As the curtains close on 2019 and Christmas approaches, it is time for a quick reflection on our year and a look forward to 2020.
Alchemy has been a bit of a theme for us this year. Our Gloucester Home Education series has explored the past through the biographies of elements. This has been an amazing journey, mercurial post medieval characters such as John Dee, Tycho Brahe, Hennig Brand, and the amazing stories and contributions they bring to the history of science. We explored lost Roman legions in China, Medieval English expatriates on the Black Sea, and "element" intrigue from both world wars. This was such fun that we turned it into a three day course that included practical tin and copper metalwork.
In Bristol we now have a fantastic classroom for our Home Educators - the Blaise Estate. We had good weather for all of our sessions (well, maybe not the final one). Focussing entirely on outdoor education, activities include manufacturing Neolithic pottery from the banks of Hazel Brook, mapping some archaeological sites and some Beowulf in a cave.
We have enjoyed a lot of hands on excavation this year working on projects and outreach in Guernsey, Exmoor and the Forest of Dean.
But most of the year has been taken up with delivering a humanities curriculum in Gloucester. This is a great platform not only for history but for a broader examination on what it is to be human, global, and how individuals and societies interact and effect each other.
The Wilderness Centre on the edge of the Forest of Dean has served as our observatory this year, providing great southerly views and dark clear skies.
On the subject of astronomy, we are very excited to be working with GCSE Astronomy students at a local Westbury on Trym school from January. We are resourcing and supporting the students in an observational project assessing stellar densities.
When we speak to people about our Travelling History activities, a common response has been to enquire if we run events for grown ups. In 2020 we shall be exploring some Lifelong Learning courses and activities.
Other plans for 2020 include Chinese related archaeology and astronomy and history retreats in some exciting new locations, one of which will be in the Wye Valley.
We finished up the year yesterday with a festive field trip to Tewkesbury Abbey for our Gloucester Home Eds, exploring the archaeology of graffiti and stained glass, a fantastic way to end the year.
And finally, after years of people telling us we should do Instagram, we now have an account and all of 12 followers! Do feel free to follow us, to like us and share things on Instagram and Facebook as well.
Wishing all our customers and supporters a very Happy Christmas and New Year.