‘History is not just something that happened long ago and far away. History happens to all of us all the time. Local history touches your life, the life of your family, your neighbourhood, your community.’
Thomas J. Noel, historian
I used to hate history at school, with its dates and facts and teacher who sprayed the back wall when she said, ‘Renaissance.’ But as I’ve got more history (i.e. older) the past has become more important, beneficial and even crucial to healthy living: a kind of social broccoli. Not just my history but the world’s, like an old friend I love more as I know her better.
So it’s brilliant to see young pupils in County Meath already appreciating the past. With the help of their teacher, the principal and me, children at Scoil Naomh Treasa have written a historical guide to their village.
Well, mostly historical. A Factastic History of Bellewstown has a party with the past. For the first section – Facts – the children researched fascinating snippets of local history. They used these to inspire the second part, Fiction: wild and wonderful stories that play pinball with the facts. The final part – Folk – records interviews with their grandparents who grew up in Bellewstown. The result? A feast of a book that tastes like chocolate and nourishes like a dark green vegetable.