Monthly Archives: November 2021

Why write local social history in a globalised world? By Thomas Pickles

Penny Hedge Planting 1998 – Whitby Museum Photo Archive PTh742-26

What, you might ask, is the point of writing the longue durée social history of one medieval fish weir? In the case of my article in Social History 46.4, this is a history of the Horngarth (later the Penny Hedge) at Whitby, North Yorkshire. Local histories have been somewhat marginalised by the recognition that we need to write global histories and decolonise and diversify accounts of the past. However, local histories and global histories may be fundamental to one another; and local histories have a key role in addressing the decolonisation and diversification of the past in the service of the present. To exemplify this, we can reflect on how the history of the Horngarth speaks to the present state of Whitby and plans for its future. Continue reading