MA student Lucy Daish has been running community workshops linked to her own reserach on the 1921 census.

As part of the Census 21 project, MA student, Lucy Daish, has been running a series of community workshops inviting participants to research the history of their own house and family. Taking place in the Electric Palace, Hastings, the sessions have explored community and social histories uncovering new sources of information and data held within the 1921 Census, now available to researchers and the public for the first time.

Led in partnership by Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage, and CMNH, these free workshops have formed an important aspect of community outreach and engagement, building on last year’s online census project that took place during lockdown. The sessions have been running since 31st May and will take place weekly until July 5th.

Participants have been looking through records to seek local connections in relation to other broader issues of the day in 1921, exploring themes including the effects of World War 1 on families and particularly women, as well as the related issues regarding disabilities of the war-wounded, war widows, orphans, women’s suffrage, migration and ethnic minorities.

The project is in the process of collecting images and text together to create resources and an artist will create a piece of work inspired by the sessions and their findings.

The local history workshops are enjoyable and rewarding- it’s wonderful to see the enthusiasm from the participants about their research, and how it opens up wider conversations and ideas within the groups. 
The use of the Census provides a social history aspect, one that involves the people and places local to the participants.  This makes the surprises and discoveries personal and exciting as we build the larger picture.
Lucy Daish

All sessions held on Tuesdays from 31st May, then on June 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, and July 5th.

Group 1 – Southwater Community Centre, 1 Stainsby Street, St Leonards, TN37 6LA: 6-7pm

Group 2 – Electric Palace Cinema, 39a High Street, Hastings, Old Town, TN39 3ER: 1.30 – 2.30pm

If you would like to join or know anyone else who might be interested, please email: to join these free Hastings and St Leonards sessions.

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