BHT Heritage clients have been undertaking research into the history of homelessness to develop a heritage trail for the local community.
Clients who have an interest in local history have extensively researched the topic by visiting The Keep Records Archive and Brighton and Hove Museums, reading literature, and analysing media and film representation. Clients have viewed historic maps, property plans and deeds, paintings and photographs, and census information to build a comprehensive picture. To develop their understanding further the group, which meets weekly, will be visiting The Spike Heritage Centre in Guildford, partaking in a Mass Observation methodology workshop, and hearing from a developer of MyHouseMyStreet about how clients can access the archive to extend their learning about the local area.
To date, the group has developed a timeline starting in 1349 to present day, to better understand how social policy has changed with regards to homelessness. By investigating the situation locally, the clients have pinpointed a number of locations of particular relevance, and have proposed a route commencing at Bartholomew’s Square, through the Laines, and finishing at First Base Day Centre. The route will explore Brighton’s workhouses, the slum clearance programme, war-time homelessness, Harry Cowley’s squatters’ movement, the development of the welfare state, and the emergence of charities across the city following the huge impact of Ken Loach’s 1966 television play Cathy Come Home. The public will also hear about homelessness in Brighton and Hove today.
The trail, which will be facilitated by BHT Heritage clients, will run on 16/17 May during Brighton Fringe 2016. For further information please visit the Brighton Fringe website
The group will also design a free, printable trail leaflet detailing the route, to enable the local community to complete the trail independently. This will be launched following the Brighton Fringe events, and will be available from the BHT Heritage website.