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Moving Memories: Video Archive of Our Local History

At HitchinTV, our passion for celebrating and sharing local history runs deep. We believe that local history is not just a record of past events, but a treasure trove of stories that shape our identities, values, and understanding of the world. By covering local history, we strive to honour our roots, understand how our community has evolved over time and predict future changes. Additionally, it fosters a sense of community among residents, boosts local pride and promotes cultural heritage. It also educates our readers, both young and old, about the struggles, triumphs, and unique quirks that have made our locality what it is today. Local history, in essence, enables us to capture and amplify our unique local voice on a global platform.

A Pictorial Historical Journey

At HitchinTV, we love supporting local businesses. When we were looking to sponsor a worthwhile charity, the choice seemed obvious. The British Schools Museum, located near to the town’s market, is a fabulous example of the importance of keeping history alive, making it captivating and real for adults and children. We are now proud to be the principle sponsors helping to maintain the British Schools Museum, keeping its fascinating history alive.

The museum is hailed as the home to the education revolution. Educational pioneer Joseph Lancaster visited Hitchin in 1808 and inspired William Wilshere and a group of likeminded philanthropists to set up a school where children of the working poor could be educated. Lancaster established the ‘Monitorial method’, whereby one master could teach up to 300 children in one large schoolroom.

This was an era when impoverished families wouldn’t otherwise have dreamed of being able to secure education for their sons, let alone their daughters. From 1810, all were now welcome to the opportunity gain an education, to escape the desperate poverty in which they lived.

The school world’s last remaining purpose-built Monitorial schoolroom remains beautifully preserved in the British Schools Museum building, and dedicated volunteers donate their time to provide interactive tours and demonstrations.

GATWARDS

Established in 1760 by James Gatward, Gatwards initially operated in the domain of timekeeping, specialising in watches and clocks, rather than focusing on fine jewellery as it is known today.
The historical context of Gatwards’ foundation is intriguing. During this period, the prodigious Mozart, at the tender age of six, was touring Europe. Versailles was hosting royalty, and Catherine the Great was on the verge of becoming the Tsarina of Russia……. Read the full story here.