PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD
Introduction and Explanation
We are all used to blue plaque heritage for the rich and famous, but this is a day for the chip plate ordinary people.
Collect a People’s Heritage Card and complete your People’s Heritage Task. Take pictures! Write up an account in any genre!
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER ONE
A suburban home means as much a stately home, so …
Put posters in your window: “EVERY HOME A HERITAGE SITE’,
Invite people around and give them a guided tour –
You could even issue tickets and rope off PRIVATE AREAS.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWO
Leave counter-heritage notes in envelopes addressed to HERITAGE: THE TRUTH and insert them in the gaps between official plaques and the surfaces to which the plaques are attached,
the Black Boy clock in Nelson Street needs a different contextualization, one which foregrounds slavery,
rather than a clock.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THREE
Walk a thirty metre stretch of hedgerow and estimate its age
(1 species for every 100 years along this 30 metre walk)
Declaim some lines from John Clare about enclosure,
‘Unbounded freedom ruled the wandering scene
Nor fence of ownership crept in between
To hide the prospect of the following eye
Its only bondage was the circling sky.’
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER FOUR
Visit Hetty Pegler’s Tump (or other such) and stand by the information board.
Think of all the people who questioned why such constructions were necessary,
but were forced to dig and delve and hew.
Make their feelings politely known with pen and paper
and pencil and voice.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER FIVE
Visit buildings associated with slave owners who received compensation for the abolition of slavery in 1834,
For example, the Rev. Joseph Duncan Ostrehan, who owned slaves in Barbados and lived at Sheepscombe Parsonage,
A memorial in the church eulogizes him:
‘In faithfully preaching Christ he gave prominence to the Blessed Truth that His sheep should never perish, neither should any man pluck them out of His hand.’
Make your feelings politely known with pen and paper
and pencil and voice.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER SIX
Hold a ribbon in your hands and stand at the top of the High Street,
Where the street surface is subsiding
as the numerous subterranean springs endlessly flow,
Have a placard: ‘UNDERNEATH THE PAVEMENT THE BEACH:
WELCOME TO THE STROUD BRANCH OF THE SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONAL AND THE REASON FOR STROUD’S EXISTENCE AND ITS SUBSIDENCE: SPRINGS’.
Cut the ribbon, remove the placard and re-open the spectacle of normality.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER SEVEN
Look for where ‘the past is poking through’,
For example, the Slad Brook in front of Macdonald’s. Try and make the invisible visible,
Rescue the anonymous poor from
‘the enormous condescension of posterity’ –
Invent people, invent names, invent stories,
Re-imagine the 1825 weavers’ riots.
(For ideas, visit http://radicalstroud.co.uk/these-are-my-memories-of-what-i-saw-and/ )
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER EIGHT
Talk to Mr. Holloway’s statue and ask him why he was so opposed to the socialist co-operative movement if he was such a friend of the working class. You might have to use a megaphone so as to ensure he hears you above the traffic’s din. It gets busy by the railway bridge. The information board reads thus: ‘He was the founder of the mid-Gloucester working men’s Conservative Association Benefit Society and represented this division in Parliament from 1886 to 1892. For nearly forty years he took a leading part in every political and social movement for the welfare of Stroud. This statue was erected by the members of the above society and other admirers MDCCCXCIV’. But you call out from the past with a performative walk using some relevant script from Fair Shares For All. (attached script available.)
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER NINE
Magic small-scale representations of the past in the landscape, with small-scale representations,
For example, take a model train and signal down to the old
Nailsworth branch line,
Take pictures and write a poem.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TEN
Hold show and tell afternoons with tea and scones,
With short talks from exhibitors about their re-creations,
Especially with reference to how passers-by reacted;
Create a shop in your kitchen with pencils, rubbers and fridge magnets for sale.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER ELEVEN
Take photographs of incongruities in the landscape,
Surreal or jarring juxtapositions,
Visual and/or historical oxymorons and/or juxtapositions,
Such as ?
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWELVE
When you are looking for the past poking through,
Look for urban palimpsests,
But transform industrial archaeology into social history,
By leaving invented first person recollections or fabulous but credible statistics,
Declaim and record them as the wind blows cold,
These can be your counter heritage calling cards.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTEEN
Choose an unobtrusive, seemingly mediocre spot, a place with apparently nothing to recommend it,
Reveal the extraordinary within the ordinary,
A William Blake vision of the universe within a drop of water or a grain of sand,
Record and/or photograph and/or write down your thoughts
About this exact spot on the first day of each month throughout the year,
And share your Miniaturist’s Almanack with friends and family
On each successive New Year’s Eve.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER FOURTEEN
Take pre-decimal old money into your favoured public house,
Try to buy beer at old prices but with good humour,
And with clichéd sallies,
Treat the pub as a historical theme park –
Choose a year beforehand,
And conduct all conversation is if it is that year,
For example: ‘The Day when War broke out’.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER FIFTEEN
Conduct a peregrination involving a deconstruction
Of the iconography of pub signs,
You could sketch an alternative one and proffer it to the publican.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER SIXTEEN
You should also ensure that your ramble includes a deconstruction
Of street names: you might want to point at a name such as King Street,
And maintain a street discussion about whether it might be renamed
Citizen Street – draw passers-by into your colloquy,
As you make your pilgrimage around the names of streets.
You might want to take a wax crayon and plain paper and make rubbings for a show and tell
In your own domestic museum.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER SEVENTEEN
Such an urban activity lends itself well to the countryside,
You could informally name footpaths and holloways,
And delicately mark this new nomenclature upon your own OS maps;
You could also create a new space-time matrix by cutting up photocopies of old OS maps,
And sticking them carefully onto a modern map,
So as to create a new utopian world.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER EIGHTEEN
Visit the Oxfam Shop and the bookies in Gloucester Street,
This used to be the Golden Hart – a pub with a bowling green -,
Where Henry Vincent, the charismatic Chartist speaker,
Raised the roof and the masses in 1839,
So stroll into the bookies and mime some bowling of ninepins,
Then collect some betting slips and fill in the Six Points
As the names of your horses in six different races:
Universal Suffrage; Payment of MPs; Equal Electoral Districts; Secret Ballot; Annual Parliaments; Abolition of the Property Qualification for MP.
You might do this just the once.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER NINETEEN
If the television is on, and a period costume drama comes on,
Turn it off,
And visit the Farmers’ Market instead,
Count how many times you hear or see the words ‘artisan’ and ‘artisanal’
Used in an entrepreneurial false consciousness bourgeois sort of way.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWENTY
Take a walk across fields threatened with development on a frosty morning,
Take photographs of your footprints,
Then listen to the drone of the traffic,
Then imagine the sound of clogs, shoes, hooves and bare feet;
Re-create the conversations of past centuries,
By finding wormholes that will transport you through time,
For example, the alleyway in Stroud’s High Street linked to Walker’s Bakery.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWENTY ONE
Stand in front of some CCTV cameras,
Clad in historical costume,
And recreate some famous events from the past,
With a series of historical tableaux.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWENTY TWO
Create your own lexis and vocabulary,
As in Robert Macfarlane,
For example: ‘Severnset’,
A word to describe the sun setting over the Severn,
When viewed from Rodborough Common,
Or ‘frost-furrow’ and ‘rime-ridge’,
To describe the re-appearance of a medieval landscape,
On a winter’s day.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWENTY THREE
Conduct conversations with imagined ghosts whilst out walking,
Or create an Edward Thomas imagined alter ego – ‘The Other’,
And unlike Thomas, who spurned the use a map when out walking,
Photograph a keepsake when you cross those lines on the map:
Eastings and Northings,
Create a miniature museum of these keepsakes pictures.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWENTY FOUR
Rename constellations in the heavens
With names from radical history.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWENTY FIVE
Photocopy banknotes and substitute radical faces for the monarch’s,
Just as Thomas Spence used to create a radical coinage
in the reign of King George the Third,
So you could make wax crayon rubbings of coins,
But replace the circumferential Church and State fidelities,
With radical slogans and assertions.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWENTY SIX
Your house might begin to so overflow with your memorabilia,
That you might feel obliged to designate a room in your home
As ‘The Museum of Counter-Heritage, Counter-Tourism,
And Guerrilla Memorialization’
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWENTY-SEVEN
Visit the Shambles and read the heritage plaque about the food riots. Notice how quickly the text moves so quickly into imperial history.
Look at http://radicalstroud.co.uk/the-1766-food-riots-and-the-hangmans-noose/
And write a new information plaque for the Shambles.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWENTY-EIGHT
Visit Bisley church and look at the emigration display just inside, beyond the door. Have a look, also, at http://radicalstroud.co.uk/emigration-from-stroudwater-in-the-1830s-and-40s-prologue/
Try to imagine the scene of melancholy as the carts arrive to take people to Bristol, and thence to NSW. Write a few lines, a poem or haiku.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER TWENTY-NINE
Study these entries about ‘ye black’ of Bisley: http://radicalstroud.co.uk/pre-windrush-gloucestershire-paris/
And then scroll a long way down at http://radicalstroud.co.uk/walking-and-podcasting-the-tempest-sapperton-cirencester-and-walking-practices/
Until you find John Davies again. Write a few lines, a poem or haiku from the viewpoint of ‘John Davies’.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTY
Visit the Black boy Clock in Nelson Street; study these BAME Gloucestershire parish register entries: http://radicalstroud.co.uk/pre-windrush-gloucestershire-paris/
And then the story of Thomas Jubiter at http://radicalstroud.co.uk/the-last-words-of-thomas-jubiter/
Write a few lines or a poem or haiku so as to recreate the life of a person from the BAME parish register entries.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTY-ONE
Visit the Black boy Clock in Nelson Street; study this entry http://radicalstroud.co.uk/the-black-boy-clock/
Ponder on forced migration and asylum seeking in the contemporary world – write a few lines or a poem or haiku about this.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTY-TWO
Visit the commemorative arch in Paganhill. Take pictures of it and the plaque. Return to the High Street or the farmers’ market and carry out a survey with three questions: What is this? Where is it exactly? Have you been there to visit? Record your findings.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTY-THREE
Up to Butterow to the toll house: ‘It stands where the 1825 road crosses the older hillside track from Rodborough to Bagpath’; it was a sweetshop and tobacconist in 1967; ‘Mr Holbrow of Watledge told the writer that his wife’s grandmother, whose family kept the pike, could remember when young seeing the legs of a man hanged on the gallows dangling out of the cart on the way down the hill.’ Take a picture and write a few lines, a poem or haiku contrasting that scene with the one you see today.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTY-FOUR
Visit the toll house at Cainscross – there was a riot here in 1734 – “On Sunday night, the 19th June 1734, whilst in a house situate near the turnpike at Cainscross, a tumultuous company of disguised people sounding a horn, and playing a fiddle, and armed with firearms and other weapons, came up to the turnpikes and commenced hewing with axes; and when deponent [William Bennet, innholder] looked out about two hours after, he saw that the turnpikes were utterly demolished.” You might want to recreate this scene through role-play or you might want to take a picture and write a few lines, a poem or haiku contrasting that scene with the one you see today.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTY-FIVE
Public hangings used to take place at crossroad gallows. There is no evidence that such hangings took place at Tom Long’s Post – but it can be a haunting spot. Visit the spot after studying http://radicalstroud.co.uk/the-1766-food-riots-and-the-hangmans-noose/ Reimagine such a scene. You might want to recreate this scene through role-play or you might want to take a picture and write a few lines, a poem or haiku contrasting that scene with the one you see today.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTY-SIX
Walk down an average suburban street in Stroud. Rescue these streets from the condescension of bohemia. Reveal the extraordinary within the ordinary. Capture the pulse and rhythm of the street with picture, prose, poem or haiku.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTY-SEVEN
Visit the street called ‘Brimley’ in Leonard Stanley. Find some post-WW2 prefabs. Take a picture and write a few lines about the history and purpose of these prefabs. Recreate that time of shared People’s History’.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTY-EIGHT
Visit Minchinhampton Common and Minchinhampton, and http://radicalstroud.co.uk/the-1766-food-riots-and-the-hangmans-noose/ Scroll down to read about the advance of the crowd across the common towards Cirencester, and of the fracas in Minchinhampton itself. Reimagine such a scene. You might want to recreate this scene through role-play or you might want to take a picture and write a few lines, a poem or haiku contrasting that scene with the one you see today.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER THIRTY-NINE
Take a walk along the canal near some new buildings, and also visit http://radicalstroud.co.uk/locks-and-crime/ and http://radicalstroud.co.uk/reflections-derived-from-a-reading-on-a-train/ Imagine you are Richard Musto: recreate his mole catching life through role-play or you might want to take a picture and write a few lines, a poem or haiku contrasting that imagined scene with the one you see today. Or discuss why people might have broken canal lock gates and risked transportation. Write a few lines, a poem or haiku. http://radicalstroud.co.uk/spreadsheet-a-chronicle-of-emigration/.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER FORTY
Visit Painswick Beacon and also visit http://radicalstroud.co.uk/painswick-beacon-and-botany-bay/ and also http://radicalstroud.co.uk/spreadsheet-a-chronicle-of-emigration/
Choose one of the emigrants and write a few lines, a poem or haiku.
PEOPLE’S HERITAGE CARD NUMBER FORTY-ONE
Visit Stroud railway station and study the information boards in the forecourt near the taxi rank, on the right as you look at the station. Also look at http://radicalstroud.co.uk/isambard-kingdom-brunel-gwr-and/ Write a few lines, a poem or haiku, about the life of the area when the navvies arrived, from the point of view of a navvy or a resident.