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kim biddulph

Archaeology History Museums Schools Writing Consultancy

Month

May 2022

Education Officer at Guildhall Art Gallery

During Covid I started work at Guildhall Art Gallery and enjoyed myself so much. Having lost international tourists, I wanted to focus on the local community who lives in the surrounding boroughs around the City of London. I tried to start a storytelling workshop for families with children under-fives but then we closed for works to the Gallery and the storytelling went onto Facebook.

I also went out into the community to run art workshops at St Luke’s Community Centre for little ones. Eventually, when we reopened I was able to put on an exhibition of the children’s work in the Gallery itself. Take a look.

One of my other favourite achievements was working with an app called Telmi to record children’s opinions on the artworks in the collection, and then to use them as a children’s audio tour on Smartify. Take a listen!

Public Programmes Manager at Billingsgate Roman House and Baths

Billingsgate Roman House and Baths is a little known Roman site in the old Roman Londinium, very close to the Tower of London. It is hidden underneath an office block opposite Old Billingsgate Fish Market and you have to book special tours to get in.

I had a year and a bit trying to open it up more often for more audiences before Covid hit. During lockdown we all learned how to use digital tools, and I used my new found skills in video calling to record various talks about the site.

Here’s just a little taste of some of the videos on that link, an introduction to the early Germanic brooch dropped in the ruins of the Roman bathhouse when it was ruined.

I also started to work in partnership with other Roman sites in the City of London to create a livestream school session that was recently nominated for a Museums & Heritage Award.

Stone Age woman at the Chiltern Open Air Museum

I’ve been a Stone Age woman in so many different places (including the Rollright Stones, on the Ridgeway and in my dreams), but I had so much fun devising and delivering the Mesolithic workshop at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, and running workshops inspired by Michelle Paver’s Wolf Brother too (I got to speak to Michelle Paver on my podcast).

Don’t worry, the deer was a stuffed toy, given special knitted innards to remove with kids to talk through how all the animal would have been used.

Other activities included learning how to make paint, string and fire using the materials available in the environment. It was definitely the most exciting workshop to run – but working in the Iron Age roundhouse came a close second.

To Build a Broch: From Construction to Conservation

Another amazing publication from Forestry and Land Scotland that I had the great joy of researching. Working with Alex Leonard I was able to pull together a lot more evidence of how people dressed and the personal possessions they may have had because much more evidence survives from the Iron Age than the Neolithic and Mesolithic.

The book is free to download as a PDF.

Into the Wildwoods: Explore the Mesolithic in Scotland’s Native Woodlands

This book was such a joy to research and write for. Once again I worked with artist Alex Leonard to develop authentic characters from Scotland’s Mesolithic. I looked for evidence of materials that would have been available and examples of them having been used in other cultures to counter the idea that hunter-gatherers would just have worn fur. Sealskin, fishskin, birdskins and even some woven or netted fabrics were featured. The character’s appearance is also informed by genetic studies of Mesolithic human remains from Europe which consistently reveals people had dark skin tones and dark hair, but often with pale eye colours.

The activities in this book include wonderful storytelling and map-making activities. Imagine living in a world with no maps, no roads, no signposts, no sat nav. We know that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers moved around, but how did they know where to go? How would they give instructions to each other?

The book also explores the different environments available to support small groups in Scotland, from forest to coastline, mountain to lowland. It’s free to download a PDF from the Forestry and Land Scotland.

Amazingly, Matt Ritchie of Forestry and Land Scotland invited me back one last time.

BBC Bitesize educational and historical consultancy

Having a combination of archaeological and historical knowledge is really useful for the primary history curriculum in England, as most of the topics are understand through one or both. I’ve been lucky to provide historical and educational consultancy for the development of animated videos or games for BBC Bitesize on the following topics:

Shang Dynasty of China

Ancient Greeks: The Argo Odyssey game

Horrible Histories: Viking Raid and Trade game

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