This latter activity consciously connected the pupils to Luton’s own local industrial history. After the introduction of free trade in the 1860s, the strawplaiting industry had been priced out by cheap imports from abroad, and straw plaiting was often romanticized as the quintessential regional craft (see Fig. 4.2).⁸⁵ This regional economic shift, cut through with nostalgia, forms part of a pervasive national narrative in Britain about the transition from Victorian prosperity to twentieth-century ‘decline’.⁸⁶ But in the museum it became a significant vehicle for a modern message of local citizenship. Education, especially with lower-ability pupils, was about a social investment in the future, itself a condition of twentiethcentury modernity and progress. The ‘history of everyday life’ enabled practitioners to connect this progress with the currents of historical social change in a way that broke free of the ‘declinist’ account of British history that preoccupied academics. At Cambridge Folk Museum the curator, Enid Porter, had trained as a schoolteacher prior to her appointment. Although Porter explained that being a schoolteacher had never been her vocation, her teaching experience allowed her to see the museum as a space analogous to the classroom.⁸⁷ As with many local folk museums, Cambridge struggled to secure long-term financial backing, and funding applications to various trusts always relied on the educational appeal of the museum and evidence of its activities. Grants from the Education Committees of both Cambridge City and Cambridgeshire County Council, often in exchange for free visits for schoolchildren, were the most sustained source of income for the museum across the mid-century.⁸⁸ After years of informal activity under Porter’s direction, the Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely Education Authority inaugurated a ⁸³ I. Doncaster, Finding the History Around Us (Oxford, 1957). ⁸⁴ I. Doncaster, ‘Luton minute books Experimental Lessons for School Classes, Summer Term, 1953 Report of the Organiser’, 25 July 1953: WPMA, Museum Sub Committee minute books. Emphasis on ‘less’ true to source. Cf. I. Doncaster, ‘Report of the Organizer, for the year ended 31st March 1954’, April 1954: WPMA, Museum Sub Committee minute books. ⁸⁵ J. Dyer, The Story of Luton (Luton, 1964), pp. 146 7. ⁸⁶ Cf. J. Tomlinson, ‘De industrialization Not Decline: A New Meta narrative for Post war British History’, Twentieth Century British History, 27 (2016), pp. 76 99. ⁸⁷ ‘The Way I Found a Future in the Past’. ⁸⁸ ‘Cambridge and County Folk Museum 4th Annual Report’, 31 December 1939: CCFMA, Annual Reports; ‘Cambridge and District Folk Museum Minute Book 1 March 1935 18 June 1937’, 15 January 1937: CCFMA, Museum minute books.

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Fig. 4.2 Hat displays at Luton Public Museum, c.1940s. Photo archive, WPMA Source: The Culture Trust, Luton.

Schools Museum Service in September 1967 and appointed a specialist museum teacher to run classes in the museum and take loan exhibits to the schools.⁸⁹

⁸⁹ ‘Cambridge and County Folk Museum 31st Annual Report’, 1 April 1966 to 31 March 1967: CCFMA, Annual Reports.

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Further north, York Castle Museum had been opened in 1938 by the York Corporation and was styled as ‘the folk museum of Yorkshire life’ with ‘the single aim of preserving the way of life in Yorkshire during the past four hundred years’.⁹⁰ The nucleus of the early museum was a collection of Yorkshire bygones amassed by the collector Dr John Kirk in the early twentieth century.⁹¹ York Castle Museum famously had one of the first ‘living history’ period streets in Britain, and, as at Am Fasgadh, emulating the Scandinavian folk museums on an even larger outdoor scale was an ongoing curatorial ambition.⁹² They appointed a full-time teacher to be based in the museum in 1940 through the financial backing of the LEA. An HMI report on the provision of museum services in York in 1948 held the city up as a nation-wide example, ultimately because the LEA had recognized and invested long term in these educational projects. Parallels can be drawn with the Welsh Folk Museum, whose schools service was robustly funded by a syndicate of Welsh LEAs from 1950 and had much success connecting with rural and isolated secondary schools via an exhibit loan service.⁹³ The 1948 HMI report noted that York Castle Museum was the most popular museum with children in the city, contrasting it with the less popular Yorkshire Museum, established in 1830 ‘in a traditional style’. The report went on to explain some of the methods used, similar to those at Luton: Actual specimens from the homes, workshops and farms of earlier generations are used to help in the creation of an understanding of ways of life which have ceased to be . . . the method has a degree of success never possible with the older and more traditional methods of teaching History.⁹⁴

These successes at York stemmed from Kirk’s focus on regional collecting, which the museum remained committed to. Through this, they developed a practical education programme that emphasised the agency of individuals living and working in Yorkshire across time and into the present day. In their efforts to formalize modern teaching methods for average pupils these various schemes map directly onto the shifting educational currents of the midtwentieth century, and after 1944, directly onto the tripartite model of secondary education. The local folk museum was functioning as a channel for a modern ⁹⁰ ‘Curator’s Report, January 1956’, in ‘Corporation of York Castle, Castle Museum Committee Minutes, 1954 1962’, 4 April 1956: York Libraries and Archives, York (hereafter YLA), Y/COU/5/2/12 BC 59.2. ⁹¹ P. Brears, ‘Kirk of the Castle’, Museums Journal, 80 (1980), pp. 90 2; Kavanagh, History Curatorship, pp. 28 30; K. Hill, ‘Collecting Authenticity: Domestic, Familial, and Everyday “Old Things” in English Museums, 1850 1939’, Museum History Journal, 4 (2011), pp. 203 22, at p. 217. ⁹² ‘Curator’s Report, January 1956’; ‘Proposed Folk Park Fulford Fields’, 3 April 1963: YLA, Y/COU/5/2/12 BC 59.3. A ‘Castle Museum Folk Park Sub Committee’ was formed in 1964. ⁹³ ‘Bringing the Museum to the Schools Examples of a New Service’, The Times, 9 September 1955, p. 11. ⁹⁴ ‘Museum of York and their use by schools’.

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historical education that consciously fragmented national histories. Local, social history was prescribed for ordinary communities. More so than in the classroom, our access to elite, curatorial intention far outweighs our access to the actual experiences and internalization of the pupils involved, because of the nature of the sources. It is possible only to say that these pupils were fed a trajectory of social history that was intended to bolster their sense of personal identity, using methods that placed the individual within an atomized story of the nation’s economic development. In being so localized and so practical, these uses of the ‘history of everyday life’ were intended to circumvent the nostalgic malaise so common to conservative depictions of the (English) past in the twentieth century. The emotional appeal was positive, rather than negative, because the method was active, rather than passive.⁹⁵ This active educational culture embedded the ‘history of everyday life’ in local communities as a tool for people to understand themselves and the world around them.

Collecting and Organizing Social Knowledge in First-Wave Folk Museums Historians of collecting have noted that an interest in ordinary old things flourished amongst leisured collectors in England from the 1900s.⁹⁶ This can be at least partially attributed to the diffusion of Arts and Crafts ideas, which lionized any object made or custom practised eschewing the industrial machine. As one article in a popular collector’s weekly declared in 1928, ‘The commonest objects used by our forefathers become valuable and interesting if they grow obsolete and rare.’⁹⁷ Arts and Crafts thinking gave everyday objects a positive aesthetic value, outside of their monetary worth. Deborah Cohen has written about the advent of antique collecting in this same period as a ‘protest’ by a middle class tired of Victorian manufacturing.⁹⁸ But the ordinary things phenomenon does not neatly fit into this mould, since so many of these objects were of the nineteenth century. Everyday things, inherited or collected in a family context, could articulate a sense of personal identity for an expanding middle class that was readjusting to the new inter-war social order and the eclipse of late-Victorian liberalism.⁹⁹

⁹⁵ Cf. L. Tisdall, A Progressive Education? How Childhood Changed in Mid Twentieth Century English and Welsh Schools (Manchester, 2019), pp. 152 4. ⁹⁶ P. Brears, ‘ “Bygones” in The Connoisseur’, Folk Life, 34 (1996), pp. 30 42. ⁹⁷ ‘Once Common Objects that Are Now Valuable’, The Bazaar: The Ideal Weekly for Collectors and Connoisseurs, 8 September 1928, p. 12. ⁹⁸ D. Cohen, Household Gods: The British and Their Possessions (New Haven; London, 2009), p. 153. ⁹⁹ Cf. S. Pedersen and P. Mandler (eds.), After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty, 1880 1950 (London, 1994).

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In 1931 a temporary period room exhibition was opened in a Victorian house in Mayfair, reportedly showing ‘Victorian life at its best’. The Museums Journal commented on the ‘pleasant illusion’ of the musical box and lady attendants in Victorian costume.¹⁰⁰ One enthusiastic letter writer even told The Times that there was demand for a permanent exhibit of this nature in light of the present ‘Victorian revival’.¹⁰¹ It was ultimately the nostalgia of the atmosphere that won approval, a cherry-picked picture enabling a celebration of the nineteenth century, apparently free of the weighty baggage of the Victorians’ countless other aesthetic crimes. Thus, for a specific generation of inter-war collectors, these nineteenthcentury objects could actually sit quite comfortably alongside both modern functionalist and Arts and Crafts critiques of the Victorian aesthetic. The quasipersonal connections of these domestic objects, evoking recollections of childhood days, cemented their appeal. It is the existence and proliferation of such private collections that made it possible for museums slowly to begin accessioning these mundane objects of everyday life, from the period after the First World War.¹⁰² The most common term used to describe the ‘everyday’ material when sought out for museums was ‘bygones’. Since the late nineteenth century, the term had functioned as a catch-all miscellany: it could be a thing, a person, a habit, or a custom. For example, between 1878 and 1939 the Oswestry Advertiser ran a full supplement called ‘Bye-gones, relating to Wales and the Border Counties’, documenting the phenomenon between mid-Wales and the West Midlands.¹⁰³ Bygones were relics of everyday life distinguished by their extreme localness and their apparent eccentricity when set against modern life and culture. In 1918 the Museums Journal tackled the important but as yet unsettled question, ‘at what age does a “bygone” became an “antiquity”, or, worse still, an “archaeological specimen” ’? The note decided on setting the limit between ‘bygone’ and ‘modern’ at about sixty years, i.e. just about in living memory.¹⁰⁴ Bygones were not precious, ancient, or even beautiful. And they were functionally useless. But they affirmed the place of individual people—labouring, loving, and living—in the historical progression. In an essay announcing the arrival of a folk museum in Cambridge in 1937 Councillor W. H. Swift explained that their project was about ‘a new set of values for objects of which the use is fading or gone’.¹⁰⁵ Complaining of the lack of ‘common articles, the utensils and materials of the man in the street’ in his report ¹⁰⁰ ‘Proposed Victorian Museum’, Museums Journal, 31 (1931), pp. 207 8. ¹⁰¹ ‘The Victorian Revival’, The Times, 10 June 1931, p. 12. Cf. ‘A Victorian Home’, The Times, 18 June 1931, p. 15. Cf. A. Briggs, Victorian Things (London, 1988), pp. 12 13. ¹⁰² Cf. J. Bailkin, The Culture of Property: The Crisis of Liberalism in Modern Britain (Chicago, 2004), pp. 159 204. ¹⁰³ See for example, ‘Notes A Lady’s Impressions of Wales a Century Ago’, Bye Gones, Relating to Wales and the Border Counties, 5 (1880), p. 1. ¹⁰⁴ ‘Notes and News When Is a Bygone not a Bygone?’, Museums Journal, 18 (1918), p. 16. ¹⁰⁵ Councillor W. H. Swift, ‘The Cambridge and County Folk Museum’, Cambridge Public Library Record, ix (1937), pp. 33 8.

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on provincial museums one year later, S. F. Markham pointed out that ‘However superb a collection is, it remains a frozen asset until some scientist or interpreter can use the warmth of learning to revitalise it.’¹⁰⁶ Bygones marked the beginning of the process of historicizing the certainties of the Victorian age. The archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler drafted ‘A provisional list of objects required (excluding structural remains)’ for the proposed English national folk museum in 1931. Wheeler’s generic wishlist provides an introduction to the types of bygone being gathered in our local museums. It included farming tools such as scythes and horseshoes, domestic cookery objects and cutlery, the equipment of the blacksmith, wheelwright, and potter, and objects relating to the ‘charms, “cures” and customs [that] were in vogue until recently in the country districts’.¹⁰⁷ Most of these bygones were small and inconsequential enough to have been retained indiscriminately in homes up and down the country. Perhaps the only important omission from Mortimer’s list is costume. In the inter-war years, costume was a relatively new genre of museum collecting, intimately linked with the everyday.¹⁰⁸ By the 1930s, local folk collections regularly included traditional costumes or the outfits of workers. In 1937 the collector and fashion historian Cecil Cunnington indicated his desire to donate his extensive collection of British historical costume to a national museum of clothing.¹⁰⁹ This announcement reignited the question of a national folk museum, since style and dress was as much an organic tradition of the people as art and craft (as seen at the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo).¹¹⁰ A common refrain surrounding collecting and accessioning work in local folk museums was the notion that people had neglected family items in their roofs, cellars, and spare rooms, waiting to be discovered. This paralleled the democratization of antique collecting occurring at the same time.¹¹¹ Drawing out these instincts amongst ordinary people was part of the folk museum project. Collecting the ‘history of everyday life’ (in the form of objects, memories, or reconstructed buildings) was an ethnographic act and involved a social-scientific encounter for the museum practitioners involved. It can therefore be compared to adjacent, academic projects seeking to gather, codify, and organize ‘social knowledge’ in the mid-twentieth century. The ‘fieldwork’ undertaken by women such as Grant and Porter involved extracting objects and stories from local people.

¹⁰⁶ Markham, A Report on the Museums, p. 8. ¹⁰⁷ ‘The Proposed National Folk Museum Provisional list of objects required (excluding structural remains)’, July 1931: TNA, ED 24/1399. ¹⁰⁸ J. Petrov, ‘ “The habit of their age”: English Genre Painters, Dress Collecting, and Museums, 1910 1914’, Journal of the History of Collections, 20 (2008), pp. 237 51. ¹⁰⁹ ‘Costume Down the Ages Scandinavian Folk Museums’, The Times, 29 November 1937, p. 17. ¹¹⁰ Freeman, ‘Museums Methods in Norway and Sweden’, p. 476. ¹¹¹ H. Egginton, ‘In Quest of the Antique: The Bazaar, Exchange and Mart and the Democratization of Collecting, 1926 42’, Twentieth Century British History, 28 (2017), pp. 159 85.

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Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Grant travelled far and wide around the Scottish isles to augment her collection.¹¹² She wrote about capturing a ‘psychological atmosphere’ that was absent from materialist-economic accounts of social history she had encountered when working in the academic world of Keynes.¹¹³ Predictably, Isabel Grant did not feature in Hugh Trevor-Roper’s classic essay on the ‘invention’ of the Highland tradition of Scotland. Although operating in the same ideological tradition of Highland chauvinism, her efforts added a feminized, privatized, and tactile dimension to the episodes of public spectacle and antiquarian documentation that he describes. But she was, as Trevor-Roper puts it, contributing to the creation of a ‘whole imaginary Highland civilisation’.¹¹⁴ Grant collected ‘relational and affective forms of knowledge’, which were established as the suitable sphere of women’s museological work after 1918.¹¹⁵ Grant wrote about one such encounter with a Highland man who had been too ashamed to show her a rare wooden and wickerwork cooking apparatus because it revealed the poverty of his past, and because Grant was ‘a lady’. Grant intuited that it had ‘come down from times when the family had lived in a more primitive way’. She elaborated on how she felt about collecting, echoing the apprehensions of an amateur social scientist: People ask me if I enjoyed collecting. The plain answer is ‘No!’ I am shy and lacking in self confidence and social address. It was agony to approach a hamlet and to feel critical eyes were looking out from behind the curtains of every window and that their owners were all asking, ‘Whoever is this woman and what is she coming here for?’ Invariably, I was courteously received. The coming of a stranger was a pleasant event and I felt that my coming was welcome but there was always the worry of how far I could pry, how much ought I to offer, how much could I afford and how on earth I could transport anything I did get.¹¹⁶

Anxieties over classed and gendered social conventions dictated how the material of the ‘history of everyday life’ was gathered. Grant had to deploy emotional, rather than technical ‘expertise’ to obtain the items she sought. Such encounters had much in common with the investigations into ‘traditional’ communities that were a defining feature of 1950s sociology.¹¹⁷ When conceptualized as inquiries ¹¹² Grant, The Making of Am Fasgadh, pp. 67 73. ¹¹³ Grant, Every day Life, pp. 4 24. ¹¹⁴ H. Trevor Roper, ‘The Invention of Tradition: The Highland Tradition of Scotland’, in The Invention of Tradition, edited by E. Hobsbawm and T. Ranger (Cambridge, 1983), pp. 15 41, at p. 37. ¹¹⁵ Hill, Women and Museums, p. 217. ¹¹⁶ Grant, The Making of Am Fasgadh, pp. 61 2. Cf. E. Lovett, ‘Difficulties of a Folklore Collector’, Folklore, 20 (1909), pp. 227 8. ¹¹⁷ M. Savage, Identities and Social Change in Britain since 1940: The Politics of Method (Oxford, 2010); J. Lawrence, ‘Inventing the “Traditional Working Class”: A Re analysis of Interview Notes from Young and Willmott’s Family and Kinship in East London’, Historical Journal, 59 (2016), pp. 567 93.

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into ‘everyday life’, a synergy emerges between the work of these women and the post-war moment of social science. At different levels and under different names, the impulse to collect and organize knowledge about people’s everyday lives, and their interactions with the world, defined the pluralist social-historical project of mid-century Britain.¹¹⁸ Enid Porter also relied on face-to-face interactions for collecting objects and memories, although hers more often occurred in the museum itself, or at the Cambridgeshire Village College gatherings and WI meetings where she regularly lectured. In 1957 she gave thirty-nine talks across the city and county. ¹¹⁹ She also occasionally attended local sales and auctions to acquire objects.¹²⁰ Bagshawe had impressed upon Porter the importance of gathering the transient local knowledge surrounding material objects, of ‘going out to collect information rather than to sit and wait for it to be brought to me’.¹²¹ She made particular efforts in her collecting of stories, memories, and poems, to record the ‘authentic idiom’ of Fenland speech when it was relayed to her. She did this without the use of a tape recorder, which she felt inhibited her informants from speaking freely.¹²² Porter’s most sustained encounter of this nature was with W. H. Barrett, a Norfolk man born in 1891, who ‘supplied, from his remarkable memory, a vast amount of information about all aspects of Fen life and work’.¹²³ Porter used Barrett’s information to expand her knowledge of objects in the museums’ collections. Although Porter did not use this language, her work was a form of oral history. In 1981 academic social historian Harold Perkin recognized this, observing that ‘more oral social history projects are being pursued outside the universities and polytechnics at museums, galleries, centres and societies of local history and folklore, than inside’.¹²⁴ The unnamed and under-theorized practices of women like Porter and Grant, and many others who have gone unrecorded, helped to construct a living ‘history of everyday life’ in mid-twentieth-century Britain. One of Enid Porter’s later publications, Victorian Cambridge (1975), was based on the manuscript diary of Josiah Chater, a draper who lived in Cambridge in the mid-nineteenth century. This book was part of the genre of popular historical diaries, which as we saw in Chapter 1 were first sold and consumed as the ‘history of everyday life’ between the wars. Chater’s diary had been presented to the

¹¹⁸ Cf. A. Campsie, ‘Mass Observation, Left Intellectuals and the Politics of Everyday Life’, English Historical Review, CXXXI (2016), pp. 92 121. ¹¹⁹ ‘Cambridge and County Folk Museum 22nd Annual Report’, 31 December 1957: CCFMA, Annual Reports. ¹²⁰ Cambridge Daily News, 16 April 1964. ¹²¹ Porter, Cambridgeshire Customs, p. xiv. ¹²² Blacker, ‘Enid Porter’, p. 236. ¹²³ Porter, Cambridgeshire Customs, introduction. ¹²⁴ H. Perkin, ‘Social History in Britain’, in The Structured Crowd: Essays in English Social History (Brighton, 1981), pp. 212 30, at p. 216.

‘   ’   

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Cambridge Folk Museum in 1964 by Chater’s son.¹²⁵ Porter transcribed Chater’s diary into three notebooks and organized them around themes such as the weather, grocery prices, and public holidays.¹²⁶ These seemingly mundane enquiries reflect the interests of the Mass Observers, active at the same time, but operating in more urban locations with a more consciously aesthetic agenda.¹²⁷ Porter was working in the same ethnographic mode, applying these techniques to history and thus also organizing ‘social knowledge’. Her wider set of working notebooks amounted to a textured, topographical, history of social change in Cambridgeshire. But it is hard to find the same introspective quality of MassObservation in Porter’s project, or indeed across any of the local folk museums under consideration. They did not aspire to a higher intellectual purpose of selfactualization. They remained grounded in the accessible, material reality of the everyday. Collecting at York Castle Museum throughout the 1940s and 1950s focused on improving and enlarging its famous period street, known as ‘Kirkgate’. This involved salvage practices whereby shop-fronts in danger of demolition were identified and sought out for re-erection, and patched together to create a new, active, and physical historical environment.¹²⁸ A 1950 report on the museum noted that the ‘intensively individualistic technique’ at York had ‘a strongly personal element and of its appeal there can be no doubt’.¹²⁹ In the first guide written for Luton Public Museum in 1928 collections were divided into three main categories: the local hat industry, seventeenth-century trade tokens of Bedfordshire, and bygones. Of the latter, Bagshawe wrote: ‘They provide little glimpses of every-day life amongst the ordinary people of times not long since gone by.’¹³⁰ The majority of Luton’s collections were gifted or loaned to the museum by Bagshawe and his wife, or by other local residents, often town councillors and their wives. Common donations included hat blocks and Lutonmade hats, lace-making implements, samplers and embroidery pieces, children’s clothes, and prints depicting Luton and the surrounding towns.¹³¹ This pattern of accessioning reflected Luton’s administrative position as a council-run museum. The town’s elite envisaged Luton Museum as a civic island amidst the rapid social

¹²⁵ E. Porter, Victorian Cambridge: Josiah Chater’s Diaries 1844 1884 (Chichester, 1975), preface; ‘Cambridge and County Folk Museum 29th Annual Report’, 31 March 1965: CCFMA, Annual Reports. ¹²⁶ ‘Notebook: Josiah Chater no. 1 Oct. 1844 June 1859’; ‘Notebook: Josiah Chater no. 2 June 1859 Nov. 1877’; ‘Notebook: Josiah Chater no. 3 Nov. 1877 1883’, n.d.: CCFMA, Enid Porter notebooks box 1. ¹²⁷ N. Hubble, Mass Observation and Everyday Life: Culture, History, Theory (Basingstoke, 2010). ¹²⁸ See, for example, ‘Corporation of York Castle, Castle Museum Committee Minutes, 1940 1954’, 11 February 1948; 9 June 1948; 3 January 1951; 5 March 1952: YLA, Y/COU/5/2/12 BC 59.1. ¹²⁹ ‘The Castle Museum, York, Report’, April 1950: NRS, GD 281/37/62. ¹³⁰ Luton Public Museum, What to See in the Luton Museum (Luton, 1928). ¹³¹ ‘Museums Sub Committee meeting’, September 1925 December 1944: WPMA, Museum Sub Committee minute books.

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change of the present.¹³² Whilst not loaded with the same emotional baggage as the objects and stories collected by Porter and Grant ‘in the field’, these more topdown attempts at gathering a ‘history of everyday life’ at York and Luton remained focused on representing individual agency in the past.

Second-Wave Folk Museology and Social History from the 1950s The incremental progress of these small-scale projects was ultimately superseded by an era of more successful folk museology after the Second World War. From the 1950s the museums sector was gradually professionalizing, whilst within universities strands of social history were more confidently entering the academic discourse. This led to the emergence of a new heritage project, which I term ‘second-wave’ folk museology. This second generation exhibited a lot of continuity with the first and continued to function as an expression of the ‘history of everyday life’ in communities, reimagined by a new generation of professional populists who were focused on regionalism and open to more flexible models of heritage. As the 1960s drew to a close, the original, educational motivations for this form of popular social history in museums were beginning to be obscured by new political and institutional agendas and the impact of social change in postwar communities. The creeping role of technocratic institutions, such as funders and universities, began to change how museums achieved their educational objectives. The generation of Bagshawe, Porter, and Grant defined the ‘history of everyday life’ from the 1920s to the 1950s. However, the highly local and structurally elite community climate in which they operated was in decline. This had happened early on at York. York Corporation had acquired Kirk’s collection of bygones by agreement on 3 January 1936, by which time Kirk’s health was fragile. The council began to make plans to house the collection in a converted federal prison and sought external funding for this throughout the later 1930s.¹³³ Although Kirk remained involved up to his death in 1940, he grew increasingly frustrated at being marginalized by the local government machinery.¹³⁴ In a May 1939 Carnegie Trust report on the newly opened York Castle Museum it was noted that Kirk wanted the collection to ‘remain intact and unchangeable’, but that the onus on the Trust was to fund museums that were skilfully planned so that they would remain useful and relevant fifty years into the future. A more modern curator ¹³² Cf. K. Hill, Culture and Class in English Public Museums, 1850 1914 (Aldershot, 2005). ¹³³ ‘York Corporation Museum: Report by Mr. D. W. Herdman’, 30 April 1936; ‘Report on the York Castle Museum’, 22 May 1939: NRS, GD 281/37/62. Cf. ‘Dr J. L. Kirk’s Yorkshire Bygones’, Museums Journal, 32 (1932), p. 370. ¹³⁴ D. W. Herdman to E. W. Wignall, 9 April 1937: NRS, GD 281/37/62.

‘   ’   

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should thus be selected after Kirk’s death, one willing to rearrange the material to make it more accessible.¹³⁵ Clear parallels can be drawn with Bagshawe at Luton. By the 1960s he was embroiled in a bitter dispute with Luton Public Museum over the suitable display of his thousands of bequests.¹³⁶ Strong and eccentric ‘personalities’ had been essential to the formation of the ‘history of everyday life’ in localities. But the translation of these histories into efficient, social-democratic institutions involved divesting the knowledge and expertise of the individual into a larger administrative body. The Carnegie Trust, the major funder of local and regional museums aside from local authorities, forced this pattern by backing institutions run by ‘responsible bodies’.¹³⁷ From the early 1950s the Carnegie Trust’s museum policy had three clear objectives: professional development for staff, commissioning ‘expert reports’ to help museums plan redevelopment, and awarding a small number of grants in aid of museum development schemes (contingent upon a favourable ‘expert report’).¹³⁸ As the museums sector professionalized, the focus was on research, rationalization, and technical skills, rather than vernacular or emotional expertise. This shift was particularly clear and patently gendered at Am Fasgadh, where the Carnegie Trust became heavily involved in the preservation of Grant’s collection from the later 1940s. The Trust dubbed Grant an ‘individualist’. In exchange for funding, a Steering Committee was put in place in 1948.¹³⁹ They emphasized the importance of compiling a catalogue of the collection ‘before its provenance, usage, history etc.—all locked up in Dr Grant’s mind—pass forever’.¹⁴⁰ Plans were soon afoot to acquire Grant’s collection as the nucleus for a national folk museum for Scotland. From 1954 a Council of representatives of the four major Scottish universities administered the museum. The museum was to ‘play a large part in educating our own people to our history and development, and in showing the Scottish way of life to the visitor from further afield’.¹⁴¹ In the first meeting of this new council it was expressed that ‘the curator might in future be an archaeologist and ethnologist rather than an antiquarian’ and a May 1955 report stated that ‘The aim is to make it a real research institution as well as a public attraction.’¹⁴² These ¹³⁵ ‘Report on the York Castle Museum’. ¹³⁶ ‘Borough of Luton The Bagshawe Collection’, 11 June 1954: WPMA, Museum Sub Committee minute books; T. Bagshawe to C. Freeman, 19 August 1963. ¹³⁷ The Trustees of the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust to D. Russell, 14 February 1938: NRS, GD 281/37/147. ¹³⁸ ‘Joint Committee of the Museums Association and the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust Policy 1951 55’, 19 January 1951: NRS, GD 281/34/4. ¹³⁹ H. Hetherington to J. Wilkie, 8 April 1944: NRS, GD 281/37/147. ¹⁴⁰ Dr D. A. Allan to Lord Kilmaine, 5 October 1948: NRS, GD 281/37/147. ¹⁴¹ ‘Report on “Am Fasgadh” Highland Folk museum, Kingussie’, 4 May 1955: NRS, GD 281/37/ 148; ‘Kingussie (Inverness shire): Am Fasgadh’, May 1952: NRS, GD 281/37/147. ¹⁴² ‘Am Fasgadh Minutes of the Meeting of the Council of Management held at Am Fasgadh, Kingussie’, 4 November 1954: NRS, GD 281/37/147; ‘Report on “Am Fasgadh” ’.

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assumptions that, as an older woman, Grant must be a dilettante were deeply misguided. Her 1930 social and economic history of Scotland was praised for its detailed source work and synthesis: ‘a penetrating, broad-minded and scholarly presentation of the main facts of the evolution of the Scottish nation’.¹⁴³ In July 1948 Grant received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, of which she wrote: ‘The right to stick “Doctor” in front of my surname gave me a little of the status that as an amateur voluntary worker I very much needed.’¹⁴⁴ Nonetheless, the museum reopened along the Council’s proposed lines in June 1955. An emergent technocracy was beginning to challenge the ‘history of everyday life’ as it had existed in the mid-century. In the 1950s the MA rolled out its first professional diplomas, within which there was a ‘Folk Life and Local History’ strand. The MA focused on cultivating international networks to share best practice, thus curators and museums assistants were given grants to visit museums abroad and attend conferences with the support of the Carnegie Trust.¹⁴⁵ These endeavours were paralleled by academic developments in folklife studies, the most important being the opening of the Institute of Dialect and Folklife Studies at the University of Leeds, which operated for twenty years from 1964.¹⁴⁶ At the instigation of the Leeds Institute, a residential exchange visit to Sweden was organised in 1969 for British curators interested in folk life. A report by one participant noted that Swedish museums were overall better at regarding ‘cultural material’ as one entity: ‘There is far less fragmentation into prehistory, folk life, local history, industrial archaeology, and so on.’¹⁴⁷ Enid Porter had voiced the same concern in a lecture surveying how folklife studies had matured, in which she stressed the need for interdependence between disciplines.¹⁴⁸ As will by now be clear, Porter and her cohort saw their project as an all-encompassing investigation into everyday life in a given locality. However, a new generation of more professionalized curators emphasized the need for larger, regional museums. In this formulation, the Welsh Folk Museum and Ulster Folk Museum were regarded as regional, rather than national. They were to be matched with analogous institutions for English regions such as the North East, Yorkshire, and East Anglia. The divide was between London and other places, not between the four nations. But whilst the size of the unit was enlarged, the educational impulse was maintained: ‘Collection is not an end in itself, but only a means of

¹⁴³ G. P. Inch, ‘A History of the Scottish People’, The Listener, 23 April 1930, p. 739. ¹⁴⁴ Grant, The Making of Am Fasgadh, p. 189. Cf. Cheape, ‘Dr I. F. Grant’, p. 121. ¹⁴⁵ ‘Joint Committee of the Museums Association and the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust Travel grants to museum officials application form’, 5 January 1956: NRS, GD281/34/5. ¹⁴⁶ I. C. Peate, ‘Some Thoughts on the Study of Folk Life’, in Folk and Farm: Essays in Honour of A. T. Lucas, edited by C. O. Danachair (Dublin, 1976), pp. 229 34. ¹⁴⁷ ‘Joint Committee of the Museums Association and the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust Swedish Folk Life Course 17th August 2 September 1969’, September 1969: NRS, GD 281/37/229. ¹⁴⁸ ‘Folk Museums by Enid Porter’.

‘   ’   

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reaching the people to whom those objects had the meaning of everyday things.’¹⁴⁹ In 1963 the government’s Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries published a report on provincial museums, which further advocated the regional model. The report noted that MERL had ‘taken on a function, which might have been performed by a national folk museum, if one had been established, in acting as the clearing house for folk material in museums over the whole country’.¹⁵⁰ MERL told a fixed and finite agricultural story about England’s past, and did not try to embody the nation. In the summer of 1952 Frank Atkinson, then director of Halifax Museums, conducted a tour of the folk museums of Norway and Sweden on a grant from the MA and Carnegie Trust. Atkinson cited this moment as pivotal in his journey towards founding what was to become the North of England Open Air Museum, later known as the Beamish. By his own account, there was little precedent for what Atkinson eventually achieved, aside from perhaps the failed RAI scheme and MERL.¹⁵¹ This audacious leap from Skansen to Beamish, of course, papers over the stories at the heart of this chapter. But Atkinson provides a handy bridge to illuminate how and why, by the later 1960s, second-wave folk museology started to use the language of the ‘everyday’ quite differently. Atkinson was very much a champion of the ‘history of everyday life’. He spent much of the 1950s collecting and photographing the material and skills of Yorkshire craftsmen that he felt were disappearing. For example, he recorded file-cutting techniques unique to Sheffield, of which he lamented ‘the more mundane, grubby and “everyday”, the less would local people bother’.¹⁵² Atkinson identified the 1950s as a crucial decade for the awakening of preservationist impulses towards the vernacular, put into sharper relief by reconstruction and pressures for new housing developments. Atkinson’s formative experiences were very similar to those of Bagshawe, Kirk, Porter, and Grant in the inter-war years. But opportunities to channel them into a vigorous entity were more realistic by the later 1960s. Whilst in the 1930s museum schemes remained tied to elite figureheads and community voluntarism, the immediate post-war years saw an unprecedented expansion of state infrastructure at the regional level. There was also greater confidence in the breadth and reach of educational institutions like museums and universities, underpinned by a social-democratic consensus.¹⁵³ In 1958 Atkinson moved to County Durham to work at the Bowes Museum. From the Bowes he began planning a separate public open-air museum and he

¹⁴⁹ J. G. Jenkins, ‘Folk Museums: Some Aims and Purposes’, Museums Journal, 69 (1969), pp. 17 19. ¹⁵⁰ Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries, Survey of Provincial Museums and Galleries (the Rosse Report) (London, 1963), p. 28. ¹⁵¹ F. Atkinson, The Man Who Made Beamish: An Autobiography (Gateshead, 1999), pp. 9, 85 6. ¹⁵² Atkinson, The Man Who Made Beamish, p. 63. ¹⁵³ Cf. ‘Regional Cultures’, The Times, 18 March 1957, p. 9.

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worked hard to garner the interest and support of local politicians.¹⁵⁴ As a Yorkshire man, he was something of an unsentimental outsider, and he adopted an unselective collecting policy, which encouraged the community to come to him.¹⁵⁵ Of the c.10,000 items accessioned during the 1960s, only a handful were purchased at local farm sales; the rest were gifted to Atkinson for his project.¹⁵⁶ Central government was, at this time, cautiously backing provincial artistic renewal. But in a House of Commons debate on ‘The Fine Arts’ in February 1960 it was emphasized that this did not amount to any kind of financial commitment to regional museums.¹⁵⁷ After Harold Wilson’s general election victory of 1966, Atkinson was able to capitalize upon a groundswell of local Labour support for his scheme to establish a working party. This became a working committee and in 1971 the North of England Open Air Museum opened as a small explanatory exhibition in Beamish Hall.¹⁵⁸ The layers of bureaucracy that Bagshawe and Grant could not countenance were foundational to Atkinson’s project, and his professional awareness of their necessity was vital to its longevity. Most of the previous folk museum schemes, national and local, were looking to capture everyday life before or apart from industrialization. The Welsh Folk Museum, for example, sought to embody ideas of ‘authentic’, rural Welshness, which were often opposed to the urban and industrial character of South Wales.¹⁵⁹ These museums had therefore failed to account for the experience of the staple, ‘heavy’ industries in Britain that had been slowly and gradually declining since the late nineteenth century. Coalmining in the North East of England was the archetype. Class identities in the coalfields were by no means homogeneous, but they were bound up with a regional, industrial history unambiguously associated with struggle. As Hester Barron has shown, a continuous process of mythmaking bridged the experiences of this diverse community of workers across the twentieth century.¹⁶⁰ Central to Atkinson’s mission was therefore his commitment to collecting and representing the industrial past of the North East. The Deputy Director of Education for County Durham argued that the ‘old black image’ of the North East should be cast off, but Atkinson fought for the retention of industrial material and allied it to the technological drive of the 1960s.¹⁶¹ Realizing that the ¹⁵⁴ Atkinson, The Man Who Made Beamish, pp. 85 93; ‘Folk Museum in the Making’, The Times, 24 March 1961, p. 7. ¹⁵⁵ J. Brown, ‘Frank Atkinson and the Founding of Beamish’, Journal of Museum Ethnography, 22 (2009), pp. 120 8. ¹⁵⁶ ‘The Man who was Given a Gasworks ’, BBC Chronicle Documentary, BBC2, 20 April 1968, [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v Y5yUU3PvRys], accessed 1 August 2020. ¹⁵⁷ Parliamentary Debates (Commons), 618, 26 February 1960, pp. 786 7. ¹⁵⁸ Atkinson, The Man Who Made Beamish, pp. 93 4. ¹⁵⁹ Mason, Museums, Nations, Identities, pp. 38 46. ¹⁶⁰ H. Barron, The 1926 Miners’ Lockout: Meanings of Community in the Durham Coalfield (Oxford, 2010), pp. 226 53. ¹⁶¹ Atkinson, The Man Who Made Beamish, p. 92. Cf. J. Tomaney, ‘In Search of English Regionalism: The Case of the North East’, Scottish Affairs, 28 (1999), pp. 62 82.

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‘old black image’ could be harnessed for modernity, Atkinson successfully captured and embedded his heritage project in a specific moment of social change. At a 1968 Beamish press conference, a supportive academic told the audience that the aim of the project was ‘to record and perpetuate something which is fundamental to the technological circumstances of the present’.¹⁶² Many plans for the ‘heritagization’ of physical markers of the Industrial Revolution were afoot from the 1960s.¹⁶³ The Cambridge Folk Museum established links early on with the Cambridge Society for Industrial Archaeology, founded in 1968, which went on to establish the Cambridge Museum of Technology, opened on ‘steam weekend’ in 1971.¹⁶⁴ This absorption of the industrial was paralleled in the field of art and design, where studies of vernacular art began to embrace cruder, machine-made objects as part of their definition of the ‘everyday’.¹⁶⁵ Even in the South, where local industries were more variegated, the regional industrial model became central to ambitious pitches for new openair museums during the 1960s. For example, in 1967 a case for an open-air museum in the Wealden area of Kent and Sussex stated: ‘This is perhaps the most perfect area in England for a Regional Museum of this kind. It has a cultural and geographical unity unequalled by any other area of similar size in the country.’¹⁶⁶ From 1970 the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries began investigating folk museums in Britain once again. Its goal was to find out how to strengthen regional cooperation and coordination between the new provincial museums. The Carnegie Trust was expressing interest in supporting ‘private schemes or new experiments’, over smaller and older individual and public museums.¹⁶⁷ This was because the rapid expansion of the museums sector in post-war Britain was largely down to the growth of independent museums, many of which were founded by individuals and community groups. New museums were opening consistently from the mid-1960s but the sharpest growth occurred between 1970 and 1975.¹⁶⁸ The need to pay attention to industrial material, the importance of education, and generating research cultures through connections with universities were all themes that emerged from enquiries in the early 1970s.¹⁶⁹ The MA and the Carnegie Trust established a working party on folk

¹⁶² ‘The Man who was Given a Gasworks’. ¹⁶³ ‘Industrial Revolution Monuments’, The Times, 20 March 1961, p. 5. ¹⁶⁴ ‘Cambridge and County Folk Museum 33rd Annual Report’, 31 March 1969: CCFMA, Annual Reports. ¹⁶⁵ See, for example, B. Jones, The Unsophisticated Arts (London, 1951). ¹⁶⁶ J. R. Armstrong to Rt Hon. Miss Jennie Lee MP, 17 May 1967: TNA, EB 3/11. ¹⁶⁷ B. Granger Taylor to Lord Rosse, 7 January 1972: TNA, EB 3/11. ¹⁶⁸ Candlin, Larkin, Ballatore, and Poulovassilis, Mapping Museums, p. 18. ¹⁶⁹ J. G. Jenkins to B. Granger Taylor, 30 July 1970; ‘Extract from minutes of the tenth meeting of the Advisory Committee on the allocation of Government Grant to Area Museum Councils’, 8 October 1970: TNA, EB 3/11.

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museums in 1972, which Atkinson was heavily involved in and for which Beamish was held up as the model for future developments. By this point, social history was becoming established in universities, and Atkinson aligned the future of folk museums with this discipline. Some of the earliest social history professors were invited to participate in the working party, including William George Hoskins and Jack Simmons. Both were based at the University of Leicester, the powerhouse of an academized local history and, from 1966, the home of a Museum Studies department which introduced more formalized training and helped to professionalize the role of curator.¹⁷⁰ From the 1970s the first graduates of these courses entered the museums world with a cohesive sense of what doing social history in museums as a professional meant. The Social History Curators Group (SHCG) began life as the ‘Group for Regional Studies in Museums’ in the mid-1970s.¹⁷¹ By the 1980s the SHCG consciously defined themselves against an allegedly elitist London-centric museums establishment. Regional social history curators were, by contrast, ‘those guardians of the commonplace, those collectors of the mundane, those preservers of the everyday’.¹⁷² The ‘history of everyday life’ was subtly rebranded to fit a rapidly changing heritage sector after the 1950s. Atkinson explained to the Secretary of the Standing Commission: ‘I think more and more one is becoming concerned with social history (or, as some would have it, local history) rather than “folk life”. By this, I mean the whole way of life of a community or region.’¹⁷³ Experiential education would still be at the heart of all endeavours: ‘Imagine centres where all types of education and heritage overlap.’¹⁷⁴ But there were tentative signs that mass education in Britain at century’s end would look quite different. Following the Robbins Report of 1963, a huge expansion of higher education in Britain had begun. No doubt with this in mind, the interim report of the folk museums working party dismissed earlier precedents. It suggested that there was a fresh, demand-side impulse for stories in museums related to ‘real’ social and cultural experiences, instead of the (alleged) amateurism and sentimentality associated with the first-wave museums: As for their own indigenous heritage, at best there might be found a pile of ‘bygones’ in a corner of a local museum. It has taken this country a long time to realize that in many museums we have ignored a large part of our own social and cultural history, including the story of the Industrial Revolution itself . . . In

¹⁷⁰ B. Granger Taylor to Lord Rosse, 7 January 1972; Teather, ‘The Museum Keepers’, p. 34. ¹⁷¹ ‘Editorial’, Group for Regional Studies in Museums Newsletter, 1 (1975), pp. 1 4. ¹⁷² D. Fleming, ‘Projecting Social History in Museums’, Social History Curators Group Journal, 13 (1985 6), pp. 1 3. ¹⁷³ F. Atkinson to B. Granger Taylor, 17 January 1972: TNA, EB 3/11. Emphasis true to source. ¹⁷⁴ F. Atkinson and M. Holton, ‘Open Air and Folk Museums’, Museums Journal, 72 (1973), pp. 140 2, at p. 142.

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interesting themselves in open air museums the public have perhaps instinctively noticed this gap.¹⁷⁵

Developments in Northern Ireland further illustrate the new community causes shouldered by these social history institutions as the post-war decades drew on. Situated just north of Belfast, the Ulster Folk Museum expanded on an educational basis throughout the 1970s and began working towards building a new Education Centre for adults and children ‘where Ulster’s social history can be discussed, experienced and absorbed, and where understanding can be developed and prejudice eliminated’.¹⁷⁶ By the 1980s the majority of secondary schools in Northern Ireland, over 70 per cent of both Catholic and Protestant schools equally, were making trips to the Ulster Folk Museum. Popular social history was doing the work of healing community sectarian divisions, reinforcing shared local and personal identities via ‘cultural heritage’, in a particularly volatile political climate.¹⁷⁷ Second-wave folk museology smartly reinvented folk culture for the post-1945 generation, but this was only possible because the first wave had hitched its popular social history to modernity via mass education. The pace of deindustrialization in Britain from the later 1960s gave form and focus to robust regional identities on which many new industrial folk museums were predicated. This marked the beginning of Britain’s long, late-century heritage boom, which was resolutely rooted in affluence and education.¹⁷⁸ Historians of working-class life in post-war Britain have recently stressed the distinction between lived experience and the retrospective construction of social experience inflected by memory and nostalgia.¹⁷⁹ The ‘history of everyday life’ in folk museums in Britain from the later 1960s could rarely be mapped onto the realities of lived experience; even the gentlest of heritage critics decried the implications of museums functioning as ‘time machines’ for the present.¹⁸⁰ But the ‘heritage wars’ of the 1980s too quickly disregarded the educational foundations of Britain’s heritage industry and redefined the narrative in terms of political economy. Critics on the left and right often missed the important distinction between lived experience and subjective reconstruction. They ¹⁷⁵ ‘Committee on Provincial Museums and Galleries A Working Party on Open Air Folk Museums A note by the Secretariat’, December 1972: TNA, EB 3/11. ¹⁷⁶ P. Wilson, ‘The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum’, Teaching History, 22 (1978), pp. 12 14. ¹⁷⁷ J. Darby and S. Dunn, Education and Community in Northern Ireland (Coleraine, 1989), p. 30. ¹⁷⁸ P. Mandler, ‘The Heritage Panic of the 1970s and the 1980s in Great Britain’, in The Invention of Industrial Pasts: Heritage, Political Culture and Economic Debates in Great Britain and Germany, 1850 2010, edited by P. Itzen and C. Müller (Augsburg, 2013), pp. 58 69. ¹⁷⁹ B. Jones, The Working Class in Mid Twentieth Century England: Community, Identity and Social Memory (Manchester, 2012); F. Sutcliffe Braithwaite, Class, Politics, and the Decline of Deference in England, 1968 2000 (Oxford, 2018). ¹⁸⁰ C. Sorensen, ‘Theme Parks and Time Machines’, in The New Museology, edited by P. Vergo (London, 1989), pp. 60 74.

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characterized the ‘history of everyday life’ as an artificial, sentimental form of social history. They failed to acknowledge that folk museology, both first wave and second wave, aimed to lubricate social change by providing leisure-based spaces where subjective historical experiences could be discovered and remade.¹⁸¹ Gradually, a new consumerism gave these institutions a different flavour to those that had gone before as they were plugged into local tourism agendas, especially in the north of England.¹⁸² Foreshadowing the 1980s furore over admission fees, folk museums were often the first to fully embrace an ‘enterprise culture’ model. At York there was controversy surrounding admission fees from the late 1930s and the Welsh Folk Museum charged for admission from when it opened in 1948.¹⁸³ In 1955 Leicester Corporation made a special application to the Ministry of Education to open a folk museum, and to charge admission fees for entry on the grounds of precedent and of the rising affluence of the population.¹⁸⁴ Folk museums argued that they could reinvest the capital, and they had always partially viewed themselves as sites of populist entertainment. Commercialization should not obscure our understanding of the origins of this second-wave of folk museology, however. Secondwave folk museology was, like the first wave and like much of the expanding independent museums sector, a product of Britain’s post-1918 educational culture.¹⁸⁵

Conclusion Local and national folk museums in mid-twentieth-century England, Wales, and Scotland told the story of the individual in history through the ‘history of everyday life’. As in so many instances of the ‘history of everyday life’ explored in this book, women’s practical domestic knowledge and internal emotional lives came to the fore in these stories. These museums were tools of a popular historical education for modernity, an outlet for expressing unease and negotiating social change. In moving beyond the national and imperial preoccupations that have defined studies of twentieth-century folk revivalism, it becomes clear that the material of these folk histories was collected and organized in ways that paralleled ¹⁸¹ E. Robinson, ‘Inspirations and Obligations: Remembering the Industrial Past in Modern Britain’, in The Invention of Industrial Pasts, pp. 114 31. ¹⁸² ‘Joint Committee of the Museums Association and the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust Report on the Castle Museum, York’, 6 May 1960: NRS, GD 281/37/63; Atkinson, The Man who Made Beamish, pp. 86 7. ¹⁸³ T. C. Benfield to J. Wilkie, 28 December 1939: NRS, GD 281/37/62. ¹⁸⁴ ‘Report of the Minister of Education on the The Leicester Corporation Bill, 1955 Part XVII CULTURAL ACTIVITIES Clause 251 “Power to provide Folk Museum” ’, 14 April 1955: TNA, EB 3/ 11. Cf. ‘Gallery Entry Fees’, The Times, 5 November 1970, p. 11. ¹⁸⁵ F. Candlin, ‘Independent Museums, Heritage, and the Shape of Museum Studies’, Museum and Society, 10 (2012), pp. 28 41.

‘   ’   

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social-scientific investigations into everyday life, which also focused on accessing individual experience in order to codify popular identities. Moreover, the political climate that created folk museums and their internal cultures once established suggest that we should think about viewing them through an educational lens. Educational practices in these museums combined with conservative ideologies in novel ways, for example in using ideas of ‘decline’ to foster positive emotional engagement. Finally, telling a longer history of folk museums in Britain is crucial to our understanding of the heritage landscape in the later part of the century. The new museums of second-wave folk museology that emerged from the 1950s inherited many aspects of the ‘history of everyday life’, which were recast as the population’s social and geographical mobility shifted upwards. The premium placed on technocratic expertise and regional politics in the heritage sector from the 1960s led to an erasure of mid-century precedents. In this context, the subtle masculinization of a social history that had once been highly feminized also occurred. This was not quite the end of the ‘history of everyday life’, as we will see in Chapter 6, but it helped smooth the road to the 1970s, when its educational core finally crumbled.

5 The ‘History of Everyday Life’ as a Cultural Policy in London Local Government The previous two chapters explored the place of popular social history in two of the major cultural industries of Britain’s educational century, broadcasting and museums. Both of these industries, as we have seen, embraced state patronage and market practices. This flexibility allowed the ‘history of everyday life’ to permeate British cultural life seamlessly in the period between the 1920s and 1960s. This chapter, which concludes Part II, is about local government and cultural policy. Local government was an essential sponsor of culture in Britain for most of the twentieth century. Like museums and the BBC, it was driven by mass education and was always in dialogue with commercial forces. The ‘history of everyday life’ served the political cause of citizenship particularly well in mid-century London under the aegis of the London County Council (LCC). We find that the LCC advanced a cultural policy that fostered aspects of urban history, design history, and radical history under the roomy umbrella of the ‘history of everyday life’. The LCC is the primary focus of this chapter, a case study in how the ‘history of everyday life’ infused one metropolitan, urban authority’s mid-century cultural policy. But popular historical activities backed by local government were widespread throughout Britain’s mid-century educational culture. Numerous LEAs between the wars, rural and urban, routinely connected their expanding set of schools to local history and heritage projects in formal and informal ways. One obvious example is the growing involvement of schoolchildren in historical pageants after the First World War.¹ These partnerships tapped into voluntarist, charitable, and private networks that had long existed in British communities as conduits of vernacular culture. For example, in 1930 Kent LEA facilitated a collaboration between the Village Clubs Association, the Kent Archaeological Society, and local schoolchildren in Cowden to create an exhibition of village history.² From the 1920s Somerset County Council organized the regular delivery of lectures and school expeditions on ‘Local History, Archaeology, and Anthropology’ for its primary and secondary schools, through a trust established ¹ L. Fleming, A. Bartie, M. Freeman, T. Hulme, A. Hutton, and P. Readman, ‘ “History taught in the pageant way”: Education and Historical Performance in Twentieth Century Britain’, History of Education, 48 (2019), pp. 156 79. ² G. Ewing, ‘A Village History Exhibition as an Educational Factor’, Historical Association Leaflet No. 81 (London, 1930), p. 7.

Histories of Everyday Life. The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918 1979. Laura Carter, Oxford University Press (2021). © Laura Carter. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198868330.003.0006

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by a local benefactor.³ After 1918, local government was able to enact and fund cultural activity as a route to citizenship precisely because it had a democratic remit for mass education. After the Second World War the British state certainly pursued a more centralised, national cultural policy. A conversation about cultural unification had been taking place from the mid-1930s. But during wartime this galvanized into a state movement to foster a national culture occupied by the best of the arts, undoubtedly in opposition to the amateurism associated with local, inter-war culture. The key initiative was the Committee for Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA), founded by the Board of Education in 1939. This morphed into the post-war Arts Council, established in 1946, which included devolved provisions for Scotland and Wales. Finally, the Local Government Act of 1948 for England and Wales and the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1947 gave local authorities freedom to spend more taxpayer money on cultural activities.⁴ This infrastructure held culture to mean music, art, and theatre. History, by this point, was widely regarded as an academic subject whose home was in the universities, although we have already seen how central it was to everyday cultural life in midtwentieth-century Britain. Angela Bartie’s study of the post-war ‘Festival City’ of Edinburgh shows how tensions between the articulation of a national culture and bottom-up drives for the democratization of culture played out in Scotland, where religion had a particularly strong sway over cultural policy. The ‘cultural challenge’ presented by the development of a ‘Fringe’ festival in Edinburgh over the course of the 1950s and 1960s is an object lesson in how elite culture gradually accommodated forces of social change in post-war Britain.⁵ Despite the efforts and imagination of leading post-war cultural critics, Britain never achieved a top-down national cultural policy. Rather, long-standing, educational partnerships between communities, local government, and the voluntary sector adapted and thrived, and were better placed to manage the shift from elite to everyday culture that was occurring. It was the educational infrastructure of local government, established between the wars and robust until the 1980s, that delivered culture to ordinary people in midtwentieth-century Britain. This chapter shows that popular social history was an important part of that culture, and a central facet of cultural policy in London local government. The opening section provides some context on London local government and shows how the LCC began to imagine itself as a body concerned with culture around the fin de siècle. The LCC’s nascent cultural policy during the 1910s and ³ ‘Memorandum by the Chief Education Officer Wyndham Lecture Trusts in the County of Somerset’, 15 August 1946: Somerset Heritage Centre, Taunton, C/E/1/329. ⁴ M. Green and M. Wilding, Cultural Policy in Great Britain (UNESCO Studies and Documents on Cultural Policies 7) (Paris, 1970). ⁵ A. Bartie, The Edinburgh Festivals: Culture and Society in Post war Britain (Edinburgh, 2013).

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1920s prioritized the preservation of certain forms of urban social history. The second section of this chapter examines why, during the 1930s, the LCC Education Office championed the ‘history of everyday life’ as a teacher of modern design. This happened at precisely the same moment when the Education Office’s remit was broadening beyond the school classroom, with the Labour Party in ascendancy in London politics. The third and fourth sections move away from the centre of decision making in County Hall to the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton, a site of LCC cultural policy in practice. They track how and why the ‘history of everyday life’ evolved in this setting from an Arts and Crafts project to one aligned with the aspirational and consumerist currents of modernity in 1950s and 1960s Britain. This entails a close examination of the wartime and post-war work of Molly Harrison at the Geffrye Museum, a woman who used the ‘history of everyday life’ to pursue an actively radical citizenship agenda in London’s East End. The story of the LCC’s Geffrye Museum is a micro-history of the midcentury shift from elite to democratic culture, seen through the lens of popular social history.

The LCC, Preservationism, and Urban History Whilst other parts of this book consider the practices of pupils and teachers in the classroom, this chapter turns more decidedly towards the place of education in political culture. The LCC is an obvious choice, because as an arm of local government it conceived of its educational reach in much broader and more creative terms than other local authorities in this period, precisely because it was the metropolitan authority. Under the Labour Party, an ethos for secondary (or post-primary) education was also more advanced in London than in many other parts of England during the 1930s. The LCC was created following the Local Government Act of 1888 and was the first municipal body to bring London together as a single political entity. From its founding in 1889 it rationalized, but also drastically expanded, public services in the city. The LCC had a reforming agenda from the early years. For the first eighteen years (1889–1907) the Council was led by the Progressive Party, a coalition of radicals, liberals, and Fabian socialists, united by the notion of ‘giving London a soul’.⁶ Susan Pennybacker’s work on the LCC considers this spell of unbroken Progressive politics. She argues that the terms set by the Progressives had farreaching consequences for London in the first half of the twentieth century. The reforming agenda established in those years remained ingrained in LCC staff

⁶ G. Gibbon and R. W. Bell, History of the London County Council, 1889 1939 (London, 1939), p. 84.

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attitudes down to the First World War.⁷ More recent work by John Ingram on urban architectural planning under the Progressives clearly demonstrates an underlying agenda to connect public works to the projection of a coherent cultural identity for London.⁸ However, a comparative study of the inter-institutional dialogue between the LCC and the civil service by Helen Glew has highlighted women’s work as an area where the progressiveness of the LCC should be partially reappraised.⁹ Nonetheless, whilst party politics changed after 1907, the pattern set by the Progressives for interventionist social policy laid the foundations for the scope of the LCC’s cultural policy down to the creation of the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1963 and the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) in 1965. Yet this cultural policy has been scantily investigated by historians in the period after the First World War. An edited collection published in 1989 for the centenary of the LCC acknowledged this gap, but focused instead upon the changing party political currents of London government.¹⁰ Between the wars the LCC was a large and complicated municipal body with a formidable Weberian bureaucracy, working through eighteen standing committees by 1925.¹¹ It ran London’s transport system, schools, housing services, fire brigade, hospitals, mother-and-child clinics, and parks. In the early 1920s one in thirty-eight employees in London worked for the LCC, and its workforce peaked at 85,676 in 1933.¹² A study of London government by Ben Pimlott and Nirmala Rao, which saw incompatibilities between inner London and suburbia as the major tension, contended that ‘the history of the LCC was a history of successive attempts to build a pan-London identity’.¹³ The models of identity and citizenship that the LCC sought to project through cultural interventions varied significantly across its bureaucratic machine. By focusing on the LCC Education Office and isolating history as a discrete cultural form within it, this chapter connects LCC historiography with the literature on culture as a tool for democratic social reform. A key study in this genre is Michael Saler’s The Avant-Garde in Interwar England (1999), which explored the life and work of Frank Pick and his design of the London Underground. Saler shows that the Arts and Crafts ideal of uniting art ⁷ S. Pennybacker, A Vision for London, 1889 1914: Labour, Everyday Life and the LCC Experiment (London, 1995), p. 16. ⁸ J. Ingram, ‘ “No Haussmanns or emperors here”: Reforming the Anglo American City Philadelphia and London, 1870 1925’ (Ph.D. dissertation, King’s College London, 2017). ⁹ H. Glew, Gender, Rhetoric and Regulation: Women’s Work in the Civil Service and the London County Council, 1900 50 (Manchester, 2016), pp. 7 8, 23. ¹⁰ A. Saint (ed.), Politics and the People of London: The London County Council, 1889 1965 (London, 1989), pp. xiii xiv. ¹¹ M. H. Cox, ‘Office Organization of the London County Council’, Journal of Public Administration, 3 (1925), pp. 134 50. ¹² G. Clifton, ‘Members and Officers of the LCC, 1889 1965’, in Politics and the People, pp. 1 26, at p. 10. ¹³ B. Pimlott and N. Rao, Governing London (Oxford, 2002), p. 24.

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with everyday life punctuated and dominated discourses of culture between the wars.¹⁴ Similarly, Zoë Thomas’s recent history of the Arts and Crafts movement shows how the ‘informal and interactive’ culture of women art workers, which lasted well into the inter-war years, prioritized educational and commercial activities.¹⁵ The Arts and Crafts movement is central to the story of the LCC’s ideological journey in the first half of the twentieth century, and this chapter identifies the long Arts and Crafts legacy as another post-1918 harbinger of the ‘history of everyday life’. The LCC began to undertake cultural enterprises when it was still under the control of the Progressives. For example, Martha Vandrei has conducted a ‘thick and thorough contextualisation’ of the circumstances surrounding the 1898 erection of a statue of Boudica on Westminster Bridge. Vandrei argues that Boudica’s placement was a product of the LCC’s growing commitment to ‘works’ in the public interest, feeding a burgeoning popular interest in domestic archaeology and local history.¹⁶ A few years later in 1901 the Council acquired the large collection and museum of the ethnographer and philanthropist Frederick Horniman.¹⁷ Jordanna Bailkin has investigated how the LCC championed the Horniman Museum as a seat of civic identity.¹⁸ It is evident that the educational ideas worked out in this civic project under Progressive leadership were foundational to the development of a coherent LCC cultural policy. But as Pennybacker’s research shows, the overbearing and explicitly top-down model of LCC policies in this period rendered them unviable, testing ordinary citizens’ tolerance for the reach of municipal reform.¹⁹ Over the course of the following decades, the LCC would learn that a popular model of culture needed to embrace organic modes of working-class leisure, to be locally rooted, and to operate under a less prescriptive programme. The years before the First World War therefore saw the LCC start to obtain assets specifically for their cultural value, and establish the nascent administrative structures that would embed them into its policymaking. In 1904 the Council established its Local Government, Museums, and Records Committee, as part of the organization of the Horniman Museum’s administrative procedures.²⁰ A resolution to entrust the LCC’s General Purposes Committee specifically with the preservation of historic buildings was first moved in January 1896, and in 1898

¹⁴ M. Saler, The Avant Garde in Interwar England: Medieval Modernism and the London Underground (New York; Oxford, 1999). ¹⁵ Z. Thomas, Women Art Workers and the Arts & Crafts Movement (Manchester, 2020). ¹⁶ M. Vandrei, Queen Boudica and Historical Culture in Britain: An Image of Truth (Oxford, 2018), pp. 146 60. ¹⁷ ‘Splendid Gift to London’, Manchester Guardian, 6 February 1901, p. 6. ¹⁸ J. Bailkin, The Culture of Property: The Crisis of Liberalism in Modern Britain (Chicago, 2004), pp. 171 81. ¹⁹ Pennybacker, A Vision for London, pp. 158 9. ²⁰ Bailkin, The Culture of Property, p. 178.

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statutory powers to that effect were obtained.²¹ These powers were first exercised to their fullest effect in 1908 when the LCC acquired No. 17 Fleet Street, an early seventeenth-century building nicknamed ‘Prince Henry’s Room’. The LCC (with help from the City Corporation) restored the Jacobean façade and used it periodically as an exhibition and lecture space.²² The LCC’s second major preservationist acquisition was the Geffrye almshouses. In 1910 the LCC, along with funds from Shoreditch Metropolitan Borough Council and other local subscriptions, purchased fourteen eighteenthcentury almshouses and their chapel and gardens on Kingsland Road, formerly belonging to the Ironmongers’ Company, for £34,289.²³ The almshouses had been declared unfit for housing pensioners in February 1908. Following ongoing proceedings with the Ironmongers’ Company, it had been feared that the accommodation would fall into the hands of housebreakers who hoped to clear the site.²⁴ This prospect awakened a range of preservationist interests, including the National Trust and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. They lobbied the LCC on the grounds of the architectural and aesthetic value of the properties. However, the LCC’s most pressing motivation was the desire to preserve the open space in front of the almshouses for community use: the total proposition amounted to 1.62 acres of land.²⁵ In 1901 the neighbourhood had the highest infant mortality rate in London, with a population of 250 people per acre. In the area immediately surrounding the almshouses that figure was more than double, at 540 people per acre.²⁶ A human picture of the level of deprivation can be found in A. S. Jasper’s classic working-class autobiography A Hoxton Childhood (1969), which documented his mother’s heroic efforts to keep the family afloat in these Edwardian slums.²⁷ Saving the almshouses’ grounds resonated with a cause that had been at the heart of the LCC project during the Progressive era. Dubbed ‘municipal puritanism’ by its critics, the LCC Parks policy was known to be particularly draconian in its efforts to purify and regulate the leisure time of Londoners.²⁸ (Evidently these sentiments still lingered after 1907, when the conservatively aligned Municipal Reformers took the Council.) The Geffrye gardens were first adapted and opened ²¹ ‘Links with Bygone London’, The Times, 21 March 1939, p. 48. ²² Gibbon and Bell, History of the London County Council, pp. 483 4. ²³ ‘Council Minutes: Geffrye Museum General instructions and procedure’, 10 May 1910: London Metropolitan Archives, Clerkenwell, London (hereafter LMA), LCC/EO/GEN/01/189. Cf. N. Burton, The Geffrye Almshouses (London, 1979). ²⁴ ‘Ironmongers’ Almshouses at Shoreditch’, Country Life, 9 July 1910, p. 72. ²⁵ Burton, The Geffrye Almshouses, pp. 66 7. ‘Council Minutes: Geffrye Museum General instruc tions and procedure’. ²⁶ ‘Opening of the Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, By the Rt. Hon. The Viscount Peel, Chairman of the Council’, 2 April 1914: LMA, LCC/CL/CER/03/007/107. ²⁷ A. S. Jasper, A Hoxton Childhood (London, 1969). ²⁸ Pennybacker, A Vision for London, pp. 191 9. Cf. Gibbon and Bell, History of the London County Council, p. 501.

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to the public in July 1912.²⁹ Yet the force of the Parks agenda would dominate LCC discussions of the site long after it became a museum, often resulting in the clearest articulations of the cultural and educational value of the buildings and their use. The impetus to turn the almshouses into a museum first came in January 1911 with a petition signed by an alliance of individuals and societies, including the Art Workers Guild, the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, and significant individuals within the architectural establishment. They requested that the LCC use the building as a central museum and exhibition room for its craft and technical education, on the model of the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A). It was the ideal opportunity to connect the work of the craftsman to the wider public. According to the signatories, the LCC craftsman ‘finds great difficulty in acquainting the public with the nature of his abilities—nor is the public at all aware of the high standard of the education he has experienced’.³⁰ The integration of the vocational training they advocated with the public awareness of craft, of art with everyday life, was an ongoing Arts and Crafts crusade in its supposed ‘twilight’ years. The LCC elected to position the institution as a museum for only local trades, conveniently situated for the traditional cabinet and furniture makers of Shoreditch. By the outbreak of the First World War then, the LCC had three London cultural institutions under public control and was developing a socially accountable rationale for running them. This chapter focuses on the Geffrye Museum, because it was the central site of the LCC’s attempts to make an urban expression of the ‘history of everyday life’ one of its official cultural remits. The ideological roots of this project were in the Arts and Crafts movement, whose central mission was to popularize and utilize England’s craft heritage in order to enact changes in methods of production and consumption. In connecting with the LCC it was engaging with a democratic body in direct contact with the electorate. But, as will be seen, this agenda proved out of sync with the changing economic currents of inner London after the First World War. Both Arts and Crafts thinking and the legacy of the Progressive Party’s interventionist strategies influenced the Geffrye Museum in the 1910s and 1920s. This original model for the museum was ultimately limited in its ‘popular’ reach, due to its isolation from other LCC services and its commitment to nineteenth-century models of reform. However, these decades were significant because the Geffrye Museum also became the receptacle of the LCC’s architectural preservationist efforts across London. The Geffyre Museum first opened to the public on 2 April 1914.³¹ In 1914 the Clerk of the LCC, Laurence Gomme, justified the Geffrye Museum’s foundation ²⁹ ‘Opening of the Geffrye Museum’. ³⁰ ‘Petition to the London County Council’, 31 January 1911: LMA, GLC/AR/HB/01/0229. ³¹ ‘Almshouses As Museum’, The Times, 3 April 1914, p. 5.

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by explaining that 12.3 per cent of the male population aged over fourteen was engaged in the furniture- and cabinet-making industries in Shoreditch, and 9.6 per cent in Bethnal Green.³² In doing so he was making an economic argument for local museums, one which continued to find purchase during the economic slump of the immediate post-war years, but was almost entirely eclipsed by the educational justification by the 1930s, as was seen in the previous chapter.³³ As the Council’s highest officer as of October 1900 (he had previously been the Council statistician), Gomme was invested in the ideal of local government patronage as a top-down vendor of culture. He had been instrumental in the Horniman project and was himself an enthusiastic and learned urban folklorist. He was therefore sensitive to the possibilities of such administered culture taking on more popular forms.³⁴ Much of the Council’s preservationist remit was secured under Gomme’s sponsorship, and with his help the first volume of C. R. Ashbee’s ‘Survey of London’ was published in 1900. Ashbee was an architect and social reformer. His career embodied the later Arts and Crafts movement in his attempts to graft romantic Victorian ideals onto the social realities of the early twentieth century. The first volume of his London survey documented the parish of Bromley-by-Bow in the East End, paying particular attention to the interior craftwork of fifteen buildings in the borough.³⁵ The LCC’s ongoing association with the ‘Survey of London’ into the inter-war years is a good indication of the penetration of Arts and Crafts thinking at the LCC, which also found physical expression in the Geffrye Museum.³⁶ The LCC’s Architectural Department was the administrative centre of its historic preservation enterprises. In 1901 the Architect took over the duty of marking buildings occupied by notable former residents from the Royal Society of Arts. The Council’s first plaque, marking the house where Thomas Babington Macaulay composed the last volumes of his famous history, was unveiled on 26 November 1903.³⁷ The Architect was also charged with observing any demolition work going on in London, especially work undertaken by the Council itself, and identifying any features that might be salvaged.³⁸ By the 1920s the Geffrye Museum was the official repository for these items.³⁹ Thus urban architectural salvage, especially as the LCC enacted slum clearance programmes across swathes of London, was the foundation of the Geffrye Museum’s collections.

³² ‘Opening of the Geffrye Museum’, p. 6. Cf. J. White, London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People (London, 2008), p. 180. ³³ Cf. S. E. Harrison, ‘The Application of Art to Industry, and Its Relation to Museums’, Museums Journal, 18 (1919), pp. 164 8. ³⁴ Bailkin, The Culture of Property, pp. 174 81. ³⁵ C. R. Ashbee, The Survey of London (London, 1900). ³⁶ Cf. Burton, The Geffrye Almshouses, p. 64; Pennybacker, A Vision for London, p. 3. ³⁷ ‘Links with Bygone London’, p. 48. ³⁸ Cox, ‘Office Organization’, p. 138. ³⁹ Gibbon and Bell, History of the London County Council, p. 484.

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The LCC had adapted the almshouses into galleries by removing the upper floors, staircases, and partition walls of each block and connecting them with new doorways. In each gallery panelling and other architectural features were installed.⁴⁰ The features were chosen on the quality of their craftsmanship, predominantly that of the eighteenth century. Much of the panelling was restored from demolished London properties, either provided by the LCC or presented to it by companies or individuals for the museum. Significant domestic material appears to have come from the ‘Holborn to Strand Improvement’ project, finally completed in 1905, which resulted in the pulling down of numerous residential dwellings and their replacement with commercial developments.⁴¹ Alongside the panelling sat myriad examples of fireplaces, doorways, grates, moulding, staircases, ceilings, mantelpieces, and balustrades. By 1924, the curator Ernest Hawking had reported that the value of the exhibits had increased by 400 per cent in the decade since opening, totalling £9,030.⁴² A major acquisition came in 1920 when the LCC purchased the panelled library of the architect Alfred Stevens from his former home at 9 Eton Villas, in northwest London.⁴³ The room was one the Geffrye’s proudest exhibits in the 1920s, again admired for the quality of Stevens’ personal workmanship. The LCC Architect argued that the effective display of the Alfred Stevens panelling must entail some attempt to mirror the conditions in the room where Stevens actually resided, betraying perhaps the first move towards the display of ‘lived’ historic interiors at the Geffrye.⁴⁴ But at the same time, the reconstruction of the Alfred Stevens library was an exercise in pursuit of the ‘classic’ period room very typical of the 1920s. The period room was regarded as a work of art in itself, rather than as an everyday environment that might convey an educational, historical narrative. Such rooms were a mark of prestige, and were also salvaged and reconstructed in the homes of private individuals. Finding adequate accommodation for the revered Alfred Stevens room prompted the LCC to agree finally to adapt the northern wing of the museum and employ an additional attendant in 1925.⁴⁵ The new northern wing opened on 24 March 1926, completing the full utilization of the almshouse buildings for museum purposes.⁴⁶ ⁴⁰ LCC, Handbook to the Geffrye Museum (London, 1931), p. 7. ⁴¹ ‘The Geffrye Museum Illustrative Postcards No. 1 Series’, 1920: Geffrye Museum Archive, Museum of the Home, Hoxton, London (hereafter GMA), curatorial office. Cf. White, London in the Twentieth Century, pp. 8 9; ‘Notes and News The London Museum’, Museums Journal, 25 (1926), p. 240. ⁴² ‘Memorandum: Geffrye Museum Extension’, 1924: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/205. ⁴³ ‘LCC Furniture Museum Register of Acquisitions’, 1913 41: GMA, 1/1920; R. Dutton, The English Interior 1500 1900 (London, 1948), pp. 172 3. ⁴⁴ ‘Report by the Architect to the Local Government (Records and Museums) Sub Committee re. Geffrye Museum’, 10 October 1924: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/205. ⁴⁵ ‘Report by the Architect to the Local Government (Records and Museums) Sub Committee re. Geffrye Museum Extension’, 9 December 1924: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/205. ⁴⁶ ‘Notes and News The Geffrye Museum’, Museums Journal, 25 (1926), p. 325.

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The collecting of large features deemed architecturally valuable continued into the 1930s.⁴⁷ The impulses that drove this preservationism were a national phenomenon in the inter-war years.⁴⁸ The governing principle behind the Architect’s decision remained rooted in prosaic standards of craftsmanship. An official history of the LCC explained that the Council was traditionally conservative in its use of its preservation powers, due to a wariness about spending ratepayers’ money on this activity.⁴⁹ The LCC’s practice of architectural salvage gave the museum a unique claim to possessing pieces of the everyday life of London as it retained relics of bourgeois domestic life. But the historic interiors chosen before the mid-1930s were not instruments of popular education for a lay audience, rather the nominal tools of vocational education and symbols of ‘refined’ taste.

Design Education and Social History between the Wars Educational activities were climbing up the museum’s agenda, but they were limited under Hawking’s curatorship. The museum had a ‘children’s room’ and opened a new lecture hall in 1930. In 1932 it was reported that Hawking had given seventy lectures to classes of schoolchildren from the local technical, secondary, and elementary schools, with an average attendance per lecture of close to sixty.⁵⁰ But annual visitor numbers were in decline by the 1930s, down to just 12,278 in 1935.⁵¹ At this point the LCC took the decisive step to integrate its running of the Geffrye Museum as a cultural enterprise more closely with its vast responsibilities as the LEA for London. This indicated a shift in the LCC’s cultural politics, as it adopted the ‘history of everyday life’ as a tool of citizen making. In its first incarnation, the museum had been a craftsman’s museum where ‘the people’ were imagined as passive recipients of pre-determined standards of art and craft measured by vocational standards. From the mid-1930s, ‘the people’ were regarded as having an active role to play in shaping culture. Indeed, the material culture of their everyday lives was considered a way to express and engage with culture.

⁴⁷ See, for example, ‘Geffrye Museum shop from Northampton Street 1930 presented by the Marquess of Northampton Kingsland Road E2 A7462’, 1930: LMA, E/NOR/X/004; ‘Memo from the Clerk of the Council re. Geffrye Museum Gift of ceiling and panelling S.0.286, to the Finance Committee’, 9 September 1932: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/204. Cf. M. Quennell, ‘The Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road’, Apollo, 27 (1938), pp. 11 14, at p. 10. ⁴⁸ P. Mandler, The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home (New Haven; London, 1997), pp. 265 308. ⁴⁹ Gibbon and Bell, History of the London County Council, p. 483. ⁵⁰ ‘Notes and News London, Geffrye Museum’, Museums Journal, 30 (1930), p. 243; ‘Notes and News London, the Geffrye Museum’, Museums Journal, 29 (1930), pp. 442 3; LCC, Handbook to the Geffrye Museum (1931), p. 14; ‘London, The Geffrye Museum’, Museums Journal, 32 (1933), p. 447. ⁵¹ ‘Geffrye Museum and Horniman Museum overall number of visitors’, 1935 38: LMA, LCC/ EO/GEN/01/216.

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The Education Act of 1902 introduced local-authority control to schooling in England and Wales. In April 1903 London’s unique situation was addressed when the administration of the capital’s schools was officially transferred from the old London School Board to the LCC.⁵² The LCC in turn created an Education Office. This change resulted in a drastic expansion of the LCC bureaucracy, roughly doubling the Council’s overall workload. Sir Robert Blair, who became the first Education Officer in 1908, which gave him full administrative responsibility for the service, dominated the early years of the LCC Education Office. A study of Blair’s policymaking during his time in this position (he retired in 1924) has shown that he established a culture that gave senior administrators significant autonomy in the face of LCC politics. His methods were also influential in defining how other education authorities operated.⁵³ It seems that the inter-war LCC Education Office inherited and developed this culture of administrative autonomy from Blair’s era, and at committee level officers undertook work largely free of party directives.⁵⁴ In 1904 Blair had created the post of LCC Assistant Education Officer, specifically for his protégé Edmund Rich (who in 1933 became the Education Officer himself).⁵⁵ George Alfred Norman Lowndes was appointed to the position of LCC Assistant Education Officer in February 1934 at the age of thirty-six, after working as a principal in the technological department of the Board of Education.⁵⁶ Lowndes is not a well-known figure, although he has been noted as instrumental to the LCC’s evacuation plans leading up to and during the Second World War.⁵⁷ Lowndes’s appointment came just a few weeks before the momentous 1934 election, which saw the London Labour Party take the Council for the first time in its history. Under the leadership of Herbert Morrison and with the slogan ‘Labour Gets Things Done!’, Labour committed the LCC to a proactive agenda decisively against economy. Money was to be spent on housing, education, the rebuilding of Waterloo Bridge, and the Green Belt programme.⁵⁸ Labour retained the LCC until it was replaced by the GLC in 1965. The first part of this book argued that the ascendency of the ‘history of everyday life’ as a mid-century mode of imagining and using the past in Britain was a ⁵² S. Maclure, A History of Education in London 1870 1990 (London, 1990), p. 81. ⁵³ D. W. Thoms, Policy Making in Education: Robert Blair and the London County Council 1904 1924 (Leeds, 1980), p. 31. ⁵⁴ Cf. S. Pennybacker, ‘Changing Convictions: London County Council Blackcoated Activism between the Wars’, in Splintered Classes: Politics and the Lower Middle Classes in Interwar Europe, edited by R. Koshar (New York; London, 1990), pp. 70 96. ⁵⁵ Thoms, Policy Making in Education, p. 13. ⁵⁶ ‘Scholarships of London Children’, The Times, 15 February 1934, p. 11. Cf. Thoms, Policy Making in Education, p. 52. ⁵⁷ N. Gartner, ‘Administering “Operation Pied Piper” How the London County Council Prepared for the Evacuation of Its Schoolchildren 1938 1939’, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 42 (2010), pp. 17 32. ⁵⁸ White, London in the Twentieth Century, p. 375.

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product of drives towards mass, secondary education and the pedagogical assumptions that underpinned it. By 1934 the LCC Education Office had been making significant progress for several years in the provision of post-primary (secondary) education, and this is once again the context in which we see the ‘history of everyday life’ come to the fore. But it took the ideological drive of Labour’s commitment to levelling educational opportunity and willingness to spend, to bring more radical plans to full fruition. The late 1930s saw postprimary provision rise to the top of educational agendas in London. In particular, between 1934 and 1939 a proposal for multilateral secondary schools (akin to the later comprehensives) in London was developed.⁵⁹ Across the board the late 1930s were a time of considerable progressive activity in the LCC, a product not only of reformist drives from Labour but also of a number of long-term campaigns. For example, in 1935 the LCC lifted its marriage bar imposed on women teachers and removed its 10 per cent quota on women appointed to higher-grade positions. The same year the LCC staff association held a referendum on equal pay.⁶⁰ The system of everyday governance at the LCC under Labour stood in stark contrast to the highly differentiated system favoured by Blair. The new Labour councillors after 1934 were apparently keen on making their officers ‘on tap but not on top’.⁶¹ George Lowndes was able to work effectively under this system because his own sympathies were in tune with Labour’s. He set to work immediately on making the cultural resources of the capital more useful to London teachers, focusing on the needs of new secondary-age pupils. He helped to update and revise a handbook providing teachers with guidance on educational visits, clarifying and tightening LCC policy on what types of visit outside of school were deemed ‘educational’.⁶² A particular emphasis was placed on using such visits to make lessons ‘realistic’ to the urban child, a sentiment in line with Hadow’s recommendations for the education of ordinary adolescents.⁶³ Reports and internal memos within the LCC also routinely quoted the huge monetary value of material locked away in London’s museums, arguing that such treasures should be more accessible to ratepayers in a democratic society.⁶⁴ Lowndes’s biggest challenge in his new post was heading up an advisory committee appointed to reorganize the Geffrye Museum. He began working on this in the summer of 1935. The decision was taken to move the Geffrye Museum and the Horniman Museum to the control of the Education Office in February ⁵⁹ M. Richardson, ‘Education and Politics: The London Labour Party and Schooling between the Wars’, in Politics and the People, pp. 148 66, at pp. 161 5. ⁶⁰ Glew, Gender, Rhetoric and Regulation, pp. 199, 84, 137. ⁶¹ Thoms, Policy Making in Education, p. 8. ⁶² ‘LCC Education Officers Department Particulars of Facilities for Visits to Places of Educational Interest in London’, 9 April 1935: LMA, LCC/EO/PS/01/071. ⁶³ ‘Notes on Museums Societies’, November 1936: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/190. ⁶⁴ ‘Draft foreword to pamphlet containing Survey of Museums and Art Galleries of London to be distributed to schools’, 23 August 1935: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/0185.

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1934.⁶⁵ Hawking’s retirement was conveniently scheduled for March 1936. Although this offered the opportunity for a major change of direction, the LCC also maintained important continuities with the museum’s Edwardian origins. At the turn of the century the Progressive LCC had its sights set on tackling poverty in the East End through the rejuvenation of the area’s artisan legacy. By the mid1930s the socio-economic problems were just as drastic, but the Labour LCC was under significant and immediate pressure to implement a forward-looking solution to the widely acknowledged ‘East End problem’. Most pressing was the issue of slum clearance and planning, which jarred with arguments to retain the few open spaces available to residents.⁶⁶ The Geffrye Museum literally stood in the eye of this storm. The immediate area of Hoxton possessed at least two streets identified by the ‘New Survey of London Life and Labour’ in 1930 as ‘semi criminal and degraded’.⁶⁷ It was therefore the perfect environment for the LCC to enact a new experiment in social amelioration, this time using culture rather than vocation. Lowndes’s Geffrye sub-committee consisted of teachers and school inspectors, and he consulted them on his initial ideas for an overhaul. They were dissatisfied with the layout of the museum, the poor lighting and heating, and foreboding rules which limited access to the museum for children without adults. With visitor numbers down, it was discovered that the cost of the museum to the LCC was 2s 9d per head (the museum was always free of charge).⁶⁸ Lowndes found that the teachers and inspectors he wrote to agreed enthusiastically with his instinct to democratize the exhibits and to create a museum of social history. Mr F. Wilkinson suggested that the LCC continue and expand its salvage practices, and theme the museum around the London home, illustrating ‘the homes of ordinary citizens’. He emphasized the importance of the exhibits having a ‘sense of reality’, in order to show children that history was once as ‘alive’ as the present. According to Wilkinson, ‘All modern history teaching strives to get rid of this incubus of superiority which the present tends to have for the past and endeavours to interpret what the past was in itself.’ He also suggested enlisting the help of schoolchildren to make some of the exhibits, a ‘child-centred’ idea that Lowndes enthusiastically developed.⁶⁹ Mr S. Brown praised Lowndes for his proviso against museum pieces from wealthier houses, whilst Miss Cecily Duthoit felt that the

⁶⁵ ‘Contract between museums and schools’, February 1934: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/190. ⁶⁶ See, for example, ‘The East End’, Architects’ Journal, 12 December 1935, p. 867. ⁶⁷ J. White, Campbell Bunk: The Worst Street in North London between the Wars (London, 2003), p. xvii. ⁶⁸ ‘General Purposes Sub Committee Agenda re. Geffrye Museum reorganisation’, 10 February 1936: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/205; G. A. N. Lowndes to E. Hawking, 7 November 1935: LMA, LCC/ EO/GEN/01/205. ⁶⁹ F. Wilkinson to G. A. N. Lowndes, 15 August 1935: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/205.

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museum should remain as connected as possible to the local furniture-making industry.⁷⁰ Lowndes’s ally at the LCC was Dr L. W. G. Malcolm, a former schools inspector who had been appointed as the LCC’s Organiser of Museum Activities on 4 June 1935.⁷¹ Malcolm’s position was created to facilitate cooperation between museums and schools and to help implement the Geffrye plan.⁷² He also prepared a report on London museums and galleries for schools in 1935, which was subsequently published and distributed to teachers.⁷³ Lowndes used Malcolm’s research to come up with a scheme for the Geffrye that met London’s educational needs: a series of ten rooms ‘furnished in chronological order to show the development of the ordinary English house’. The fourth wall of each room would be filled with dioramas depicting exteriors and street scenes, models of ships, and other displays of tools, which the schoolchildren themselves would cooperate in creating.⁷⁴ Malcolm was in no doubt that the objective was to democratize history by closely embedding the museum and its collections into the educational system. He told Lowndes of their scheme, ‘No one can possibly cavil at this, except the academic purists, and with them we are not concerned.’⁷⁵ Lowndes opted for constructed period displays in order to make the museum as interactive and immersive a social-historical experience as possible, in contrast to the traditional period rooms coveted by the LCC Architect in the 1920s. The LCC Education Committee approved the plan on 24 January 1936.⁷⁶ The broader vision for the ‘history of everyday life’ in the LCC Education Office by the later 1930s was to improve perceptions of design and production, and in turn improve society. This was the core objective of a group of inter-war reformers that Michael Saler has identified as ‘medieval modernists’. As Arts and Crafts disciples, they sought to break down the distinction between fine art and craft and to challenge Bloomsbury’s formalist separation of art and everyday life. The foremost medieval modernist was Frank Pick, who became head of the Council of Art and Industry (CAI) in 1934. The CAI found the LCC particularly receptive to its educational initiatives in the later 1930s.⁷⁷ The CAI’s official remit was to improve art education, but under Pick it imbibed his wider social mission. This chimed particularly nicely with the LCC’s policy of ‘indirect’

⁷⁰ S. Brown to G. A. N. Lowndes, 9 November 1935; C. M. G. Dunhoit to G. A. N. Lowndes, 23 November 1935: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/205. ⁷¹ ‘Museums and Schools report by Dr LWG Malcom’, 1936: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/190. Cf. ‘Visits of Children to Museums’, The Times, 10 November 1937, p. 11. ⁷² ‘Contract between museums and schools’. ⁷³ ‘Proof copy LCC Survey of Museums and Art Galleries in London By Dr L.W.G. Malcolm, Organiser of Museum Activities’, 1936: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/185. ⁷⁴ ‘General Purposes Sub Committee Agenda re. Geffrye Museum reorganisation’, pp. 2 3. ⁷⁵ L. W. G. Malcolm to G. A. N. Lowndes, 18 November 1935: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/205. ⁷⁶ ‘General Purposes Sub Committee Agenda re. Geffrye Museum reorganisation’, p. 4. ⁷⁷ Saler, The Avant Garde in Interwar England, p. 141.

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citizenship education.⁷⁸ In 1937 at the bequest of Pick, the LCC and CAI jointly organized an exhibition on ‘Design in Education’, which Lowndes took the lead in coordinating.⁷⁹ Lowndes took personal charge of the history bay of the exhibition, which he saw as the ideal way of promoting the ‘intelligent’ teaching of modern history.⁸⁰ It was a display of the ‘history of everyday life’, documenting ‘the change in schools, the homes of the people and conditions of work, the recreations of the people, and the countryside over the period 1865–1936’.⁸¹ This was achieved through thirty-five dioramas with commentaries, prepared by Lowndes in consultation with his history HMIs using photographs from the archive of The Times.⁸² Pick envisaged the event as an ‘exhibition of everyday things’.⁸³ He agreed with Lowndes that visual material was essential to the teaching of history, but was particularly keen that material was selected as much on aesthetic as historical grounds.⁸⁴ It is no surprise to find such a common cause between the CAI and the LCC by the later 1930s. Their collaboration underscores the practical functions central to the ‘history of everyday life’ (in this case, design), which flourished when endorsed by progressive educational bodies. In the same year of Lowndes’ work on the CAI project, the first edition of his own treatise on education was published by OUP, entitled The Silent Social Revolution.⁸⁵ The book was a confident statement of his faith in educational progressivism, which came through so clearly in his administrative work at the LCC. Saler’s work on Pick and the inter-war period is so illuminating because it reveals the persistence of Ruskin and Morris in movements that were self-definitively ‘modern’. There are strong parallels between Lowndes’ LCC scheme to bring history to ‘the people’ and late-Victorian Ruskinian museum experiments.⁸⁶ Contemporaries hailed the LCC’s scheme as at the cutting edge of educational practice. But the aims of this cultural policy had deep

⁷⁸ J. Keating, ‘Approaches to Citizenship Teaching in the First Half of the Twentieth Century: The Experience of the London County Council’, History of Education, 40 (2011), pp. 761 78. ⁷⁹ F. Pick to E. M. Rich, 8 October 1935: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/117. ⁸⁰ G. A. N. Lowndes to H. V. Usill, 8 February 1937: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/119. ⁸¹ ‘Design in Education Being an Exhibition of Material for use in Elementary Schools’, January 1937: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/117, pp. 8 9. ⁸² G. A. N. Lowndes to R. W. Baldwin, 16 October 1936; G. A. N. Lowndes to M. Quennell, 22 December 1936; ‘London County Council “Design in Education” Exhibition At County Hall’, January 1937: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/119. Cf. ‘ “Design in Education” Exhibition’, The Times, 6 January 1937, p. 9. ⁸³ ‘Memorandum from G. A. N. Lowndes to Mr Tyson’, 16 December 1935: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/ 01/117. ⁸⁴ ‘LCC Report of the Education Officer to the General Purposes Sub Committee re. Exhibition of material for the teacher of art’, 13 November 1935: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/117. ⁸⁵ G. Lowndes, The Silent Social Revolution: An Account of the Expansion of Public Education in England and Wales 1895 1935 (London, 1937). ⁸⁶ M. Harrison, ‘Art and Social Regeneration: The Ancoats Art Museum’, Manchester Region History Review, 7 (1993), pp. 63 72; M. Waithe, ‘John Ruskin and the Idea of a Museum’, in Persistent Ruskin: Studies in Influence, Assimilation and Effect, edited by K. Hanley and B. Maidment (Farnham, 2013), pp. 33 51.

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roots in using history for social reform, realized through the vehicle of twentiethcentury progressive education and at much greater ease with the machine age. As these London educational experiments highlight, by the later 1930s middleclass reformers were embracing the necessity of cultural activities for a burgeoning cohort of secondary-age working-class pupils. It was at this point that Marjorie Quennell arrived at the Geffrye Museum. Her husband Charles Quennell had died of arteriosclerosis at home in Berkhamsted in December 1935.⁸⁷ By May 1936 Lowndes had appointed the newly widowed Marjorie as the Geffrye’s next curator, although he had had her in mind since the previous summer. He told one teacher in a letter, ‘I am extremely keen on illustrating the history of everyday things in England . . . I envisage bringing the Quennel[sic] books to life.’⁸⁸ In a 1961 BBC interview Marjorie Quennell explained that she got the job ‘because of the books’.⁸⁹ Marjorie’s appointment as full curator made the Geffrye one of the only museums in London under the sole charge of a woman during the interwar period.⁹⁰ As we have seen in so many of the other cultural spheres addressed in this book, drives towards mass education opened the door to women as makers of popular history. When the LCC took over responsibility for London’s educational provision in 1904, many women were co-opted onto the new committees and thus undertook fuller administrative roles at LCC.⁹¹ However, Marjorie did struggle to assert her authority in this position. There were concerns that the museum attendants were skipping shifts ‘because the museum was in the charge of a woman curator’.⁹² The educational and popularizing element of Marjorie’s CV was crucial, as this was the LCC’s overarching goal for the Geffrye Museum: ‘to increase attraction and value for educational purposes, without detracting from its usefulness to the craftsman and the furniture expert’.⁹³ The Quennells had long nurtured museum ambitions allied to their books, and Charles Quennell had been involved in 1930 in an initiative to establish a Children’s Museum, ‘where children could turn from the contemplation of the past to the creation of the present’.⁹⁴ Such plans were ⁸⁷ E. McKellar, ‘Quennell, Charles Henry Bourne (1872 1935)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2011 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/ 98233], accessed 1 August 2020. ⁸⁸ G. A. N. Lowndes to F. Wilkinson, 19 August 1935: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/205. ⁸⁹ ‘The World of Books: Interview between Edward Blishen and Marjorie Quennell’, 4 August 1961: BBC Written Archives Centre, Caversham (hereafter BBC WAC), Radio Talks Scripts T671, p. 9. ⁹⁰ Cf. K. Hill, Women and Museums 1850 1914: Modernity and the Gendering of Knowledge (Manchester, 2016), p. 23. ⁹¹ Clifton, ‘Members and Officers’, p. 8. Cf. A. Briggs, ‘Appendix’, in Politics and the People, pp. 265 6. ⁹² ‘Memorandum from G. A. N. Lowndes to H. C. Tucker’, 4 October 1937: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/ 01/205. ⁹³ LCC Education Officer to Sir Henry George Lyons, 12 December 1936: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/ 211. ⁹⁴ ‘New Museums For Children Writer’s Scheme’, Cairns Post, 28 March 1930, p. 8. Cf. M. and C. H. B. Quennell, A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 1: 1066 1499 (London, 1918), p. 3;

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inspired by experiments in the United States, particularly Brooklyn and Boston. American children’s museums contained exhibits made by the children, with lowlevel display cases and clearly printed labels written in ‘plain English’.⁹⁵ Malcolm actually referred to the 1930 scheme in his internal LCC correspondence with Lowndes, concerned that if the Geffrye scheme went public too soon they might be bombarded by interference from its over-zealous advocates.⁹⁶ Lowndes had the period room sequence worked out prior to Quennell’s appointment.⁹⁷ She then worked with the in situ displays established by Hawking (such as a cottage hearth) to organize them into the loosely dated domestic settings that Lowndes had planned. By 1937 the Geffrye Museum had three full period rooms, whilst the other galleries contained period grouped exhibits of panelling, doorways, and selected furniture.⁹⁸ In 1938 this had been further developed into eight rooms in chronological order, from 1600 to 1850.⁹⁹ Quennell reflected later that the museum was ‘a repository of furniture’ when she arrived: ‘they had a certain amount of furniture there but it was all higgledy piggedly. And we furnished the rooms, you see, and made them as near alike the old ones would have been as we could.’¹⁰⁰ Quennell was working towards the construction of a useable ‘history of everyday life’ through the period rooms, rather than relying wholly on the older art-historical model she inherited. Quennell was clearly successful in making the museum more popular, engaging new parties to visit the museum and giving regular lectures to school parties (see Fig. 5.1).¹⁰¹ She encouraged students to sketch objects in the museum, and explained how domestic items evolved.¹⁰² In 1938 the museum received a total of 41,337 visitors, showing a marked improvement on the Hawking era. Over 20,000 schoolchildren visited the museum in the same year and about 10,000 of these came of their own free will during holidays.¹⁰³ A survey undertaken in 1936 by a local branch of the London Museums Society (an organization founded by a group of women teachers) testified to the efficacy of the Geffrye’s new approach.

A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 2: 1500 1799 (London, 1919), p. 153; A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume 3: 1733 1851 (London, 1933), pp. 76, 132, 140 4, 159, 190. Hereafter referred to as Everyday Things Vol. 1, 2, and 3; ‘Children’s Museum’, Museums Journal, 29 (1930), pp. 439 40. ⁹⁵ ‘Notes and News Children’s Museums’, Museums Journal, 21 (1922), p. 260. ⁹⁶ L. W. G. Malcolm to G. A. N. Lowndes, 18 November 1935. ⁹⁷ ‘Geffrye Notes For Furnishing Interest’, n.d.: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/205. ⁹⁸ LCC, Handbook to the Geffrye Museum (London, 1937). ⁹⁹ Quennell, ‘The Geffrye Museum’, pp. 11 14. ¹⁰⁰ ‘Interview between Edward Blishen and Marjorie Quennell’, p. 10. ¹⁰¹ ‘Geffrye Museum: Numbers of children and teachers attending lectures etc. Jan July 1939’, 1939: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/216. ¹⁰² ‘Interview between Edward Blishen and Marjorie Quennell’, p. 11. ¹⁰³ ‘Return of visitors to Provincial Museums for the year 1938. Museum: Geffrye Museum. Kingsland Road. E2’, 1938: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/216; ‘Board of Honorary Consultants of the Geffrye Museum Meeting held at the Geffrye Museum at 3.30pm’, 28 June 1939: LMA, LCC/EO/ GEN/01/211.

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Fig. 5.1 Marjorie Quennell and schoolchildren in a period room at the Geffrye Museum, c.1938

One hundred and thirty-eight schools were asked what types of instruction they wanted from museums. The most popular choice was for a series of lectures from individual curators detailing their collections, exhibits, and facilities. Also popular were topics such as London produce and marketing, home furnishing, and the stage. The most popular history topics (also two of the most popular topics overall) were war and peace and social history.¹⁰⁴ The LCC was moving with the tide; teachers wanted practical instruction with a bearing on reality. Although it is apparent that Marjorie Quennell had a vision for the museum, she possessed neither the administrative experience nor the necessary resolve to face the LCC bureaucracy. Quennell’s early enthusiasms were quelled by the decline of her health, recurring bouts of ‘weakness’ that she had suffered from since the early years of her marriage.¹⁰⁵ She began to take prolonged leaves of absence from the museum, which damaged her relations with the LCC.¹⁰⁶ She eventually left in the middle of 1940. She emigrated to the USA that year and lived

¹⁰⁴ ‘The Hampstead, Holborn, and St Pancras Museums Society Classes for Teachers’, 1936: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/190. ¹⁰⁵ P. Quennell, The Marble Foot: An Autobiography, 1905 1938 (London, 1976), pp. 48 9. ¹⁰⁶ ‘Memorandum from G. A. N. Lowndes to H. C. Tucker’.

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in relative obscurity, until returning ten years later to live out her retirement in Sussex.¹⁰⁷

Democracy and Social History during the Second World War In early 1939 Marjorie Quennell had undertaken a tour of American museums funded by the LCC. She returned convinced that employing trained teachers in museums would be the most effective staffing regime. The LCC had already toyed with this policy for the Geffrye; the first LCC teacher was seconded to the museum as an assistant curator in January 1938. A second teacher, Molly Harrison, was appointed one year later.¹⁰⁸ Harrison was as much an historian as an educator, only she chose to define the objective of history in purely educational terms, and thus used the ‘history of everyday life’ to promote a much more inclusive model of citizenship. Molly Harrison (née Hodgett) was born in 1909 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, the daughter of a bank manager. She attended the Friends’ School in Saffron Walden and trained as a teacher at the LCC’s Avery Hill facility.¹⁰⁹ Her first teaching job was at a school in Shoreditch, where, according to Harrison, the classes were comprised of up to sixty pupils and the underfed children ‘swore like troopers’. She later taught French and History at Stoke Newington Central School for a few years. These experiences of teaching in the East End coloured the social agenda she later developed at the museum. Upon being appointed at the Geffrye Museum in 1939 (she had applied in 1938 but had been unsuccessful), she intended initially to stay only for two years and had ambitions to apply for a teaching secondment through the colonial office.¹¹⁰ But with the outbreak of war and Marjorie Quennell’s sudden evacuation, Harrison ended up staying at the museum for thirty years. Molly Harrison antagonized the LCC Education Committee on a regular basis when her ambitious goals for the museum diverged from their administrative capabilities. Although the LCC was one of the most progressive education authorities of the mid-century, its notion of education was still narrow in comparison to Harrison’s. She became frustrated when routine requests were slow to gain approval, and often regarded the LCC’s interventions in her curatorial affairs as ¹⁰⁷ ‘Interview between Edward Blishen and Marjorie Quennell’, p. 13. ¹⁰⁸ ‘Board of Honorary Consultants of the Geffrye Museum’. ¹⁰⁹ D. Dewing, ‘Harrison, Molly (1909 2002)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, January 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/77168], accessed 1 August 2020; ‘Transcript of an interview between Louise Evans and Molly Harrison’, 8 April 1989: GMA, Molly Harrison Archive researchers’ manual, p. 4; ‘Synopsis of a recording made by Vicky Woollard with Molly Harrison’, 5 June 1992; 23 July 1992: GMA, Molly Harrison Archive researchers’ manual, p. 7. ¹¹⁰ ‘Transcript of an interview between Louise Evans and Molly Harrison’, p. 4.

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petty and unnecessary.¹¹¹ She described the LCC bureaucrats sarcastically as ‘those imaginative and highly creative people at County Hall’.¹¹² She was also known for her rows with the LCC Parks department, and found the LCC’s art inspectors who monitored the Geffrye particularly intolerable, because their notion of ‘art’ was so limited.¹¹³ Although this dynamic often curtailed her ambitions, it served to strengthen her resolve and self-identification as a pioneer and innovator, working outside of ‘the Establishment’. She would later speak proudly of her ‘revolts’, and she joked that the 3.5-mile distance between County Hall on the Southbank and the Geffrye Museum in the East End allowed her to ‘get away with things’.¹¹⁴ The experience of working at the Geffrye Museum during the Second World War was crucial to Molly Harrison’s sense of herself as a radical and a pioneer. Penny Summerfield’s oral history work has focused on unpacking women’s composition of their ‘wartime selves’. We can see in Harrison’s self-fashioning the absorption of constructions of a public hero narrative, still highly circumscribed by her gender, because of its grounding in education and consumption.¹¹⁵ Harrison participated in Britain’s wartime civic atmosphere, heightened by the shared experiences of domestic bombing in London.¹¹⁶ Following these experiences, she cultivated a very tangible hope that a revived national culture might flourish in the ‘New Britain’. Even as the austerity years wore on, Harrison maintained her faith, often adapting her programmes to fit in with emergent social and commercial trends. Although much has been written about the failed nationalization of post-war culture, with the Festival of Britain in 1951 acting as a fulcrum, the role of history as a discrete element of ‘culture’ has been less adequately treated.¹¹⁷ Harrison’s work illustrates the place of popular history in this story of post-war cultural renewal. When channelled through local government initiatives such as the Geffrye Museum, social history was able to operate outside of the rigidly top-down paradigm that plagued the ‘high’ cultures of music and art when diffused by state patronage. The museum closed briefly at the outbreak of war but reopened in October 1939 and remained so throughout, with Harrison becoming acting curator after Quennell’s departure in 1940.¹¹⁸ This allowed Harrison to work with schoolchildren ¹¹¹ See, for example, M. Harrison to LCC Education Officer, 11 April 1951: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/ 209. ¹¹² M. Harrison to J. Summerson, 28 April 1950: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1949 69. ¹¹³ ‘Transcript of an interview between Louise Evans and Molly Harrison’, p. 5. Cf. M. Cole to R. Gordon, 31 July 1953: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/212. ¹¹⁴ ‘Synopsis of a recording made by Vicky Woollard with Molly Harrison’, p. 8. ¹¹⁵ P. Summerfield, Reconstructing Women’s Wartime Lives: Discourse and Subjectivity in Oral Histories of the Second World War (Manchester, 1998), pp. 77 109. ¹¹⁶ White, London in the Twentieth Century, pp. 125 6. ¹¹⁷ B. Conekin, The Autobiography of a Nation: The 1951 Festival of Britain (Manchester, 2003). ¹¹⁸ ‘General Purposes Sub Committee Museums and the Education Library’, 24 May 1945: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/188.

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in London who had not been evacuated. She published a book in 1950 entitled Museum Adventure documenting this work with schoolchildren, which gained the museum much acclaim amongst educationists. Harrison continued to use the methods instilled by Quennell at the museum, encouraging children to look at objects, ask questions about them, and trace their development across the centuries. Her work with unoccupied children during the war had made Harrison realize that the museum needed to move beyond the passive visitor experience and organize a practical programme. She later recalled the uncertainty in direction during the early years of the war, with volunteers forced to improvise to entertain the visitors. The children were not engaging with the exhibits: ‘they needed to have greater demands made upon them; too little effort was required in looking at a film or in free and unguided drawing’.¹¹⁹ On this basis Harrison encouraged handwork and craftwork in the museum that was grounded in learning by exploration and discovery. Guided tours and lectures were abandoned in favour of freedom of expression.¹²⁰ After the war, she made more physical space in the museum for children, converting two of the pre-war ironwork and woodwork galleries into children’s rooms (see Fig. 5.2).¹²¹ Like many other provincial museums, the Geffrye held CEMA exhibitions in wartime. These included displays such as ‘Town and Country Life in the Reign of King George III’, ‘Needlework and Embroidery of To-Day’, ‘The History of Movies’, and ‘The History of Photography’.¹²² When the LCC questioned the relevance of some of the general art exhibits, Harrison was clear that temporary exhibitions supplemented but did not disrupt the permanent displays and were an unusual pleasure for local residents.¹²³ The museum also hosted more functional exhibitions such as one on local government and another on the history of artificial lighting. Perhaps Harrison’s most notable wartime exhibition was a display in January 1942 on the ‘History of English Life’, comprising murals, charts, and models made by students from the Sheffield College of Arts and Crafts. It showed everyday life across the centuries, boasting the tagline: ‘a visual and practical approach’.¹²⁴ Harrison was a vocal supporter of CEMA’s mission and was very optimistic about a brave new national culture. She argued, however, that CEMA’s material needed to be further conditioned to suit the needs of children and the ‘quite untrained man in the street’ (she routinely identified these two ¹¹⁹ M. Harrison, Museum Adventure: The Story of the Geffrye Museum (London, 1950), p. 22. Cf. ‘Memorandum on the aims and function of the Geffrye Museum and the implementing of one section thereof ’, n.d.: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/188, pp. 5 6. ¹²⁰ Introducing the Educational Work of the Geffrye Museum (London, 1964), p. 10. ¹²¹ LCC, Handbook to the Geffrye Museum (London, 1954). ¹²² M. Harrison to LCC acting assistant Education Officer, 17 July 1945: GMA, GM/MH/Exhib/ 1943 46. ¹²³ M. Harrison to LCC acting assistant Education Officer, 2 November 1943: GMA, GM/MH/ Exhib/1943 46. ¹²⁴ ‘History of English Life’, Children’s Newspaper, 24 January 1942. Cf. ‘Synopsis of a recording made by Vicky Woollard with Molly Harrison’, p. 3.

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Fig. 5.2 Schoolchildren sketching exhibits at the Geffrye Museum, 1951 Source: © Henry Grant Collection/Museum of London.

groups as her key constituents). She suggested the addition of plainly printed questions and summative activities or discussion points to be added at the end of the exhibition.¹²⁵ Moreover, the atmosphere, attitude of staff, and tone of the publicity of museums needed to be open handed and welcoming.¹²⁶ One of her most frequent refrains was that museum attendants should be approachable rather than ‘wardens or guardians of collections against the general public’.¹²⁷ The experiences of wartime London clearly resolved Harrison’s conception of ‘the people’: a populace that deserved, needed, and wanted cultural nourishment.

¹²⁵ M. Harrison, ‘CEMA: Extension of Art Policy’, Museums Journal, 42 (1943), pp. 235 6. ¹²⁶ ‘Memorandum Re. Proposed Alterations in Staffing at the Geffrye Museum’, 11 January 1947: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/209. ¹²⁷ M. Harrison, Changing Museums: Their Use and Misuse (London, 1967), p. 31.

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Harrison hoped that the work of CEMA would be incorporated into ‘some nationwide scheme for the fostering of cultural values’ after the war.¹²⁸ In 1946 she told the LCC that the end of the war had brought ‘a revival of general cultural life and interest in London. It is important that the Geffrye Museum should take its place in the provision of live and forward-looking amenities for people of all ages and varying types’.¹²⁹ Molly Harrison told a researcher in the early 1990s that she had been affected by Karl Mannheim’s 1943 essay Diagnosis of Our Time. Written in wartime Britain, it argued that post-war society could be actively planned as a ‘militant democracy’. Mannheim suggested that the desirable level of social justice could be met by abandoning the idea of ‘chance’ inherent to laissez-faire liberalism. A militant democracy therefore establishes an agreed set of societal values and the state only becomes militant when those standards are contravened, thus preserving individualism but also protecting the vulnerable.¹³⁰ For Harrison, positively inspired by wartime state intervention, democratic participation was a guiding political ideal. She worked to make this a reality in her work at the Geffrye Museum: a little island of ‘culture’ amidst the stubborn slums of East London. Cultural historians of post-war Britain have written a lot about the intellectual developments in literary criticism that converged to challenge elite definitions of culture in the late 1950s.¹³¹ Although Molly Harrison was sympathetic to the principles of this project, she favoured physical and visual methods over the literary, and her outlook was characterized by an overt antiintellectualism, which the ‘history of everyday life’ served very well. This marks the ‘history of everyday life’ as distinct from the myriad Marxist, structuralist, and institutional impulses that generated various versions of a ‘new’ social history in the post-war universities.¹³² For Harrison democratization meant appealing in earnest to the diverse ‘social mix’ of the museum’s audience: adult and child, upper and lower class, ablebodied and disabled, African-Caribbean and Asian.¹³³ The sheer range of her activities makes it difficult to define the museum coherently by the later 1940s. Temporary exhibitions continued to be eclectic. Examples include prehistoric archaeology, Scandinavian needlework, brass rubbings, modern amateur painting, ¹²⁸ Harrison, ‘CEMA’, p. 236. ¹²⁹ ‘Memorandum to the Education Officer from acting Curator, Geffrye Museum Re. Proposed Re organisation of Certain Galleries in the Geffrye Museum’, 31 January 1946: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/ 209. ¹³⁰ ‘Transcript of an interview between Louise Evans and Molly Harrison’, p. 2; K. Mannheim, Diagnosis of Our Time: Wartime Essays of a Sociologist (London, 1943). ¹³¹ C. Hilliard, English as a Vocation: The Scrutiny Movement (Oxford, 2012); G. Ortolano, The Two Cultures Controversy: Science, Literature and Cultural Politics in Postwar Britain (Cambridge, 2009). ¹³² M. Taylor, ‘The Beginnings of Modern British Social History?’, History Workshop Journal, 43 (1997), pp. 155 76. ¹³³ M. Harrison, ‘Handicapped Children and Museums’, 1959: GMA, Molly Harrison Archive researchers’ manual; Harrison, Changing Museums, appendix three.

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a local history of Shoreditch, and the American Colonial Home. After the war, the LCC wanted to reform the Geffrye Museum’s advisory committee. Harrison wrote a note to the LCC with her suggestions, prefaced by the comment: ‘If the Museum is to develop as a live educational and cultural centre it is important that undue emphasis should not be given to the antiquarian aspect.’ For the committee she suggested recruiting professional educationists at the cutting edge of ‘visual education’, and an author of children’s history books ‘very much alive to the need for improvement in the teaching of social history’.¹³⁴ Similarly, a taste of her concept for the museum can be gathered from notes she made on candidates for a deputy curatorship in 1953. She wanted a candidate who was ‘not over conscious of status’, qualified in practical arts and crafts more than antiques or social history (such knowledge could be ‘acquired if the candidate is intelligent’). Importantly, the individual should ‘not regard [history] as a subject, in the way most historians [do]’.¹³⁵ Foreshadowing the arguments of Raphael Samuel’s Theatres of Memory, Harrison’s evident disdain for the historical profession came from her conviction that ordinary people only found pleasure in history if it was communicated clearly and simply, and related to their needs, ambitions, and interests.¹³⁶ Harrison felt similarly disaffiliated from the Museums Association because of her commitment to employing teachers rather than collection specialists in museums. Teachers were ‘ordinary people, therefore able to be friends with ordinary children and ordinary parents’.¹³⁷ She wrote scornfully, ‘the solemn hush that used to permeate many museums was as deadening to thought as to feeling’.¹³⁸ Her impression was that opposition to her methods was due to both her amateur status and her gender: ‘The Geffrye had a woman running it; who had no degree; a family; and wide social mix of visitors. All this was thought to be against museum aims.’¹³⁹ Harrison established an intellectual authority by arguing that the academic value of museum objects was fundamentally secondary to their educative function. She had no interest in collecting an item if it could not be put on display. Her political thesis for the ‘history of everyday life’ was therefore far more developed than we saw amongst the conservative, first-wave folk museum curators explored in the previous chapter. This was because of her own political convictions, and the context provided by the LCC Education Office and the broader social vision that backed Harrison’s work, despite their administrative differences. Harrison used the ‘history of everyday life’ to make arguments for social justice: everyday things gave access to a social history otherwise hidden. In ¹³⁴ ‘Memorandum from Molly Harrison (Acting Curator) to LCC Education Office’, n.d.: GMA, GM/MH/Advisory/1946 56. ¹³⁵ ‘Notes on Deputy Curator candidates’, n.d.: GMA, GM/MH/Advisory/1946 56. ¹³⁶ Cf. R. Samuel, Theatres of Memory: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture (London, 2012 (first published 1994)), pp. 182, 286. ¹³⁷ ‘Transcript of an interview between Louise Evans and Molly Harrison’, pp. 3 4. ¹³⁸ Harrison, Changing Museums, p. 5. ¹³⁹ ‘Synopsis of a recording made by Vicky Woollard with Molly Harrison’, p. 7.

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her children’s book, The Kitchen in History, she made explicit links between the ‘history of everyday life’ and women’s roles, especially domestic servants and housewives, in creating it: Social history is inevitably pieced together as a mosaic, and this story of the kitchen particularly so . . . the fault lies in ourselves in those multitudes of housewives who, by habit or by improvisation, have worked and planned, laughed and cried and struggled, to feed, clothe and bring up husbands and children, look after pets and entertain guests. We have not created a tidy story or a very logical one, but we know in our hearts that it has always been important.¹⁴⁰

In a museum filled with objects documenting domestic life, Harrison’s identity as a woman and her insistence on employing female schoolteachers and artists at the museum was an essential part of her aim of redefining who could arbitrate culture in post-war Britain. She was consciously rejecting the established role of the ‘public’ intellectual or expert who had traditionally exercised civilizing authority, in favour of what she regarded as a more representative cultural conduit: the ordinary woman.¹⁴¹ Harrison wrote in 1967: ‘Being educationists, we at the Geffrye Museum do not find it enough to keep the children occupied, or off the streets, or quiet. We believe too much in the future for that. Perhaps what we are aiming at most of all is a joy in voluntary creative effort and a relaxed, unpompous enjoyment of what others call “culture”.’¹⁴² Richard Weight has considered the actions of the post-war Labour government to this effect, showing that a good deal of grassroots effort took place to nourish popular participation in the arts without imposing an elite top-down model. However, he concluded that the failure of this arts policy was as much down to the people’s own retreat from collectivist activities and the arrival of affluence in the 1950s.¹⁴³ Harrison tried to make the Geffrye Museum a centre of general culture for the community very much on the model of the arts-centre-movement; she told the LCC she wanted it to be a cultural centre for Shoreditch to promote the creative use of leisure.¹⁴⁴ Yet she was more successful than Weight’s elites because she was attuned to the needs of the affluent (or at least aspirational) society, and worked to make social history relevant and useable within it. Indeed, Harrison’s rhetoric was often free of binary distinctions of social class altogether, ¹⁴⁰ M. Harrison, The Kitchen in History (Reading, 1972), p. 2. ¹⁴¹ Cf. S. Pedersen and P. Mandler (eds.), After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty, 1880 1950 (London, 1994), pp. 23 4. ¹⁴² M. Harrison, ‘Museums and Culture’, September 1967: GMA, Molly Harrison Archive researchers’ manual. ¹⁴³ R. Weight, ‘ “Building a New British Culture”: The Arts Centre Movement, 1943 53’, in The Right to Belong: Citizenship and National Identity in Britain, 1930 1960, edited by R. Weight and A. Beach (London, 1998), pp. 157 80. ¹⁴⁴ ‘Memorandum on the aims and function of the Geffrye Museum’, p. 7.

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which was becoming increasingly less appealing to ordinary women in the postwar period.¹⁴⁵ The ‘history of everyday life’, underpinned by inter-war pedagogical estimations of the ordinary learner and entrenched cultural associations between women, domesticity, and consumption, became the definition of ‘culture’ in postwar Britain for Harrison. This was quite different from the championing of an idealized and implicitly masculine proletarian culture, emerging at the same time within the ‘Culture and Society’ tradition of Raymond Williams.¹⁴⁶

Post-1945 Consumerist Social History The ‘history of everyday life’ could be adapted to various models of citizenship. In 1935, the Quennells had published a citizenship reader called The Good New Days, which presented historical and cultural education as the only possible remedy to unemployment and divisive politics. Throughout the book, society is presented in binaries: ‘the whole point of education is to be able to judge between Good and Evil; Beauty and Ugliness; Truth and Deceit’.¹⁴⁷ This typically Liberal, metropolitan ‘top down’ approach was different to the ‘middle out’, regional and conservative version of the ‘history of everyday life’ that was discussed in Chapter 4. Different again was the way in which Harrison presented the ‘history of everyday life’ in the 1950s, as a flexible, ‘bottom up’ tool of selfhood that could help London citizens negotiate and absorb culture on their own terms. Molly Harrison was particularly clear on her desire to concentrate her efforts with ‘certain selected adult groups’ in the community.¹⁴⁸ She wrote: ‘If [museums] are to be anything more than cloistered backwaters for the use of the converted, they must use all possible means of reaching the man-in-the-street.’ In the early 1950s the museum experimented with various methods of community engagement, such as Sunday afternoon discussion groups, the screening of art films, and historical recitals of ‘Old Music with Old Instruments’. An evening lecture series became the most regular form of adult education, although Harrison regretted that this activity was more ‘passive’ than she would have liked (see Fig. 5.3).¹⁴⁹ The lectures were almost always on topics of English domestic history. Examples

¹⁴⁵ A. Black and S. Brooke, ‘The Labour Party, Women, and the Problem of Gender, 1951 1966’, Journal of British Studies, 36 (1997), pp. 419 52; F. Sutcliffe Braithwaite, Class, Politics, and the Decline of Deference in England, 1968 2000 (Oxford, 2018), pp. 25 7. ¹⁴⁶ R. Williams, Culture and Society, 1780 1950 (London, 1958). ¹⁴⁷ M. and C. H. B. Quennell, The Good New Days (London, 1935), p. 2. ¹⁴⁸ ‘London County Council Education Committee Geffrye Museum Advisory Committee Draft report by Advisory Committee to Education General Purposes Sub Committee’, 17 February 1956: GMA, GM/MH/Advisory/1946 56, p. 2. ¹⁴⁹ ‘London County Council Education Committee Geffrye Museum Advisory Committee’, p. 3.

Source: Museum of the Home, London.

Fig. 5.3 Handbills for ‘English Craftsmanship’ lectures, 1948, and ‘English Taste’ lectures, 1950, at the Geffrye Museum

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included ‘English Furniture as a Reflection of Taste’, ‘The English Child at Home’, and ‘Eating and Drinking’.¹⁵⁰ Harrison worked tirelessly on the lecture programme from the 1940s to the 1960s, aiming to improve and engage her audiences. The lectures were often given by high-profile individuals with reputations as educationists and popularizers. For example, in 1946 Richard Southern lectured on ‘The English Stage’, in 1952 Helen Lowenthal spoke on ‘English Domestic Architecture’, and Leonard Woolley promoted popular archaeology in 1953 with ‘Digging up the Past’.¹⁵¹ In 1950 Harrison secured John Summerson, then curator of Sir John Soane’s Museum, to deliver a series of four lectures. Harrison requested that he speak on ‘taste’ in some capacity, and Summerson vowed to deliver ‘a popular and discursive discussion of the theme’.¹⁵² They settled on the title ‘English Taste’, as Summerson remarked that having ‘Home’ in the title (an important touchstone for the Geffrye, then as now) was just ‘too cosy’ for him.¹⁵³ The lectures covered ideas of taste from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, and clocked a moderate average attendance of fifty-eight.¹⁵⁴ By 1950 Summerson was enjoying a productive career as an architectural critic, lecturer, broadcaster, and curator. Peter Mandler has identified this point as the apex of Summerson’s optimism about the emergence of a truly British modern architectural style; thus it is not difficult to see how closely his intellectual mood chimed with Harrison’s at this juncture.¹⁵⁵ Summerson had spent the war years officially documenting Britain’s buildings as they were demolished by bombing, giving him a particularly sharpened sense of the material and topographical renewal of the nation after 1945.¹⁵⁶ Through their correspondence, Summerson and Harrison developed affection and good humour, exchanging ironic remarks about the differences between their respective establishments. When Harrison displayed a handbill advertising the Soane at the Geffrye, Summerson teased her that the ‘dreadful young woman sitting on the stairs sketching’ in his museum must have seen the notice in ‘her place’.¹⁵⁷ After visiting the Geffrye in April 1950, Summerson told Harrison he thought all the children were a ‘nightmare’ from a curatorial perspective, but that it was nonetheless a ¹⁵⁰ ‘Lecture Handbills’, 1949 69: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1949 69. ¹⁵¹ R. Southern to M. Harrison, 27 June 1946: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1946 48; H. Lowenthal to M. Harrison, 24 July 1952; L. Woolley to M. Harrison, 5 October 1953: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/ 1949 69. ¹⁵² J. Summerson to M. Harrison, 29 March 1950: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1949 69. ¹⁵³ J. Summerson to M. Harrison, 18 April 1950: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1949 69. ¹⁵⁴ ‘Lecture Handbill LCC Geffrye Museum Autumn 1950 A series of four lectures on English Taste’, 1950: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1949 69. ¹⁵⁵ P. Mandler, ‘John Summerson: The Architectural Critic and the Quest for the Modern’, in After the Victorians, pp. 229 42, at pp. 237 9. ¹⁵⁶ J. Summerson (ed.), 50 Years of the National Buildings Record, 1941 1991 (Beckenham, 1991), introduction. ¹⁵⁷ J. Summerson to M. Harrison, 18 April 1950.

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‘wonderful thing’ to have created which he greatly admired.¹⁵⁸ They sustained their correspondence into the 1950s as Summerson sat on the LCC advisory committee for the Geffrye Museum.¹⁵⁹ Summerson specifically applauded Harrison’s designs for ‘Creative Play’ in the Geffrye playground in 1953: ‘If the site is laid out by an intelligent architect with nicely varied levels it would be the greatest fun . . . A load of bricks is a nice thing.’¹⁶⁰ Just as Summerson harboured hopes of a dialogue between the needs of the public and the artistic licence of the architect, he saw that Harrison’s efforts to make social history functional to the social needs of the locality yielded the exact type of positive public engagement that they both were working to achieve as popularizers.¹⁶¹ And luckily the Geffrye’s collection was not quite the treasuretrove housed at the Soane. In one pithy note he joked to Harrison that since the V&A was becoming a West End store and the Geffrye a nursery, the Soane would soon be the only ‘real MUSEUM’ left in London.¹⁶² Harrison replied: I do think it important that PROPER museums should remain so in some cases. The trouble is that so many that are not really PROPER do not see that they could be valuable to the community if they were a little IMproper [sic].¹⁶³

Harrison thus saw the Geffrye alongside other local authority initiatives rather than the national institutions in London. This meant it owed specific duties to the local urban community. In 1948 a two-part series of eight lectures was planned on the topic of ‘English Craftsmanship’. After the first four lectures covering textiles, carpets, furniture, and leather, Harrison found that there was little interest in the topic and cancelled the second four.¹⁶⁴ A series on ‘The English Home’ replaced them and was very well attended, which Harrison attributed to the continuing appeal of furniturerelated topics in the locality.¹⁶⁵ Nonetheless, Shoreditch’s traditional furnituremaking links were waning after the Second World War, as the industry moved away from London. The East End had suffered heavy bombing and became central to post-war residential redevelopment plans, whilst immigration was further

¹⁵⁸ J. Summerson to M. Harrison, 13 April 1950: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1949 69. ¹⁵⁹ J. Summerson to M. Harrison, 14 August 1953: GMA, GM/MH/Advisory/1946 56. ¹⁶⁰ J. Summerson to M. Harrison, 29 September 1953: GMA, GM/MH/Advisory/1946 56. ¹⁶¹ Mandler, ‘John Summerson’, p. 233. Cf. S. Yusaf, Broadcasting Buildings: Architecture on the Wireless, 1927 1945 (Cambridge, Mass., 2014), pp. 204 15. ¹⁶² J. Summerson to M. Harrison, 13 April 1950. Emphasis true to source. ¹⁶³ All emphasis true to source, M. Harrison to J. Summerson, 17 April 1950: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/ 1949 69. ¹⁶⁴ ‘Lecture Handbill LCC Geffrye Museum Spring 1948 A series of four lectures on English Craftsmanship’, 1948; M. Harrison to various recipients, 12 May 1948: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1946 48. ¹⁶⁵ ‘Lecture attendance Autumn 1948’, n.d.: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1946 48.

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changing the demographics dramatically in the 1960s.¹⁶⁶ As a result, practical instruction was no longer relevant but the morality of craftsmanship was a continued focus, just as it had been in the early Arts and Crafts era of the LCC. Harrison collaborated with the Design and Industries Association (DIA) on the theme of craftsmanship for her adult education scheme, demonstrating her continued commitment to disseminating and popularizing Arts and Crafts ideas. In February 1957 the designer, craftsman, and committed William Morris disciple Edward Barnsley gave a DIA lecture at the Geffrye entitled ‘Craftsmanship and Your Future’.¹⁶⁷ Harrison and Barnsley had conferred on how best to approach this important subject. He told her that his main concern was the retention of the values of the craftsman, which might be ‘carefully sieved to retain the essential nuggets that are surely there and vital’.¹⁶⁸ The lecture was fairly well attended, although afterwards Barnsley again expressed his doubts to Harrison about the fate of his ideals: ‘I’m still left with an awkward impression that it’s all too far removed from the actual hard cores of reality, or of what is in fact possible of attempting.’¹⁶⁹ In January 1960 the Geffrye hosted another special DIA evening, featuring Sir John Wolfenden with a lecture on ‘Can the Arts Survive in a Technical Age?’¹⁷⁰ Despite the limited reach of these efforts, they demonstrate that the Geffrye continued to draw on the craftsman as a cultural resource well into the post-war period. As a symbol he represented the workaday values that the ‘history of everyday life’ could teach, and offered tangible lessons for housing, production, and consumer taste. One of Harrison’s most passionate objectives was to use the ‘history of everyday life’ to engender ‘taste’ in design in the modern working-class home. This type of cultural education offered more than a crude capitalist or reductionist domestic message for women. As Catriona Beaumont’s work has shown, the inclusion of housing, design, and labour-saving devices in the home in the post-war reconstruction debate gave some women a public voice and a model for active citizenship.¹⁷¹ The promotion of this same agenda witnessed a shift in the Geffrye’s, and by extension the LCC’s, cultural language, from ‘craftsmanship’ (i.e. producerism) to ‘taste’ (i.e. consumerism). Harrison believed that social history, and the period rooms in particular, had a special role to play in the pursuit of good taste. She argued against stopping the period rooms in the Victorian era: the sequence

¹⁶⁶ White, London in the Twentieth Century, p. 197. ¹⁶⁷ ‘Lecture Handbill LCC Geffrye Museum CRAFTSMANSHIP and your future Public Lecture by Edward Barnsley’, 12 February 1957: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1949 69. ¹⁶⁸ E. Barnsley to M. Harrison, 8 October 1956: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1949 69. ¹⁶⁹ E. Barnsley to M. Harrison, 14 February 1957: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1949 69. ¹⁷⁰ J. Wolfenden to M. Harrison, 17 September 1959; ‘Lecture Handbill LCC Geffrye Museum Can the arts survive in a technical age? A Challenge to Education, Public Lecture by Sir John Wolfenden’, 26 January 1960: GMA, GM/MH/Lec/1949 69. ¹⁷¹ C. Beaumont, Housewives and Citizens: Domesticity and the Women’s Movement in England, 1928 64 (Manchester, 2013), pp. 165 88.

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should depict a story of design that concluded with the most up-to-date setting.¹⁷² Thus, the historical narrative was a lesson in practical homemaking. The Arts and Crafts idea of fostering taste was implicit. In 1918 William Ruskin Butterfield and William Lethaby had advocated a scheme of model rooms cheaply but tastefully furnished in poorer districts, and the Bethnal Green Museum showcased ‘demonstration living-rooms’ as early as 1917.¹⁷³ Harrison reconciled this vision with consumer aspiration. In 1941 she began planning a modern room. Working with the department store Heal’s she installed and furnished it with contemporary equipment and furniture to show design trends. She explained that it was not about showcasing the avant-garde (as at the V&A), but making modern design accessible and giving people genuinely implementable furnishing ideas.¹⁷⁴ She also considered it a personal mission to rid the museum of the Alfred Stevens library, an exhibit she regarded as ‘of purely personal and esoteric interest . . . [with] no practical use in the educational work of the museum’.¹⁷⁵ Harrison’s intervention marks the complete transition from the period rooms as reconstructions to constructions, the latter being an exercise firmly focused on education, whilst the former is rooted in preservationism. This transition is indicative of the changing social function of material heritage into the post-war years. The first modern room was evidently put together quickly by Harrison during the war without much consultation with the LCC. To their horror, she had crudely affixed boarding and stretched muslin in front of an existing display of eighteenthcentury panelling in one of the galleries.¹⁷⁶ In the early 1950s she also worked on a new Edwardian room for the museum, gradually removing the salvaged panelling exhibits and providing a more coherent and nuanced chronology leading up to the modern room.¹⁷⁷ Harrison triumphantly noted in a 1956 report to the LCC that the modern room was ‘frequently consulted by visitors in various practical ways’.¹⁷⁸ However, plans to make the modern room a more permanent structural feature were a battle with the LCC into the 1950s. Equally, her grander designs for an industry-led East End Design Centre did not materialize. She had envisaged a display mixing old and new furniture fronting openly onto the busy Kingsland ¹⁷² ‘Synopsis of a recording made by Vicky Woollard with Molly Harrison’, p. 1. ¹⁷³ W. Lethaby, ‘Letters to the Editor Museums and the Homes of the People’, Museums Journal, 17 (1918), p. 160; ‘Notes and News London, Bethnal Green Museum, Furniture for the People ’, Museums Journal, 17 (1917), p. 47. ¹⁷⁴ ‘Memorandum on the aims and function of the Geffrye Museum’, p. 6; ‘Synopsis of a recording made by Vicky Woollard with Molly Harrison’, pp. 1, 5. ¹⁷⁵ ‘Memorandum to the Education Officer from acting Curator, Geffrye Museum’. ¹⁷⁶ ‘Memorandum Re. Geffrye Museum Modern Room’, 15 October 1951: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/ 01/209. ¹⁷⁷ ‘Memorandum Re. Geffrye Museum Edwardian Room’, 31 March 1951: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/ 01/209. ¹⁷⁸ ‘London County Council Education Committee Geffrye Museum Advisory Committee’, p. 1.

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Road (for passers-by as much as for museum visitors to consult). Harrison was still angling for this vision on the eve of her retirement in 1969.¹⁷⁹ As a temporary measure, she had adapted the Victoria Room in the south wing in 1953 into an annexe for the display of modern furniture alongside ‘DIY’ refurbished older pieces.¹⁸⁰ For Harrison, combining heritage styles with twentieth-century design was representative of a post-war British modernity that was optimistic about the future but respectful of tradition.¹⁸¹ Harrison had some involvement with the Council of Industrial Design (COID) to this end. She took children on trips to their Design Centre and she sat on the committee between 1958 and 1961. But she later said that the COID expressed little interest in her work at the Geffrye because they were concerned with national affairs and not with the educational problems of the East End.¹⁸² Her interest in modern design came from a desire to see social reform, echoing the founding principles of the Arts and Crafts movement. Harrison found this message difficult to communicate to her managers. The Chairman of the LCC Education Committee objected to the modern room as a concept because he felt that one could see the same furniture as was on display there in ‘any furniture store in London’.¹⁸³ Marjorie Quennell, who had by this time returned to England, agreed. She wrote remorsefully to her successor in 1953: The Geffrye is such a beautiful old place in itself and was first founded to try and give the children some idea of what beauty was in design and workmanship and of how it was created and made and I can’t help being a little sad at the parts that are gone or have been covered in to show Tottenham Court Road furniture that can be seen anywhere . . .¹⁸⁴

For Marjorie Quennell both history and modernism had a place in contemporary society, but allowing modernity to compromise the sanctity of ‘proper’ museums would be letting it in, unchecked, by the back door. Although asserting that the two women ‘got on’, Harrison believed that Quennell ‘had limited ideas about what popular meant’, because she was ‘a rather aristocratic lady’ who had written books for ‘the upper class child’.¹⁸⁵ Here Harrison was mistaken in interpreting in purely class terms what was in fact more of a generational demarcation. Her ambition to make the ‘history of everyday life’ answer to modern design was in ¹⁷⁹ ‘Transcript of an interview between Louise Evans and Molly Harrison’, p. 5; ‘Synopsis of a recording made by Vicky Woollard with Molly Harrison’, p. 2. ¹⁸⁰ ‘London County Council Education Committee Geffrye Museum Advisory Committee’, p. 2. ¹⁸¹ Cf. B. Conekin, F. Mort, and C. Waters, ‘Introduction’, in Moments of Modernity: Reconstructing Britain 1945 1964 (London, 1999), pp. 1 21. ¹⁸² ‘Synopsis of a recording made by Vicky Woollard with Molly Harrison’, p. 2. ¹⁸³ ‘Memorandum Re. Geffrye Museum Modern Room’. ¹⁸⁴ M. Quennell to M. Harrison, 16 August 1953: LMA, LCC/EO/GEN/01/212. ¹⁸⁵ ‘Transcript of an interview between Louise Evans and Molly Harrison’, p. 3.

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fact wholly harmonious with the Quennells’ in 1918, but Harrison was operating in a social climate where the rhetoric of democratization was meeting the new social realities of consumerism. Harrison was attempting to appeal to the social needs she felt were evident in the local populace on their level. She recognized that the museum would never be ‘popular’ if it adhered to a model of administering taste downwards. The persistent popularity of the Ideal Home Exhibition was evidence enough that consumer demand was indeed part of satisfactory living in the post-war period, and even that commercial culture could be combined with stimulating good taste.¹⁸⁶ Similarly, Claire Langhamer’s work on the 1946 ‘Britain Can Make It’ exhibition demonstrates that domestic aspirations founded on the privation of the 1930s were a clear marker of what had changed in the post-war ‘home-centred’ society.¹⁸⁷ These perspectives, combined with Matt Cook’s account of queer domestic life, are contributing to a much more contingent picture of Britain in the ‘affluent’ decade of the 1950s.¹⁸⁸ If ‘affluence’ signalled ‘a distinctly new kind of conception of national society’ in the hands of social scientists, then we should consider the tools available to people for the negotiation of this new society in everyday life.¹⁸⁹ Popular social history was one such tool. Although firmly on the left, Harrison saw that affluence and mass production were positively democratizing because they could mean ‘things of quality for everybody’, but they also generated choice, and choice could be confusing for the ordinary consumer.¹⁹⁰ Hers was still an educative ambition, but it recognized that respect for historical everyday things might be evoked by appealing to contemporary consumer demand, and indeed accepted this as compatible with ‘culture’.

Conclusion What counted as ‘culture’ changed dramatically in mid-twentieth-century Britain. On the ground, this change was managed and negotiated not by the cultural critics, but by the agencies and workers of local government and the communities they interacted with in everyday life. As a uniquely interventionist local authority, the LCC represented the apotheosis of progressive hopes for the reach of mass education in Britain after the end of the First World War. LCC political culture was suffused with the ideology of the Arts and Crafts movement from its ¹⁸⁶ D. Sugg Ryan, The Ideal Home through the 20th Century (London, 1997), pp. 95 6. ¹⁸⁷ C. Langhamer, ‘The Meanings of Home in Postwar Britain’, Journal of Contemporary History, 40 (2005), pp. 341 62. ¹⁸⁸ M. Cook, Queer Domesticities: Homosexuality and Home Life in Twentieth Century London (New York, 2014), p. 189. ¹⁸⁹ S. Majima and M. Savage, ‘Contesting Affluence: An Introduction’, Contemporary British History, 22 (2008), pp. 445 55, at p. 446. ¹⁹⁰ Harrison, The Kitchen, p. 137; Harrison, Changing Museums, p. 19.

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inception. The ‘history of everyday life’ was central to the LCC’s mid-century social mission because it evolved out of Victorian models of social reform strongly grounded in design education. In the early years, the LCC’s cultural policy revolved around conventional, didactic lessons in the craft-aesthetic drawn from Morrisian thinking. The period rooms at the Geffrye Museum were salvaged, preserved, and reconstructed. They existed as inactive embodiments of a conventionally accepted standard of taste. But as the East End craftsman’s social utility was gradually challenged and defeated, his best qualities were formed into a kind of social compass. By the end of the timeframe in question the period rooms were fully curated and constructed, in order to convey an historical atmosphere and bring history down to the level of the individual. This culminated in the modern room, which visitors were encouraged to actively engage with. Thus, the chronological arrangement of the period rooms avoided telling a nostalgic narrative of something (usually rural) that had been ‘lost’, instead showing how the workaday (wo)man had become a consumer. This shift closely mirrored the long and gradual decline of Arts and Crafts thinking across the twentieth century. This chapter has located the ‘history of everyday life’ in a fifth, mid-twentiethcentury site. It has revealed further ways in which the ‘history of everyday life’ was put to work in this educational culture, and it highlights that the ‘history of everyday life’ was as eminently useful for the progressive left as it was for the conservative right. The project of cultural democratization was once again symbiotic with accepted realms of feminine expertise available to mid-century, middle-class women. However, inconsistencies between the ‘history of everyday life’ and changing popular identities were becoming more apparent into the 1960s. Both Quennell and Harrison identified their intended audiences as ‘the man in the street’. They were both interested in making history ‘for the people’ and in doing so fostering good citizenship. Quennell believed that working-class consumers of history required teaching about the moral environment of everyday life in the past. Molly Harrison was as committed to the idea that history was the ultimate guide in design and taste, but she advocated active participation rather than passive consumption, a history as much ‘by the people’ as ‘for the people’. These ambitions remained tied to inter-war pedagogical assumptions of how ordinary people learned and understood the world around them. These assumptions were themselves class and race bound, and enshrined in the formal education system. They facilitated a popular social history that did not acknowledge power differentials in the past. The ordinary people of London were changing as Harrison’s tenure at the Geffrye Museum drew to a close. The Windrush Generation and their families had made Britain their home, including nineyear-old ‘Betty, a West Indian Girl’ whose impressions of the museum in 1966 Molly Harrison reproduced in one of her books: ‘The museum is lovely, the things

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Fig. 5.4 Local children dressed up in period costume at the Geffrye Museum, 1970s. Photographs originally printed in A. Bispham, ‘Geffrye Museum: People’s Museum’, Teaching History, 18 (1977), pp. 3 5, at p. 4 Source: Museum of the Home, London.

are lovely, every museum is lovely!’¹⁹¹ These new citizens bought with them diverse traditions of popular history and selfhood. They were poorly served by a ‘history of everyday life’ designed for the white working class. A 1977 article entitled ‘Geffrye Museum: People’s Museum’ highlighted this democratic deficit that was growing at the end of the educational century. The piece proclaimed that, for local children, the museum ‘will perhaps be the only contact they will ever have with the once traditional occupation which ran through their families for generations’.¹⁹² The accompanying images showed local children of African-Caribbean heritage dressed up in period costume and inhabiting the ‘history of everyday life’, but they received no mention in the text (see Fig. 5.4). Such paradoxes of popular social history in the 1970s are considered in the next chapter and the final part of this book. It documents the educational unmaking of the ‘history of everyday life’.

¹⁹¹ Harrison, Changing Museums, appendix three. ¹⁹² A. Bispham, ‘Geffrye Museum: People’s Museum’, Teaching History, 18 (1977), pp. 3 5, at p. 5.

6 Social History and Mass Education in the 1970s In the 1960s the ‘history of everyday life’ was comfortably established as a mainstream form of popular social history for ordinary people in Britain. As we saw in Part II, this ‘light’ mode of history for leisure was instilled in midtwentieth-century British culture through BBC broadcasting, local museums, and the civic initiatives of local government. However, the effects of social change were redefining each of these cultural spheres by the end of the 1960s. The ascendency of television, commercial competition, and audience fatigue with ‘middlebrow’ content led the BBC to update and refine its traditional educational offerings. Museums in Britain were entering a period of unprecedented growth. New museums dealing with the very recent impact of deindustrialization on local communities were thriving. In local government, distinctive regional agendas were emerging from the mid-1960s, and many had consolidated around education as a central issue. In London, the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) was given permanent status by the Labour Party in 1965, inaugurating a body that could respond to the specific educational needs of urban Londoners. And by the end of the 1960s, Britain’s educational century had come of age. With mass secondary education to age sixteen on the horizon, the wider cultural establishment adapted to a more educated and more self-aware population. This chapter explores the consequences of these changes for the ‘history of everyday life’ in the 1970s. It focuses on the practical legacies of this mode of social history in the comprehensive school classroom, where ‘the problem of making the subject appear relevant to the non-academic, “pop”-oriented semi-sophisticated young secondary school leaver’ loomed larger than ever.¹ The first half of this chapter shows how ‘mixed-ability’ teaching and new forms of examination harnessed the ‘history of everyday life’ as a route to late-century selfhood. In the second half, we see how these same practices actually delegitimized the ‘history of everyday life’ as a form of academic education in secondary schools that were trying to balance maintaining standards with widening access. This shift is tracked through the technocratic backlash against ‘permissive’ social education and the exposure of the inadequacies of the ‘history of everyday life’ when it came to ‘multicultural’ ¹ G. Preston, ‘The Value of Local History in the School Curriculum’, Teaching History, 1 (1969), pp. 87 91, at p. 87.

Histories of Everyday Life. The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918 1979. Laura Carter, Oxford University Press (2021). © Laura Carter. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198868330.003.0007

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education. These failures, played out in the politicized setting of the comprehensive school, meant that the ‘history of everyday life’ could no longer function as a primary mode of popular social history in Britain by the end of the 1970s. New histories of post-1968 British culture point to continuities and flexibilities in popular identities. For example, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite has argued that after 1968 being ‘working class’ became a ‘heritage identity’, as the occupational structure shifted away from manual labour. She also shows how this heritage identity drew as much on discourses of ‘ordinariness’, personal experiences, and individualism as it did on left-wing political consciousness raising.² Likewise, Sam Wetherell has mapped the place of community arts in East London from the waning of white working-class valorization to individual self-expression for a multicultural community.³ In the 1970s, the ‘history of everyday life’ remained available as a language of the ‘self ’ for white, domestic Britons, as the economy, social mores, and ethnic makeup of Britain changed around them. A recognition of these continuities goes hand-in-hand with a fresh interpretation of the 1970s. It was a decade of social and cultural negotiation, rather than ‘decline’.⁴ Nowhere is this reinterpretation more necessary than in histories of comprehensive schooling. The comprehensive school was a shibboleth of the social and moral panics of the 1970s and a major target of the backlash against ‘permissiveness’ as the decade drew on. In their study of twentieth-century history teaching, Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon rehearsed the idea of ‘history for a nation in decline’ in the 1970s. They offered a valuable chronicle of developments, but no substantive argument about school history’s broader relationship to social and cultural change in late-twentieth-century England.⁵ As this chapter will show, a more sensitive reading of the comprehensive classroom reveals a series of social and pedagogical mediations that were highly consequential for the place of history in British culture by the 1970s. So far, this book has shown that the ‘history of everyday life’ operated throughout Britain because it was predicated on local and regional identities. Schools in Scotland, Wales, and England all experienced the pedagogical trends that installed the ‘history of everyday life’ in classrooms as a way of teaching history to ordinary pupils. The 1967 Plowden Report for England, which championed progressive education, was preceded by the Scottish Education Department’s Primary Education in Scotland in 1965. The Scottish memorandum featured similar calls for ‘child-centred’ education through group activity and experiential learning,

² F. Sutcliffe Braithwaite, Class, Politics, and the Decline of Deference in England, 1968 2000 (Oxford, 2018), pp. 6 7, cf. pp. 63 6. ³ S. Wetherell, ‘Painting the Crisis: Community Arts and the Search for the “Ordinary” in 1970s and ’80s London’, History Workshop Journal, 76 (2013), pp. 235 49. ⁴ Cf. H. Pemberton, L. Black, and P. Thane (eds.), Reassessing 1970s Britain (Manchester, 2013). ⁵ D. Cannadine, J. Keating, and N. Sheldon, The Right Kind of History: Teaching the Past in Twentieth Century England (Basingstoke; New York, 2011), pp. 140 80.

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aligned with psychologically informed stages of child development. Correlating with Laura Tisdall’s findings for England and Wales, responses to progressive education by Scottish teachers ranged from zealous to lukewarm well into the 1980s.⁶ One young teacher working at a Scottish secondary explained in 1969: ‘Some of the theories are very persuasive, but I doubt whether the practice will be so attractive.’⁷ As we will see was also the case in England, in Scotland social history was taught mainly in the lower part of secondary school (officially S1 and S2 from 1965) in the form of topic teaching, often including figures such as ‘Wallace and Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots’.⁸ Scottish pupils not taking Highers might take history at Ordinary Grade or as part of a non-examination or social studies course, of which local and Scottish history formed a part.⁹ This final chapter, however, concentrates mainly on comprehensive schools in England, making the explanation of the educational unmaking of the ‘history of everyday life’ advanced here an English story. History teaching in Scottish and Welsh schools changed in the 1970s as cultural nationalisms matured into a political movement. A newly confident Welsh national history was channelled into schools through the HMI and the Welsh Office of the UK government.¹⁰ In Scotland debates about Scottish history as a national project involving schools emerged quite clearly in the 1970s.¹¹ Furthermore, the specific explanatory factors explored in this chapter—comprehensivization, mass examinations, and multiculturalism—played out quite differently across the three nations. The social and curricular consequences of comprehensivization were starker in England than in most parts of Wales and Scotland, and Scotland’s unique secondary examination system was far less tolerant of the kind of stratification that occurred in the English and Welsh comprehensive school. A treatment of these topics that does justice to their respective complexities in Scotland and Wales during the 1970s and 1980s is beyond the scope of this study. I simply suggest that the demise of pedagogical ‘ordinariness’ in Scotland and Wales was embroiled in a much larger,

⁶ J. Darling, ‘The Child Centred Revolution in Scotland’, Education 3 13, 18 (1990), pp. 8 13; L. Tisdall, A Progressive Education? How Childhood Changed in Mid Twentieth Century English and Welsh Schools (Manchester, 2019). ⁷ Quote from questionnaire H4 (1969), completed by a member of the 1946 British birth cohort, formally known as the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, see [https://www.nshd.mrc. ac.uk/], accessed 1 August 2020. ⁸ P. L. M. Hillis, ‘Scottish History in the School Curriculum’, Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 27 (2007), pp. 191 208, at pp. 192 5; ‘Teacher survey: C. Macdonald’, n.d.: History in Education Project, Archives and Special Collections, Institute of Education, University College London (hereafter HiEP), HEP/3/2. ⁹ R. W. McNie, ‘Teaching History in Secondary Schools in Scotland Some Comments’, Teaching History, 3 (1974), pp. 364 67. ¹⁰ R. Phillips, ‘History Teaching, Nationhood and Politics in England and Wales in the Late Twentieth Century: A Historical Comparison’, History of Education, 28 (1999), pp. 351 63, at p. 354. ¹¹ McNie, ‘Teaching History’, p. 366; S. Wood and F. Payne, ‘The Scottish School History Curriculum and Issues of National Identity’, Curriculum Journal, 10 (1999), pp. 107 21.

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late-century challenge to national deference to England, in which popular history played a starring role. The challenges of teaching history in comprehensive schools in England during the 1970s clarified and amplified the limitations of the ‘history of everyday life’. This left an impression of a popular social history that was parochial and nostalgic. It stood the ‘history of everyday life’ in sharp relief to the rising, progressive energies of the ‘new’ academic social history that had reached the cultural mainstream by the 1980s. But the ‘history of everyday life’ was a more subtle construction than this, with sincere educational and social roots in Britain’s midtwentieth-century culture. Therefore, this chapter once again turns away from the academics and intellectuals, looking to the pupils, teachers, and educationists doing social history in the comprehensive school. It offers an account of the decline of the ‘history of everyday life’ in which the engine of change is not politics and ideologies, but bottom-up social and pedagogical forces.

History in the Comprehensive School Comprehensive schools are secondary schools that do not select their intake, usually educating pupils from the ages of eleven to sixteen or eighteen. The selective, largely bipartite system of secondary education that arose from the 1944 Butler Act and that we explored in Chapter 2 had reigned until the 1950s, when parents and pupils began to agitate for change.¹² Access to school-leaving examinations for pupils at secondary modern schools was a key issue. Moreover, by the early 1960s sociological research had provided clear evidence of the unfairness of the selection process, especially in the lack of working-class access to grammar schools.¹³ The ushering in of comprehensive schools in the 1960s was a direct response to frustrations with this system, although the comprehensive ideal had deeper roots in British education, for example in Scotland’s ‘omnibus’ schools and in certain strands of Labour Party thought.¹⁴ Indeed, the numbers of girls and boys attending secondary modern schools in England and Wales had already peaked in the early 1960s, before the Labour Party issued ‘Circular 10/65’ instructing LEAs to ‘go comprehensive’.¹⁵ By the 1970s comprehensive schools were Britain’s principal vehicle of mass secondary education. In 1972 there were 119,486 more girls and 131,906 more

¹² P. Mandler, ‘Educating the Nation I: Schools’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 24 (2014), pp. 5 28. ¹³ J. Floud, A. H. Halsey, and F. M. Martin, Social Class and Educational Opportunity (London, 1956). ¹⁴ P. Mandler, The Crisis of the Meritocracy: Britain’s Transition to Mass Education since the Second World War (Oxford, 2020). ¹⁵ Ministry of Education, Education in 1962 (London, 1963), p. 120.

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boys at comprehensive schools than at secondary moderns. By 1977, 79 per cent of pupils attending state secondary schools in England and Wales went to comprehensives. As well as functioning as sites of social class mixing, the rise of comprehensive schooling also led to significantly more gender mixing in schools: 83 per cent of all comprehensive schools were co-educational by 1972.¹⁶ That same year, the compulsory school leaving age was finally raised to sixteen (known as ROSLA), further extending the reach and remit of comprehensive education. From the mid-1970s girls’ staying-on rates up to age seventeen began to overtake boys’ for the first time.¹⁷ In 1970 the Department of Education and Science (DES) issued a guide to help foster parental understanding about these new schools, written by educational journalist Tyrrell Burgess. Burgess devoted space to assuaging fears about school sizes, internal organization, and new subjects and teaching methods. He stressed that the comprehensive school could adapt to every pupil’s individual needs.¹⁸ But Burgess’s mollifying tone was a far cry from how secondary education was being represented in the media and public discourse throughout the 1970s. The comprehensive school became a ‘catch-all’ for a host of anxieties about social change, amidst a backdrop of economic downturn and youth unemployment. There were fears about rebellious youth culture, falling academic standards, deskilling in the face of deindustrialization, and the economic and cultural ‘threat’ of immigration. In response to a growing ‘crisis of confidence’ in the comprehensive school, Labour Prime Minister Jim Callaghan launched a ‘Great Debate’ on education in 1976. In a speech at Ruskin College, Oxford, Callaghan singled out the ‘unease felt by parents and others about the new informal methods of teaching’.¹⁹ Meanwhile, teachers and pupils worked out comprehensive education in practice. During the 1970s, the comprehensive school was the place where more ordinary girls and boys than ever before learnt history, making it the obvious, final site to investigate the ‘history of everyday life’. In comprehensives, history was taught to all pupils for the first three years (the lower school) and then became optional in the fourth year, when pupils decided which examination options to take for their final two years of compulsory education (the upper school). The two examination options for history were either the more academic General Certificate of Education (GCE) ‘O’ Level, or the less academic Certificate of Secondary ¹⁶ Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education 1977, Volume 1 (London, 1979), pp. 2 3; Statistics of Education 1972, Volume 1 (London, 1972), pp. 4 5. A decade earlier, in 1962, when the majority of children attended secondary modern schools, less than 60 per cent of secondary moderns were mixed and the grammar schools were split evenly, one third girls’, one third boys’, one third co educational. ¹⁷ Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education in Wales 1975 (London, 1976), table 1.03, p. 3. ¹⁸ T. Burgess, Inside Comprehensive Schools (London, 1970). ¹⁹ J. Callaghan, ‘A rational debate based on the facts’, Ruskin College, Oxford, 18 October 1976, Education in England, 31 March 2010, [http://www.educationengland.org.uk/documents/speeches/ 1976ruskin.html], accessed 1 August 2020.

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Education (CSE). Given that there was no national curriculum until 1988, lower school history teaching was typically less structured than in the upper school. The content of history in the upper school depended on which examination was being taken and also varied between exam boards, but the most popular topics in the 1970s were ‘Modern British and European History 1789–1939’, ‘British Social and Economic History 1700–1945’, and ‘Modern World History 1870–1945’.²⁰ Some pupils took a non-examination history course in the upper school, and some took no history at all. This chapter will have very little to say about ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level history. The ‘A’ Level changed hardly at all between the 1950s and the 1980s and was certainly not envisaged as a vehicle of mass education in the 1970s. Meanwhile, access to ‘O’ Level history was expanding, but it remained the academic choice and the exam boards were deeply conservative. By contrast, ‘ordinary’ pupils learnt history in the lower school, CSE, and non-examination classes in the 1970s comprehensive school. This is where the ‘history of everyday life’ once again connected people to anchors of identity such as family, work, and the physical environment using progressive teaching methods. As Chapter 2 argued, the adoption of progressive methods in history teaching from the inter-war period was a pedagogical resolution to make history relevant to ordinary pupils, culminating in the secondary modern school. But it is the 1970s that are widely viewed as the halcyon days of progressive education, those ‘informal methods of teaching’ that Callaghan evoked. Following the strong endorsement of progressivism in the Plowden Report of 1967, ‘child-centred’ methods became more embedded in teacher training.²¹ A few large colleges of education, notably Bulmershe, Cardiff, and Sussex, acquired a reputation for being particularly progressive. Many idealistic young comprehensive school teachers started their careers in the 1970s guided by the three core principles of individuality, freedom, and growth.²² The English comprehensive schools explored in this chapter exhibit a clear line of continuity with the post-primary and secondary modern schools explored in Chapter 2. The Hadow principles of mass secondary education endured. However, comprehensive schools were also unique social environments, encompassing mixed-ability intakes and the pressures of external examinations. The practical contexts for the flourishing of progressive education in such environments have been poorly understood, at the time and since. It has better suited critics, and some historians, to depict a sector-wide ‘crisis’ of comprehensive schools than to unravel the pedagogical technicalities. In fact, progressive education was prescribed for particular areas of the comprehensive school where social issues, linked ²⁰ Schools Council History Project, A New Look at History (Edinburgh, 1976), pp. 26 7. ²¹ Department of Education and Science, Children and Their Primary Schools (the Plowden Report) (London, 1967). Cf. Tisdall, A Progressive Education?, pp. 215 20. ²² P. Cunningham, Curriculum Change in the Primary School since 1945: Dissemination of the Progressive Ideal (London, 1988), pp. 12 13.

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to attainment, directed pedagogy and curricula. As Laura Tisdall has shown, characteristics such as class, gender, race, and disability were readily used as markers of academic ability in the comprehensive school.²³ This was the highly imperfect result of working out how to educate ordinary pupils in a supposedly democratic educational setting. This chapter deploys a variety of sources in order to understand the teaching of history in English comprehensive schools. It follows the same methodological logic described in Chapter 2, namely a scepticism towards the hegemony of historical discourses found in textbooks. Historical Association (HA) publications are used, especially the secondary teachers’ journal Teaching History, founded in 1969. My experiential material, just as in Chapter 2, comes from the ‘History in Education Project’ (HiEP) archive, which holds many more surveys for this time period.²⁴ I have also conducted ten of my own interviews with history teachers who taught in comprehensive schools in the 1970s. These interviews were conceived to elucidate the relationship between comprehensive school pedagogy and social change, as filtered through the subjective memories of practitioners.²⁵ I use pupils’ schoolwork and ephemera to gain further insight into the pupil perspective, drawn from both the HiEP and local education authority (LEA) archives. In addition, I have drawn upon the plethora of published ethnographies of 1970s comprehensive schools. These provide material from observers with no special interest in history teaching, but who sought to discover the social dynamics of the comprehensive school.²⁶ A sense of the national discourse is gleaned from more top-down archival material from the BBC Written Archives Centre, the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), and the mammoth output of the Race Relations and Immigration Select Committee (RR&ISC).

Mixed-Ability History In 1970 exam board official Michael Atkinson posited that ‘relevance’ was the key to history teaching in the new decade. He wrote that pupils ‘must be able to perceive that what is being taught is relevant to their own lives and problems’.²⁷ As we already know, Atkinson was repeating an old argument. In the bi/tripartite era, ²³ Tisdall, A Progressive Education?, pp. 230 1. ²⁴ This chapter draws on twenty eight of the original pupil and teacher surveys (fourteen each, respectively) referring to 1970s comprehensive schools, as well as correspondence sent to the HiEP and data from the HiEP online archive: see ‘Browse the data’, History in Education, Institute of Historical Research, November 2011 [https://archives.history.ac.uk/history in education/browse.html], accessed 1 August 2020. ²⁵ See the Appendix of this book for further information on these interviews. ²⁶ Cf. P. Woods and M. Hammersley (eds.), School Experience: Explorations in the Sociology of Education (London, 1977), pp. 14 15. ²⁷ M. C. Atkinson, ‘The Secondary School History Syllabus’, Teaching History, 1 (1970), pp. 288 91, at p. 288.

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the call for relevance had translated into more social and sometimes more economic history for lower-ability children and children in non-selective schools, and more political history in the grammar and public schools. In 1969 the head of history at Dick Sheppard School in Brixton, a purpose-built girls’ school that was considered a leading light of comprehensive education, argued for more local history in schools like hers: Local history can satisfy an emotional urge to turn to our origins. It provides real contact, tangible evidence and concrete history far removed from the text book. As such it can give children a sense of the past and transform history from ‘dull and boring’ to active and practical.²⁸

This was a manifesto for the ‘history of everyday life’. Social history appeared in comprehensive schools in the 1970s in well-defined areas and the ‘history of everyday life’ featured within these areas for clear reasons. An affective, practical, local, and feminized mode of social history, it remained tied to pupil constituents of low ability through methods linked to the locality, the visual, and emotional engagement that had been forged between the wars. The difference in the comprehensive school was that these pupils were harder to identify and label, itself one of the principal arguments for non-selective schooling. Common responses to the problem of teaching across a wide ability range were streaming (the division of year groups into clear groups according to ability, often leading to explicit examination pathways), banding (the division of year groups into looser groups with a slightly broader ability range), and setting (the division of some subjects into groups according to ability). In 1974, a representative study of pupils attending secondary schools in Britain found that 71 per cent of schools used streaming or setting in some form, 34 per cent streamed all subjects, and only 17 per cent of schools deployed mixed-ability teaching for all subjects.²⁹ Critics increasingly argued that these structures promoted the same de facto social reproduction that selective schooling had perpetuated. This prompted more theoretical groundwork and training, and a move towards more mixed-ability teaching in secondary schools.³⁰ The sociologists continued to investigate, finding a bewildering variety of organizational patterns in secondary schools, but few conclusive results about their impact.³¹ In 1977 Martyn Denscombe studied two London comprehensive ²⁸ Preston, ‘The Value of Local History’, p. 91. ²⁹ K. Fogelman (ed.), Britain’s Sixteen Year Olds: Preliminary Findings of the Third Follow Up of the National Child Development Study (London, 1976), p. 41. ³⁰ C. Benn and B. Simon, Half Way There: Report on the British Comprehensive School Reform (Harmondsworth, 1972), pp. 226 30; C. Benn and C. Chitty, Thirty Years On (London, 1997), pp. 249 50. ³¹ See R. P. Gregory, ‘Streaming, Setting and Mixed Ability Grouping in Primary and Secondary Schools: Some Research Findings’, Educational Studies, 10 (1984), pp. 209 26, at pp. 215 18.

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schools that were suffering from the ‘creaming’ of higher-ability pupils into neighbouring schools. Denscombe found that although mixed-ability teaching was the official preference, segregated teaching crept in for examinations. The head of history at one of the schools explained that when the incentive of communicating examination content was removed ‘my aim . . . is to stimulate interest, and to encourage them to perform well against they’re [sic] own standards . . . to improve as the year goes on . . . academically as well as socially’.³² Stephen Ball studied a comprehensive school transitioning from banding to mixed-ability teaching between 1973 and 1976. In the banding system, he found a social class bias in favour of the upper band. But even once the pupils were taught in mixed-ability groups, he observed the same class-based ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ school groups emerge. This led him to conclude pessimistically that ‘the ending of physically separated spaces must not be taken as ending of selection and differential socialisation through schooling’.³³ In short, the sociologists decreed that even mixed-ability teaching was not the magic bullet of the optimistic comprehensive ideal of the 1960s, which had encapsulated much wider hopes for equality. For teachers in the 1970s these issues were just as pressing but far less hermetically sealed. The decade saw a fresh generation of optimistic young teachers enter the profession, most of whom had been educated in grammar schools. Many were women who had acquired degrees and, unlike their mothers, entered the full-time professional workforce.³⁴ Within ILEA schools, young teachers became notorious for their radicalism and demands for staffroom democracy during the 1970s.³⁵ But my interviewees emphasized the weight of the inheritance of bi/tripartite structures and mentalities, as most taught in comprehensive schools that were a result of a merger of grammars and secondary moderns. The period was viewed as a time of turmoil, rather than ‘crisis’ or ‘revolution’, in which traditionalism prevailed alongside a high level of teacher autonomy and creativity.³⁶ This freedom was not a 1970s folly or a symptom of ‘decline’. As Chapter 2 explained, British teachers had always enjoyed a comparably free rein over their teaching. One teacher, who left her Manchester grammar school in 1962 and taught in a West Yorkshire comprehensive between 1976 and ³² M. Denscombe, ‘The Social Organisation of Teaching: A Study of Teaching as a Practical Activity in Two London Comprehensive Schools’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Leicester, 1977), p. 229. ³³ S. J. Ball, Beachside Comprehensive: A Case Study of Secondary Schooling (Cambridge, 1981), p. 284. ³⁴ C. Dyhouse, Students: A Gendered History (London; New York, 2006), p. 87. ³⁵ J. Davis, ‘The Inner London Education Authority and the William Tyndale Junior School Affair 1974 1976’, Oxford Review of Education, 28 (2002), pp. 275 98, at p. 279. ³⁶ Interview with Harriet Turner, 8 February 2019. This view is confirmed by HiEP interviews with comprehensive school teachers: see, for example, ‘Teacher survey: E. Claridge’, 20 June 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2; ‘Teacher survey: Eric Jenkins’, 29 December 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2; ‘Teacher survey: Howard Smith’, 28 September 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2; ‘Teacher survey: Anne Eade’, 16 January 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/2.

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1984, summed up the purpose of teaching history as follows: ‘to help pupils to understand the world in which they lived and where it had come from, and why it was as it was, and to try to instil in them an interest in their past . . . ’. She had trained in London in the mid-1960s and had made an unusual request to do her teaching practice in a comprehensive school. Her motivation was her own personal experience of being a ‘borderliner’ and having to resit the ‘eleven-plus’: ‘I came to the conclusion early on that the eleven-plus was not a good idea.’³⁷ These attitudes and experiences spurred enthusiasms for mixed-ability teaching, but interviewees also consistently mentioned the challenge it posed. When journalist Hunter Davies turned his hand to teaching history to a mixed-ability group in 1976 he found ‘chalk and talk’ methods were completely futile (even when aided by an attractive worksheet about the birth of the railways).³⁸ Educators advanced new technocratic solutions to tackling the Tawneyite paradox of fostering individualism and engendering collective uplift in the comprehensive. For example, in a 1976 Teaching History article David Birt proposed a series of classroom strategies based on ‘individualized learning’, whereby each pupil could study at their own pace without undermining the coherence of the group. These included streamed group work, the use of games, and the use of primary source material. He had tried these methods for a study of the Tudors, a topic which had the advantage of having ‘strong feminine interest’.³⁹ My interviewees mentioned other strategies, including a box of activity cards being made available for fast workers.⁴⁰ John Hull, who taught at a 13–18 comprehensive in Kingston-uponHull, suggested the use of ‘graded worksheets’ to aid ‘individualized learning’.⁴¹ Yet not everyone was convinced. Bernard Barker, a history teacher in Welwyn Garden City, argued that such strategies compromised the democratic premise of mixed-ability history. He asked: ‘Can we devise valid history lessons on the assumption that broad “percentiles” of our people have no idea what being alive is like?’⁴² But after 1973 school-leaving qualifications were ever more important, translating into real purchasing power in a tough youth labour market. Stratified teaching therefore remained a necessity in at least the upper part of comprehensive school. However, in the lower school (age 11–14), mixed-ability history was widespread. By 1994 a survey of 5,000 UK secondary schools found that, excluding Scotland, 51 per cent of schools taught all subjects in mixed-ability groups in the first year and 50 per cent taught all or mostly mixed-ability groups in the ³⁷ Interview with Margaret Parker, 22 February 2019. ³⁸ H. Davies, The Creighton Report: A Year in the Life of a Comprehensive School (London, 1976), pp. 91 3. ³⁹ D. Birt, ‘All Ability History’, Teaching History, 4 (1976), pp. 309 25, at p. 322. ⁴⁰ Interview with Hilary Stark, 18 February 2019. ⁴¹ J. Hull, ‘Mixed Ability History: A Graded Worksheet Approach’, Teaching History, 22 (1978), pp. 33 5. ⁴² B. Barker, ‘Comment’, Teaching History, 23 (1979), p. 17.

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second year. In Scotland the trend was much stronger, with 73 per cent of schools teaching all first-year subjects in mixed-ability groups.⁴³ The ‘history of everyday life’ was deemed particularly suitable for this age range in a mixed-ability context, bridging the gap between primary and secondary education. A lot of energy in this area came from regions, like the West Riding and Leicestershire, that had adopted a three-tier system, and thus needed to find suitable pedagogies for their new age 9–13 middle schools.⁴⁴ Another mixed-ability innovation that spread quite widely into comprehensive lower schools in the 1970s was ‘Integrated Humanities’. ‘Integrated Humanities’ originated from the 1960s Nuffield Foundation and Schools Council ‘Humanities Curriculum Project’. It aimed to unite humanities teaching around concepts of ‘human behaviour and human experience’ for average and lower-ability pupils.⁴⁵ ‘Integrated Humanities’ combined history with geography and religious studies in thematic units such as the home, agriculture, commerce, communication, and industry. There was plenty of the ‘history of everyday life’ in these schemes of work, which were often tied to the locality and featured practical tasks and fieldwork. One HiEP correspondent attended a comprehensive school between 1975 and 1979 that had a purpose-built ‘Integrated Studies’ centre. She remembered this making her feel part of ‘one great educational experiment’ in the 1970s. They did a local study on Rochdale, and she explained: We came to understand how our ancestors moved into the industrial towns of Lancashire, including people from Ireland. Although ours was exclusively an RC [Roman Catholic] school, we were made aware of the new immigrants in the town, from Pakistan, who had come to work in the textile mills.⁴⁶

History teachers had mixed responses to ‘Integrated Humanities’. Some stressed that it compromised the integrity of individual disciplines and posed a ‘threat’ to history.⁴⁷ Others saw it as the answer to meeting the multifarious demands of comprehensive school teaching.⁴⁸

⁴³ Benn and Chitty, Thirty Years On, pp. 255 7, p. 259. ⁴⁴ R. and S. Wheeler, ‘History in the Cupboard: Recent Social History in the Primary School and Its Implications for the Middle School History Syllabus’, Teaching History, 2 (1971), pp. 117 24. ⁴⁵ L. Stenhouse, ‘The Humanities Curriculum Project’, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 1 (1968), pp. 26 33. ⁴⁶ ‘Pupil survey: Kathryn Seager’, March 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3. ⁴⁷ See, for example, R. F. Moore, ‘History and Integrated Studies: Surrender or Survival?’, Teaching History, 4 (1975), pp. 109 12; R. Wake, ‘History as a Separate Discipline: The Case’, Teaching History, 1 (1970), pp. 153 7. ⁴⁸ ‘Teacher survey: Ian Clarke’, 30 November 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2; ‘Teacher survey: Lynn Chapman’, 3 July 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2; ‘Teacher survey: Linda Turner’, 26 June 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/ 2; ‘Teacher survey: John Hite’, 11 July 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/2; ‘Teacher survey: Ian Dawson’, 24 April 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2; Interview with Hilary Bourdillon, 22 February 2019.

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When taught separately, the content of history in the comprehensive lower school remained similar to that which we saw in Chapter 2 in post-primary, secondary modern, and indeed some grammar schools. Pupils typically began with British prehistory or 1066 at age eleven, and moved forwards in time. You might get as far as the Industrial Revolution by the end of the third year of secondary education. Teachers continued to design these broad schemes of work according to their own inclinations. There were still few course-specific textbooks available, but technology had advanced and visual learning was mainstream. Materials were assembled from a range of sources to create the ‘homebrewed textbook’.⁴⁹ In the lower school, the economic and demographic aspects of British history were often foregrounded. One teacher who began teaching at a large London comprehensive in 1977 stated that ‘Whenever lots of people died they’d [the pupils] be interested!’⁵⁰ Within this vast chronological expanse, teachers often picked out ‘patches’—a form of ‘topic’ teaching—on themes such as ‘life in the medieval village’, ‘Elizabethan make-up’, or ‘life in the factory’.⁵¹ One HiEP teacher respondent who taught in Pickering from the mid-1970s remembered key topics including ‘Clothes, Gods, Games, Wars, Education, and Theatre’.⁵² One interviewee, who taught in comprehensives in Devon and Suffolk between 1969 and 1986, remembered ‘more social history and more local history’ in his lower school, mixed-ability classes.⁵³ Indeed, in Teaching History over the course of the 1970s articles on resources, technology, and teaching methods were the most common, closely followed by local history and environmental studies, then examinations and assessment. Local history was one of the most written-about topics for primary and lower school history, with eighteen articles in total.⁵⁴ The comprehensive school apparatus formalized and standardized mid-century modes of ‘imaginative’ history learning. ‘History of everyday life’ topics were often pursued through ‘individualized learning’ tasks in the mixed-ability classroom. A common activity was a short prose piece opening with the incitement to ‘Imagine you were a . . . ’, or a diary entry or letter-writing task asking the pupil to put themselves in the shoes of an historical actor. These practices were allied to the popularity of published historical diaries in British culture that was explored in Chapter 1 and the ‘eye witness’ radio broadcasts of Chapter 3. More often than not, the prescribed actors were ordinary witnesses to major historical events being ⁴⁹ Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, p. 163. ⁵⁰ Interview with Harriet Turner. ⁵¹ Interview with Anon. 1, 8 February 2019; interview with Harriet Turner. ⁵² ‘Teacher survey: J. Smith’, January 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/2. ⁵³ Interview with Chris Culpin, 19 February 2019. ⁵⁴ 15.9 per cent of all articles covered resources and technology, 14.6 per cent covered teaching methods, 11.3 per cent covered local history and environmental studies, and 8.6 per cent covered examinations and assessment. Compiled from J. W. Hunt, ‘A Thematic Index of Articles: Covering the Issues Published between May 1969 and June 1979’, Teaching History, (1979), pp. 1 11.

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studied in class, weaving the ‘history of everyday life’ into a traditional, political chronology. For example, in 1976, one thirteen-year-old boy at a comprehensive school in Telford put himself in the mindset of a person who had just met King Edward VI. He had to write a letter to his neighbour about the unusual encounter. The boy King was, according to the letter, ‘very like his father’. Later that year he also designed an advertisement for Tudor cosmetics: ‘Have you got a skin problem? Well if you have try White’s Lead for the face, in a tube or a bottle.’⁵⁵ In January 1977, another thirteen-year-old girl attending a comprehensive school in West Sussex imagined that she was a Napoleonic soldier for her history homework. Her alter-ego was suffering bitterly with cold and starvation following Napoleon’s fateful decision to invade Russia in 1812. She conjured a graphic description of being offered some meat, accepting it gleefully, only to find it was part of her own horse’s hind leg: ‘I looked at the horse the blood from where the meat had been cut had sealed itself as it was so cold. I hated myself for doing that but it was the only way to survive.’⁵⁶ A popular classroom resource that featured more examples of these imaginative tasks was Peter Moss’s History Alive series. These books were first published in 1970 and were designed ‘to cover the C.S.E. syllabus in depth’, but interviewees remembered them more as a lower school tool favoured by pupils for their kooky info-graphics (see Fig. 6.1).⁵⁷ In the introductory book (covering 55  to 1485) pupils were instructed to imagine being a Roman legionary in  50 and to write about ‘a typical day in your life’, or to research the battle of Crécy and then ‘write an account of the fight as if you had been an English bowman OR a French knight’. These were intermixed with more traditional questions, such as ‘What effects did the coming of Christianity have on Britain?’⁵⁸ Such exercises asked pupils to engage with unfamiliar historical settings and alternative social, gender, and national identities through everyday routines and emotions. The history learner could therefore draw upon their own internal resources and personal experiences to forge a connection with history. Through ‘individualized learning’, the ‘history of everyday life’ did not compromise the logic of a ‘traditional’ history education for citizenship. These tasks instead offered scope for a range of responses, depending on the pupils’ level of literacy and comprehension, in a mixed-ability setting. Champions of the approach cautioned teachers that they

⁵⁵ ‘History school exercise books, John Yapp’, 1975 8: HiEP online archive, [https://www.history.ac. uk/history in education/browse/school work/history school exercise books john yapp 1975 78. html], accessed 1 August 2020. ⁵⁶ ‘School work of Julie Johnson: book 3’, 1974 7: HiEP online archive, [https://www.history.ac. uk/history in education/browse/school work/school work julie johnson 1974 7.html], accessed 1 August 2020. ⁵⁷ Interview with Harriet Turner; interview with Hilary Stark; P. Moss, History Alive, Books 1 4 (St Albans, 1977 (2nd editions)). Cf. Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 162 3. ⁵⁸ Moss, History Alive, Introductory Book, pp. 29, 77, 46.

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Fig. 6.1 ‘How people lived in the middle ages’, info graphic from Peter Moss, History Alive Introductory Book, 1977, p. 109

should be carried out in conjunction with historical sources as ‘a form of controlled creativity’.⁵⁹ Nevertheless, traditionalists saw empathy as inappropriate because it undermined historical comprehension. One HiEP teacher explained: ‘I refused to set questions beginning “imagine you were a . . .” . . . Empathy is an emotion, not a skill, and we might have it or we might not.’⁶⁰ In practice, some HiEP respondents remembered these imaginative tasks fondly, whilst others described them as ‘tedious at times’, and they were clearly favoured by the less

⁵⁹ J. Duckworth, ‘Imagination in Teaching History’, Teaching History, 2 (1971), pp. 49 52, at p. 50. ⁶⁰ ‘Teacher survey: Eric Jenkins’. Cf. Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 161 2, 213 14.

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academic pupils and those who did not continue on with history in the upper school.⁶¹

History Examinations for ‘Ordinary’ Pupils In the fourth and fifth years of the comprehensive school, the final two years of mandatory education for the majority of teenagers in England and Wales in the 1970s, the history options were either ‘O’ Level, CSE, or a non-examination class. The CSE was a relatively new school-leaving examination that was first sat in 1965. Based on the recommendations of the Beloe Report (1960), it had been designed to cater to the middle 40 per cent of pupils who were not equipped to take ‘O’ Levels.⁶² By the time comprehensive schools were mainstream with ROSLA to sixteen, most schools had CSE and ‘O’ Level history sets from fourth year onwards. In the early 1970s staff dynamics dictated that the more educated or ex-grammar teachers would take the ‘O’ Level groups.⁶³ The headteacher of one St Albans comprehensive, an historian by training, taught CSE history because it was deemed less critical if lessons were skipped when his duties took him elsewhere.⁶⁴ However, other schools opted to teach broadly parallel content between the two examinations to permit mobility and minimize the spectre of bipartite division so obviously imposed by this dual-examination system.⁶⁵ Either way, the CSE was decidedly the option for ‘average’ or ‘ordinary’ pupils, a construction that remained highly gendered. In 1975 more girls than boys took CSE history for the first time (see Fig. 6.2). That year, 69,414 boys and 70,832 girls entered for the examination, 5.6 per cent and 6.2 per cent of the total number of CSE entries for each gender that summer, respectively.⁶⁶ By 1977 there were more girls entering for CSE history than for ‘O’ Level history.⁶⁷ Over the entire CSE period from 1966 to 1985, girls always achieved more grade 1 results than boys in CSE history (the equivalent to an ‘O’ Level pass), as a percentage of their cohort (see Fig. 6.3). Humanities school subjects had clearly become more favoured by girls over the course of the 1960s, and interviewees mentioned the social and gendered dynamics surrounding subject choice when it came to the CSE.⁶⁸ A teacher based in Essex between 1974 and 1977 said that from his personal ⁶¹ ‘Pupil survey: Alison Gill’, 2 March 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3. ⁶² Department of Education and Science, Secondary School Examinations other than the GCE (the Beloe Report) (London, 1960), p. 32. ⁶³ Interview with Anon. 1. ⁶⁴ Interview with Hilary Stark. ⁶⁵ Interview with Chris Culpin; interview with Hilary Bourdillon. ⁶⁶ Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education 1975, Volume 2 (London, 1976). The comparative gender differential for GCE ‘O’ Level history entries that year was 0.1 per cent in favour of girls. ⁶⁷ Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education 1977, Volume 2 (London, 1978). ⁶⁸ P. Mandler, ‘Educating the Nation: IV. Subject Choice’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 27 (2017), pp. 1 27, at p. 17.

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experience CSE classes were mostly girls: ‘history obviously somewhere was perceived as a girls’ subject . . . or the boys were directed into motor maintenance or whatever’.⁶⁹ Another London teacher remembered a CSE group that was all female because that year it had lined up with the option blocks for cookery and human biology. She reflected that they had plumped for history because ‘they’d liked drawing the History Alive cartoons’ in the lower school.⁷⁰ Advocates of CSE history saw it as the answer to modern history teaching and an ‘enlightened’ remedy to the dire state of affairs documented in the Newsom Report less than a decade earlier.⁷¹ The most distinctive feature of the CSE was its regionalism. It was administered by fourteen Regional Examination Boards (REBs) and schools had a choice between a ‘Mode 1’ CSE (designed and marked by the REB), a ‘Mode 2’ CSE (designed by teachers from a syndicate of local schools and marked by the REB), or a ‘Mode 3’ CSE (designed by teachers within the school, marked by the teachers, and moderated by the REB).⁷² Within Mode 1 alone, history syllabi and modes of assessment already varied enormously by the late 1960s. For example, in 1968 the East Midlands REB offered sixteen choices for ‘Special Study’, ranging from ‘Britain in the 19th Century 1815–1906’ (the most popular) to ‘Exploration of the World since 1400’, ‘History of Transport and Communication’, and ‘Homes and Dress Through the Ages’ (the least popular). Pupils also took a general paper on ‘Britain and World Affairs in the 20th Century’ and could opt to do a piece of coursework on a ‘Personal Topic’. Ten per cent of their total mark was based on their teachers’ overall assessment of their knowledge and work throughout the course.⁷³ Other REBs offered fewer syllabi choices but the content remained varied. Four out of the eleven syllabi offered by the Welsh board were on Welsh history. Multiple-choice answers were commonly deployed.⁷⁴ This tremendous range and flexibility contrasted dramatically with the standard three exam essays written by ‘O’ Level history candidates, and the ‘O’ Level exam boards were regarded as rigidly set in their ways.⁷⁵ An ‘Alternative Syllabus’ was introduced at Ordinary and Higher Grade in Scotland in 1969 (still administered by a single national exam board), which led to a diversification of content, materials, and methods in school history around the same time.⁷⁶ But the CSE was a distinctly English solution to mass examinations for the nation: the combination of decentralized authority in the REBs and teacher autonomy resulted in a proliferation of regional, local, and personal histories in the comprehensive school. As such, social history came in various forms. Most

⁶⁹ Interview with Anon. 1. ⁷⁰ Interview with Harriet Turner. ⁷¹ J. W. Docking, ‘History and the C.S.E.’, Teaching History, 1 (1970), pp. 292 6; Ministry of Education, Half Our Future (the Newsom Report) (London, 1963), pp. 242, 257. ⁷² W. Rust and H. Harris, Examinations: Pass or Failure? A Critical Survey (London, 1967), p. 30. ⁷³ I. D. Astley, ‘Some Recent Trends in “C.S.E. History” ’, Teaching History, 1 (1969), pp. 12 18. ⁷⁴ Docking, ‘History and the C.S.E.’, pp. 292 93, 295. ⁷⁵ Interview with Chris Culpin. ⁷⁶ McNie, ‘Teaching History’, pp. 366 7.

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REBs offered a ‘British Social and Economic History’ topic for Mode 1 CSE. This topic typically focused on processes of industrialization in Britain (machines, agriculture, and railways) and its economic and social effects (urbanization, population growth, leisure, trade unions, and welfare) since the eighteenth century. It was also a topic just as popular at ‘O’ Level as at CSE: in 1971, 22 per cent of ‘O’ Level history entries were for ‘British Social and Economic History’, and in 1972, 27 per cent of Mode 1 CSE history entries were for the same.⁷⁷ The BBC’s schools television service was alive to this demand, and from the late 1960s began producing social history programmes aimed dually at CSE and ‘O’ Level pupils filmed at the surviving sites of Britain’s industrial past. Into the early 1970s the BBC reported that these programmes enjoyed an audience of 18 per cent of all secondary schools (with many more recording and reusing them as videos).⁷⁸ In content, this mode of British social history had its roots in the Hammondite economic history of the early twentieth century, which had been vigorously taken up by the adult education movement. The ‘O’ Level iteration of ‘British Social and Economic History’ was geared towards amassing material for the examination and more focused on structures than experiences. For some pupils, often those who went on to ‘A’ Level, this course shaped their sense of the meaning of social history as being linked to the effects of economic change. It revealed how topics such as trade union history could speak to the political present.⁷⁹ And it was regarded as accessible; one of my interviewees recalled returning to work in 1971 after a career break to teach the ‘O’ Level course to a group of ‘bright girls’ at a single-sex secondary modern school who wanted to stay on and had specifically requested to take the examination.⁸⁰ But ‘British Social and Economic History’ could assume a ‘history of everyday life’ flavour in its CSE guise. The permissive CSE assessment framework meant that teachers were freer to adapt lessons to local circumstances, which could include finding corresponding documents in local archives or collecting regional folk songs and ballads.⁸¹ Some pupils appreciated the link to their local area, but when taught badly, the course was seen as dry and dull.⁸² One pupil at a girls’ secondary modern school in Bexley in the late 1970s told the HiEP that she was disappointed to have to do the course at CSE, favouring the Tudors and Stuarts. ‘I attained a CSE grade 2—primarily because I had switched off—Davy Lamps and Spinning Jennys are not what teenage girls are remotely interested in!’⁸³ All CSE Modes also included the option for a ‘Personal Topic’, a piece of coursework usually worth 20–30 per cent of the overall grade. The ‘Personal ⁷⁷ Schools Council History Project, A New Look, p. 27. ⁷⁸ J. Sheppard, ‘Television: British Social History (for age 14 16)’, Teaching History, 4 (1975), pp. 52 3; interview with Margaret Parker. ⁷⁹ For example, ‘Pupil survey: Nicola Farrant’, 28 February 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3. ⁸⁰ Interview with Margaret Parker. ⁸¹ Interview with Hilary Bourdillon; interview with Quintin Watt, 21 February 2019. ⁸² For example, ‘Pupil survey: Fiona McNamara’, 28 February 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3. ⁸³ J. Oliver to J. Keating, 28 February 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3.

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Topic’ was endorsed early on by progressives for giving pupils the opportunity to carry out historical research.⁸⁴ Projects were typically completed between home and school, presented in folder or booklet form. In 1968 the South East REB provided a list of suggestions for the ‘Personal Topic’, shown in Table 6.1. Most of these topics carried the hallmarks of the ‘history of everyday life’, including locality, domesticity, and traditional masculinities and femininities. A survey of pupils who did ‘Personal Topics’ in 1966 found that ‘travel’, ‘compound biographies’, and ‘other forms of social history’ were the most popular themes.⁸⁵ My teacher interviewees who remembered working with CSE pupils on their ‘Personal Topics’ felt they had varied success. A London teacher suggested that it was sometimes a chance for children to use history to connect to their own cultures, recalling ‘a kid from Jamaican origin doing something about Rastafarianism’. But there were also ‘A lot of Hitlers and Stalins’, and ‘quite a lot of disillusioned CSE kids’ who found the transition to upper school history difficult.⁸⁶ Similarly, another West Yorkshire-based teacher stressed the constant necessity to guide the less engaged pupils in their selection towards something local or vocational that might interest them. Every year, she recalled, ‘we had somebody who said, “I want to be a nurse, so I’m going to do my project on Florence Nightingale!”’⁸⁷ It was the Mode 2 and 3 CSEs that were the ‘history of everyday life’s official doorway into the comprehensive school classroom. In 1975, 75.9 per cent of entries for CSE history in England and Wales were Mode 1, 2.3 per cent were Table 6.1 Suggestions for the CSE history ‘Personal Topic’, 1968 A history of flying Dress from 1800 to the present day Castles in south east England Food through the ages The development of the motor car Four famous women The Cinque Ports Nursing through the ages Arms and armour in the Middle Ages The First World War Life in Pre historic times Explorers in Africa A history of Kent/Eastern Sussex/Surrey

A history of cricket The Romans in Britain Dress in Tudor or Stuart Times Five Kings of England A history of ships The development of telling the time Dolls through the ages Queens of England Drake’s voyage around the world Homes through the ages The history of the railway Costume from the Conquest to the present day

Source: Reproduced from I. D. Astley, ‘Some Recent Trends in “C.S.E. History” ’, Teaching History, 1 (1969), pp. 12 18, at p. 16.

⁸⁴ Schools Council, Examinations Bulletin No. 18: The Certificate of Secondary Education: The Place of the Personal Topic History (London, 1968), p. 3. Cf. Docking, ‘History and the C.S.E.’, p. 362. ⁸⁵ Schools Council, Examinations Bulletin No. 18, p. 23. ⁸⁶ Interview with Harriet Turner. ⁸⁷ Interview with Margaret Parker.

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Mode 2, and 21.6 per cent were Mode 3.⁸⁸ Although the number of schools examined under Modes 2 and 3 varied according to regional policy, most REBs stressed that local histories were highly suitable subjects for Modes 2 and 3.⁸⁹ This is borne out in the sources. One London comprehensive teacher told the HiEP about designing a CSE for the ‘less academic’ on ‘History in the Landscape’ based on visits to a local medieval church and Bodiam Castle.⁹⁰ A HiEP respondent who attended a Bristol comprehensive school took a CSE in ‘History through architecture’, which involved project work on local buildings.⁹¹ Another interviewed teacher who taught at four different ILEA comprehensives between 1971 and 1988 specifically remembered using Mode 3 to do local history: ‘because you could do field work, and you could go and talk to people, and you could take photographs’.⁹² Talking to people was evidently popular within these CSE courses. At one of the earliest conferences of the Oral History Society in 1976, academics, researchers, school teachers, and adult educators swapped notes on the value of oral history in the classroom. A Manchester comprehensive school history teacher recounted her experiment in letting pupils interview the elderly in local old people’s homes for a Mode 3 course.⁹³ One interviewee, who trained in Lancaster between 1977 and 1978, remembered her powerful initiation into oral history techniques through a session with Elizabeth Roberts, one of the pioneers of working-class British oral history.⁹⁴ Teachers were encouraged to involve parents and grandparents in these projects in order to tap into living memory. This helped pupils to locate their ‘self ’ in a chronology traceable through the family line. It could lead to the collection and display of everyday objects, such as ‘Great Grandmother’s Shawl’ and ‘Grandfather’s Safety Lamp’ (see Fig. 6.4).⁹⁵ This kind of work naturally privileged the stories of women’s everyday lives in the home. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s more and more comprehensive schools were participating in small, local oral history projects with family and community members. As we saw with the case of folk museums in Chapter 4, the popularization of oral and family history within late-twentieth-century community life was as much a result of mass education and pedagogies of the ordinary, as it was of academic history’s turn away from the elite.⁹⁶ ⁸⁸ Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education 1975, Volume 2, p. 54. ⁸⁹ Docking, ‘History and the C.S.E.’, p. 293. ⁹⁰ ‘Teachers born 1940s 1980s: aids to learning’, n.d.: HiEP, PD/T47/HiE129. ⁹¹ ‘Pupil survey: Sue Hardiman’, 23 March 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3. ⁹² Interview with Hilary Bourdillon. ⁹³ C. Bundy, ‘Oral History and Teaching’, Teaching History, 4 (1976), pp. 366 8. ⁹⁴ Interview with Hilary Stark. ⁹⁵ B. J. Murphy, ‘History Through the Family: I’, Teaching History, 2 (1971), pp. 1 8; D. Steel and L. Taylor, ‘History Through the Family: II’, Teaching History, 2 (1971), pp. 9 14. Cf. D. Steel and L. Taylor, Family History in Schools (London; Chichester,1973). ⁹⁶ Cf. R. Samuel, Theatres of Memory: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture (London, 2012), pp. 191, 351 2.

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Fig. 6.4 Schoolchildren working with family history objects in the classroom, 1970s. Photographs originally printed in B. J. Murphy, ‘ “History Through the Family: I” ’, Teaching History, 2 (1971), pp. 1 8, at pp. 6 7 Source: Brendan J. Murphy.

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The West Yorkshire and Lindsey REB was particularly active and supportive in encouraging teacher-designed syllabi, and by 1971 a survey found that a staggering 70 per cent of pupils taking CSE history in the region were examined under Mode 3. Whilst for some of the schools this meant local history, the history of architecture, and branching out beyond British history, it was found that 48 per cent of the Mode 3s corresponded with the school’s ‘O’ Level courses.⁹⁷ These history teachers were perhaps using CSE Mode 3s to reduce workloads or to promote parity of esteem between their separated classes, or both. One interviewee who taught in Pudsey worked closely with this REB. She felt that the Mode 3 CSE specifically promoted social history in her school because pupils were more readily engaged by ‘conditions, factories . . . the growth of towns and cities, transport revolution and all the reforms of the nineteenth century, all the things that started to make life better for people’.⁹⁸ Another interviewed teacher, who taught in a Worcestershire comprehensive, deployed the CSE’s flexibility to accommodate the subtleties of his ability range. His department designed a three-tier suite of CSE choices: Mode 1 ‘Modern World History’ for the highest ability, Mode 2 ‘British Social and Economic History’ for the middle group, and a Mode 3 ‘based mainly on social history’ that went backwards from the present, for the weakest students.⁹⁹ Similar CSE courses were also being pursued in the remaining secondary modern schools, of which there were still 837 in 1977 in England and Wales, educating just under half a million secondary-age pupils.¹⁰⁰ Although the majority of interviewees spoke fondly about their memories of CSE history, some voices, particularly those working in diverse, urban areas, expressed disquiet. As one ILEA teacher commented: ‘it just felt that it was slightly, oh I don’t know, patronizing towards the pupils’.¹⁰¹ Ultimately, the CSE was one of the key sites of the working out of social change in the 1970s comprehensive school. It was an important continuation of the ‘history of the life’ in the 1970s which marshalled decades of pedagogical thinking into a plausible, exam-centred solution for ordinary school leavers. It laid essential foundations for the widening of access to ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels, particularly for girls through the experimentation with alternative forms of assessment. The CSE also promoted work about the ‘self ’ in the classroom. The HiEP surveys are most interesting when they reveal pupils’ reactions to history. Compared to other periods, pupils who attended comprehensive schools in the 1970s frequently recalled a desire to forge links between history and their own families and themselves.¹⁰² As the next section will go on to explore, these impulses were part of a much broader trend towards social education in the 1970s.

⁹⁷ J. Bucknall, ‘History and Examinations’, Teaching History, 3 (1974), pp. 360 3. ⁹⁸ Interview with Margaret Parker. ⁹⁹ Interview with Quintin Watt. ¹⁰⁰ For example, ‘Teachers born 1940s 1980s: teaching career and curriculum change’, n.d.: HiEP, MO/T49/HiE21. Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education 1977, pp. 2 3. ¹⁰¹ Interview with Hilary Bourdillon. ¹⁰² For example, ‘Pupil survey: Julie Johnson’, 20 May 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3; ‘Pupil survey: Dee Collins’, 27 February 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3; ‘Pupil survey: Julie Horton’, April 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3.

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Social History and Social Education for the ‘Self ’ Carolyn Steedman has shown how working-class kids were encouraged to submit ‘personal responses’ in the post-war English primary school classroom, in pursuit of a ‘recuperative selfhood’ that was actually demanded of them by the welfare state.¹⁰³ The activities explored so far in this chapter indicate that during the 1970s the ‘history of everyday life’ served similar purposes, facilitating personal responses to history. But social history for the ‘self ’ had a long pedagogical pedigree in British culture, as this book has clearly documented. Selfhood was central to the mass reproduction of Samuel Pepys’s diary in the 1920s, to engaging the 1930s housewife in history on the radio, and to the 1950s museum period rooms designed to guide consumer taste. By the 1970s, this social history had become absorbed into an educational project of selfhood that was more ambitious than even Steedman suggests. This chapter will next explain how the ‘history of everyday life’ was embroiled in this project of social education, and why it failed. One of the reasons why social history enjoyed such a flowering of creativity in English comprehensive schools in the 1970s was because of the anxiety that history might be absorbed into the new school subject of social studies during the 1960s.¹⁰⁴ This fear was shared by history teachers in Scotland.¹⁰⁵ Much like the proposition for ‘Integrated Humanities’ for younger pupils, advocates of social studies argued that the modern world was better understood through tracing human behaviour through the past and into the future.¹⁰⁶ Although such provocations raised alarm bells amongst historians, their fears were misplaced, and history went from strength to strength in the comprehensive school. Indeed, Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon concluded overall that respondents who attended comprehensive schools in the 1970s remembered history more fondly than the generation before them.¹⁰⁷ Meanwhile, social studies was increasingly seen as a form of general social education for those of the lowest ability who were not being entered for examinations. Sometimes, this was due to pupils electing not to study any humanities subjects as an examination option because it was not considered to be useful. In a study of subject choice in one rural 1970s secondary modern school, Peter Woods found that such pupils were motivated by a desire to acquire life knowledge over seeking achievements or even jobs. One pupil he spoke to deemed social studies useful because: ‘Well, you want to

¹⁰³ C. Steedman, ‘State Sponsored Autobiography’, in Moments of Modernity: Reconstructing Britain, 1945 1964, edited by B. Conekin, F. Mort, and C. Waters (London, 1999), pp. 41 54. ¹⁰⁴ Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, p. 159. ¹⁰⁵ McNie, ‘Teaching History’, p. 366. ¹⁰⁶ Burgess, Inside Comprehensive Schools, p. 87. ¹⁰⁷ Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, p. 175.

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know about the place where you’re going to live and work all your life, don’t you?’¹⁰⁸ Social studies had long been billed as a subject that would bridge the gap between real life and school. This was the party line in the 1963 Newsom Report, which fully endorsed collapsing history and geography into social studies to generate ‘a whole programme of work designed to set ordinary minds working on world problems’.¹⁰⁹ In a study published in 1968, American sociologist Vincent Rogers observed that social studies had secured a ‘tenuous status’ in the secondary modern schools in the 1950s, but that that status had declined with the secondary moderns themselves. However, he posited that the moment at the close of the 1960s was a potential ‘second chance’ for social studies, because of the demands of comprehensive teaching, ROSLA, and the opportunities of the CSE.¹¹⁰ In the clamour to reconcile the competing social and academic functions of comprehensive education in the 1970s, a new constituency for social studies was cautiously established. These pupils of the lowest-ability were sometimes streamed out of mainstream timetables completely into separate groups. History teachers often found themselves actually teaching these groups, and social studies as an alternative form of social education for the least able provided another home for the ‘history of everyday life’. Sociologist Robert Burgess studied the pupils following a ‘Newsom Curriculum’ in his ethnography of a purposebuilt, co-educational Roman Catholic comprehensive school conducted between 1973 and 1974. These ‘Newsom’ teens were being prepared for adult life through units such as ‘government, law, and general studies’, into which history and social studies were slotted. Burgess concluded that this organisation strongly reinforced the divisions of ‘high’ and ‘low’ status knowledge within the school.¹¹¹ Just as Rogers had found in his survey of English social studies courses in the late 1960s, much of this social education boiled down to group discussions around themes such as family, work, and voting, occasionally venturing into ‘social problems’ such as ‘race relations’. This contrasted with the better, more structured programmes, such as Kibworth School in Leicestershire’s ‘Man in the Making’ course, which featured five interrelated sub-topics and opportunities for ‘individualized learning’.¹¹² One interviewee who taught social studies in Suffolk in the mid-1970s remembered using Cold War films to link history to present-day concerns.¹¹³ In 1976 lecturer David Edgington recounted his experiment in ‘teaching R.O.S.L.A. pupils’ in Rochester through a local study of the community. He argued for a more

¹⁰⁸ P. Woods, The Divided School (London, 1979), p. 88. ¹⁰⁹ Newsom Report, pp. 164 5. ¹¹⁰ V. R. Rogers, The Social Studies in English Education (London, 1968), pp. 9, 23. I would like to thank Peter Mandler for suggesting this source. ¹¹¹ R. G. Burgess, Experiencing Comprehensive Education: A Study of Bishop McGregor School (London, 1983), pp. 212 21. ¹¹² Rogers, The Social Studies, pp. 112 16, 109 11. ¹¹³ Interview with Chris Culpin.

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thoughtful approach to their education, whilst still reinforcing their perceived inferiority with the old ROSLA label.¹¹⁴ As the decade progressed these pupils were more likely to be directed towards a school-leaving examination. Some history teachers therefore taught a ‘watered down version of the CSE’ in the hope that they could enter for CSE history.¹¹⁵ Others had the space and capacity to initiate new Mode 3 CSEs in various forms of social education. For example, in the early 1970s, a HiEP teacher at a girls’ secondary modern school in York was tasked with designing a Mode 3, coursework-only course for the ‘less academic pupils’ as ‘a partial solution to the challenges of ROSLA’. It was based on general thematic topics that ‘were given an historical perspective’.¹¹⁶ At a North Shields co-educational comprehensive, another history teacher developed a ‘Local Studies’ Mode 3 CSE course based on the history and geography of the North East, for the non-examination and lowestability CSE pupils.¹¹⁷ The education of the least academically able pupils in comprehensive schools consistently relied on a social education that deployed the ‘history of everyday life’ to establish links between the ‘self ’ and social issues. Just as ‘everyday’ expertise was becoming more valued in post-war Britain, the pressures of the comprehensive school environment channelled it into a form of low-status, social education taught through a mish-mash of social studies, local studies, and general studies. The CSE Mode 3 history courses already discussed went some way to mitigate this, but they too remained implicitly devalued by comparison with the high-status, academic standard of the ‘O’ Level. An attempt to legitimize social education in schools came from the social sciences, which were booming in British universities and public discourse by the 1970s. After 1973, school leavers found that there were fewer juvenile jobs and youth unemployment was on the rise. Thus, the social sciences consolidated their place in comprehensive schools during the 1970s by appealing to school leavers on vocational grounds.¹¹⁸ Comprehensive school history teachers grimly acknowledged this factor when asked about the ‘status’ of history in their departments by the HiEP, commenting that ‘there was always a question of . . . what “job they could do” with it’.¹¹⁹ Thus the social sciences entered secondary schools on the premise of their relevance, something that history had had to prove. This process happened unevenly and in dialogue with history, and with other humanities

¹¹⁴ D. Edgington, ‘Teaching R.O.S.L.A. Pupils: A History Lecturer’s Experience’, Teaching History, 4 (1976), pp. 347 9. Cf. Tisdall, A Progressive Education?, p. 189. ¹¹⁵ Interview with Harriet Turner. ¹¹⁶ For example, ‘Teachers born 1940s 1980s: teaching career and curriculum change’, n.d.: HiEP, TM/T41/HiE135. ¹¹⁷ G. L. Good, ‘Local Studies Course Mode 3 CSE Limited Grades 3 5’, Teaching History, 26 (1980), pp. 31 3. ¹¹⁸ ‘Teacher survey: Pauline Wright’, 28 November 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2. ¹¹⁹ ‘Teacher survey: Joy Southam’, n.d.: HiEP, HEP/3/2. Cf. ‘Teachers born 1940s 1980s: aids to learning’, n.d.: HiEP, TM/T41/HiE135.

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subjects, across the 1970s. In Humberside schools alone, one investigator reported nine variant patterns of sociology and social studies teaching in 1979. These nine patterns encompassed a perplexing array of course titles, integration vs. specialisation, and exam and non-exam teaching. Within the history element of this maze he identified a trend towards ‘new’ history teaching that favoured social and economic history, contemporary issues, and ‘history through familiar things’. He concluded that each of these attempts to make history ‘relevant to present day society, social problems’ essentially amounted to the ‘teaching of sociology, under the heading of history’.¹²⁰ Sociology was offered at ‘A’ Level from 1968 and at ‘O’ Level from 1972. Psychology was available at ‘A’ Level from 1970 and at ‘O’ Level from 1975.¹²¹ But from the beginning of CSEs in 1965, there was an integrated social studies/ sciences CSE as well as a separate CSE in economics. Educationalists from the disciplines of sociology, psychology, politics, and anthropology were far more open to amalgamation than we have seen in the case of history teaching in the 1970s.¹²² Teachers used Mode 2s and 3s to integrate sociology, politics, and economics into tightly structured CSE courses that could run alongside individual subject ‘O’ Levels as they became available.¹²³ The ‘history of everyday life’ technique of beginning with the individual self and cascading out into society, nation, and world was commonplace in these courses. For example, at the Abraham Moss Centre in Manchester, a vocational course called ‘Self and Society’ developed for thirteen- to fourteen-year-olds in the early 1970s was based around five themes including ‘Family feelings’ and ‘Getting to know other people’. These themes were then interrogated beyond the immediate self, using concepts from psychology (e.g. stereotyping) and historical case studies (e.g. the evacuation of children in 1939).¹²⁴ But, whereas the ‘history of everyday life’ promoted subjective selfhood, the social sciences purported to teach the objective self. In sociology this worked through concepts such as social stratification and social mobility.¹²⁵ In relation to these concepts, social change in Britain could be understood as a dynamic process. Progressives fought to incorporate new social movements affecting women, ¹²⁰ J. Lukes, ‘School Sociology and Social Studies in Humberside’, Social Science Teacher, 9 (1979), pp. 53 7. ¹²¹ P. Mandler, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Social Sciences in the British Educational System, 1960 2016’, in The History of Sociology in Britain: New Research and Revaluation, edited by P. Panayotova (London, 2019), pp. 281 99. ¹²² R. Meighan, Is an Integrated Social Sciences ‘A’ Level Possible? (Cheshire, 1975). ¹²³ S. Musselwhite, ‘The Social Science Department at Brune Park School, Gosport’, Social Science Teacher, 8 (1980), pp. 87 8; G. Whitty and D. Gleeson, Sociology: The Choice at A Level (Driffield, 1976). ¹²⁴ H. Sumner, ‘Psychology in the School Curriculum’, Social Science Teacher, 4 (1974 5), pp. 16 23; J. Harris, ‘Psychology in the School Curriculum Some Reactions’, Social Science Teacher, 4 (1974 5), pp. 31 2. ¹²⁵ ‘Report of the working group on CSE Level’, Social Science Teacher, April (1972), pp. i iv.

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people of colour, and sexual minorities into the ‘overt curriculum’ of the social sciences in schools.¹²⁶ However, as Peter Mandler has argued, the swing towards the social sciences in schools was really driven by lower-ability pupils, of whom there were increasing numbers taking ‘O’ Levels by the 1980s. He links this to a growing demand for ‘self-fulfilment’ and ‘social service’ through education, buoyed by a cohort characterized by more girls staying on to take examinations and enter a labour market that welcomed such skills.¹²⁷ During the 1970s history, social studies, and the social sciences jostled to service the demand for selfhood in England’s comprehensive schools. It was clear by the 1980s that the social sciences had won out, and my interviewees uniformly remembered social science in schools as ‘a 1980s thing’.¹²⁸ In doing so, the social sciences had also begun to expose the shortcomings of the ‘history of everyday life’ as a form of modern, social education. When viewed alongside sociology especially, this mode of social history appeared less rigorous, and reinforced harmful binary divides between ‘ordinary’ and ‘academic’ pupils in the comprehensive school. History educators responded robustly to this challenge with the ‘Schools Council History Project’ (SCHP). The SCHP was nothing short of a curriculum revolution, which ultimately evacuated the ‘history of everyday life’ from the classroom altogether, and fully transformed the teaching of history in schools leading up to the arrival of the GCSE in 1986. The SCHP began in 1972 as a project at the University of Leeds investigating ‘13–16 history’. It was funded by the Schools Council, a quasi-governmental body established in the 1960s to promote research and development around curriculum and examination issues.¹²⁹ The SCHP was, as one early advocate put it, a response to the matter of history’s ‘survival’ in the 1970s.¹³⁰ The initial project found a lot of experimentation in lower school and non-examination history. They strongly advocated that any new directions taken must prioritize the end goal of examinations, meaning ‘O’ Levels as well as CSEs.¹³¹ Answering the challenge of relevance from social studies and the social sciences, the SCHP argued that school history must be reshaped into a tool for directly understanding the modern world. Its new approach amounted to helping teenagers find themselves via the ‘vast pool of real human experience’, a proposition not unlike the ‘history of everyday life’.¹³² However, underlying this vague language was a strong disciplinary defence of history as being better suited than the social sciences to accessing that pool. The ¹²⁶ P. Matthews, ‘School and Society: A Decade of Changes in Social Science Teaching’, Social Science Teacher, 8 (1980), pp. 81 5. ¹²⁷ Mandler, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Social Sciences’; Mandler, ‘Educating the Nation: IV’. ¹²⁸ Interview with Harriet Turner; interview with Anon. 1; interview with Kate Moorse, 27 February 2019. ¹²⁹ Rust and Harris, Examinations, pp. 29 30. ¹³⁰ Interview with Ian Dawson, 18 February 2019. ¹³¹ D. Sylvester, ‘First Views from the Bridge’, Teaching History, 3 (1973), pp. 143 5. ¹³² Schools Council History Project, A New Look, pp. 12, 10.

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SCHP subsequently presented a pedagogical framework for teaching and learning history to underpin claims that history was the best form of social education for the late-twentieth-century adolescent. The framework consisted of a world study (e.g. ‘The Arab–Israeli Conflict’), a depth study (e.g. ‘The American West 1840–1890’), a local study (‘History Around Us’, adapted to the locality by teachers), and a development study (e.g. ‘Medicine Through Time’). Throughout the 1970s SCHP staff toured the country ‘like travelling missionaries’ converting history teachers to their cause, and the project correspondingly grew in ambition and uptake.¹³³ HiEP respondents and my interviewees mentioned it a lot, widely regarding it as a solution to the challenges of the decade, especially mixed-ability teaching and demands for more social education.¹³⁴ Moving to SCHP teaching was the answer to their frustrations with the dual ‘O’ Level and CSE model, and teachers even imported aspects of SCHP pedagogy into existing CSE Mode 2s and 3s. The SCHP introduced a lot of fresh material, including a great deal of social history, into their lessons. The local study satisfied the appetite for social history in relation to the local environment that the ‘history of everyday life’ had long fulfilled. But SCHP pedagogues lampooned the ‘imagine you were a . . . ’ exercises of the ‘history of everyday life’, arguing that their framework deployed empathy only ‘as a means of moving toward explanation’, not as a creative exercise of the self.¹³⁵ Chapter 2 elucidated how a humbler cast of historical actors were brought into democratic history teaching through appeals to empathy in children. And as we saw in Part II, imagination had always been an important, albeit contested, terrain of the ‘history of everyday life’ for all age groups. Yet in the context of a secondary education system creaking under the pressures of social change, ‘imagination’ was brazenly abandoned and empathy was strictly qualified, even by the progressives. The SCHP development study, ‘Medicine Through Time’, covered topics such as public health in a way that dealt with people, rather than through statistics, factories, and machines, like the hackneyed ‘British Social and Economic History’ course. Indeed, interviewees reflected that the SCHP helped to squeeze this mode of social history out of the comprehensive school over the course of the 1970s. It was mocked as ‘A Sexist Guide to the Industrial Revolution’ with its relentless biographies of men and machines. Pupils, especially girls, and teachers, notably those working in more ethnically diverse areas, demanded something different: ‘They wanted to teach the Cold War, you know . . . and no-one was talking about Spinning Jennys or how a canal lock works!’¹³⁶ Crucially, the introduction of a ¹³³ Interview with Chris Culpin. ¹³⁴ ‘Teacher survey: David Anderson’, 27 April 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2; ‘Teacher survey: Ian Clarke’; ‘Teacher survey: Linda Turner’; ‘Teacher survey: Andy Field’, 9 June 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/2. ¹³⁵ Interview with Ian Dawson. Cf. J. Fines, ‘Imagination and the Historian’, Teaching History, 18 (1977), pp. 24 6; Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, p. 161. ¹³⁶ Interview with Chris Culpin; interview with Ian Dawson.

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plethora of world and depth studies met the demand for a less nationalistic, more global history that the ‘history of everyday life’ could never accomplish. The SCHP’s offerings capitalized on the irresistible trend towards World History in comprehensive schools that had begun in the mid-1960s with the CSE.¹³⁷ By the early 1970s, 37 per cent of Mode 1 CSE history entries were already in Modern World History, as were 18 per cent of ‘O’ Level entries.¹³⁸ These World History courses, however, were vast and focused mainly on twentieth-century political and diplomatic affairs.¹³⁹ By contrast, the SCHP units honed in thematically. For example, at the very moment when contemporary topics were too divisive to broach in Northern Irish secondary schools, the SCHP offered a world study on ‘The Irish Question’ on the grounds of relevance.¹⁴⁰ The SCHP’s reworking of both chronological and geographical scope inherited a lot from CSE experimentation, especially the coursework element, but made it more rigorous and less permissive. This appealed to the academic gatekeepers, the ‘O’ Level exam boards, with which the prospect of officially installing and validating social education as part of history in schools finally rested. In 1976, the Southern Universities Joint Board agreed to offer the first SCHP ‘O’ Level for a number of trial schools.¹⁴¹ This, in turn, began to erode the social, class, and gender divides imposed by the dual-exam system in comprehensive school history, with which the mid-century ‘history of everyday life’ was wholly complicit. As the category of ‘ordinariness’ in secondary education ballooned far beyond what the democratic ‘history of everyday life’ could accommodate, the SCHP was much more than ‘a way of helping boys and girls to find their identity’.¹⁴² It was a fundamentally technocratic solution to social history for social education. It was reconstituted as the Schools History Project (SHP) in 1983 when funding from the Schools Council ceased. By the 1980s the SHP was mainstream in comprehensive school history; in 1988, 20–5 per cent of all candidates taking GCSE history did so via an SHP syllabus.¹⁴³

¹³⁷ Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 152 5. Over the course of the 1970s there were more articles in Teaching History on world history (14) than on modern European history (12) and a fair number on non European history (10). Compiled from Hunt, ‘A Thematic Index of Articles’. ¹³⁸ Schools Council History Project, A New Look, p. 27. ¹³⁹ Interview with Harriet Turner; interview with Kate Moorse; P. D. Wenham, ‘Modern World History A Mode 3 C.S.E. course’, Teaching History, 3 (1973), pp. 133 6; I. Goodson, ‘The A.E.B. World History Project: One School’s Experience’, Teaching History, 4 (1975), pp. 18 23. ¹⁴⁰ University of Ulster UNESCO Centre, Recent Research on Teaching History in Northern Ireland (London, 2006), pp. 5 6. ¹⁴¹ D. Sylvester, ‘Re thinking the Syllabus for 14 16 Year Olds’, Teaching History, 4 (1975), pp. 105 8, at p. 108; ‘Transcript of an interview with David Sylvester’, 7 July 2009: HiEP online archive [https://www.history.ac.uk/history in education/browse/interviews/interview david sylvester 7 july 2009.html], accessed 1 August 2020, pp. 14 16. ¹⁴² Cannadine, Keating, and Sheldon, The Right Kind of History, pp. 160 1. ¹⁴³ I. Dawson, ‘The Schools History Project: A Study in Curriculum Development’, History Teacher, 22 (1989), pp. 221 38, at p. 224.

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Social History and ‘Multicultural’ Education The social drivers of curriculum change in comprehensive schools were frequently cited as ROSLA, more girls staying on, and the needs of lower-ability pupils. In certain areas of the country, each of these categories encompassed significant numbers of ethnic minority pupils. As such, the renewed calls for relevance in comprehensive school history in the 1970s, which both the social sciences and the SCHP responded to, were implicitly about race. This was compounded by the vexed problem of how to teach the history of the British Empire to all pupils in the context of its contemporary decline. Recent work on black British history since 1945 has shown how strongly the act of doing and making history structured black experiences in the present.¹⁴⁴ Colonial and postcolonial histories were used to bolster discourses of black citizenship and recover political agency in churches, schools, and activist spaces. These discourses were always about power, and they were always in dialogue with a more mainstream, white-led project of ‘multicultural’ education that played out in the comprehensive classroom in the 1970s. The final section of this chapter examines how social history fared within this ‘multicultural’ project, and the related failure of the ‘history of everyday life’ to meet the needs of a multi-ethnic pupil body. During the 1960s Britain’s domestic education system treated mass immigration from South Asia and the Caribbean as a numbers ‘problem’. ‘Immigrant pupils’ were referenced in relation to their ‘density’ in certain areas, and the DES scrambled to gather coherent statistics on the number of ethnic minority pupils in schools. In 1968 there were approximately 74,524 ‘immigrant pupils’ aged eleven to sixteen at secondary schools in England and Wales, averaging at 2.4 per cent of the total number of pupils in each age group.¹⁴⁵ From the mid-1960s the official policy was one of ‘assimilation’. In some LEAs this led to the practice of ‘bussing’ children to schools outside of their communities in order to reduce ethnic concentration, as well as vague curricula gestures towards ‘Commonwealth Teaching’ nationally.¹⁴⁶ On the ground, training colleges, LEAs, and teachers attempted to tackle the issues of English language provision and ‘culture shock’ in the particular pockets of the country where immigration had peaked.¹⁴⁷ Concurrently, 1968 saw the swelling of Powellite sentiment, through which a ‘respectable’ anti-immigrant discourse developed in Britain. Black and Asian ¹⁴⁴ M. Matera, Black London: The Imperial Metropolis and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century (Oakland, 2015); K. H. Perry, London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race (Oxford, 2016); R. Waters, Thinking Black: Britain, 1964 1985 (Berkeley, 2018). ¹⁴⁵ Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration, Session 1968 69: The Problems of Coloured School Leavers, Volume 2: Minutes of Evidence (London, 1969), p. 170. ¹⁴⁶ O. Esteves, The ‘Desegregation’ of English Schools: Bussing, Race and Urban Space (Manchester, 2018); Department of Education and Science, Education of Immigrants in England (Circular 7/65) (London, 1965). ¹⁴⁷ P. Preston, ‘Immigrant Children in School’, Where (March 1968), pp. 4 5.

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communities organied in response, making the 1970s a charged era of ‘race relations’ in Britain. By the early 1970s the DES’s ‘immigrant pupil’ formula was profoundly contested, and teachers and LEAs refused to report on it.¹⁴⁸ At their best, LEAs and individual schools developed local responses according to the particular needs and ethnic backgrounds of their pupils.¹⁴⁹ At their worst, they colluded with other state services to marginalize pupils of colour systematically. In 1970 Bernard Coard argued that this collusion was forcing a disproportionate number of African-Caribbean children into the deeply flawed category of ‘Educationally Subnormal’.¹⁵⁰ Top-down responses were slow. After several years of intermittent reporting, in 1985 the RR&ISC published its full report on the education of children from ethnic minority groups, known as the Swann Report. The report was nearly 800 pages and covered an exhaustive range of issues, from religious instruction in assemblies to the specific needs of children from traveller communities. It promoted a vision of a multicultural education system that met the ‘needs of all pupils for life in a society that is multi-racial and culturally diverse’.¹⁵¹ Colleges of education, especially those located in predominantly white areas, had struggled to prepare teachers for working in the ‘multicultural school’. Curricular, linguistic, and social deprivation issues were tightly interwoven. Whilst the English language problems that adversely affected ethnic minority pupils fell under ‘Educational Special Needs’ (ESN), social deprivation was harder to train teachers for.¹⁵² Indeed, at the BBC programming for ‘immigrant pupils’ grew out of a broad roster of English language and general social education series for immigrants of all ages and ethnicities from the mid-1960s.¹⁵³ The corporation resisted creating special programmes for these pupils on the grounds that its schools broadcasting was never regionally targeted within England. As Chapter 3 explained, BBC schools broadcasting operated a devolved model for Scotland and Wales, but the main programmes created in London were supposed to be generically British. By the early 1970s the educational needs of ethnic minority pupils were being consistently elided with lower ability, ESN, and early

¹⁴⁸ Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration, Session 1972 73: Education, Volume 1: Report (London, 1973), pp. 45 6. ¹⁴⁹ H. E. R. Townsend, Immigrant Pupils in England: The L.E.A. Response (Slough, 1971), p. 25. ¹⁵⁰ B. Coard, How the West Indian Child Is Made Educationally Sub normal in the British School System (London, 1971). ¹⁵¹ Department of Education and Science, Education for All (the Swann Report) (London, 1985), p. vii. ¹⁵² P. J. D. Bridger, ‘Education for a multi cultural society: Development of a course in a College of Education situated in a non educational priority area’; D. Reeves, ‘Christ Church College of Education, Two Term Option Course “The Multicultural School” (2nd and 3rd year students)’; ‘City of Leicester College of Education’, September 1973: The National Archives, Kew, London (hereafter TNA), CK3/28. ¹⁵³ D. Cook and J. Robottom, ‘A report on the contribution made by broadcasting to meeting the educational needs of immigrant workers and their families in Great Britain’, November 1977: BBC Written Archives Centre, Caversham (hereafter BBC WAC), R103/341.

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school leavers in BBC assessments.¹⁵⁴ Given this complex set of circumstances the everyday reality of ‘multicultural’ education was a case of teachers trying to make their way. This ranged from the tokenistic to the harmful. ‘Multicultural’ interventions by teachers and schools were regionally specific and mainly curricular, as we will see with the case of history. Ultimately, they could do little to affect the structural inequalities embedded in an examination system that adversely impacted ethnic minority pupils. What about ‘multicultural’ history? In 1971 Coard wrote: ‘As the weeks and months progress, the Black child discovers that all the great men of history were white—indeed, those are the only ones that he has been told about.’¹⁵⁵ But the challenge was far deeper than including more Black and Asian ‘great men of history’. ‘Multicultural’ history was such a problematic pursuit in the comprehensive school because the legacy of the ‘history of everyday life’ reinforced the relationship between race, gender, and low attainment. Well-intentioned practices could result in ethnic minority pupils being prescribed ‘self ’ histories assimilated into existing social history and social education courses that were, as we have already seen, designed for ‘ordinary’ or lower-ability pupils.¹⁵⁶ The CSE perpetuated this problem. In London especially, where over half of all ethnic minority pupils were going to school in 1970, CSE World History courses were fiercely championed as the answer to ‘multicultural’ history.¹⁵⁷ Even CSE courses in British history could be adapted to include material ‘slanted’ towards histories of black and Asian communities.¹⁵⁸ Overall, the CSE was seen as a positive development for ethnic minority pupils for the same reasons that it was seen to be valuable for lower-ability children, because it was flexible and permitted targeted interventions.¹⁵⁹ For example, the 1981 Rampton Report (officially titled West Indian Children in Our Schools) praised Mode 3 CSEs for ‘broadening the curriculum’, allowing schools ‘to meet the particular needs of their multi-racial populations’.¹⁶⁰ Hopes remained that the CSE would stimulate progressive reforms in ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels to the benefit of a wider range of candidates. However, the Rampton Report also documented evidence that AfricanCaribbean pupils were being disproportionately ‘channelled’ into CSE streams and deterred away from ‘O’ Levels, and that African-Caribbean school leavers ¹⁵⁴ See, for example, ‘Memo from A. Jamieson’, 6 September 1976; John Robottom, ‘Memo re. “Multi Racial Education” ’, 2 August 1976: BBC WAC, R103/254/1; ‘A report on the contribution made by broadcasting’, pp. 65 70. ¹⁵⁵ Coard, How the West Indian Child Is Made, p. 29. ¹⁵⁶ See, for example, M. Booth, ‘Joint CED/HA Conference on History Teaching for Children with Special Needs’, Teaching History, 23 (1979), p. 22. ¹⁵⁷ Townsend, Immigrant Pupils, p. 119; interview with Chris Culpin; interview with Kate Moorse. ¹⁵⁸ Interview with Harriet Turner. ¹⁵⁹ Cf. Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration, Session 1972 73: Education, Volume 2: Evidence (London, 1973), p. 360. ¹⁶⁰ Department of Education and Science, West Indian Children in Our Schools (the Rampton Report) (London, 1981), p. 38.

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were falling at the lower end of CSE achievement.¹⁶¹ This problem was reinforced by the fact that parents not born in Britain could struggle to understand the antiquated dual-examination system.¹⁶² The Swann Report included a survey of school leavers in five LEAs with high numbers of ethnic minority pupils, which found that the most significant ethnic difference was that very few AfricanCaribbean children were achieving five or more higher-graded ‘O’ Level results or CSE grade 1s: just 6 per cent compared to the national figure of 23 per cent of school leavers. Asian pupils fared much better than their black peers at 17 per cent, but still did a little worse than white leavers, and whilst Indian pupils made gains during the 1970s, pupils from Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities were falling significantly behind.¹⁶³ Across all ethnic minority groups, girls were beginning to outperform boys. In the 1970s comprehensive school, the ‘O’ Level and its associated benefits were a preserve of whiteness. ‘Integrated Studies’ was also deemed flexible enough to encompass themes of religious and cultural difference and was favoured for mixed-ability classrooms where literacy disparities were stark. The CRE recommended resources for ‘Teaching about India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan’ in history and geography that were interdisciplinary and highly illustrated, including Michael Edwardes’ 1969 Batsford book Everyday Life in Early India, praised as ‘an extremely useful book for the secondary school’.¹⁶⁴ At Twyford Comprehensive School in Ealing the needs of pupils facing literacy difficulties and the needs of ethnic minority pupils were tackled simultaneously through the introduction of an ‘Integrated Studies’ course. It offered contrasting studies of home and community in Britain, Asia, the Caribbean, West Africa, and Europe.¹⁶⁵ In another ‘large multi-ethnic comprehensive school’ in Greater London, teachers sought to implement a ‘colour blind’ approach to education by introducing an ‘Integrated Studies’ course covering history, geography, and social studies. The course addressed topics such as travel, customs and belief, and colonization. The humanities staff at that school had considered and rejected a ‘Black Studies’ curriculum ‘on the grounds that white children were in just as much need of understanding their neighbours as vice versa’.¹⁶⁶ ‘Black Studies’ was an innovation of the Black Education Movement, which had led to the establishment of Black Supplementary Schools across Britain during the 1970s and 1980s. But by the early 1970s, the idea that too great a focus on racial

¹⁶¹ Rampton Report, pp. 7, 39. ¹⁶² ‘Careers Guidance in a Multi Cultural Society’, 8 9 March 1978: BBC WAC, R103/342. Cf. Swann Report, pp. 104 9. ¹⁶³ Swann Report, table 4, p. 114. ¹⁶⁴ Commission for Racial Equality, ‘Teaching about India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan’, Education and Community Relations, 4 (February 1976), pp. 1 8, at p. 4. ¹⁶⁵ ‘Integrated Studies for First Year Secondary pupils’, Education and Community Relations, 3 (March 1973), pp. 4 6. ¹⁶⁶ C. Farley, ‘Teaching Social Studies in a School with a Large Ethnic Minority’, Social Science Teacher, 8 (1980), pp. 81 5.

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issues for white children could be detrimental to them and that it could fuel further racial prejudice was becoming entrenched. Proponents of ‘Black Studies’ in comprehensive schools countered that it was as much about method as it was about content—that is, how ‘historical facts’ were interpreted and presented by black and white teachers.¹⁶⁷ Debates around history teaching rapidly politicized the flawed logic behind the adoption of ‘multicultural’ education as a badge of honour by white progressives in 1970s comprehensive schools. As Rob Waters has argued, the entry of ‘Black Studies’ resources into mainstream schooling also neutralized their radical political message. These resources had been conceived of to improve the confidence of black children in the Supplementary Schools via black history, and were part of a broader, anti-racist struggle.¹⁶⁸ They could not simply be transposed into a white tradition of mass education, wherein the ‘history of everyday life’ promoted a selfhood in which the personal and the political were divisible. The tension of instilling relevant histories for both black and white pupils in ordinary comprehensive schools was most starkly exposed when it came to teaching about Africa. There was a strong tradition in English schools of the African continent featuring most prominently as an aspect of transatlantic slavery. HiEP teacher respondents recalled teaching the slave trade to lower school classes in the 1970s for its ‘nasty ghoulish’ interest and for its moral value.¹⁶⁹ In March 1973 Hengrove School, a Bristol comprehensive, staged a musical production celebrating 600 years of Bristol’s history at the city’s Colston Hall (namesake of the notorious slave trader Edward Colston). The Venturers offered a conventional Christian, moral critique of Bristol’s slaving past but still valorized the city’s identity as a mercantile and adventurous seat of the British Empire. The narrator stated that ‘the dismal history of the slave trade’ was ‘best forgotten’. A musical evocation of the ‘pathos of the slave trade’ followed, whose set piece was a choral solo performed by a thirteen-year-old African-Caribbean pupil. He sang: ‘I wonder why they treat me so/The men from o’er the distant sea.’¹⁷⁰ The production later featured the character of ‘Mr Everybody’, ‘the common man of Bristol’, who reminded the narrator, ‘It was I whose sweat made and still makes, the things which have made Bristol famous.’¹⁷¹ Whereas class could be represented as a collective experience, The Venturers vested Bristol’s history of racial violence into one single voice, a burden shouldered by one of the only pupils of colour

¹⁶⁷ S. Morris, ‘Implications of Black Studies in Britain’, September 1973: TNA, CK3/28. ¹⁶⁸ Waters, Thinking Black, p. 158. Cf. pp. 152 3. ¹⁶⁹ ‘Transcript of an interview with Michael Hinton’, 25 January 2010: HiEP, HEP/4/55; ‘Transcript of an interview with Evelyn Hinde’, 25 January 2010: HiEP, HEP/4/53. Cf. ‘Pupil survey: John Yapp’, 11 March 2010: HiEP, HEP/3/3; ‘Pupil survey: Phillip Gardiner’, 3 June 2009: HiEP, HEP/3/3. ¹⁷⁰ Hengrove School History Project Team, Hengrove School Bristol 1954 1974 (Bristol, 2013), pp. 253 62; ‘School Celebrates Bristol’s History’, Bristol Evening Post, 23 November 1972. ¹⁷¹ ‘Programme and scrapbook for the Hengrove School production “The Venturers 600, 1373 1973” at the Colston Hall’, 16 March 1973: Bristol Archives, Bristol (hereafter BA), 21131/SC/Heg/X/1.

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participating in the production.¹⁷² Race was an extremely unstable category in the ‘history of everyday life’. It could only be contained at a depoliticized, atomized, individual level. Marc Matera has documented how black intellectuals’ engagement in the production of anthropological knowledge about Africa between the wars led to some key anti-colonial interventions in imperial historiography.¹⁷³ But in the school setting, links between anthropology and history remained tied to racist, colonial discourses. These discourses could actually be reinforced by the integration of history and the social sciences, and by the ‘history of everyday life’. For example, a Rhoda Power-style BBC schools series of the 1940s called ‘If You Were a Child in the British Empire’ was intended to make a twelve-year-old English child ‘feel what it is like to live on a veld farm in South Africa’. But the demotic form patently overwrote the imperial character of such a setting.¹⁷⁴ Writing in Teaching History in 1977, David Killingray lamented that in the majority of schools African history was either ‘ignored, denigrated, or distorted’. He suggested that the ‘African dimension’ of slavery could be taught with more detailed reference to two individual African states or polities.¹⁷⁵ Although such practical solutions and emerging postcolonial critiques of school textbooks were available throughout the 1970s, it is clear that Africa continued to be cast as a passive facet of the British Empire in most comprehensive school history. In the late 1970s a researcher at the University of Bristol surveyed seventy Avon secondary schools about the teaching of African history. The former county of Avon encompassed parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire, which were predominantly white, and the cities of Bristol and Bath, which were more diverse. It was found that African history was taught in half the schools, that it was most commonly taught in the fourteen to sixteen age range as part of topics on slavery, partition or colonialism, and independence, but that no schools taught pupils about solely ‘African issues’; 42 per cent of schools taught African history ‘when it overlaps with British/European history’. Although World History and International History were both favoured by Avon teachers for meeting their objectives, the most common reason cited for not teaching African history was ‘problems of selection and relevance’. There was an overwhelming sense that African history presented problems of ‘remoteness’ and ‘difference’ for white pupils. Some teachers felt it was a more appropriate topic for African-Caribbean pupils or in the context of a multi-racial school.¹⁷⁶ ‘Multicultural’ history pushed

¹⁷² Cf. O. Otele, ‘Bristol, Slavery and the Politics of Representation: The Slave Trade Gallery in the Bristol Museum’, Social Semiotics, 22 (2012), pp. 155 72. ¹⁷³ Matera, Black London, pp. 238 72. ¹⁷⁴ B. Radley, ‘If you were a child in the British Empire’, 1945 6: BBC WAC, R16/423. ¹⁷⁵ D. Killingray, ‘African History in the Classroom’, Teaching History, 17 (1977), pp. 7 8, 14. ¹⁷⁶ A. Habtai, ‘A Survey of Teachers’ Views on the Teaching of African History in Schools’, July 1981: BA, 43129/Lib/Ed/8/12.

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the construction of the ordinary pupil, on which the ‘history of everyday life’ was predicated, to breaking point. In the 1970s pupils of colour were increasingly yoked to pedagogical categories of ‘ordinariness’ in mass education, such as low ability and ESN. As ever, the ordinary pupil required history to provide a social education that was relevant and accessible. But relevance was becoming racially qualified in a way that directed attention towards the political, rather than vocational and personal, uses of history for democratic citizens. Establishment fears of the radical political corollaries of black history were ever present in debates about ‘multicultural’ history in the comprehensive school. In a March 1979 report on ‘multicultural’ education based on visits to schools, the BBC Education Officer for the West Midlands identified the lack of material on Africa as the main shortcoming of world history teaching in comprehensive classrooms. He advocated more African history for ‘Caribbean’ children on the following grounds: ‘it may well be better that they are introduced to the study of the continent at an early age, in a world history setting, than they turn to Africanism as a form of protest in mid-adolescence’.¹⁷⁷ Contemporary events had long dogged BBC schools history when it came to matters of race, and even the ‘safest’ of black history topics could induce white anxiety. In a 1968 memo about the script of a broadcast called ‘The Civil Rights Movement in the USA’ a producer commented that recent riots within African-American communities complicated the possibility of presenting Martin Luther King as the ‘hero of this broadcast’.¹⁷⁸ As Darrell Newton has explained in his study of the black British presence on the BBC, responses to the coverage of race relations gathered pace from 1968, spurred by events in the USA. In this context, the BBC cautiously aired more programming which gave black people the opportunity to share their own perspectives on everyday life in Britain.¹⁷⁹ My sources are predominantly produced by white actors and institutions. Black and Asian perspectives are less well documented, but the sources that do exist suggest high incidences of everyday racism at school, with the curriculum being perhaps the least violent but most hegemonic element of this onslaught. The Swann Report gathered oral evidence from eighteen academically successful ethnic minority students of Caribbean and African origin. The students felt that the curricular bias in history teaching in favour of white Europeans (for example, ‘you would get the impression that all Egyptians are white’) was closely linked to modes of subjective interpretation in the classroom. They saw this as being rooted in teacher training and the production of textbooks. One student said: ‘they are ¹⁷⁷ J. Robottom, ‘Education in a Multi Cultural Society Project 1’, 2 March 1979: BBC WAC, R103/ 342, p. 34. Cf. Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration, Session 1968 69: The Problems of Coloured School Leavers, Volume 1: Report and Proceedings of the Committee (London, 1969), p. 6. ¹⁷⁸ ‘Memo re. “The Civil Rights Movement in the USA” ’, n.d. 1968: BBC WAC, R16/890. ¹⁷⁹ D. M. Newton, Paving the Empire Road: BBC Television and Black Britons (Manchester, 2011), pp. 151 3.

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teaching like multi-cultural education but in such a passive way . . . it’s lip-service to it really’.¹⁸⁰ In 1977 the BBC reported on responses of ethnic minority pupils to its first history television series written and produced from a black perspective, ‘The Black Man in Britain 1550–1950’. The five-part documentary series was the work of Tony Laryea, a British producer of Ghanaian heritage, who described it as ‘an unwritten social history with an underlying theme of exploitation’.¹⁸¹ Slavery and black campaigns for freedom featured prominently, as did a critique of the liberal, abolitionist narrative.¹⁸² Gavin Schaffer has identified the series as an archetypal 1970s anti-racist documentary, designed to ‘nudge the British public into recognising the realities of multicultural Britain’.¹⁸³ It was first transmitted on BBC2 in November 1974 and amassed a peak audience of 1 per cent of the total viewing population. The BBC heavily promoted ‘The Black Man in Britain’ for use in secondary schools and the series was repeated in 1976 on BBC1 as part of the ‘Schools and Colleges’ programming.¹⁸⁴ One ethnically mixed sixth-form discussion group praised the series for its comparison between past and present experiences, which opened up a conversation about the difference between prejudice and discrimination.¹⁸⁵ In general, the BBC report found that although ethnic minority pupils welcomed the prospect of more people of colour in programming, they were wary that their communities were being portrayed as ‘a problem with unvariable [sic] characteristics’ which could ‘exacerbate race relations’. Indeed, one girl of ‘WestIndian parentage’ told the Education Officer that ‘black programmes’ should not be about discrimination, ‘but about how to compete, to make the most of educational and training difficulties’.¹⁸⁶ If the shadow of ‘Black Power’ loomed over white-led discussions about how to teach history to pupils of colour, the recipients felt differently, directing attention squarely towards structural inequality in British society. For all parties, social history in the 1970s comprehensive school was being forced to confront questions of power relations. At least the social sciences had a range of explanatory tools and labels to handle the concept of power in an educational setting. The ‘history of everyday life’, on the other hand, was ill-equipped to cope with the deep inequalities of history, inequalities which continued to structure everyday life in late-twentieth-century Britain.

¹⁸⁰ Swann Report, pp. 98 9. ¹⁸¹ ‘A TV History of the Black Man in Britain’, Africa’s Sunday People, BBC World Service, 19 October 1974 [https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p034m9ql], accessed 1 August 2020. ¹⁸² J. Walvin, ‘The First Black Minorities’, The Listener, 14 November 1974, pp. 634 5. ¹⁸³ G. Schaffer, The Vision of a Nation: Making Multiculturalism on British Television, 1960 80 (Basingstoke, 2014), p. 77. ¹⁸⁴ ‘BBC Television series 1970 77’, n.d.: BBC WAC, R103/341; ‘Evidence to the Race Relations Commission’, 8 June 1976: BBC WAC, R103/254/1. ¹⁸⁵ ‘A report on the contribution made by broadcasting’, p. 69. ¹⁸⁶ ‘A report on the contribution made by broadcasting’, p. 68.

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Conclusion Histories of twentieth-century popular history usually take the 1970s as their starting point. In this story, the 1970s are the end point. Understanding the fate of the ‘history of everyday life’ in the 1970s explains the nature of popular history in England to the end of twentieth century. The established narrative tells that sometime around 1968 the ‘new’ academic social history came onto the scene to correct, and eventually evacuate, these parochial, amateur histories. Instead, this chapter has demonstrated how the ‘history of everyday life’ undid itself in the arena of mass education. Throughout the mid-twentieth century, Britain’s democratic yet deferential culture had required a popular social history that spoke to the self, and also reinforced the limits of that self within a defined social order. This appetite changed in the 1970s as Britain’s educational century matured. Two powerful critiques of the ‘history of everyday life’ emerged in this decade in the context of the comprehensive school. First, after a brief flowering in the guise of mixed-ability history, the CSE, and social studies, the ‘history of everyday life’ was discredited in the backlash against ‘permissive’ social education. This was part of a broader attempt to foreground standards, examinations, and ‘traditional’ subject boundaries that would reach its apotheosis during the Thatcher years. Technocratic solutions, such as the SCHP, maintained history as a viable vehicle of social education for selfhood in a less deferential, democratic society in which the vast majority of school leavers demanded academic and social rewards from secondary school. This echoes the technocratic trend that we saw germinating in Chapter 4, as the heritage industry professionalized and consolidated its social mission from the 1950s. The second critique was less explicit but far more formidable: the ‘history of everyday life’ could not accommodate an analysis of power dynamics, especially in relation to racial difference and the history of the British Empire. We have seen how this challenge played out in the English comprehensive school. Attempts to stretch the boundaries of mid-century popular social history to fashion an inclusive, ‘multicultural’ education were often problematic, deeply racist, and a weak tonic for the reality of growing, racialized ‘attainment’ gaps in the 1970s education system. As a form of local social history, the ‘history of everyday life’ was heavily implicated in the ‘disavowal of race’ that Catherine Hall and Keith McClelland have identified in the making of British national histories.¹⁸⁷ The ‘history of everyday life’s’ logic of whiteness came undone at the intersection of pedagogy and politics in the 1970s.

¹⁸⁷ C. Hall and K. McClelland (eds.), Race, Nation and Empire: Making Histories, 1750 to the Present (Manchester, 2010), pp. 1 11.

Conclusion Everyday Life at the End of the Educational Century

In the 1980s British Marxist historian Raphael Samuel excavated a chaotic tradition of ‘unofficial knowledge’ that had hitherto been invisible to him.¹ In a way, Samuel was discovering the ‘history of everyday life’. It was in the dense pages of Theatres of Memory (1994) that I first encountered characters including Marjorie and Charles Quennell and Molly Harrison, and felt compelled to make sense of their mid-century project. Their popular histories seemed eerily familiar to me. In the early 2010s the language of ‘everyday life’ permeated British social and cultural history, and histories of emotions and material culture were not just in vogue but becoming the mainstream.² Yet the path from Samuel’s mid-century practitioners of everyday life to twenty-first-century academia appeared opaque. This sense of disinheritance was indeed central to Samuel’s argument in Theatres of Memory, and my project began as an attempt to draw that line more clearly. Like all book projects, it turned into something else entirely. I began to realize that despite sharing preoccupations with the histories all around me in the present, the popular social history I was researching, the ‘history of everyday life’, was a different creature. It was based on post-1918 educational assumptions and not on post-1945 social theory. As a tool of the self, the ‘history of everyday life’ asked people to dissociate personal, familial, and community stories from the political, to imagine the past through objects, spaces, and feelings. But in this version of social history, objects were not imperial, spaces were not gendered, and feelings were not burdened with class encounter. This difference is fundamental to a conviction I share with Raphael Samuel: popular history does not ‘trickle down’ into any culture or society from academics. It plays by its own rules. But as the project unfolded, I gradually saw that mass education might also help explain our apparent present-day synergies with the ‘history of everyday life’. In the early twenty-first century, the catholicity of academic social and cultural ¹ R. Samuel, Theatres of Memory: Past and Present in Contemporary Culture (London, 2012 (first published 1994)). ² For example, C. Steedman, An Everyday Life of the English Working Class (Cambridge, 2013); J. Moran, Armchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV (London, 2013); L. Abrams and C. G. Brown (eds.), A History of Everyday Life in Twentieth Century Scotland (Edinburgh, 2010).

Histories of Everyday Life. The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918–1979. Laura Carter, Oxford University Press (2021). © Laura Carter. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198868330.003.0008

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history is surely not the result of individual scholarly genius alone. It must also be, at least in part, the product of the diversification of academic workforces and student populations in British higher education over the last thirty years (as imperfect as that process remains).³ In acknowledging this, a lesson of this book must be that we ought to remain vigilant towards the pedagogical assumptions we make about who gets to learn what kind of history, and why. * * * The story of how everyday life became part of culture in mid-twentieth-century Britain is usually told as one about how theory migrated into practice. This book has told that story differently; the ‘history of everyday life’ became part of British culture between 1918 and 1979 because of mass education. During this period, educational and cultural endeavours were run by local government or community-based initiatives. Local histories were the most accessible and attainable to individual citizens. The ‘history of everyday life’ constructed personal, emotional, and sensory pasts. Much of this historical activity was the work of women, who acquired a particular kind of agency over popular historical knowledge after 1918 and throughout Britain’s educational, twentieth century. The ‘history of everyday life’ was a feminized construct. This was what Alison Light was alluding to almost three decades ago when she tantalizingly identified the arrival of ‘a history from inside’ between the wars.⁴ The ‘history of everyday life’ did not decline because male academics and theorists invented an alternative social history. Its most limiting and discriminatory aspects were exposed through the teaching of history in comprehensive schools. When tested in these laboratories of social change, the ‘history of everyday life’ fell apart under the double pressures of accreditation and racialization. Black and Asian historical actors could not simply be written into this popular social history according to its existing, white formula, and presented to pupils of colour as a tool of selfhood in the classroom. Attempts to do so in the ‘multicultural’ comprehensive school laid bare the direct line between the violence of the British imperial past and the discrimination of the post-war, postcolonial present. Comprehensive education in the 1970s showed that the ‘history of everyday life’ was no longer fit for purpose because it was a form of popular social history that did not speak to issues of power. As we have seen throughout this book, mass education is not confined to the activities of schools, pupils, and teachers, and so the exposure of these fault lines had wider consequences across the final decades of Britain’s educational century. ³ Royal Historical Society, Gender Equality and Historians in UK Higher Education (London, 2015); Royal Historical Society, Race, Ethnicity and Equality in UK History: A Report and Resource for Change (London, 2018). ⁴ A. Light, Forever England: Femininity, Literature and Conservatism between the Wars (London, 1991), p. 5.

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Mainstream publishers and museums both grew increasingly attentive to social history as a site of power struggle, taking their lead from community publishing movements and labour history. The first mainstream black and Asian British histories took shape, nourished by decades of anti-colonial thought and activism. In Wales and Scotland, popular social history became untethered from the pluralist tradition of the ‘history of everyday life’ and harnessed to the cause of new political nationalisms, themselves also strengthened by the widening availability of postcolonial discourses. By the 1970s ordinary people themselves were finally becoming the architects of Britain’s educational century. Without its core basis in mass education, the ‘history of everyday life’ was regarded as socially impotent and politically suspicious. By the mid-1980s, it had become a nostalgic, English conservative safe haven, a prime target for the leftwing critics of kitsch and cosy popular histories. Television history and ‘lowbrow’ historical literature began to court ever larger commercial markets from the late 1970s. But popular interest in historical machines, food, or clothing, served by the marketplace, now appeared dangerously nostalgic to academic commentators if unconnected to the social and economic systems surrounding them. Their criticisms were often blind to the deep educational history underpinning ways of thinking about and using the past in twentieth-century Britain.⁵ The ‘new’ academic social history of the post-1968 period has a different origin story to the one told in this book about popular social history, and their points of conjuncture must be delicately unravelled. For most of the twentieth century, popular social history in Britain had primarily serviced an educational and social, rather than a political, need. This started to change in 1968 with the paperback publication of E. P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class.⁶ This book provided a generation of scholars and citizens with a fresh language to describe and challenge social injustices, through the idiom of social history. But the ‘new’ academic social history of this period had many other roots and iterations, as several scholars have shown.⁷ Sociology and anthropology were serious influences on British social history, and as E. P. Thompson took his very own anthropological turn in the 1970s he dabbled in the ‘history of everyday life’ by returning to the material generated by folklorists to re-read the ‘rituals’ of social relations in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England.⁸

⁵ See, for example, R. Hewison, The Heritage Industry: Britain in a Climate of Decline (London, 1987). ⁶ E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (London, 1968). ⁷ M. Taylor, ‘The Beginnings of Modern British Social History?’, History Workshop Journal, 43 (1997), pp. 155–76; G. Ortolano, ‘Human Science or a Human Face? Social History and the “Two Cultures” Controversy’, Journal of British Studies, 43 (2004), pp. 482–505. ⁸ E. P. Thompson, ‘History and Anthropology’, in Persons and Polemics: Historical Essays (London, 1994), pp. 202–27; A. Walsham, ‘Rough Music and Charivari: Letters between Natalie Zemon Davis and Edward Thompson, 1970–1972’, Past & Present, 235 (2017), pp. 243–62, at p. 255.

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According to Carolyn Steedman, the cohort of grammar-school-educated ‘Robbins’ students entering the new universities of the 1960s arrived with a broad knowledge of social history, owing to the pervasiveness of the ‘history of everyday life’ in the gendered adverts, books, and radio programmes of their childhoods.⁹ But whilst the ‘history of everyday life’ had neutralized class in its turn to emotions and materiality, the social history they found on their curriculum was decidedly different. It foregrounded the suffering and trauma of past injustices, vocalized by a generation of educated, politically aware, male class warriors. Over the following two decades, the line between academic and mainstream culture blurred, with the expansion of polytechnics and the rapid widening of participation in higher education (particularly amongst women, as both students and academics). At the end of the educational century, academic social history spoke the language of ‘everyday life’ in universities, which had become a primary site of British mass education. * * * Feminist women’s history provides the most direct link between post-1968 academic social history and the ‘history of everyday life’. In the 1970s and 1980s, feminist historians working in the tradition of ‘history from below’ challenged the patriarchal assumptions woven into labour history’s account of capitalism. In ‘histories of everyday life’, the personal had never been political, a compartmentalization that held serious inadequacies for both people of colour and women. Socialist women’s history smashed those barriers. By the mid-1970s the feminine topics that had previously been cast off as trivial and apolitical in academic thinking were actively embraced and politicized, through the centrality of women’s historical lives to the Women’s Liberation Movement.¹⁰ Thus, studies by early women historians such as Sheila Rowbotham, Sally Alexander, and Ellen Ross considered domestic life and women’s work in relation to broader economic and ideological structures.¹¹ This was the crucial feminist leap never made by the countless accounts of women’s lives in the ‘history of everyday life’. Indeed, many early feminist historians chose to distance themselves from mid-century, amateur histories, locating their tradition instead in inter-war suffrage history writing and the early twentieth-century ‘golden age’ of women historians. However, women historians in the 1970s and 1980s involved in grassroots activism shared more affinities with the ‘history of everyday life’ than their male ⁹ C. Steedman, ‘Social History Comes to Warwick’, in Utopian Universities: A Global History of the New Campuses of the 1960s, edited by M. Taylor and J. Pellew (London, 2020), pp. 8, 10–12. I would like to thank Carolyn Steedman for sharing this unpublished chapter with me. ¹⁰ S. Alexander and A. Davin, ‘Feminist History’, History Workshop Journal, 1 (1976), pp. 4–6. ¹¹ S. Rowbotham, Hidden from History: 300 Years of Women’s Oppression and the Fight against It (London, 1973); S. Alexander, Becoming a Woman: And Other Essays in 19th and 20th Century Feminist History (London, 1994); E. Ross, ‘Survival Networks: Women’s Neighbourhood Sharing in London before World War I’, History Workshop, 15 (1983), pp. 4–27.

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peers, since their own professional and intellectual trajectories remained bound by gendered expectations. Early women’s history gatherings folded the demands of childcare and motherhood into their political and intellectual work.¹² The first ‘Women’s Studies’ courses, often taught by feminist historians working part time through extra-mural departments and adult education networks, focused on unpacking the relationship between education, work, and family in the past and its implications for the present.¹³ Education was central to the everyday practice of women’s history, ensuring continuities with the ‘history of everyday life’. We can see this continuity clearly in campaigns for the inclusion of women’s history in secondary school curricula in inner London in the 1980s. The political culture of Women’s Liberation Movement activism in London prioritized feminist consciousness raising in the community. This naturally connected Women’s Liberation to ILEA with its notoriously politically active network of young teachers, administrators, and wider educational infrastructure. ILEA’s ‘History and Social Sciences Teacher Centre’ in Clapham translated second-wave feminist calls for the representation of women in school history into reality. The centre’s resources and events were designed to be diverse and intersectional, given how acutely felt the drive towards ‘multicultural’ education was in ILEA schools. This heeded long-standing calls from theorists and intellectuals of colour to underpin black and Asian history in schools with anti-racist pedagogy. The centre inaugurated a ‘London Women’s History Week’ for schools across London museums in 1985 ‘focusing on the lives of women of all ages, races, cultures, faiths, and ways of life’.¹⁴ Local history was central to this work, resources such as the ‘Local HerStory’ pamphlets recovered biographies of women in London boroughs, and textbooks were produced based on school oral history projects with local women of colour in their communities.¹⁵ These allied goals of anti-racist and anti-sexist education were formalized with the appointment of an ILEA Equal Opportunities Inspectorate in 1983, which scattered advisory teachers throughout London secondary schools, spreading these philosophies. Although politically informed, this work was pedagogically motivated. It grew directly out of teachers’ frustrations with modes of assessment that failed to account for the needs of ethnically diverse populations, especially around the issue of English as a second language.¹⁶ Nonetheless, early women’s history in British schools

¹² A. Davin, ‘The Only Problem Was Time’, History Workshop Journal, 50 (2000), pp. 239–45, at p. 240. ¹³ M. Hughes and M. Kennedy (eds.), New Futures: Changing Women’s Education (London, 1985), pp. 34–6. ¹⁴ ‘News’, Teaching History, 41 (1985), pp. 24–7. ¹⁵ See, for example, Bruce Castle Museum, Local HerStory: Lives of Women in Haringey (London, 1987); E. Dodgson, Motherland: West Indian Women to Britain in the 1950s (London, 1984). ¹⁶ CLIO, The History and Social Sciences Teachers’ Centre Review, ‘Equal Opportunities: Gender Issue’, vol. 4 no. 3 (London, autumn 1984); CLIO, The History and Social Sciences Teachers’ Centre Review, ‘Anti-racist Issue’, vol. 6 no. 1 (London, spring 1986).

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remained a white-led project. This reflected deeper feminist divisions around issues of race and ethnicity and echoed the way in which the ‘history of everyday life’ privileged the subjectivities of white women at the expense of a critical examination of race and imperialism.¹⁷ This network of ILEA teachers, advisers, and inspectors was mainly comprised of young professional women, many of them working mothers. Although connected to the Women’s Liberation Movement through shared politics, they did not know personally or work with many academic feminists.¹⁸ Throughout the 1980s, they generated their own local histories of women’s everyday lives based on archival research and community engagement, and published them with the support of ILEA and other local publishing cooperatives. Once the GCSE was established in 1986, commercial publishers became interested in women’s history textbooks for the mainstream school market.¹⁹ Although the subject matter of these resources and events took their lead from the zeitgeist of academic women’s history in the 1980s, the context and methods of their institutionalization across mainstream, mass education was a legacy of the ‘history of everyday life’. For decades, women had been both the producers and consumers of popular social history in Britain. In schools, museums, and local government they built and ran its educational networks. As teachers, mothers, and grandmothers they managed and maintained the emotional and psychological infrastructure that made the late-twentieth-century history ‘boom’ possible. As long as intellectual histories of social history continue to regard the inclusion of women as a tokenistic exercise, or as narrowly related to second-wave feminism, they will fail to grasp fully the relationship between academic thinking and the place of history in modern British culture. Taking all aspects of women’s contributions to the making of history seriously fundamentally changes our understanding of the nature of popular history in modern Britain. The very late entry of women into the status and prestige of academic history, and near lack of entry for women of colour, should not deter us from claiming the history of popular social history in Britain as their story.

¹⁷ N. Thomlinson, ‘The Colour of Feminism: White Feminists and “Race” in the Women’s Liberation Movement’, History, 97 (2012), pp. 453–75. ¹⁸ Interview with Kate Moorse, 27 February 2019. ¹⁹ For example, M. Kendler, Women in Britain 1850–1986 (London, 1987). In addition, Macdonald published a series called Working for Equality, Women History Makers and Hamish Hamilton published the In Her Own Time series.

APPENDIX

Teacher Interviews Ten interviews with history teachers who taught in comprehensive schools during the 1970s were conducted in February 2019, in person, via Skype, and on the telephone. Interviewees were recruited from volunteers who emailed in response to a callout from the Historical Association (HA) in its January 2019 ‘e-news’ blast. Anon. 1: This male teacher was born in 1951 and went to a boys’ grammar school in Surrey between 1963 and 1970. He attended the University of Cambridge and did his PGCE at Exeter. He first taught history at a technical high school in Essex, which became a comprehensive during his time there, 1974–7. He then moved to teach history at a grammar school in Devon, which also became a comprehensive school while he worked there, 1977–83. Anon. 2: This male teacher was born in 1930 and attended a boys’ grammar school in Derby from 1942 to 1949. He was conscripted into the army from 1949 to 1951, and then attended a Training College in Cheltenham. He began teaching ‘General Subjects’ at a boys’ secondary modern school in Derby in 1953. After that he taught history at two Derbyshire secondary modern schools between 1958 and 1972. From 1972 to 1989 he taught history at another comprehensive school. Hilary Bourdillon: Hilary was born in 1949 and attended co-educational grammar schools in Yorkshire from 1960 to 1967. She studied History and Archaeology at the University of Southampton. Her interview was based on her experiences of teaching history at a secondary school in Oxfordshire between 1970 and 1971, and then at four different ILEA schools (Lambeth, Greenwich, Lewisham, and Wandsworth) between 1971 and 1988. Chris Culpin: Chris was born in 1944 and went to a grammar school in Hull between 1955 and 1962. He studied history at the University of Cambridge and did his PGCE in Sussex, 1968–9. He then taught history at Exmouth School, a comprehensive school in Devon, 1969–71, and then at two other comprehensive schools in Suffolk between 1974 and 1986. He was also a CSE history examiner during his time in Suffolk. Chris was a member of the National Curriculum History Working Group (1989–90) and later Director of the Schools History Project (SHP) (1997–2008). Ian Dawson: Ian was born in 1951 and went to a boys’ grammar school in Liverpool, 1962–70. He studied history at the University of Leeds and then taught history at Thornes House School, a comprehensive school in Wakefield, from 1975 to 1980. From the 1980s he worked for the SHP, developed resources for history teaching, and has written many history textbooks. Kate Moorse: Kate was born in 1949 and attended a co-educational grammar school in Southampton, 1961–8. After some time working and studying, she taught history and French at a comprehensive school in Harrow from 1975 to 1979 and then was head of history at a comprehensive school in Islington (ILEA), 1979–83. In 1983 she became the Warden of the ILEA History and Social Sciences Teachers Centre. Margaret Parker: Margaret was born in 1944 and attended a girls’ grammar school in Manchester from 1955 to 1962. She studied history at the University of Liverpool and did her teacher training at the Institute of Education in London, 1965–6. She first taught history

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at a girls’ secondary modern school in Leeds between 1966 and 1969. After a career break, she taught at a comprehensive school in West Yorkshire between 1976 and 1984. Hilary Stark: Hilary was born in 1956 and attended a Catholic grammar school in North London between 1967 and 1974. She studied history at Lancaster University and did her teacher training at St Martin’s College in Lancaster. She then taught history at a Catholic comprehensive school in St Albans, 1978–82. Harriet Turner: Harriet was born in 1954 and went to a girls’ grammar school in Cambridge between 1966 and 1973. She did her undergraduate studies and her PGCE at York, 1973–7, and then taught history at a large comprehensive school in West London until 1993. Harriet taught in further education from 1994 until her retirement in 2014. Quintin Watt: Quintin was born in 1957 and went to a boys’ grammar school in East London, 1968–75. He studied history at St David’s College, Lampeter and did his PGCE at Durham, 1978–9. He then taught history at a comprehensive school in Worcestershire from 1979 until his retirement in 2018.

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References Archival Sources A. J. P. Taylor papers and Flora Thompson papers, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin. Allen & Unwin collections, George Bell & Sons collections, John Lane collections, and Routledge collections, Archive of British Printing and Publishing, Special Collections, University of Reading. Archive of the Cambridge and County Folk Museum, Museum of Cambridge. Archive of the Geffrye Museum, Museum of the Home, Hoxton, London. Archives of Wardown Park Museum, Wardown House Museum & Gallery, Luton. Audience response files, Contributor files, Educational Broadcasting records, Programme records, Schools publications, Scripts, and Rhoda Power Special Collections, BBC Written Archives Centre, Caversham. Author files, Cut books, Press Syndicate minutes, and Sales records of Cambridge University Press, University Archives, Cambridge University Library. Author files, Humphrey Milford letter books, and Oxford University Press General Catalogues, Oxford University Press Archives, Oxford. British Ethnography Committee collections, Archives and Manuscripts, Royal Anthropological Institute, Fitzrovia, London. Castle Museum committee minute books and Museum committee minute books, York Libraries and Archives, York. Education records and Records of the Bristol Racial Equality Council, Bristol Archives, Bristol. Eileen Power papers and Rhoda Power papers, Archive and Special Collections, Girton College, University of Cambridge. J. L. and B. Hammond papers, Bodleian Library Special Collections, University of Oxford. John Saltmarsh papers, Archive Centre, King’s College, University of Cambridge. London County Council Education Office papers, London Metropolitan Archives, Clerkenwell, London. Private collection of Alexander Quennell, Peter Quennell Estate. Records of the Carnegie Trust, National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Records of and inherited by the Department of Education and Science and related bodies, Records of HM Treasury, Records of successive Works Departments and the Ancient Monuments Boards and Inspectorate, Records of the Board of Education, Records of the Commission for Racial Equality and predecessors, and Records of the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries and of the Museums and Galleries Commission, The National Archives, Kew, London. Records of the Historical Association, Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Nottingham. Records of the History in Education Project, Archives and Special Collections, Institute of Education, University College London.

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Records of Somerset County Council Education Department, Somerset Heritage Centre, Taunton. Reginald McKenna papers, Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, University of Cambridge. Topic collections: Adult education; Fulham reading survey; Forces’ Reading; Library Questionnaire, and Librarians, Mass-Observation Archive, University of Sussex.

Digital Primary Sources ‘Jacquetta Hawkes’, Desert Island Discs, BBC, 21 November 1980 [http://www.bbc.co. uk/programmes/p009mvpr]. ‘The Man who was Given a Gasworks ’, BBC Chronicle Documentary, BBC2, 20 April 1968 [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5yUU3PvRys]. ‘A TV History of the Black Man in Britain’, Africa’s Sunday People, BBC World Service, 19 October 1974 [https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p034m9ql]. ‘The Documents Archive’, Education in England [http://www.educationengland.org.uk/ documents/index.html]. BBC Genome Project [https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/]. BFI Player [https://player.bfi.org.uk/]. History in Education, Institute of Historical Research, November 2011 [http://www.history. ac.uk/history-in-education/index.html]. National Library of Scotland, Moving Image Archive [https://movingimage.nls.uk/]. Petty, Mike, ‘A Century of Cambridge News: A Chronicle of Cambridge life and change from 1888’, August 2015 [https://archive.org/details/CenturyOfCambridgeNewsAugust2015].

Printed Primary Sources Newspapers and Journals The Bazaar: The Ideal Weekly for Collectors and Connoisseurs. The Bookman. The Bookseller. Bristol Evening Post. Cambridge Daily News. CLIO, The History and Social Sciences Teachers’ Centre Review. Daily Express. Education and Community Relations. Glasgow Herald. History Today. History. The Listener. Luton News; Saturday Telegraph; Dunstable Gazette; Luton Pictorial; Beds and Herts Evening Telegraph; Dunstable Borough Gazette—articles filed in press clippings books, Archives of Wardown Park Museum. Manchester Guardian. Museums Journal. The Observer.

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Radio Times. Social Science Teacher. The Spectator. Teachers World. Teaching History. The Times. Times Literary Supplement. Western Gazette.

Books and Articles ‘Editorial’, Group for Regional Studies in Museums Newsletter, 1 (1975), pp. 1–4. ‘History of English Life’, Children’s Newspaper, 24 January 1942. ‘Ironmongers’ Almshouses at Shoreditch’, Country Life, 9 July 1910, p. 72. ‘New Museums for Children—Writer’s Scheme’, Cairns Post, 28 March 1930, p. 8. ‘Notes—A Lady’s Impressions of Wales a Century Ago’, Bye-Gones, Relating to Wales and the Border Counties, 5 (1880), p. 1. ‘RAI Proceedings—A Scheme for the Development of a Museum of English Life and Traditions’, Man: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, XLIX (1949), pp. 41–3. ‘The East End’, Architects’ Journal, 12 December 1935, p. 867. Alexander, Sally, Becoming a Woman: And Other Essays in 19th and 20th Century Feminist History (London: Virago, 1994). Alexander, Sally and Davin, Anna, ‘Feminist History’, History Workshop Journal, 1 (1976), pp. 4–6. Ashbee, Charles R., The Survey of London (London: P. S. King, 1900). Ashbee, Charles R., Craftsmanship in Competitive Industry (Campden: Essex House Press, 1908). Atkinson, Frank, The Man Who Made Beamish: An Autobiography (Gateshead: Northern Books, 1999). Baily, Leslie and Brewer, Charles, The BBC Scrapbooks (London: Hutchinson, 1937). Ball, Stephen J., Beachside Comprehensive: A Case-Study of Secondary Schooling (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). Batsford, B. T., A Selected List of Batsford Books (London: B. T. Batsford, 1936). BBC, The BBC Handbook 1929 (London: BBC, 1929). BBC, The BBC Yearbook 1930 (London: BBC, 1930). BBC, The BBC Yearbook 1931 (London: BBC, 1931). BBC, The BBC Handbook 1938 (London: BBC, 1938). BBC, The BBC Handbook 1939 (London: BBC, 1939). BBC, The BBC Handbook 1940 (London: BBC, 1940). BBC, The BBC Yearbook 1945 (London: BBC, 1945). BBC, Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians: An Historic Revaluation of the Victorian Age (London: Sylvan Press, 1949). BBC, New Ventures in Broadcasting: A Study in Adult Education (London: BBC, 1928). Benn, Caroline and Simon, Brian, Half Way There: Report on the British Comprehensive School Reform (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972). Beresford, John, ed., The Diary of a Country Parson (London: Oxford University Press, 1924). Board of Education, The Education of the Adolescent (the Hadow Report) (London: HMSO, 1926).

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Board of Education, Memorandum on Increased Co-operation between Public Museums and Public Educational Institutions (London: HMSO, 1931). Board of Education, Educational Pamphlet No. 90—Report on the Instruction of the Young in the Aims and Achievements of the League of Nations (London: HMSO, 1932). Board of Education, Report of the Consultative Committee on Secondary Education with Special Reference to Grammar Schools and Technical High Schools (the Spens Report) (London: HMSO, 1938). Booth, Martin Butler, History Betrayed? (Harlow: Longmans, 1969). Brown, Charles Kenneth Francis, The History Room (London: G. Bell & Sons, 1931). Bruce Castle Museum, Local HerStory: Lives of Women in Haringey (London: London Borough of Haringey, 1987). Bryant, Arthur, Samuel Pepys: The Man in the Making (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1933). Burgess, Robert G., Experiencing Comprehensive Education: A Study of Bishop McGregor School (London: Methuen, 1983). Burgess, Tyrell, Inside Comprehensive Schools (London: HMSO, 1970). Cambridge University Press, Announcements of Forthcoming Books, Autumn 1927 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1927). The Carnegie United Kingdom Trustees, Educational Broadcasting: Report of a Special Investigation in the County of Kent during the Year 1927 (Dunfermline: Carnegie United Kingdom Trustees, 1928). Carpenter, Peter, History Teaching: The Era Approach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964). Central Council for School Broadcasting, The Evidence Regarding Broadcast History Lessons (London: BBC, 1930). Clarke, Fred, Foundations of History-Teaching (London: Oxford University Press, 1929). Coard, Bernard, How the West Indian Child Is Made Educationally Sub-normal in the British School System (London: New Beacon Books, 1971). Consitt, Frances, The Value of Films in History Teaching (London: G. Bell & Sons Ltd, 1931). Coulton, G. G., A Medieval Garner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910). Coulton, G. G., Social Life in Britain from the Conquest to the Reformation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1918). Coulton, G. G., Medieval Panorama: The English Scene from Conquest to Reformation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1938). Coulton, G. G., ‘Memories of Eileen Power’, Cambridge Review, 52 (1940), pp. 28–9. Coulton, G. G., Fourscore Years: An Autobiography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1943). Council for Visual Education, Newsletter—April 1963 (London: B. T. Batsford, 1963). Cox, Montagu H., ‘Office Organization of the London County Council’, Journal of Public Administration, 3 (1925), pp. 134–50. D’Oyley, Elizabeth, English Diaries (London: E. Arnold & Co., 1930). D’Oyley, Elizabeth, More English Diaries (London: E. Arnold & Co., 1938). Danachair, Caoimhin O., ed., Folk and Farm: Essays in Honour of A. T. Lucas (Dublin: Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1976). Darby, John and Dunn, Seamus, Education and Community in Northern Ireland (Coleraine: University of Ulster, 1989). Davies, Hunter, The Creighton Report: A Year in the Life of a Comprehensive School (London: Hamilton, 1976).

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Davin, Anna, ‘The Only Problem Was Time’, History Workshop Journal, 50 (2000), pp. 239–45. Davis, V., The Matter and Method of Modern Teaching (London: Cartwright & Rattray, 1928). Dawson, Ian, ‘The Schools History Project: A Study in Curriculum Development’, History Teacher, 22 (1989), pp. 221–38. Deneke, Helena Clara, Grace Hadow (London: Oxford University Press, 1946). Dent, Harold, Secondary Modern Schools: An Interim Report (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1958). Department of Education and Science, Secondary School Examinations other than the GCE (the Beloe Report) (London: HMSO, 1960). Department of Education and Science, Education of Immigrants in England (Circular 7/65) (London: HMSO, 1965). Department of Education and Science, Children and Their Primary Schools (the Plowden Report) (London: HMSO, 1967). Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education 1972, Volume 1 (London: HMSO, 1972). Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education 1975, Volume 2 (London: HMSO, 1976). Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education in Wales 1975 (London: HMSO, 1976). Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education 1977, Volume 2 (London: HMSO, 1978). Department of Education and Science, Statistics of Education 1977, Volume 1 (London: HMSO, 1979). Department of Education and Science, West Indian Children in Our Schools (the Rampton Report) (London: HMSO, 1981). Department of Education and Science, Education for All (the Swann Report) (London: HMSO, 1985). Dodgson, Elise, Motherland: West Indian Women to Britain in the 1950s (London: Heinemann Educational, 1984). Doncaster, Islay, Finding the History Around Us (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1957). Dutton, Ralph, The English Interior 1500–1900 (London: B. T. Batsford, 1948). Dyer, James, The Story of Luton (Luton: White Crescent Press, 1964). Ewing, Guy, ‘A Village History Exhibition as an Educational Factor’, Historical Association Leaflet No. 81 (London: Historical Association, 1930). Fawdry, Kenneth, Everything but Alf Garnett: A Personal View of BBC School Broadcasting (London: BBC, 1974). Finlay-Johnson, Harriet, The Dramatic Method of Teaching (London: Ginn & Company, 1911). Fleming, David, ‘Projecting Social History in Museums’, Social History Curators Group Journal, 13 (1985–6), pp. 1–3. Fletcher, J. S., Memorials of a Yorkshire Parish: An Historical Sketch of the Parish of Darrington (London: The Bodley Head, 1917). Floud, Jean, Halsey, A. H. and Martin, F. M., Social Class and Educational Opportunity (London: William Heinemann, 1956). Fogelman, Ken, ed., Britain’s Sixteen-Year-Olds: Preliminary Findings of the Third FollowUp of the National Child Development Study (London: National Children’s Bureau, 1976).

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Unpublished Dissertations Brindle, Patrick, ‘Past Histories: History and the Elementary School Classroom in Early 20th Century England’, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, 1998. Campsie, Alexandre, ‘A Social and Intellectual History of British Socialism from New Left to New Times’, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2017. Denscombe, Martyn, ‘The Social Organisation of Teaching: A Study of Teaching as a Practical Activity in Two London Comprehensive Schools’, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Leicester, 1977. Hoare, Lottie, ‘Secondary Education in BBC Broadcast 1944–1965: Drawing Out Networks of Conversation and Visions of Reform’, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2018. Hutton, Alex, ‘Culture and Society in Conceptions of the Industrial Revolution, 1930–1965’, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2014. Ingram, John, ‘ “No Haussmanns or emperors here”: Reforming the Anglo-American City—Philadelphia and London, 1870–1925’, PhD dissertation, King’s College London, 2017. Kirke, Alice, ‘Education in Interwar Rural England: Community, Schooling and Voluntarism’, Ph.D. dissertation, University College London, Institute of Education, 2016. Proctor, Rebecca, ‘ “From Papua to Pampisford”: The Origins of Cambridge and County Folk Museum’, MA Museum Studies dissertation, University College London, 2010.

Interviews (see Appendix) Anon. 1, 8 February 2019. Anon. 2, 22 February 2019. Bourdillon, Hilary, 22 February 2019. Culpin, Chris, 19 February 2019. Dawson, Ian, 18 February 2019. Moorse, Kate, 27 February 2019. Parker, Margaret, 22 February 2019. Stark, Hilary, 18 February 2019. Turner, Harriet, 8 February 2019. Watt, Quintin, 21 February 2019.

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Index Note: Tables and figures are indicated by an italic ‘t’ and ‘f ’, respectively, following the page number. For the benefit of digital users, indexed terms that span two pages (e.g., 52–53) may, on occasion, appear on only one of those pages. A History of Everyday Things in England book series 4–5, 21–2, 39, 51, 55–7, 56f, 91–2, 177, 193–4. See also Quennell, Charles and Quennell, Marjorie academic history 12–14, 127, 202, 236, 239–40 Acts of Union 1707 65–6, 97 adult education 79–80, 82–3, 93–5, 98–102, 187–94, 188f, 216, 240–1. See also Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) affluence 159–60, 186–7, 191–4 African history 232–4 African-Caribbean communities 195–6, 196f, 229–35 amateurism 4–5, 7, 31–4, 58, 101–3, 149–50, 153–4, 185–6, 240. See also women historians Am Fasgadh see Highland Folk Museum anthropology 114–15, 129, 136–7, 224, 233, 239 antiquarianism 10–11, 54, 72, 128, 153–4, 184–5 archaeology adult education 101–2, 187–9 collecting 136–7, 147–8 for schools 72–3, 77–8, 142–3, 162–3 illustrations 30 industrial archaeology 73, 85, 155–7, 215–16 on BBC radio 101–2, 122–5 architecture adult education 187–91 architectural salvage 132, 151–2, 169–71 for schools 31, 217–20 illustrations 29, 55–6 on BBC radio 89–92 publishing 21–2, 30 Arts and Crafts movement 5–6, 146–7, 165–6, 168–9, 175–6, 190–5. See also Morris, William Ashbee, Charles Robert 168–9 Atkinson, Frank 155–9 B. T. Batsford (publisher) 21–3, 28, 30, 55–6, 231 Bagshawe, Thomas Wyatt, 133nn.29–30, 134–6, 138–9, 150–3, 155–6

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) historiography 89–90 Home Service 117–19, 122, 124 National Service 97, 101, 103–4 race 114–15, 229–30, 233–5 schools broadcasting 106–26, 215–16 Scotland 96–8, 110–11, 111t, 116–19 Second World War 117–26 social history broadcasting 15–16, 49–51, 91–106, 100f, 113f Third Programme 117–23 Wales 96–8, 110–11, 124 women 92–3, 98–103, 111–17 Beamish Museum 155–8. See also folk museums Beloe Report 1960 213 biography and public history 14, 40–1 as popular history 7, 83–4, 95, 217, 241–2 autobiography 3, 43–52, 167–8 black British history 228–36, 241–2 Black Studies 231–2 Black Power 234–5 Briggs, Asa 14, 120 Bristol 78–9, 133–4, 217–18, 232–4 British Empire and popular history 9–12, 129, 238–9 on the BBC 114–15, 117–18 teaching of in schools 68–72, 228–36 British-Asian communities 98, 228–36, 241–2 broadcasting see BBC Bryant, Arthur 14, 27–8, 40–2, 106 bygones 133–4, 145–52, 158–9 Cambridge University Press (CUP) 35–8, 49–52, 50f, 53f, 84 Carnegie Trust 82, 107–8, 132, 135–6, 142, 152–8 Central Council for Schools Broadcasting (CCSB) 108–10, 115. See also BBC central school 67–8, 78–9, 79f, 107

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child-centred education 67–8, 73–4, 174–5, 177–8, 200–1, 204. See also progressive education citizenship democratic 5–6, 71, 89–90, 95–6, 125, 162–3, 194–6, 233–4 imperial 9, 69–70 in museums 138–46, 180–94 teaching of in schools 68–77, 81–3, 175–6, 211–13 women 34, 58–9, 98–103, 126 Civil Rights movement 234 clothes see costume co-education (mixed-sex schooling) 202–3, 222–3 collecting antiques 146–8, 184–5 everyday things 129, 135–6, 142, 146–52, 155–7, 216 Committee for Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) 163, 182–4 Communist Party Historians’ Group 25–6. See also Marxist history comprehensive school creation of 60–1, 65–6, 172–3, 202 curriculum 202–5, 216–17, 230–3 examinations 213–21, 227, 230–1 historiography 200 intake 201–3 pedagogy 59, 126, 204–13 teachers 207–8, 220, appendix consumerism 159–60, 187–94 costume 4–5, 8, 22, 55–6, 91–2, 134, 137–9, 147–8, 151–2, 196f, 210, 215, 217t. See also dressing up Coulton, George Gordon 35–8, 37f, 95–6 Council for Visual Education 30–1 Council of Art and Industry (CAI) 175–7 Council of Industrial Design (COID) 192–3 countryside see rural history curriculum comprehensive schools 202–5, 208–10, 216–17, 222–7, 230–3, 241 interwar period 64–77 national curriculum 61, 83, 203–4 secondary modern schools 73–6, 85, 122, 216, 220, 223 deindustrialization 155–60, 203 Design and Industries Association (DIA) 191 design history 171–80 diaries 38–43, 105, 118–19, 150–1, 210–11 domestic service see servants

domesticity 81, 99–103, 140–1, 185–6, 217 dramatization see historical drama dress see costume dressing up 8, 195–6, 196f. See also costume economic history 12, 33, 63, 74–5, 80, 205–6, 215–16, 220 Edinburgh 110, 153–4, 163 Education (Scotland) Act 1918 61, 66 Education (Scotland) Act 1945 61 Education Act 1902 (Balfour Act) 172 Education Act 1918 (Fisher Act) 1–2, 5–6, 60–1 Education Act 1944 (Butler Act) 60–2, 65, 119, 121, 145–6, 202. See also eleven-plus eighteenth-century history 39–40, 73, 84–5, 96, 170, 215–16 elementary school 57, 59–61, 77, 107, 109–10, 171. See also primary education eleven-plus 60–1, 207–8 emotions 7–9, 27–8, 58–9, 83–5, 98, 105–6, 116–17, 145–6, 149–50, 160–1, 206, 211–13, 237. See also empathy empathy 83–5, 99–101, 211–13, 226. See also emotions Englishness 96–7, 118–19, 129–30 eugenics 138–9 Everyman’s Library 24–5, 39–40 examinations (secondary) Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) 17, 203–4, 211–21, 214f, 217t, 223–7, 230–1 GCE ‘A’ Level 204, 216, 220, 224, 230 GCE ‘O’ Level 203–4, 213–16, 220, 223–7, 230–1 General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) 225–7, 242 Highers (Scotland) 200–1, 215–16 Ordinary Grade (Scotland) 200–1 School Certificate, 62n.37, 84–5 Fabian Society 26–7, 164 family history 148–9, 218, 219f fashion see costume feminism feminist history 6–7, 114, 240–2 women’s history 6–9, 140–1 Women’s Liberation Movement 240–2 Festival of Britain 181 film cinema 36–8, 80–3 local history 76, 215–16 school history films 30, 80–3, 123, 222–3

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 First World War education during 141–2 impact on education 1, 5–6, 58–60, 92–3, 165, 171–80 impact on history teaching 68–77 impact on popular history 22–9, 42–3, 94–5, 147, 162–3 folk museums Cambridge Folk Museum 134–8, 135f, 139–40, 143–4, 150–1, 157 campaigns for 131–8 Highland Folk Museum (Am Fasgadh) 136, 139, 145, 153–4 Luton Public Museum 134–5, 137–8, 142–3, 144f, 151–3 Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) 133, 154–5 Skansen (Sweden) 131–2, 137, 154–5 Ulster Folk Museum 131–2, 154–5, 159 Welsh Folk Museum 131–2, 142, 145, 154–7, 160 York Castle Museum 141–2, 145, 151–3, 160 food history 40, 102–3, 109, 116–17, 217t. See also domesticity Geffrye Museum adult education 187–94, 188f collections 170–1, 174–5 during the Second World War 180–7 founding of 167–9 period rooms 175, 178, 179f, 192–3 schoolchildren 171–2, 174–5, 178–9, 181–2, 183f, 196f George Bell & Sons 40–2 Germany 11–12, 68–9 Gomme, Laurence 136–7, 168–9 grammar school 60–2, 64–6, 74–5, 78–9, 119, 121–2, 127, 202, 205–8, 210, 213, 240 Grant, Isabel 136–42, 148–50, 153–4 Great Men 12, 43, 96, 106–7, 116, 230 Greater London Council (GLC) 165, 172 Green, John Richard 8, 64 Hadow Report 1926 64–8, 94, 173, 204–5 Hadow, Grace 99–102, 100f, 101t Hadow, Henry 64, 94 Hammond, Barbara 45, 216 Hammond, John Lawrence 25, 216 Hankin, Gerald 81–3 Harrison, Molly 1, 180–96 Hartley, Dorothy 102–3 Hawkes, Jacquetta, 82n.161, 123–4 Hawking, Ernest 170–1, 173–4, 178–9 heritage industry 152–60, 236

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heritage wars 159–60, 239. See also Samuel, Raphael Highlands (Scottish) 97, 129–30, 136, 139, 145, 153–4 Historical Association (HA) 58, 77–83, 108–9, 205, 210, appendix historical drama 67–8, 103–6, 104t, 115–17 historical pageants see pageants history from below 238–42 History in Education Project (HiEP) 57–8, 62–3, 73–5, 78–9, 205, 209–13, 214f, 216–18, 220, 223–4, 226, 232–3 history of science see natural history Horniman Museum 166–9, 173–4 housewives 26–7, 98–9, 185–6 Hughes, Mary Vivian 44–5, 47–8 humanities (school subject) 208–9, 213–15, 221–4, 231 illustrations in history books 1, 29–38, 41, 45, 49–51, 50f, 55–6, 56f in school resources 77–83, 211–13, 212f, 231 images see illustrations imagination 8, 30–1, 74–5, 77–8, 82, 104–5, 117, 124, 126–7, 130, 149, 210–13, 226 immigration 72, 190–1, 195–6, 203, 209, 228–36 imperial history see British Empire India 11, 231 Industrial Revolution 73, 81, 85, 96, 157–9, 210, 226–7. See also industrialization industrialization 11–12, 32–3, 39, 156–8, 215–16. See also Industrial Revolution Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) 165, 199, 207–8, 217–18, 220, 241–2 Integrated Studies 209, 231. See also humanities (school subject) internationalism 68–77, 114, 137. See also world history John Lane (publisher) 42–4 kings and queens 4, 56–7, 62–3, 122–3, 217t Kirk, John 145, 151–3 labour history 3, 238–40 Labour Party 13–14, 43–4, 66–7, 155–6, 186–7, 199, 202–3 Lambert, Richard Stanton 79–80, 93 Lane, Allen 25–9 Laryea, Tony 235 League of Nations Union 68–77 Leavis, Frank Raymond 48–9, 139 Listener, The 43–4, 53f, 93, 101–2, 115

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Local Education Authority (LEA) 11, 58–61, 107, 141–2, 145, 162–3, 202, 205, 228–31 Local Government (Scotland) Act 1947 163 Local Government Act 1888 164 Local Government Act 1948 163 local history in communities 6 in museums 129, 138–46, 154, 184–5 in the nineteenth-century 5, 72 in universities 150, 158 on BBC radio 97, 101–2 teaching of in schools 68–77, 162–3, 205–6, 210, 217–18, 220, 241–2 London County Council (LCC) 77–9, 79f, 164–81, 192–5 London Labour Party 163–4, 172–4 London Museums Society 178–9 London School Board 172 London School of Economics (LSE) 95–6, 119 London East End 163–4, 167–9, 173–4, 180–1, 184, 190–6, 200 history of 47, 116, 164–71, 174–5 local government see London County Council (LCC) museums 132, 154–5, 158, 173, 190 Progressive Party 164–6 publishing 31–2, 35–6, 39–40, 44–5 schools 63, 78–9, 107, 171–80, 206–7, 210, 213–15, 217–18, 230–1, 241–2 Lowndes, George Alfred Norman 172–8 Macaulay, Thomas Babington 5, 169 Mannheim, Karl 183–4. See also militant democracy Marson, Una 117–18 Marxist history 2–3, 5–6, 184, 237. See also New Left Mary, Queen of Scots 103–4, 200–1 Mass Observation (M-O) 13–14, 26–9, 38–9, 103, 150–1 medieval history 29–38, 37f, 62–3, 74–5, 84, 95–6, 99, 102–3, 108–9, 113–14, 116–17, 132, 142, 210, 212f, 217–18, 217t memoir see autobiography memorabilia see bygones memory 10–11, 28, 43, 47, 73, 105–6, 147–8, 150, 159, 205, 218 Middle Ages see medieval history middle school 126, 208–9 militant democracy 71, 183–4 mixed-ability teaching 40, 126, 204–13, 226, 231 monarchy see kings and queens

Morris, William 48, 139, 176–7, 191, 194–5. See also Arts and Crafts movement multiculturalism 17, 199–200, 228–36, 238, 241 multilateral school 65, 172–3. See also comprehensive school Museums Association 141–2, 154–8, 185–6 museums. See also folk museums and Geffrye Museum and collecting and broadcasting 102–3 and education 128, 138–46, 171–94 and national identities 129–38 funding 128, 133–6, 142–5, 152–60, 167 professionalisation 152–60, 185–6 music 8, 15–16, 89–91, 93, 97–8, 105, 109, 115–16, 125, 139, 147, 163, 181, 187–9, 216, 232–3 national identity 11–12, 57–8, 71–2, 96–7, 129–30, 211–13 National Trust 167 nationalism English nationalism 130, 138–9 national history 5–6, 8–12, 40–1, 68–9, 106, 130–8, 226–7, 236 Scottish nationalism 10, 76–7, 94, 129–30, 153–4, 201–2, 238–9 teaching of in schools 68–77, 200–2, 211–13, 224, 226–7 Welsh nationalism 10–11, 94, 98, 124, 201–2, 238–9 natural history 122–4 New Left 12, 94 new social history see academic history Newsom Report 1963 75–6, 215, 222–3 nineteenth-century history see Victorians Northern Ireland 130–2, 159, 226–7. See also Ulster Norwood Report 1943 65, 71 nostalgia 25, 45, 47–8, 142–7, 159, 194–5, 202, 239 Obscene Publications Act 1959 41–2 open-air museums see folk museums oral history 136–7, 150, 218, 241–2 ordinariness education 1–4, 56–7, 72, 75–7, 94–5, 101–2, 127, 141–2, 163, 213–21 gender 7–8, 44–7, 122, 148–50, 185–7 pedagogy 3–4, 8–11, 60–8, 77–86, 106–7, 116, 123–4, 133–4, 173, 201–4, 213–22, 224–5, 230, 233–4 race 9, 195–6 social class 13–14, 27, 43–4, 92, 148–50, 185–6, 194, 200–1

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 organic community 48–9, 139 Orwell, George 26–7 Oxford University Press (OUP) 24, 31–5, 39–41, 44–8 pageants 38, 129–30, 162 paperbacks 22–3, 25–6, 28, 40, 44–5, 47, 51, 118–19, 239 Parkes, Joan 33–5 Parson Woodforde see Woodforde, James patriotism 27–8, 40–1, 57–9, 68–71, 80, 85–6, 92, 106, 130. See also national identity Peate, Iorwerth C. 98, 133–4 Penguin books 25–6, 28–9, 41–2. See also Lane, Allen and paperbacks Pepys, Samuel 39–42, 221 period rooms 147, 170–1, 175–8, 179f, 192–5 photographs 12–13, 29–30, 35–8, 45, 49–51, 77–8, 155, 175–6, 182–3, 217–18 Pick, Frank 165–6, 175–7 pictures see illustrations Plowden Report 1967 200–1, 204 Porter, Enid 15, 135–9, 135f, 143–4, 150–1, 154–5 Power, Eileen 6–7, 14, 25, 31–2, 35–6, 70, 84, 95–6, 113–15 Power, Rhoda 84, 111–17, 112f, 113f, 122–6 prehistory 101–2, 101t, 123–4, 136–7, 154, 184–5, 210. See also archaeology preservationism 132, 155, 164–71, 192 primary education 63–4, 66–7, 162–3, 200–1, 210, 221 professionalization 6–8, 12, 15–16, 29–30, 128–9, 134–5, 152–60, 236 progressive education. See also child-centred education in schools 69, 76–85, 204–5, 210–11 pedagogy 3–4, 10, 60–8, 73–4, 108–9, 114–15, 141–2, 176–7, 200–1 project work 76–7, 216–18 psychology educational psychology 3–4, 59, 65, 67, 83, 108–9, 200–1 psychological appeal of social history 3, 7–8, 43, 149 teaching of in schools 224 public history 14, 114, 130 Publishers’ Association 24–5 Quennell, Charles 4–5, 21, 31–3, 39, 48–9, 51, 55–7, 56f, 91–2, 107–8, 131–2, 137, 177–8,

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187, 237. See also A History of Everyday Things in England book series Quennell, Marjorie 4–5, 21–2, 31–2, 39, 48–9, 51, 55–7, 107–8, 177–82, 179f, 187, 193–5, 237. See also A History of Everyday Things in England book series race 9–12, 117–18, 138–9, 195–6, 204–5, 222–3, 228–36, 241–2. See also black British history, immigration, and multiculturalism radio see BBC raising of the school leaving age (ROSLA) 1–2, 61, 64, 202–3, 213, 222–3, 228 Rampton Report 1981 230–1 Reith, John 89–93, 106–8, 125. See also BBC religion 5–6, 32–3, 72, 91, 93, 99–101, 111t, 130, 159, 163, 209, 229, 231 Representation of the People Act 1918 5–6, 21, 58–9, 98–9 Robbins Report 1963 158, 240 romanticism 8, 22, 29–30, 38, 58–9, 77, 96–7, 126–7, 130, 136–7, 142–3, 168–9 Romans 78–9, 111t, 211–13, 217t. See also archaeology Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) 133 rural history 5–6, 45–6, 48–52, 96, 98–103, 138–46 Salzman, Louis Francis 31–3, 35–8 Samuel, Raphael 4–5, 12–13, 184–5, 237 school history teaching in England 11, 58–85, 125, 202–28, 241–2 in France 11–12 in Germany 11–12, 68–9 in Scotland 10, 61–2, 65–7, 76–7, 82, 200–2 in the British Empire 9, 69–70, 72 in Wales 10–11, 60–1, 67, 71, 73–4, 200–2 school trips 8, 72–6, 85, 143–4, 159, 173, 217–18 Schools Council History Project (SCHP) 225–8, 236 Scottish history 76–7, 82, 96–7, 103–4, 110–11, 111t, 116–17, 129–30, 136, 140–1, 149, 153–4, 200–2 Scott, Sir Walter 5, 129–30 Second World War and museums 134, 139, 180–7 evacuation of schoolchildren 142, 172, 181–2 impact on education 27, 40, 60–1, 65–6, 82, 110–11, 121, 125, 202 impact on history teaching 71, 121–2 impact on popular history 25, 47–8, 56–7, 117–19

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secondary modern school 59–62, 73–6, 85, 121–2, 127, 142–3, 202–5, 207–8, 216, 220–3 servants 3, 45, 185–6 Siepmann, Charles 103 Sieveking, Lance 105 Sir John Soane’s Museum 189–90 slavery see transatlantic slave trade Social History Curators Group (SHCG) 158 social sciences see sociology and psychology socialism 12, 27–8, 48, 64, 66–7, 71, 240 Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings 167 sociology. See also Mass Observation (M-O) as expertise 13–14, 45, 149–50, 239 sociology of education 202, 205–7, 222–3 teaching of in schools 221–8 Somerville, Mary 107–8, 111–14, 121–2 songs see music Spens Report 1938 65 Stobart, John Clarke 91–3 Sturt, George 39, 48–52, 50f, 53f suffrage 58–9, 98–9, 140–1, 240 Summerson, John 189–90 Swann Report 1985 229–31, 234–5 Sweden 137, 154–5

time travel 43–4, 101t, 126–7, 159 tourism 142, 159–60 Tout, Thomas Frederick 68–9, 84–5 Toynbee, Arnold, 25n.16 trade unionism 43–4, 81, 106, 215–16 transatlantic slave trade 232–5 Trevelyan, George Macaulay 14, 25, 36–8, 96–7, 116, 120 tripartite system 60–1, 122, 145–6, 205–8 Tudors 1, 208, 210–11, 216, 217t

Tawney, Richard Henry 66–7, 208 Taylor, Alan John Percivale 14, 119 teachers attitudes to history teaching 57–8, 61–4, 69–70, 74–6, 85, 174–5, 178–9, 203–4, 208–15, 217–24, 226–7, 231–4 interviews 205, appendix professionalism 61–2, 67, 172–3, 185–6, 207–8, 225–7 training 58, 126, 180, 200–1, 207–8, 213, 222–3, 226, 228–30, 234–5, 241–2 television 91, 98, 106, 118–19, 124, 126, 199, 215–16, 235, 239 textbooks (school history) 9, 11, 31, 33, 57, 62–3, 67–70, 74–5, 77–8, 126–7, 205, 210, 233–5, 241–2 Thompson, Denys 48 Thompson, Edward Palmer 12, 48–9, 239 Thompson, Flora 44–8, 118–19

Welsh history 10–11, 97–8, 102–3, 110–11, 124, 131–4, 156–7, 201–2, 215 Williams, Raymond 13, 186–7 women historians. See also feminism and amateurism and education 6–9, 240–1 as authors 7, 33–4, 49, 240 at the BBC 92–3, 98–103, 106–7, 114–16, 120 in museums 140–1, 177 in schools 241–2 Women’s Institutes (WI) 95, 98–9, 150 Women’s Studies 240–1 Woodforde, James 39–40, 118–19 Woolf, Virginia 14, 27–8 Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) 25, 48, 79, 91–2, 94–5. See also adult education world history 68–9, 109–10, 113–14, 116, 203–4, 220, 226–7, 230, 233–4. See also internationalism

Ulster 131–2, 154–5, 159. See also Northern Ireland universities. See also academic social history and museums 133–6, 152–60 social history in 6, 35, 38, 150, 152–60, 163, 184, 240 professionalisation 12, 33–4 urban history 5–6, 47, 164–71, 215–16 USA 11, 36–8, 45, 63, 81, 89–90, 177–8, 180, 225–6, 234 Victoria and Albert Museum 132, 168, 190, 192 Victorians 12–13, 43–52, 119–20, 129, 142–3, 146–8, 150–1, 191–2