• Nicholas Harrison

#heritagesmiles - Historic events as we remember them.

Updated: Nov 7


Welcome to #heritagesmiles a project that hopes to provide a moment of happiness for elderly people who are feeling isolated during this second period of lockdown.


We want care homes, retirement homes and organisations who aim to tackle loneliness, all over the United Kingdom to ask residents and members if they would like to take part in a project to record their history.


History books focus on mainly negative stories, war, economic and natural disasters and assassinations! They are also written through the perspective of the well-known figures of those times, the politicians etc. Our plan is to deliver something different. We want to look at historical events from the perspective of the every day normal people, but with a twist!


We are asking elderly residents in care homes or living in isolation at home to think about an historical event. Rather than narrate what happened historically, we want participants to tell us their story. Ideally amusing or ironic, we want to hear individual personal perspectives that are grounded in historical acts but are more about the people who experienced these events and the meaning these events had for you. If possible, try to raise a smile too!


For example:


“I remember the first lunar landing. Well, we’d been hearing all about it for over a week, and I was nagging my old mum to let me watch it on the telly. Trouble was, we didn’t have a telly, so mum said if I was a good girl and cleaned out the hen house she’d let me go to Uncle Mike’s house, he had a telly you see. So, I cleaned the hen house, made a right proper job of it, ate up all my tea and went to my bedroom to get into my nightclothes. I was going to wear a coat over the top see to go out. Well, when I got up to the top of the stairs, I felt so cold, I was shaking. We only had the one coal fire downstairs, so I didn’t think much of it, until I took my clothes off and found this awful rash. Would you believe the irony? Having cleaned out the hen-house I had Chicken Pox. I never saw the landings and spent the rest of my childhood believing chickens gave you Chicken Pox, I refused to eat one for a long time!”Agnes, aged 7, Lancashire, 1969.


All you need to do is to either email your vignette (Max 200 words) to nicholas@soldieron.org.uk or you can write it by hand and send a photograph of what you have written to the same address. (Staff within the care home, we hope will be able to help you with this if you don't have a smartphone).


It is hoped that we will gather together a whole range of amusing stories that we can share, and give a platform to a generation who experienced so much in life without having social media to share it widely. We also hope that those who take part in this project will share their stories amongst their fellow residents and enjoy a morning away from the anxiety of constant and negative Covid-19 news.


We have heard from our friends and supporters how many of their relatives are feeling scared, lonely and isolated from friends and family. We know it is just a small attempt to bring some happiness to their lives, if only for a fleeting moment, but writing happy experiences can be beneficial, and we, the readers of these little stories, may just see a whole new perspective on events we thought we already knew so well!


Please help us to get this project going by sharing on social media and we urgently want to connect with care home managers. Thank you.

A brief note on privacy

We ask you to add to your story your first name and where you were located when your story occurred and a year it occurred. We will add your first name, location and the year to the story and no other details. Once your story has been uploaded to our social media channels, your email will be deleted, and you will not receive any unsolicited emails from Soldier On! We promise we will not let anyone else have access to your personal details, including your email address, full name or telephone number.


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