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Volunteering at the Chalke History Festival

31 July 2019

Last week, some of our keen historians in Year 11 & 12 volunteered at the Chalke Valley History Festival.

Darcy Gresham reports that “My 14 hour days were comprised of working to support the reenactments, working within the tents during lectures and on the trench experience to name a few! Over the week I got the chance to meet so many like-minded people and I believe I now understand so much more about the possibilities that history can hold within higher education. For example, one lunch I was sat with a police detective, St. Andrews uni student, Exeter University student, and Year 13 discussing the merits of different historical TV programmes.

The environment that was created is unparalleled, and in ways that curriculum can be restrictive, this was entirely the opposite. I enjoyed the chance to flounder at the new information, the kind that really takes a while to grasp, from lecturers or just fellow volunteers. The immersion was inescapable, however, I had no desire to break free of the spell that was seemingly cast around this farm nestled in the Salisbury countryside. As well as this I got the chance to listen to some truly phenomenal and inspirational speakers, in fact, in one day, I think I managed to see 9 different lectures! From Dan Snow to Max Hastings, David Reynolds to Ian Kershaw, Dunkirk and Normandy veterans, with many of them covering GCSE and IB topics, as well as talks I would never have usually chosen. I even got the privilege of accompanying the chairman, James Holland on Sunday! I could go on for a (very!) long time, and would be happy to recount a lot more! It will definitely be a highlight of the summer and I think I’m going to join the group of those who return every year!”

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