‘Helping the Disabled to Live to Capacity’: rediscovering Dr Margaret Agerholm through parliamentary history

Over the past few weeks UK Heritage institutions have been marking Disability History Month, and in today’s blog we hear from Dr Emmeline Ledgerwood, the History of Parliament’s Oral History Project Manager. Listening to the project’s interview with former MP Sir John Hannam sparked a research trail that led her towards a key figure in disability rights campaigning: Dr Margaret Agerholm. In his interview for … Continue reading ‘Helping the Disabled to Live to Capacity’: rediscovering Dr Margaret Agerholm through parliamentary history

‘You just become a tiny little speck of history’: First Impressions of the Palace of Westminster

When newly elected MPs first enter the Palace of Westminster, it is hard to ignore the hundreds of years of history that surrounds them. And as Dr Emma Peplow, Head of Oral History at the History of Parliament explores, this legacy could prove inspirational, impressive, or even overwhelming… Find out more about the history of the Palace of Westminster and its famous Elizabeth Tower, home … Continue reading ‘You just become a tiny little speck of history’: First Impressions of the Palace of Westminster

The world of parliament extends beyond the Commons and Lords

Since 2012 our team of volunteers have been interviewing former MPs about their lives and careers for the History of Parliament Oral History project, and often their memories reflect on current events both in Westminster and the wider world. Here, volunteer interviewer Peter Reilly discusses some of the key moments in the career of Michael Morris, Lord Naseby, who throughout his life had close links … Continue reading The world of parliament extends beyond the Commons and Lords

Women Speakers and Deputy Speakers

As we have seen in some of our previous blogs, the role of Speaker of the House has a long history, but it wasn’t until the late 20th century that women took to the Speaker’s Chair. Through the History of Parliament Oral History Project we have been able to interview some of the female former MPs who occupied the roles of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, … Continue reading Women Speakers and Deputy Speakers

Speaking about Animal Rights in the History of Parliament Oral History Project

As two animal welfare Bills progress through the stages of debate in Parliament, in our latest blog Emme Ledgerwood looks through our Oral History Project archive to explore former MPs’ responses to animal rights issues during their careers… The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill and the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill are currently making their way through Parliament, the latest additions to the UK legislation which … Continue reading Speaking about Animal Rights in the History of Parliament Oral History Project

Postwar MPs’ Memories of Summer Holidays

This year we’ve been looking into the holiday habits of parliamentarians throughout history. In our latest blog Emme Ledgerwood has been listening through our Oral History project archive, to find out how MPs spent their summer holidays long before they stepped foot in the chambers of Parliament. When searching the History of Parliament’s oral history collection for MPs’ memories of summer holidays, descriptions of the … Continue reading Postwar MPs’ Memories of Summer Holidays

Life as an MP: a recipe for marital bliss?

In today’s blog Dr Emma Peplow, coordinator of the History of Parliament’s Oral History Project, picks up our recent theme of marriage and Parliament. As many former MPs discussed in their interviews, a parliamentary career wasn’t always a friend to marital life… Our oral history project interviewers make sure to ask former MP not just about formal politics, but how political life impacted on personal … Continue reading Life as an MP: a recipe for marital bliss?

‘Decided on by men’: International Women’s Day lecture

On 17 March Dr Emma Peplow and Dr Priscila Pivatto gave the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art’s 8th annual International Woman’s Day lecture. Created by the committee to help address the need for more artwork of female MPs in Parliament’s collection, Emma and Priscila discussed women’s experiences in Parliament based on interviews in our Oral History Project. Here Dr Peplow reflects on the … Continue reading ‘Decided on by men’: International Women’s Day lecture

Post-war politics in the Welsh valleys: ‘socialists by birth and background’

Today, Emma Peplow, co-ordinator of the History of Parliament’s oral history project and co-editor of the new collection of extracts from the project, The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: an Oral History of Parliament, contributes to our local history focus for September with this blog about the political leanings of Welsh MPs in Glamorgan and the Welsh Valleys… By the 20th century the historic … Continue reading Post-war politics in the Welsh valleys: ‘socialists by birth and background’

The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: Selection Troubles

Out this month, The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs explores the fascinating interviews with former MPs hidden in our oral history project archive. In this post the book’s authors, Dr Emma Peplow and Dr Priscila Pivatto, explore one of the most crucial times of an MP’s career: getting selected for a parliamentary seat… One topic which our oral history interviews heavily focus on – … Continue reading The Political Lives of Postwar British MPs: Selection Troubles