20s Streets Local History Project

The West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS) were delighted to take part in The National Archive’s (TNA) local history project 20s Streets to coincide with the recent release of the 1921 Census.

The TNA worked with four archives across the country to deliver the project, and we were delighted to be chosen alongside the Lancashire Archive, Kresen Kernow Archive and Tower Hamlets Archive to take part.

The project involved the TNA delivering online and onsite workshops to KS2 students from Wakefield Methodist School. The workshops utilised the census and WYAS records that related to a specific street in the local area. Our streets of interest were Thornes Lane and Thornes Lane Wharf in Wakefield.

We were able to uncover some exciting records from the WYAS collections. We looked specifically for records relating to the chosen houses on the street and the professions of its inhabitants. Records found included plans of the Jolly Sailor Inn, school log books and bye-laws on fish frying!

20s Street Workshop

The project was a wonderful collaboration between archives, schools and local artists and it was a great opportunity for students to become local history detectives, using archives to discover the history of people who lived in Thornes Lane and Thornes Lane Wharf 100 years ago.

In the online workshop, the students of Wakefield Methodist School were introduced to the TNA and WYAS and undertook some fascinating census challenges. A few weeks later The TNA delivered a classroom-based workshop at their school which involved looking at the census and records from Thornes Lane. The children then took part in a creative art project based on the census led by local artist Seanna Doonan.

Stay tuned later this year as the TNA will be releasing a KS2 education resource ‘How can we find out about people who lived in the 1920s?’ inspired by the project.

Did you know WYAS provide a range of workshops for school groups, on-site at the West Yorkshire History Centre? To find out more please contact educationandoutreach@wyjs.org.uk

Dominique, Audience Engagement Archive Assistant

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