From the Grassroots: An Oral History of Community Politics in Devon is creating a sound archive of people involved in local politics within the county from 1945 until the present day. A History of Parliament project based at the Devon Heritage Centre, From the Grassroots is principally funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and will run until April 2015.  With the help of volunteers, we are recording political events in Devon from a local angle and charting the changes in post-1945 political campaigning. The new archive of oral histories will remain in Devon as valuable resource in political history for current and future generations.

Through our Research and dissemination activities, we aim to explore the story of Devon’s rich political heritage as told by the participants themselves. This website is part of an exciting outreach programme that includes teaching packages, a series of workshops, talks, and a touring exhibition that will be launched in January 2015. See our News/Events section for more details.

The project is still ongoing, and so we will add material to the website as we develop it. Keep checking back for new material, and don't forget that you can still Get Involved! We are looking for contributions from all parties and political traditions in Devon. See below for details.

Take Part!

We are looking for people to take part in oral history recordings. Whether you are a current or retired party activist, local party officer, MP, councillor, a relative of someone involved in local politics, or you know of an ideal oral history candidate, please Contact Us.

We also have volunteer opportunities available at points through the project. Please keep checking the Get Involved section of the website for new volunteer posts.  

You can also keep up to date with From the Grassroots by following us on facebook.

Grassroots Election Fever at Plymouth University

As part of the From the Grassroots project, the History of Parliament is running a general election outreach event at Plymouth University on Tuesday 5th May.

Organised to coincide with the excitement of election week, people can record their memories and experiences of general elections over the years in the video ‘polling booth.’

We will also welcome people adding their thoughts to the ‘have your say’ comments wall. Visitors will also have the chance to meet representatives from the University's political associations, as well as enjoy free hot drinks and cakes!

From the Grassroots Exhibition Dates Announced

The History of Parliament is delighted to announce the opening of an exciting new exhibition that will tour Devon during early 2015.

This exhibition showcases historical research collated as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded project, ‘From the Grassroots: an oral history of community politics in Devon.’ 

2015 Exhibition Dates and Venues

The Forum, University of Exeter               Monday 19th January - Friday 6th February

Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4SZ

Plymouth Central Library                          Monday 9th February - Saturday 28th February

Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AL

Join us at the From the Grassroots Witness Seminar: Exeter Elections in the 1990s

As part of the ‘From the Grassroots’ project, the History of Parliament is organising a witness seminar – and we would like to invite you to be part of the audience!

The event will take place on Monday 27th October 2014, between 2-5pm, at the Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter.

The witness seminar will explore general elections in Exeter from 1992 to 2001. We are delighted to have four distinguished speakers representing the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Liberal parties, who all with a wealth of knowledge about the political history of Devon. The event will take the form of a group oral history interview and be chaired by Dr Paul Seaward, Director of the History of Parliament.

This promises to be a fascinating and engaging afternoon that will propagate memories and debate about the Exeter’s political culture at the turn of the twenty-first century.

From the Grassroots: teacher required to create educational materials

‘From the Grassroots’ is looking to commission a teacher or educational professional to help us develop schools resources based on our project. We are looking to create resources to cover the history and citizenship Key Stage Three syllabuses, based on our research, oral history interviews and materials that we are creating for the website. The teaching resources will be available for teachers (primarily in Devon and the South West) to download from the website and should include:

From the Grassroots: Website launched!

We are delighted to launch this new, interactive website for From the Grassroots. The website will showcase our interviews and research, as well as being an excellent way to keep you to date with the project’s events and volunteering opportunities.

In our Research section, you can browse our interviews with local political activists, find out more about them, and listen to clips from their Interviews. You can also explore Devon’s political history in our Themes section, which includes articles on specific historical topics with audioclips and, excitingly, archive video footage (thanks to the South West Film and Television Archive).

Launch event for 'From the Grassroots' oral history project

The History of Parliament will officially launch our new oral history project 'From the Grassroots: An oral history of community politics in Devon' on 20th January at the Devon Heritage Centre.

'From the grassroots' will create a sound archive of people involved in local politics in Devon from the Second World War until the present day. The project will build a rounded picture of Devon’s rich political heritage as told by the participants themselves, recording the memories of activists and campaigners, to discover why they became involved in political activism and what impact they had on the democratic process (for more information, see here).

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