“BIGGER and better than ever before!”

That’s the promise from organisers of May’s Local History Month which is once again being held virtually to keep people safe while the country’s vaccination programme continues.

As with last year the event will include a focus on both Middlesbrough and Stockton.

Wherever you look in May, there will be activities to help you discover and explore the local history of Teesside. A programme of exciting on-line talks, tours, videos, blogs and activities has been put together.

In a statement the organisers say, “Following last year’s most successful Local History Month ever, the decision was made to build on that success and create a programme that could entertain everyone in their homes as well as provide pointers of where we can now safely explore in our towns.

“We have more events than ever before. We are keeping it covid safe and friendly by having as many events as possible online but people are invited for an actual tour/talk and food at Newham Grange Leisure Farm.”

Local History Month is a national initiative which takes place annually in May. It is led at national level by The Historical Association, which is a charity registered and incorporated by the Royal Charter, that supports education, enjoyment and the learning of history at all levels of teaching and adulthood.

Their mission is to ‘inspire, enable and encourage’ people across all walks of life to get involved with history, and the Local History Month is designed to do this.

Locally there has been a very successful programme of events in Middlesbrough for a number of years, and last year, Stockton also delivered a programme of events. The local programme is being coordinated by Rob Nichols and Martin Peagam.

The events rely heavily on voluntary participation by a range of organisations, supported by local authority staff and venues.

Taking account of Covid-19 restrictions, the majority of the programme is being delivered ‘virtually’, with on-line talks, tours, videos, and blogs.

The majority of events are free, but for some there is a small charge. To avoid disappointment, it is strongly recommended that tickets are booked as early as possible.

This year’s Local History Month launched on Saturday 1st May with Step Out Along The Black Path. Upcoming events include online sessions on ways to explore family history, walks at Newham Grange Farm, online talks and films on topics such as Stockton’s Globe Theatre and the role of the Tees in the Civil Wars of 1639 to 1644, a look back at Boro history through the years and talks with historical fiction writers.

All events and listings are provided in full at https://lovemiddlesbrough.com/lhm21/ or at the Discover Middlesbrough Facebook page and Stockton Libraries’ Facebook page.