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Youngsters today and history

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john knight

signman
I find it so sad that youngsters today are not in the least bit interested in the past or their ancestors, when our lot have gone there will be no one left to tell or talk of it, they don't take photos of where they live (for future generations) or their immediate siblings or grand parents,I read somewhere that history before Churchill will no longer be taught in schools, if that is true, I blame the powers that be in creating this attitude.
 

Alberta

Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't think that it is just the youngsters of today that are not interested in their ancestors.
Until my parents died in 1993 and 1995 I wasn;t very interested. I loved history at school but never gave a thought to the history of my family and most of my friends would have been the same.
I knew people who didn't know their grandparents christian names , they were just Grandma and Grandad.
I started working back from my parents and soon it became almost an obsession, first visiting record offices and then using the computer.
I remember the feeling the day I walked up the path to the door of the small church in the village of Colwich staffs and thought of my great,great grandparents making the same walk to their wedding and childrens baptisms.
That was the day I decided to leave a family tree record for my descendants and it would be great if everyone did the same. Alberta
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
good posts john and alberta....since a child i have always been interested in history in general...wanted to take history as a subject for my cse exam but it was not an option...bringing up 4 children took up so much of my time but as soon as they were out of hand so to speak i got cracking...firstly i bought a second hand windows 7 desk top which i still use from time to time then i joined this forum to learn about the general history of birmingham focusing a lot on social history..then i started my vast collection of old photos before demo...next i joined ancestry to find out about my ancestors (another big folder full) and for the past 10 years or so i have focused on learning about the history of the area where i grew up and have amassed a large folder full of information about what was in the area even before the houses were built.. basically i did this for myself but it is all here should any of my children be interested but i think the main thing is that I have learned such a lot over the years and have and still are enjoying every second of it...we never stop learning...oh and it keeps me out of trouble...just...:D:D so my advise to anyone is just do it for yourself its never to late and the rewards are amazing

lyn
 
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A Sparks

master brummie
Just made me think about something my Nan used to say - you can't put old heads on young shoulders.
That's just the way it is, our priorities and interests are different when we are youngsters.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
So true of all above, but frustrating for those of us trying to trace our relatives now on web sites as we do not or know things from our relatives and as the years pass there is nobody to ask
i was quite lucky as my parents did talk about their parents and their lives as youngsters...still wished i had asked more though

lyn
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
On the question of photographs, we will all soon have our photos stored with surveillance cameras recognising our movements by facial recognition.
 

jmadone

master brummie
I think it also the way History is taught. Junior school was where I first enjoyed the subject with enthusiastic teachers telling us about the stone age and then the Romans and then going on to the Norman invasion. This was continued into grammar school by masters genuinely interested in the subject and making the lessons interesting. Then we come to the third year where we started our GCE studies. The corriculum wasn't great, following political history such as the repeal of the Corn Laws, the forming of the Conservative party and such. All this was taught by one of the most boring and uninspiring masters I ever encountered. The subject was then lost to me and I failed my O level. One of the most inspiring history lessons I had was in English Literature. We were studying Henry V and the lesson started with the teacher playing a recording of William Walton's score of the Laurence Olivier film. This really inspired and excited the class. The lesson then shifted to the Battle of Agincourt, it's participants and the equipment and methods they used. All this in order for us to get an understanding for a play by Shakespeare which lay unopened on our desks. This was how history should be taught. I passed my English O level!
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
I think it also the way History is taught. Junior school was where I first enjoyed the subject with enthusiastic teachers telling us about the stone age and then the Romans and then going on to the Norman invasion. This was continued into grammar school by masters genuinely interested in the subject and making the lessons interesting. Then we come to the third year where we started our GCE studies. The corriculum wasn't great, following political history such as the repeal of the Corn Laws, the forming of the Conservative party and such. All this was taught by one of the most boring and uninspiring masters I ever encountered. The subject was then lost to me and I failed my O level. One of the most inspiring history lessons I had was in English Literature. We were studying Henry V and the lesson started with the teacher playing a recording of William Walton's score of the Laurence Olivier film. This really inspired and excited the class. The lesson then shifted to the Battle of Agincourt, it's participants and the equipment and methods they used. All this in order for us to get an understanding for a play by Shakespeare which lay unopened on our desks. This was how history should be taught. I passed my English O level!
Reminds me of going to see Henry V acted outside Aston Hall.
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
I remember 30 years ago, when my kids were in their 20s, that it became a bit of a joke when I was going off to record offices and the like ; "There's goes Dad, chasing dead people again!". They all did history at school and my best efforts to get them interested fell on stony ground. My history lessons at Moseley Grammar stopped around 1880 and largely concerned "foreigners", whereas the people I was getting interested in were still unborn or youngsters and I much preferred that it would been based in the UK - the Holy Roman Empire was of no interest to me and I couldn't relate to it in real life.

Most people I engage with, both here and that I do family history research for far away from BHF, didn't take an interest in the history of their families until late in life. I didn't start myself until I was 52, and that was down to meeting a new work colleague who was an avid family historian.

You can't make younger people take an interest if they have other "more interesting" things to do. I'm all for taking photographs - kids have the opportunity to do it now that we rarely had when we were their age. But unless you can persuade them to take family photographs and not throw them away every time they change their phones, you're wasting your time.

My own mother didn't know the forenames of her paternal grandparents and she was completely alert and amazed at what I was digging up just before she died at the age of 92.

Maurice :cool:
 

Big Gee

master brummie
There are more history and archaeolgical programmes on TV these days than ever before - and I'm sure they wouldn't be shown if it was thought there was no audience for them. Also dramatisations of historical events are popular (but please, please don't put 'Peaky Blinders' in this category - yet even this guess has a use, as it's popular with kids, who perhaps might discover a latent interest in history. I'm a regular visitor to the area around Bosworth Battlefield, and if the weather's good there are always lots of visitors, and the Visitor Centre itself is generally full. And this year on the Anniversary of the Battle (August 22 1485) the whole area was full of visitors and tourists, even though there isn't all that much to see. So I don't think the picture is quite as black as has been painted.

One thing which sticks in my mind - a few years ago when we were in France we visited Agincourt battlefield,
and the first thing we noticed is that it's quite low key compared with British battlefields. And although there were quite a few cars, they were nearly all British! I mentioned this to a French lady, and she said it's probably because we won and the French lost! Could be!

G
 

Smudger

master brummie
One thing which sticks in my mind - a few years ago when we were in France we visited Agincourt battlefield,
and the first thing we noticed is that it's quite low key compared with British battlefields. And although there were quite a few cars, they were nearly all British! I mentioned this to a French lady, and she said it's probably because we won and the French lost! Could be!

G
I remember a history lesson about the battle of Agincourt. The teacher said the English did not fight with chivalrous intent, using their longbows to decimate the finest of French soldiers. Is there a fair & chivalrous way to win a war?
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I forgot to mention in my previous post one of my favourite TV progs: "Horrible Histories"! We try to catch that every evening at 7.00pm - it's funny, clever, disrespectful but basically educational, and probably watched more by adults (so-called...) than kids. Love it!

G
 

MWS

master brummie
I find it so sad that youngsters today are not in the least bit interested in the past or their ancestors, when our lot have gone there will be no one left to tell or talk of it, they don't take photos of where they live (for future generations) or their immediate siblings or grand parents,I read somewhere that history before Churchill will no longer be taught in schools, if that is true, I blame the powers that be in creating this attitude.
And when were children ever interested in the past?

I hated history at school. I remember learning about Piltdown Man and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Now I like history though I much prefer medieval/middle ages. Watched an interesting programme the other night though about Gertrude Bell which had been on before.

Family history was the same. Very rarely if ever did I ask my parents or grandparents about their lives growing up which I regret. There were stories told but I didn't take much interest. Maybe if I had started looking into my family tree earlier I would have had the opportunity.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
actually MWS that is very true....just how many us say before the age of 25 took photos of where we once lived...i certainly didnt but wished i had...we were too busy leaving school and finding work...then came enjoying ourselves until other commitments took over..its just the way it was...we just thought that nothing would change...we thought our old houses ..schools etc would always be there...of course now we know different...

lyn
 
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MWS

master brummie
I suppose going back cameras and photography in general was quite expensive. Too expensive maybe to 'waste' a photo on your house or street.

My senior school was knocked down without me being aware of it and I didn't live too far away. I drove past one day and it was a housing estate. It was nothing remarkable, a 50s built school but I haven't seen a single photo of it anywhere.
 
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