@OurSolihull changes to @SolihullLife

The New Year brings a fresh look for “Solihull Life In A Day”, which saw tweets, posts, photos, drawings and one-day diaries archived to give a snapshot of life in the Borough on an ordinary day – Tuesday 12th November 2013. You can see the curated themes at http://storify.com/oursoliday

We felt that Solihull Life shouldn’t just be for one day, so we’ve changed our Twitter and WordPress profiles to reflect our ongoing efforts to capture, preserve and share the life and heritage of the Borough. We’ll be featuring some of our photos and documents, and we’ll be asking for your help with some of our forthcoming projects.

2014 marks one hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War, and library staff have been working with local historians and community groups to find out about those with a connection to Solihull who served and gave their lives.

Less well-known is that 1st April 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of Solihull Metropolitan Borough, the 50th anniversary of Solihull County Borough, and the 60th anniversary of Solihull Municipal Borough, which saw Princess Margaret visit the then Urban District of Solihull to present the Royal Charter.

We’d be delighted to hear from you if you could contribute any anecdotes, stories or memorabilia relating to the First World War or the 40th/50th/60th anniversary of the Borough. Please email Tracey Williams at heritage@solihull.gov.uk




#soliday is here

Don’t forget to share your day today, Tuesday 12th November. Feel free to reply here, or share via Twitter with the hashtag #soliday, or post on our Facebook wall, or write a one-day diary and drop it off at any Solihull Library, or email heritage@solihull.gov.uk.

You can also post pictures to Flickr or videos to YouTube.

Looking forward to everyone’s contribution:-)


Joining in via Twitter

If you, or someone you know, want to share your Solihull Life In A Day via Twitter but don’t know where to start, here are some useful links and tips.

Creating an account

First of all, you need to create an account with Twitter. It’s free of charge – all you need is an email address and an idea of the Twitter user name you want (which must be no longer than 15 characters and not already in use by someone else). Twitter has a brief step-by-step guide to setting up an account.

You can use Twitter by logging in to the website, but on smartphones or tablets, many people find it much more convenient to download an app (either the official Twitter app, or a third-party Twitter client) to view and create tweets.


Once you log into Twitter, you will see your timeline, which will be constantly updated to display tweets from people you follow. Take care when choosing who to follow so that they’re people whose tweets you’re interested in, otherwise you’ll soon feel overwhelmed by irrelevant messages and may wonder why you bothered with Twitter! Having said that, you can unfollow people at any time if you find that their tweets aren’t relevant to you.

Of course, it would be great if you followed @OurSoliday (that’s us) but you don’t actually have to follow us in order to participate in Solihull Life In A Day. You can easily follow us by clicking on the button below, though.

Continue reading “Joining in via Twitter”

Finding out about the past

It may be obvious but we only know about the past because of the documents, photos and stories that people have left behind. Without this evidence, the past is a mystery.

I once worked with an inspirational Advisory Teacher who told me how she explained this concept of evidence to teachers on INSET days. As all the teachers arrived for the session, they were asked to jot down their impressions of the room – for example, whether it was warm or cold, bright or dark. Having collected all the notes together, the Advisory Teacher then threw away all but one of the notes. The surviving note was then read out as the definitive description of what the room was like. No one else’s opinion mattered.

This is what happens with history – it can be only the opinion of one or two people that goes forward into the future. What everyone else thought, felt or experienced is lost unless it’s recorded and preserved in some way. Traditionally, it’s the voice of kings, queens and the important/powerful that has survived to come down to us. Since the 1960s, it’s been increasingly recognised that it’s vital also to document people’s more everyday experiences.

This is what we’re hoping to do with Solihull Life In A Day on Tuesday 12th November. The more contributions we can get, the better the chance that our time capsule will be more broadly representative of people’s experience. Please encourage everyone you know who lives, works or studies in the Solihull borough, or who will be visiting on #soliday to share their day with us all.


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