National “History Begins at Home” campaign launches in Norfolk

01 June 2020

Archive recordings from the Norfolk Record Office, of Norfolk residents talking about their memories of playing games in the 1940s have been used to launch a new national family history campaign.

‘History Begins at Home’, is running nationwide and being led by Norfolk County Council’s archive service.

The campaign aims to get families and friends across the generations to connect with each other during the coronavirus crisis and have conversations about their backgrounds and memories in a bid to uncover and record new facts or stories about their history.

Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, Cllr Margaret Dewsbury said: “History Begins At Home is a great initiative that taps into our deep fascination for finding out about our past.

“I have no doubt that it will bring a great sense of wellbeing for those people who take part – not just because it’s a fantastic reason to connect with our friends and families, but because it will open up new memories and insights that will last well beyond this awful period.

“I’m really proud that History at Home was invented in Norfolk and it’s yet another way our services are leading the way when it comes to encouraging people to engage and explore the rich cultural heritage of our county – and the contribution people have made to it. I hope that when lockdown is finally over, this campaign will also inspire people to dig even deeper into the past by visiting our Norfolk Record Office and using the amazing resources held there.”

Throughout the campaign, History at Home will be providing inspiration and ideas for getting conversations going and sparking discussions around aspects of childhood and adulthood across the generations among family and friends.

Each week, it will focus on a different theme about the past – for example toys and games, food, precious things and memories. There are ideas for activities relating to these themes – and also quizzes and challenges. The campaign also encourages people to share what they’ve found out and done, on and Twitter account –”

Gary Tuson, County Archivist at Norfolk Record Office and Campaign Lead at History Begins at Home, comments: “COVID-19 has created all sorts of challenges such as separation, isolation and hardship. It’s also highlighted some incredible positives, like our resilience, the power of community and the desire to help one another.

History Begins at Home is the perfect antidote during this period. It’s a fun way to pass some time together on the phone, via FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp or other apps.

It will also help participants take small steps to re-ignite conversations with their families about the past.

And, with so much emphasis on mental health and well-being during the lockdown, the campaign is an ideal way for people to engage with the recommended ‘5 ways to well-being’: Connect, Give, Be active, Take Notice and Keep Learning.”

Getting involved in History Begins at Home is easy – start off by visiting or” to see the latest topic, challenges and suggested activities. Connect with family and friends to start your conversation. You don’t need to stick to the topic – try asking a relative for one of their old recipes and share it, find and share a picture of a family member’s favourite childhood toy, an old love letter (or a new one), or ask them about a funny, incredible, interesting, remarkable or obscure story or memory from their past. Old pictures are a great way of sparking conversations and jogging memories. Who knows what you might discover!

History Begins at Home is a joint initiative between the Chief Archivists in Local Government Group and the Archives for Wellbeing Network, it is being led by Gary Tuson, County Archivist at Norfolk County Council, and supported by The Archives & Record Association’s (UK and Ireland) Communications Team and CEO, John Chambers. The project is funded by The (UK) National Archives and the Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation.



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