Helena Sanderson is an historical researcher, genealogist and creative practitioner based in north west England.
In 2015 she gained a first-class honours degree in Humanities with Creative Writing and Art History from the Open University, and graduated at Ely Cathedral in June 2016. She is currently undertaking a two-year Master’s degree in English Local History, again with the Open University, and in 2018 gained her Postgraduate Diploma in History with Distinction. Her dissertation explores changes to small-scale farming in the Rossendale Valley brought about by the Industrial Revolution, particularly the lives of the Woods farming family during the long nineteenth century.
In May 2017 she was awarded postgraduate funding from the Open University’s Crowther Fund to study aspects of the Industrial Revolution in the Scottish Borders, in particular the development of the printing industry following the repeal of paper duties in 1861. The funding is in the form of travel costs, accommodation expenses, and tuition fees to participate in letterpress and bookbinding workshops at Robert Smail’s Printworks in Innerleithen.
In July 2017 she submitted a successful tender proposal to Lakeland Arts, and worked with the programming team developing a mixed schedule of new interpretation as part of the Blackwell Project at Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere. Her research centred on the Holt family and their household. The Holt’s interaction with Blackwell as a holiday home and the reasons they visited less frequently after the Great War form the basis of four scripted augmentations. These were recorded in August 2017 and placed throughout the house from 15 September 2017. In addition to writing the scripts, Helena voiced the part of Edith Winterbottom, between maid at Blackwell. She is now carrying out research for a forthcoming book about the families associated with Blackwell and life in Edwardian England.
In 2018, Helena combined her research interests under the Helena Sanderson: Adventures in History banner. She undertakes many aspects of historical research, including genealogical, which she has been involved in for over twenty years. Helena now offers clients research tailored to their requirements, whether that be in developing heritage interpretation, discovering more about their family history, or any other type of historical research that the client desires.