Having mentioned twitter, Les asked if I would be happy developing something on this front and, with my partners in Cyfarwydd (more on that next month), @ChartistsLive was born. There is no shortage of excellent examples of the use of twitter in association with heritage themed events, and I have no shame in saying that this concept very much follows on the back of the tremendously successful @RealTimeWWII feed. With some 300k followers, the World War II themed feed has really highlighted the way in which these ‘as live’ period specific feeds can engage audiences.
The scope for @ChartistsLive is of course somewhat narrower in comparison, but we should not forget that the Chartist story has a very wide reach. Followers are already being attracted from Australia, which has some obvious Chartist connections, while core followers in Canada highlight the reach of a Welsh story to expat communities. Covering the events building up to that fateful day in November 1839, @ChartistsLive develops a day by day narrative, following the main players in the Chartist campaign. Henry Vincent and John Frost will feature prominently, largely because their actions are so well documented, in the case of Vincent, by himself. However the Chartist story was a headline grabber in its day, so we can make liberal use of print media from 1839 as well. All of this will help create, what I hope will be, quite a holistic overview of 1839 – connecting media commentary, personal reflections and wider social insights on the conditions of the working classes in this tempestuous political period.
I’m also developing what might amount to an unhealthy interest in this period as a result, with morning research on the topic having become a steady part of my daily routine. Still, it is all proving to be exceptionally interesting, and early feedback seems pretty positive too. So, here’s looking forward to this project’s development over the coming months – I imagine November is going to be exceptionally busy when it comes to tweeting!