Leicestershire - Living and Working through the Centuries

Ref: C2342833

The course will start by looking at what we know about the early farming communities around Leicester and continuing through the centuries to see how they gradually changed due to factors like the growth of towns and the enclosure movements. It will look at the variety of trades and professions which established themselves in mediaeval Leicester and its surroundings, and look at how the wool trade came to dominate the economy. It will deal with the increasing dominance of employment in framework knitting and the disadvantages of sole reliance upon it. The course will then consider the diversification which took place in the mid 19th century into boot and shoe/engineering and the coming of the factory system and its subsequent eclipse in the 1970s.

Course aim

To provide a detailed view of how people in our area have worked and earned their living across the centuries.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • No qualification necessary. Just an enthusiasm for local history and willingness to take part in a group situation.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain how the nature of farming changed locally over the centuries and eventually declined to a minority means of employment.
  • Provide examples of the different ways that people in mediaeval Leicester and Leicestershire earned their living.
  • Evaluate the importance of the framework knitting industry on the local economy and the causes behind the hard times suffered by those involved in it.
  • Identify the stages by which local industry diversified in the Victorian era.
  • Utilise a range of evidence to consider the reasons for the decline of local industries after the Second World War.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • No obligation to do work outside the class but many students do independent research and bring the results to share with the group and students are more than welcome to do this.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • A weekly learner pack will be provided which can be kept as a permanent record of the course.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • A ring binder to keep course materials in would be useful and a notebook to jot down things although the learner packs will mean that extensive note taking is not necessary.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Leicestershire - Living and Working through the Centuries

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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