Peterborough's 'accidental historian' shares city stories with thousands across the world

Del Singh’s Magical History Tour of Peterborough will have a 4th part after online success

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 12:30 pm
A fourth video tour is being planned
A fourth video tour is being planned

Peterborough’s ‘accidental historian’ will share more stories of his home city after thousands viewed his magical mystery tours online.

Del Singh, from Eastfield, created his first video tour of the city during lockdown – and after it was seen by more than 10,000 people, a second and third tour were arranged.

Del's latest short film, Magical History Tour Part 3 - Peterborough City Centre was recently picked to be premiered at the Peterborough Celebrates Festival at Ferry Meadows. After the festival, the film was put online on the Peterborough Presents website and on their Facebook page. In just 7 days it has been watched by 8,000 people.

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Del's videos have been seen by thousands

He said: “Neither I nor the team at Peterborough Presents could predict how popular these short film about Peterborough would capture the imagination of people and prompt so many to share their own memories of the city with us online. The fact that over 50,000 people from as far afield as Bretton to Brisbane and New England to New York have watched and learned about our city is truly amazing.”

The stories included in the latest tour include everything from Charlie Chaplain’s links to the city, to the history of Westgate.

Del said: “There is so much history in the city both ancient and modern. In this latest film I talk about Charles Dickens connection to a building on Westgate, where Charlie Chaplin had a swift half and the shops that gave way to Queensgate Bus station.

"It's also a chance for me to share my own personal stories of Peterborough in the form of a filmed love letter to the city I was born in and grew up in.

"I've kind of become Peterborough's "Accidental Historian", an archivist for the city and with so many people watching the films its common for me to be stopped by people in the street or even the supermarket asking if "I'm the history film guy?".

Charley Genever Community Producer at Peterborough Presents has worked with Del and local film making team of Emily Steele (CineSister) and Osvin Dias throughout the project. "It's great being there watching these films being made not least because Del has so many great personal stories and delivers them usually in a single take as he has a very natural style of presentation. That is something that I think people really enjoy about these films in that it's a mix of history and fun anecdotes".

Sarah Haythornthwaite Programme Director at Peterborough Presents like everyone has been astounded by the success of the Magical History Tour project. She said "In fairness what started off as part of our Millfield Link Project last year as a short one-off film appears to have developed a life of its own, with it going worldwide and literally thousands of viewers . This project also shows that art can be about storytelling, filmmaking, and history. Also, Del has proven creativity is "all inclusive" in that everyone can get involved irrespective of age, ethnicity, and background. At Peterborough Presents we welcome everyone who wants to get creative, so feel free to contact us with your ideas".

You can watch Del’s Magical History Tour Part 3 online at the Peterborough Presents website at: https://peterboroughpresents.org/deljit-singh-magical-history-tours/