By now you’ve probably opened all of the doors on your advent calendar. So here are a few more (although I’m afraid there’s no chocolate). What’s behind these doors? Some we know already, as they are already open to the public.  What about those that aren’t though? Can we open more doors in 2013?

Whilst there’s no doubt that curiosity is one of the reasons I (and I’m sure others!) would like to have a look behind these doors, there are some nobler reasons I promise!  Behind closed doors, things can deteriorate or become lost, without us even knowing that they existed in the first place. Opening these doors allows us to explore and learn and question. It helps us to feel connected to a place, to each other and to all those who have walked through those doors previously.

Things are moving in the right direction. The gaol cells reopened again this yearGareth Thomas, from Lichfield District Council, showed us behind the doors of the council offices and regularly shares the deeds and maps he finds in his magical strongroom. Another important development, that will hopefully gain more momentum in the new year is Dave Moore’s vision regarding the future of Sandfields Pumping Station, a building that’s not only part of Lichfield’s history, but also that of the Black Country and South Staffordshire. Something I would like to see next year is more buildings open for the Heritage Weekend in September (at least), more community involvement in our history, improved access to local history resources, and of course more people getting out there exploring their surroundings, finding out what it is that matters to and interests them.

So that’s my rallying cry for 2013, more on this in the new year, but for now, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has commented and got involved with this blog in 2012, and of course have a very, Merry Christmas!

5 thoughts on “Adooration

  1. Yes indeed, closing doors can and often is away of shutting away our past. Sometimes it is easy to fall into a way of thinking that some stories are not important enough to become history, yet some of these undervalued events can tell us remarkable stories about ordinary people.

    For instance families build a sense of themselves, and of their place in the world, through the construction of narratives and the passing on of stories attached to pictures, artefacts, rituals and lore. When you stop and look and start to unpeel these layers, a whole new set of concepts reveal themselves in quite subtle but definite ways, taking you on a journey back into the past.

    Lets get more doors unlocked, and unlock a rich and useable past.


    • Absolutely. I think there has been a shift recently towards telling the stories of ‘ordinary’ people. Layers is another interesting idea – a building or place can be so many different things to many different people. I’ve often said if you took a group of people to the same place and asked them about it afterwards, they’d all have their own interpretations. And this is one of the ideas I am interested in – allowing people to discover these stories for themselves and deciding for themselves what is important. I think there has never been a better time. I do think there is a place for top down history but it shouldn’t be our only history.


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