History comes to life in BBC History Festival

History comes to life in BBC festivalHistory was not just a thing of the past when the BBC History Festival brought Gloucester’s heritage to life.

Thousands of people visited the festival on Saturday, complete with re-enactors, talks and games – and got a glimpse into the rich history of the city.

Trish Campbell, BBC learning project manager for the West, said she, as a local girl, had particularly wanted to bring the festival to Gloucester.

She said: “Gloucester has so much history and we’re trying to encompass 2,000 years of it, and trying to get children interested. It’s about educating all of us. I’ve found out things about the city I never knew existed and I’m a local girl. I didn’t realise Gloucester Cathedral pre-dated Norman times. I hope everybody goes away learning something new about Gloucester.”

BBC Radio Gloucestershire presenter Vernon Harwood said: “The idea was always that this would be a family event. The lovely thing is we’ve had everyone coming here from 18-months to 80-years old. That’s been heartening. People across Gloucestershire have realised there’s something here for them.

“I’ve been speaking to people and they’ve said they been into places like St Michael’s Tower, Gloucester City Museum and the Folk Museum that they’ve never been into before.

“If this festival has given them the excuse to discover local heritage then we’re chuffed.”

Mark Hurrell, BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s managing editor, said: “Lots of people are interested in heritage here in the city.

“People are generally interested in the past, and it’s events like this that give them the chance to find out more.

“It’s part of the BBC mandate to make sure people have the opportunity to find out more about their family history and local history. We encourage people to do that and the turn-out today shows it’s something people are interested in.”

Visiting the festival was Vicky Rose, 28, a playgroup assistant from Gloucester, whose six-year-old daughter Eliza was keen to come to the event.

Dressed in fancy dress costume so she could pretend to be medieval, Eliza said: “I wanted to see all the medieval things and I wanted to go up the tower. The tower was the best bit. I wanted to see the sculptures as well.

“I’m wearing a maid’s dress. It’s medieval.”

Her mum added: “It’s a really nice free day out. There’s a great atmosphere in the Cathedral and there were lots of nice thing to do and for Eliza to make.”

Also visiting was Sue Fairs, from Brockworth, who said: “It’s interesting and fun and gives children who might not know anything about the history of Gloucester a chance to find out about it.”

Her sister Diane Irwin was visiting from Harrow. She said: “I think it’s lovely. It’s nice to come to something and go into the Cathedral and have a look around and the re-enactors are lovely.”

Source: This is Gloucestershire

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