The Vikings and Tudors are back as Local Studies Day returns


Plymouth’s annual Local Studies Day will take place on Saturday 7 May with a day of presentations that celebrate the history of Plymouth.

The event, which will kickstart this year’s History Festival, will be held at the Robbins Conference Centre from 9am to 4.30pm. It will also include a series of small displays highlighting current projects and activities from local history societies.  

A packed schedule for the day includes seven different presentations from local history experts.

The University of Exeter’s Derek Gore will look at new evidence for Vikings in the South West.

Not a lot of people know that Plymouth’s Cattewater Wreck was the UK’s first protected wreck – the Mary Rose actually came second! Martin Read from Plymouth University will explain more about Plymouth’s own Tudor ship, highlighting the outcomes of new research and scientific analysis.

Playwright John Nash and actors from the Barbican Theatre will discuss how performance can help people understand history, drawing on their experience of bringing the city’s historic Elizabethan House to life last year with their production of ‘The Spice Box’. 

Taxation is very topical at the moment and well-known Devon historian Todd Grey will remind attendees that taxes were just as popular in the period 1550-1640! 

2016 sees the continuing centenary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of the Blitz so, fittingly, Dr Ian Hodgins from the Ford Park Cemetery Trust will talk about the ‘Victors and Victims of War’.

The day will round off with a step back to into the ‘Plymouth Beats’ of the 1950s courtesy of the South West Film and Television Archive and South West Image Bank, plus updates on future projects from the Council’s libraries and arts and heritage services.   

Mark Tosdevin, Programmes Manager for the Arts and Heritage Service said: “Local Studies Day is a chance for heritage enthusiasts to catch up on new developments and share ideas. It’s also a great way for people to find out more about the Plymouth and Devon of yesteryear with a programme that takes them this year from the Viking Age to the modern age.”

Tickets for Local Studies Day are £12, with an optional buffet lunch available for an extra £10. Bookings can be made online or by calling the Museum and Art Gallery on 01752 304774. The closing dates are 29 April for those who wish to book with lunch and 6 May for admission only.

Local Studies Day is jointly organised by Plymouth City Council and the Old Plymouth Society, with the support of Plymouth University’s Peninsula Arts.