Members of the Regional History Centre (RHC)
Professor Richard Coates
I am Professor Emeritus of Onomastics at UWE Bristol. Onomastics is the academic study of proper names – mainly place-names and personal names – and it is a discipline with a strong historical component. Place-names in particular can hardly be divorced from local history: settlement history, agrarian history, urban history, cultural and social history
I have published books and chapters on the place-names of the Bristol area and Somerset (as well as Hampshire, Sussex, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, the Channel Islands and St Kilda). I am currently President of the English Place-Name Society, having previously been Honorary Director of its national survey (2002-19), and I am still county editor for Hampshire. I am General Editor of the Gloucestershire Record series, Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, and sit on the Council of the Bristol Record Society.
From 2010-16, I was the principal investigator of the AHRC-funded project based at UWE Bristol, which resulted in the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, co-edited with Patrick Hanks and Peter McClure. This four-volume monster attempts to give the origin of some 46,000 surnames; work on an eventual second edition is continuing.
Areas of expertise
Linguistics, dialectology, onomastics, local history especially of north-west Bristol, transport history especially early plateways and railways.
Here are some of my writings most relevant to regional studies. Browse other recent publications for Professor Richard Coates.
- Coates, Richard (2021). Shirehampton sketches. Bristol: Bristol Books.
- Coates, Richard (2022). A bibliography of Shirehampton and its area.
- Coates, Richard (2021). Guide to the history of Monmouth’s railways (see under “MRS Media”).
- Coates, Richard (2019). Places, names and history in north-west Bristol. Bristol: Bristol Centre for Linguistics, UWE Bristol.
- Coates, Richard (2019). St Arild of Oldbury. Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 137, 231-242.
- Coates, Richard (2018). Steps towards characterizing Bristolian. In Laura Wright, ed., Southern English varieties then and now. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter Mouton, 188-226.
- Coates, Richard (2017). Your city’s place-names: Bristol. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society.
- Coates, Richard (2017). Wilkins of Westbury and Redland: the life and writings of the Rev Dr Henry John Wilkins (1865-1941). Bristol: Avon Local History Association pamphlet 24.
- Coates, Richard, and with Adrian J. Webb (2017). Chapter 2: Somerset’s maritime place-names. In Adrian J. Webb, ed., A maritime history of Somerset, vol. 3, 27-82. Taunton: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society.
- Coates, Richard (2016). The Avonmouth Light Railway. Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 134, 231-250.
- Coates, Richard (2014).The Severn Sea islands in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Notes and Queries 259 [61.1] (March), 1-3.
Several more articles in Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society and The Regional Historian.
Professor June Hannam
- Member of editorial board of Women’s History Review and LLafur
- Co-chair and Treasurer, West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network
- Trustee, The Museum of Bath at Work
- Patron and member of Interpretation Team Cleveland Pools Project, Bath
- Co-organiser of Larkhall History Society, Bath
My research and publications focus on women’s history and labour history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with an emphasis on the relationship between feminist and socialist politics, biography and the suffrage movement. I have always been interested in writing for different audiences and in promoting social history as widely as possible.
Since retirement, I have been able to work more closely with local museums, libraries and heritage organisations to engage with public audiences. For example, I helped to produce the content for exhibitions on Bristol Women’s Suffrage (Bristol Reference Library 2018) and Bath Women at Work in the First World War (Bath Museum at Work 2019). In 2020, I convened a group to develop four panels to interpret the history of the Cleveland Pools which included artefacts, illustrations and text. On behalf of the Pools, I am working with another colleague to provide three workshops for volunteers interested in developing historical research and interpretation skills.
My current research is on women and politics in Bath in the inter-war years.
- Hannam, J.  Isabella Ford and women’s suffrage. In J. Purvis and J. Hannam [Eds.] The British Women’s Suffrage Campaign. National and International Perspectives [60-76]. London: Taylor and Francis
- Purvis, J. and Hannam, J.  The women’s suffrage movement in Britain and Ireland: new perspectives. Women’s History Review, 29 , 911-915. Special issue on The Women’s Suffrage Campaign in Britain and Ireland: New Perspectives. Guest editors J. Purvis and J. Hannam.
- Hannam, J.  Mabel Tothill. Feminist, Socialist, Pacifist. Bristol: Bristol Radical Pamphleteer.
- Hannam, J.  The women’s suffrage campaign, 1860s to 1914, with special reference to Bristol and the South West. Sarum Chronicle, 19, 7-24.
- Hannam, J. and Holden, K.  Introduction. Women’s Writing, 25 , 289-293. Special issue on Suffrage and Women’s Writing. Guest editors: J. Hannam and K. Holden. Re-published  as Suffrage and Women’s Writing. London: Routledge.
- Hannam, J. . Debating feminism in the socialist press: women and the New Leader. In C.Clay et al [Eds.] Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1918-1939 [374-387]. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Hannam, J. and Martin, M.  Women in Bristol 1835-1914 and Hannam J. and Dresser, M. Bristol Women in the Twentieth century. In M. Dresser [Ed.] Women and the City: Bristol 1373-2000 [92-135] [136-186]. Bristol: Redcliffe Press.
- Hannam, J.  Bristol Independent Labour Party: Men, Women and Opposition to War. Bristol: Bristol Radical Pamphleteer.
- Hannam, J.  The 1913 suffrage Pilgrimage, electioneering and women’s suffrage in Bristol. The Regional Historian.
- Hannam, J.  Women, Power and Politics in Europe after 1920. In L. Conor [Ed.] A Cultural History of Women in the Modern Age [145-164]. London: Bloomsbury.
- Hannam, J. and Hunt, K.  Towards and archaeology of inter-war women’s politics: the local and the everyday. In J. Gottlieb and R. Toye [Eds.] The Aftermath of Suffrage [124-141] Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
- Hannam, J.  Feminism. Harlow: Pearson Education.
Professor Peter Malpass
- BA (Hons), MA, University of Newcastle
- PhD, University of Bristol
- Emeritus Professor, UWE Bristol
I joined Bristol Polytechnic in 1976 and, over the next thirty five years, I was involved with studying and teaching about various aspects of housing and housing policy in twentieth century Britain, but not specifically Bristol.
Latterly, I decided to refocus on broader questions of urban history with a Bristol focus. The first project I undertook was a collaboration with the late Andy King (curator of industrial and maritime history in the Bristol Museum Service) looking at the construction of the of the floating harbour (1804-9) and its subsequent development. I then moved on to a study of the material development of Bristol more generally in the Victorian period, looking at a number of themes including public health, housing, industry, transport and urban improvement. This was followed by the realisation that I had not, after all, finished with housing as a research topic. The result was a book, Housing the People in Victorian Bristol, published in 2021, looking at the housing market in terms of both production and consumption, and then housing as a political issue, highlighting the reluctance of the town council to become involved in both slum clearance and the provision of houses at affordable rents.
My current project addresses power and authority in Victorian Bristol: who, if anyone, ran the city? Was anyone even trying? And in any case are these the right questions?
- Bristol’s Floating Harbour: the first 200 years, (with Andy King), Redcliffe Press, 2009.
- The Making of Victorian Bristol, Boydell and Brewer, 2019.
- Housing the People in Victorian Bristol, Redcliffe Press, 2021.
- The Bristol Dock Company, 1803-1848, ALHA books, no. 5, 2010.
- Redland: the making of a Victorian suburb, ALHA books, no. 10, 2012.
- Public Health in Victorian Bristol: the work of David Davies, Medical Officer of Health (with Michael Whitfield) ALHA books, no. 19, 2014.
- The Redland Estates of John Cossins, and what happened to them, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, vol. 130, 2012, pp225-240.
- Victorian Clifton: a suburb of privilege, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, vol. 136, 2018, pp279-302.
- Bishop Monk and the Horfield Question: another view (with W Evans), Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Vol. 138, 2020, pp279-293.
- Far below her former station: Jessop, Brunel and Bristol’s Floating Harbour, The Regional Historian, No. 19, Spring 2009, pp30-5.
- Builders of Victorian Bristol, The Regional Historian, No. 24, Winter 2012, pp37-41.
- Community Capitalism and the Governance of Victorian Bristol, The Regional Historian, No. 28, Spring 2014, pp21-8.
- Industrial Landscapes of Victorian Bristol, The Regional Historian, No. 30, Autumn 2016, pp24-30.
- Housing and Property Development in Victorian Bristol: James Derham and the St Andrew’s Estate', The Regional Historian, New Series No. 3 2021-2022, pp55-9.
Visiting Research Fellows
I am a journalist and author with a broad knowledge of the social, military and political history of the British Isles since the early 19th century. Since the 1980s, I have been a freelance journalist based in Bristol, covering everything from hard news to celebrity trivia and was for some years deputy editor of Venue magazine, but have mostly been writing about history for the last 10 years.
Currently editor of Bristol Times, the weekly local history supplement of the Bristol Post, as well as being a freelance contributor to a number of periodicals and carrying out research and writing for local and national clients.
- UK social and military history in the two world wars
- The history of Bristol from 1831, and during the 20th century in particular
- Bristol urban legends and memes
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel – A graphic biography (Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, 2006); with artist Simon Gurr.
- The Bristol Story (Bristol Cultural Development Partnership 2008); graphic history of Bristol aimed at readers age 12 and upwards, with artist Simon Gurr.
- Charles Darwin – a graphic biography (Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, 2009; Smithsonian Books, 2010), with with artist Simon Gurr.
- Unbuilt Bristol: The city that might have been 1750-2050 (Redcliffe Press, 2013).
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel (History Press, 2014).
- Bravo, Bristol! The City at War, 1914-18. (Redcliffe Press, 2014) Co-written with Clive Burlton.
- Homes for Heroes (Bristol Festival of Ideas, 2019), with artist Tony Forbes.
A history of the Bristol Folk House adult education centre is due to appear in 2022 and I am currently working on a history of Bristol entertainment and culture, 1980-2010.
Dr John Chandler
BA, PhD, FSA
I am currently county editor of the Victoria County History in Gloucestershire, and consultant editor in Wiltshire. I am also proprietor of Hobnob Press, a publisher of west country books, and chair of the publishing committee of the British Association for Local History. I have researched and written about local and regional history since the 1970s, when I completed my doctoral thesis at Bristol on an aspect of the later Roman empire. As well as a particular interest in places in Wiltshire and the county as a whole, I have worked on the history of travel and travellers, and have produced editions of John Leland and John Taylor. I am also involved in the work of the county record societies in Wiltshire and Dorset. For many years I taught adult education classes for the University of Bristol and the WEA, and worked with archaeological units researching the documentary history of excavation and development sites. I live in Gloucester.
Recently completed or in progress VCH work includes parish histories of Baunton, West Littleton (with Simon Draper) and Swindon village, all in Gloucestershire; and West Knoyle and Chippenham (with other contributors), in Wiltshire. Much of this material is now available in draft online. With Douglas Crowley I am working on Salisbury’s medieval Domesday books for Wiltshire Record Society, and I hope to produce a social history of the Wylye area in the 17th century based on my edition of Crockford’s registers, and a revised edition of my Swindon Decoded.
Areas of expertise
- Local history and topography, especially in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire
- The history of travel
- Book design and publication
- Documentary research of archaeological sites
- Chandler, J. editor (2022). John Leland, Itinerary, 2nd edn. Hobnob Press
- Chandler, J. editor (2020). The Parish Registers of Thomas Crockford, 1561-1633 (Wiltshire Record Society, vol. 73)
- Chandler, J. editor (2020). John Taylor, Travels and Travelling, 2nd edn. Hobnob Press
- Chandler, J. (2020), Salisbury: history around us, 3rd edn. Hobnob Press
- Chandler, J. (2018), The Vale of Pewsey, 3rd edn. Hobnob Press
- Chandler, J. and Jurica, J, editors (2016), Victoria History of Gloucestershire, vol. XIII: The Vale of Gloucester and Leadon Valley, Boydell and Brewer for Univ. London IHR. [I contributed five parishes and the introduction]
Summary of earlier published work
In addition to recent or recently revised publications, I have written books and papers on Salisbury (notably Endless Street: a History of Salisbury and its People (1983)), Amesbury, Swindon, the Marlborough and Devizes areas, Wiltshire churches and Shaftesbury Abbey. I have also produced editions of printed maps of Wiltshire and Wiltshire dissenters’ meeting-house certificates, and contributed to earlier VCH volumes on Wiltshire and Herefordshire. I have frequently written papers for the local historical journal, Sarum Chronicle.
Brian Edwards MA
A repurposed communications engineer and retired lecturer, I retrained to practice as a public historian and historiographer. My research interests range from art history to rural xenophobia, my writings cover subjects from open air monuments to technological decline, and my initiatives extend from community publications and events to exhibitions and television broadcasts.
To coincide with the reopening of British museums to visitors at the end of lockdown, I curated the Ways of Seeing Wiltshire exhibition (20 May 2021 to 30 August 2021) in partnership with Wiltshire Museum.
In 2020, the UWE Bristol Media Relations team produced a media coverage book relating to my collaboration with research into the origins of the Cerne Abbas Giant.
During the Festival of Archaeology (11 to 19 July 2020), four of my writings were chosen by ‘Bristol’s Brilliant Archaeology in partnership with Bristol Museums’ to feature among the ten articles selected to represent the South West.
In a collaboration with heritage organisations and a number of partnerships in 2018, I conceived and managed the Stonehenge Chubb Centenary Day: a village celebration to mark Shrewton-born Cecil Chubb and his wife Mary gifting Stonehenge to the nation in 1918.
In 2018, I successfully collaborated with the BBC to appeal for photographs of Mary Chubb (1872-1955), whose fortune funded the purchase of Stonehenge prior to gifting the site to the nation in 1918.
In 2017, I conceived and facilitated a BBC television programme about the Stonehenge tunnel.
My research primarily surrounds past and present public engagement with heritage: the principal interest being the mismatches between the celebrated and the discounted of the English heritage landscape, and the differences between the impression of the past circulating in the public domain and what academic and professional historians discuss through learned journals and scholarly works.
My current activities are mostly anchored in producing as well as monitoring reactions to both learned and popular forms. With over sixty writings in print from chapters in books to learned papers and scholarly articles, a regional-based impression of the national past is a feature of my output.
- Edwards, B. (2021-2). The Waterscapes of the Wiltshire Moonrakers Revisited, 1825-1895, The Regional Historian. New Series No. 3. (27-34).
- Edwards, B. (2018). Mr Toagis’s Stonehenge: An exploration of an uncelebrated benchmark in replica henge monuments to mark the tenth anniversary of Clonehenge, The Regional Historian. New Series No 1. (26-31).
Other scholarly engagement
- Edwards, B. (2020, August). The Giant’s story revisited, Current Archaeology 365. (40-44).
- Edwards, B. (2016, Spring). A Roadside Postcard from Blick Mead, Rescue News 123. (3-5).
Regional and wider public engagement
- Edwards, B. (2020, December). Ways of Seeing Wiltshire, Trilithon: The Newsletter of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, No 95. (7).
- Edwards, B. (2018, Summer). Stonehenge Chubb Centenary Day, Megalith: Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site Newsletter. (20-21).
- Edwards, B. (2018, July). The Stonehenge Chubb Centenary: A gift without parallel to the nation, Wiltshire Life. (32-34).
- Edwards, B. (2017, October). ‘It’s back to the future for the A303 tunnel’, Wiltshire Life. (28-9).
- Edwards, B. (2017, May). ‘A303: tunnel vision’, Wiltshire Life. (24-5).
- Edwards, B. (2020, August 10). A response to the Secretary of State for Transport requesting views on any implications arising from new discoveries for the A303 development at Stonehenge 16 July 2020.
- Edwards, B. (2019, April). Issues around the past and present value of the A303 in the public consciousness. Examination of Highways England’s A303 Stonehenge DCO Application TR010025, Reference number: 20020830.
- Ways of Seeing Wiltshire, Wiltshire Museum, 20 May 2021 - 30 August 2021.
- The Bellarmine jug fragment and A poem by Anna Maria Benett (1776-1857) accompanying a sketch of Stonehenge, selections and captions for 30 Objects/30 Years: Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites celebrates 30 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 30 objects, November 2016.
Dr Jonathan Harlow
PhD, MSc (Econ), BA
I am an active local historian although retired from paid work. My main interest is the socio-economic history of the Avon region in the 17th and 18th centuries; and I am currently working on the papers of Sir Robert Southwell (1635–1702), owner of King’s Weston by Bristol and for some years President of the Royal Society. I am the Editor of the Avon Local History & Archaeology series of booklets which I began in 2009, now running at 35 titles. I am also Treasurer and Membership Secretary of the Bristol Record Society.
- ‘Preaching for Hire’, Quaker Studies ,10.1 (September 2005): 31-45
- 'Captain Bishop of the [?]: the Military Career of George Bishop', Journal of Friends Historical Society, 2008
- The Ledger of Thomas Speed 1681-1690, Bristol Record Society vol 63, 2011
- ‘Smuggling through Customs at Bristol in 1681’, The Regional Historian, 29 (Summer 2015)
- Religious Ministry in Bristol 1603-1689: Uniformity to Dissent, Bristol Record Society vol 69, 2017
- The Trade of Bristol in the later 17th century, Avon Local History and Archaelogy #33
- Atlantic Venture Accounts of 18th-century Bristol with Alison Brown, Bristol Record Society vol 74 2021
I am a writer, soundartist and poet. Over the last 16 years, I have developed a soundart practice in which I create site-specific interactive soundworlds (or ‘gps-triggered augmented soundscapes‘) which re-imagine historical events; or which fuse poetry and contemporary classical music. These interactive soundworlds are created either solo or with my three-man artists’ collective, Satsymph (classical contemporary composer Marc Yeats, poet and writer Ralph Hoyte, coder and audio-engineer Phill Phelps).
Such works of soundart are downloaded as a Satsymph app to participants’ personal devices (iPhone, Android) and, when opened on location, respond to participants’ movements within the designated real-world environments to deliver an augmented sensory experience. Such affective digital technologies are invaluable as a tool for historical interpretation as they offer multiple POV scenarios depending on how the individual participant negotiates the soundscape. In the music/poetry sphere, modular construction of interactive sound environments mix, match and morph ‘words’, ‘music’ and ‘sound ’to create something which leans on, and at the same time, transcends those particular artform categories, whilst, at the same time, involving physical movement in real-world environments (ie. not in a concert hall or music venue).
I have had a long association with UWE Bristol. In 2003-04, Professor Steve Poole was project advisor to 1831 Riot!, ‘the world’s first audio-play for an intelligent environment’, in which I and co-author, Liz Crow, re-imagined the 1831 Bristol Reform Riots for located audio on Queen Square, Bristol. The partnership with Satsymph moved on to a series of works under the heading ‘Romancing the Gibbet’, in which immersive poetic soundscapes are used to investigate crime-scene executions of the Georgian era, revealing and interpreting in poetry how ‘memory’ has been – and continues to be – implanted into land- and cityscapes. Initially realised as live-art performances (in collaboration with artist Michael Fairfax), subsequent iterations have included inclusion in the Being Human festival of the arts as a series of downloadable phone apps. The current partnership with UWE Bristol and the Regional History Centre – the ESRC-funded Riots 1831 project – further expands the applications of located audio for interpretation and public engagement with lived experience histories.
Professor Steve Poole is also an advisor to my Arts Council England and Bristol Ideas-supported project, Colston’s Last Journey, in which I use located audio to create a work of soundart about Bristol and the Transatlantic Trafficking of Enslaved Africans.
In other areas of my artistic practice, I write epic poems such as Christabel-Released, my 3.5 hour long completion of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Gothic horror ballad, Christabel; use located audio to allow users to follow in the footsteps of the Romantic poets across the Quantock Hills of Somerset and North Exmoor Coast; have created a live-art performance and book following in the footsteps of the 17th century haiku master, Matsuo Basho in deepest Japan for five weeks (hana no kage/Shadow of a Flower) (Arts Council England travel bursary); and collaborated with public artists such as Michael Fairfax to create spatial, or sculptural poetry works of public art such as Voices of Heavitree straddling one of the main routes into Exeter. I am also a co-researcher (voluntary) with ‘Connecting Through Culture As We Age: Digital Innovation for Healthy Ageing‘ (University of Bristol)
Dr Michael Tichelar
- Thames Polytechnic - BA (Hons) History (1975)
- Warwick University - MA in Comparative American and British Labour History (1976)
- University of the West of England - MA in Management Learning (1997)
- University of the West of England - PhD in History (2000).
I am a political historian of modern Britain with a particular interest in land reform, opposition to blood sports, labour history and suburbanisation. I am retired from a career in local government and the management of voluntary organisations. I completed a part-time Ph. D in 2000 with UWE Bristol on the Labour Party’s policy on land reform 1900 to 1945. I practice as a psychotherapist specialising in work with young people while continuing to undertake research in my areas of historical interest. I was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2021.
I am currently researching political change in the suburbs of London with particular reference to Croydon. I have been commissioned by Routledge to write a book entitled Labour in the Suburbs: Political change in Croydon during the Twentieth Century, to be submitted by December 2022.
Areas of expertise
- Land reform
- Labour history
- The History of opposition to blood sports in Twentieth Century England – Hunting at Bay (Routledge 2016). ISBN 978-1-138-22543-5 (hardback and paperback).
- The Failure of Land Reform in England 1919-2016: the triumph of private property (Routledge 2018). ISBN 978-0415793346 (hardback and paperback)
- Why London is Labour – a history of metropolitan politics (Routledge 2021) eBook ISBN9780429057304
Modern British History
- Socialists, Labour and the Land: the Response of the Labour Party to the Land Campaign of Lloyd George before the First World War, Twentieth Century British History Issue 8.2 1997.
- Central-local tensions: the case of the Labour Party, regional government and land-use reform during the Second World War, Labour History Review Vol. 66.2 Summer 2001.
- The Labour Party and Land Reform in the Inter-War period, Rural History Vol 13, 1, 2002.
- The Labour Party, agricultural policy, and the retreat from rural land nationalisation during the Second World War, Agricultural History Review (Vol 51 part II 2003).
- The conflict over property rights during the Second World War: the Labour Party’s abandonment of land nationalisation, Twentieth Century British History (Vol 15, No. 3 May 2003).
- The Scott Report and the Labour Party; the protection of the Countryside during the Second World War, Rural History Vol 15, 2, 2004.
- Putting animals into politics”- the Labour Party and Hunting during the first half of the Twentieth Century, Rural History Vol 17, 2, 2006.
- A blow to the men in pink”. The RSPCA and opposition to hunting in the Twentieth Century, Rural History (2011).
- Active Opposition to Hunting in the South West – a History yet to be written. The Regional Historian (No 1 - 2018).
- Royalty and opposition to blood sports in twentieth century Britain – from imperial spoils to wildlife conservation, History (Historical Association) (2018).
Regional History Centre
The Regional History Centre promotes research into the history of Britain's South Western counties, and to further an understanding of regionalism in the shaping of domestic and international histories.
Research centres and groups
Browse UWE Bristol's portfolio of research areas, expertise, staff and publications.