Life Story Challenge Launches!

Life Story Challenge HistorypinWho do you know who is amazing? Someone interesting, kind, worthwhile, brave, crazy, amazing, selfless, or generous and who is continuing living life to the full – an “Active Ager”?

The Life Story Challenge is now open for entries from anyone in Europe!

Simply create a Life Story about someone you know using photos and stories you’ve collected and tell the story of their life and what they are doing now.

The best story will win a cash prize and a trip to Brussels. But get in quick if you want a chance to win – the closing date is 16th September 2012.

The Life Story Challenge has been created by Historypin and the European Year for Active Ageing to celebrate the Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity.

Find our more and get started creating your Life Story here.

Amazing stories discovered by QMPS students in Labrador, Canada

Last week students from the Queen of Peace Middle School in Labrador, were awarded ‘pinners of the week’ for their fantastic Historypin project that Grade 6 Classes have been doing this Semester. Their project explored the students’ family history and the social history of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.

The Grade 6 classes at QPMS were very excited to become the first students in Labrador to pin their communities’ photos and stories to the Historypin creating an amazing Channel. Technology Itinerant Teacher, Susan Lamond, was inspired to run a Historypin project after hearing about Nelson Rural School’s Historypin project at the 21st Century Learning Conference.  She  immediately became hooked and brought the idea back to classes in Labrador.

The grade 6 students and teachers were eager to get started collecting pictures, and after getting tips from an archivist from Them Days magazine on interviewing skills and how to get the “story behind the photo,” they started conducting interviews. Students then learned how to scan and edit their photos before pinning them, and got more great ideas when they Skyped students  and staff from Nelson Rural School in Miramichi, who did a great Historypin project earlier in the year.  By the end of the QPMS project students had pinned 90 photos and stories!

We were delighted that the students were particularly enthusiastic about interviewing older family members about their personal stories. Abigail ‘liked being able to preserve old stories and learning about all of our family history’ and Timothy thought it was great that the stories he heard would ‘spark a new story that sometimes wasn’t related to the photo but was interesting to hear.’ He also said the seeing the photos meant it ‘was easy to imagine what actually had taken place’ and pinned a fantastic story about his Great Aunt Enid coming from Scotland to teach a primary class with no formal training in Makkovik, Labrador, meeting her husband Charlie, and proudly becoming a Canadian Citizen in 1996.

The project finished with a Skype session with Natasha and Freddie from Historypin and all the students got a special certificate celebrating their work. The project has been a huge success, and the school is going to do it with more classes next year.

This fantastic project inspired everyone involed, and Victoria, a grade 6 student, summed up the feelings of the class saying, ‘I think that learning about all the things about your family is really great! I liked hearing all the stories about the pictures.’


Sharing our history with Radio 4

On Tuesday the Historypin team ran a session with Magic Me where older residents of Tower Hamlets and young interns and volunteers got together to share their photos and stories and add them to  We were delighted to have Radio 4 along to share the fascinating stories and a great time was had by all.

There were some fantastic photos and memories shared, including one of a Haberdashers on Columbia Road in 1920 where Gloria’s Aunt Milly worked as an assistant. And Vince shared his memories of national service when he was working at  Bungay Airfiield disposing of ammunition from World War Two.









To see more of the photos and stories, have a look at Magic Me’s profile. And if you’re curious to hear more, the session was recorded for The World Tonight and will be broadcast tonight on Radio Four at 10pm. You can hear the story through the BBC iPlayer–just skip to minute 34.

Thanks to everyone involved and to the Sundial Centre for hosting us and for all their support within the community.

Magic moments with Magic Me

This month, Historypin was lucky enough to work with Magic Me, on a fantastic inter-generational project. Young volunteers and older residents of Tower Hamlets came together to  share photos, stories and memories in this three day workshop programme.

Two participants sharing memories around a photo

Everyone had a fantastic time learning about the history of the local area and about the fascinating personal histories that the group shared.   We are really excited that so many of the group want to continue to share their history on Historypin and become Historypin champions.

Have a look at some of the amazing photos and stories that were pinned onto Historypin during the session.

We are really looking forward to running more Historypin projects with Magic Me.  I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much and found out as many fascinating stories as we did during this project.

Historypin Coffee Morning, Whitley Wood

Residents of Whitley Wood outside the community centre

We are delighted to see that Historypin coffee mornings are becoming a regular feature in Reading’s community spaces. Here are some of Whitley’s residents outside the Whitley Wood Community Centre after their monthly get together to chat about photos, stories and their area.

This week Diane brought along a photo of a relative who had been in the police force but she didn’t know when or where the photo was taken (see the photo here).  Using great detective skills, Jenny did some research and found out from the insignia on his helmet that he had worked in Holborn, solving the mystery for Diane.  We are really impressed that people in Reading are not only sharing stories about their heritage but helping each other find out more about their family histories.

This is all part of our local project ‘Pinning Reading’s History’.  If you live in Reading or have photos or stories of Reading, keep an eye on the Historypin Community pages for ways to get involved.

Billericay School hosts a Historypin day

It’s fantastic to see all the amazing things that Billericay school have been doing with Historypin.  Have a look at this lovely video they made of the Historypin day that students ran at the school, where they invited local people to join them to share photos and memories and to pin them onto the site.

We are so impressed with the boys who were involved in this – not only did they host the day, they planned and organized it too.    They got some great stories and images which they have pinned to the site.  If you want to see them, take a look at the Billericay Profile on Historypin

A huge thank you to Billericay students and to  Assitant Headteacher Charlotte Berry who have embraced Historypin and encouraged generations to come together and share their history.

Natasha, Historypin Community Manager