I Believe In Yesterday: Tim Moore

★★★½

A 2000-Year Tour through the Filth and Fury of Living History

When Tim Moore and his family move into an unmodernised semi in Chiswick in 1988, he has a glimpse of what it might have been like to live in the past: no hot water; no bathroom; and an outdoor privy in the back garden. Marvelling at the developments in home comforts over the last hundred years – and struck by how much we’ve come to rely on them – he decides to investigate why thousands of people feel drawn to give up such luxuries as central heating, soap and a proper roof over their heads, and take up living history instead.

Continue reading

History Live!

History Live! 2013

(organised by English Heritage, Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire, 20-21 July 2013)

‘What is this strange contraption?’ It was 9:30am on a grey, cool Sunday morning and I was in a 12th-century encampment from the Holy Land (temporarily translated to a damp field in Northamptonshire), explaining the principle of photography to two Normans. Within five minutes’ walk were two thousand years of British history, ranging from a Roman legion to Second World War troops representing Britain, Germany, the USA, Russia and Poland. The day ahead would encompass tanks, trebuchets and muskets, thundering hooves and shattered lances, showers of arrows loosed from English yew, a shield wall, and the spine-tingling thrum of a Merlin engine, as a Spitfire burst through clouds of smoke to do a victory roll in the skies above. This was History Live! (formerly the Festival of History), English Heritage’s annual smorgasbord of a weekend celebrating British history.

Continue reading