We have great respect for professional historians, and those ‘amateurs’ who by virtue of their hard work have become experts on aspects of history. There is no clear line between amateur and professional anyway. We have developed ongoing links to some of the many websites that offer tremendous resources and commentaries about life in Liverpool and beyond.
We are firmly of the belief too that everybody is at some level a historian. Everybody has a story to tell. Individually, we are concentrating on our own families or upon how we, if we’re old enough, interpret the changes we have witnessed. We are seeking others to tell their stories.
We like looking at the wider context of culture – films, television, comedy, music and so on: all these tell us how our lives have changed. In particular, the period from the late 1950s onwards saw a blossoming of cultural products made by working class people, and/or reflecting working class life. Of course, delving further back there is also so much material to look at.
If there is an approximate phrase to what we’re involved with it is ‘bottom up’. That is, we are making history from the lives of ‘ordinary’ people, and looking at everyday life. That’s not to say we don’t look at the sort of things covered in more general history books. How could we? It would be impossible to deal with ordinary life without being very aware of major political, economic and broader cultural changes, or the impact of major wars and other events.
It is spectacular to view the wide array of individuals and groups who are working so hard, without anything apart from drive and purpose, to make histories. We’re doing nothing different, and are simply enjoying working in a collaborative way, making contacts and learning both new skills and understanding of our own history in the making.