Participants in the ‘My Place Through Time’ project came together for an event on Friday 23rd July at Southwater Area Community Centre in St Leonards to share and celebrate local memories and experiences.

The Southwater researchers uncovered fascinating information about the histories of houses and localities in Hastings and St Leonards, using information from the 1901 and 1911 census records as well as original photographs and other historical sources.

‘My Place Through Time’ was part of Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage’s Census 21 project, in partnership with the University of Brighton’s Centre for Memory, Narratives and Histories, in the run up to Census Day 2021. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the project explored broader issues around the historical census records and highlighted ways to get the most out of using the census, including practical, technical advice and ideas on how to frame the data critically.

The project team worked with Southwater Area Community Centre to coordinate ‘My Place Through Time’, which invited members of the public to take part in an online workshop session and spend approximately 10 hours researching their house, street or neighbourhood using information from the 1901 and 1911 censuses. Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage provided access to the census information, research, tips and advice to the community researchers via an online workshop.

Everyone who attended the final project event received a print of their project and the research team plans to stay in touch to share any future findings.

Keep an eye on the Strike a Light website for details of the team’s research which will be featured on our project page soon!

Census 21-Using Historical Records for Research | Strike a Light