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How to take part: top tips and resources

Use our top tips and free downloadable resources to find out more about the history of taps and toilets in your local area.

1 Oct 2014

WaterAid volunteer Linda Shurlock shares her top tips for exploring the history of water and sanitation where you live.

WaterAid volunteer Linda Shurlock

1. Read the toolkit before you start!
It includes lots of useful ideas and information, so it's worth taking the time to read it through carefully. You can download a copy here or order a printed copy.

2. Find out if there is any research already available about your area
Check with your local library, museum or local history society and find out what they already know. 

3. Choose an area of history that interests you and start your research there
For example, you could concentrate on finding out about a particular disease, or focus on the history of running water in your street.

4. Make local connections
Ask around and find out if there is anyone who enjoys or has experience of looking through local archives.

5. Check what your area was called during the Victorian period
It may have been known by a different name!

6. Don't forget to use the internet
Google is a great place to start.

7. Speak to relatives and neighbours
There might be some interesting stories hiding in your family history or right next door!

8. Keep in touch with WaterAid throughout your research
Just send us an email and let us know how you’re getting on! We can also tell you the best way to send information to us.

9. Look for human stories
They really help bring history to life.

10. Don't get frustrated
You may encounter dead ends but you'll also make some exciting discoveries!

Need some more help or want to share what you've found? Just email bighistory@wateraid.org or call Rebecca Owen on 020 7793 4478. Good luck!

Find out what life was like in the UK 150 years ago without taps and toilets >