Think about the history that surrounds you

The Richmond Arms
, West Ashling

THE DISH DETECTIVE: The Richmond Arms, West Ashling, near Chichester

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As I walk through the city, I’m surrounded by many old buildings.

I stare up at the architecture that dominates our streets and think of the history – good and bad.

From the birth of a building to today, there’s a unique story behind each door.

I think there is so much history around us which deserves more recognition than it gets.

No two buildings are the same. One can be tired and uninviting, while another can be bright and welcoming.

I just appreciate the character we’re surrounded by and really enjoy reflecting on what may have happened in these buildings.

It’s amazing to think of how many people have lived in the homes many of us occupy.

It’s even more exciting to think about the past that a building has had.

I know someone who lives in a flat which was once a butcher’s. Think about how many customers would have paid a visit over the years.

I’m always fascinated by the surroundings of a city and of the people who are part of it.

I guess that whether we are a member of a city or small village community, many of us don’t quite understand the vital role each individual has to play in contributing to the history of the area.

I can walk along a street today and point out where certain buildings once stood, or homes which were once shops such as a local grocery store.

The fact that I’ve only been alive for almost 19 years and am confronted with so much history in my time entices me to investigate what things were like before my birth.

I love reading the nostalgia pages in The News and when people share old pictures on social media. This is such a brilliant opportunity to keep stories alive and learn about what an area was like in days gone by.

A good example is pubs, which get knocked down or converted into homes.

Yes, it is upsetting to see a pub disappear. But if it becomes a home or a shop, it still has a wonderful history.

I urge you to pay attention to your local history. Look at the naval base – traditionally the beating heart of Portsmouth – and all its fascinating old buildings.

Why wouldn’t you wish to know more about their past?

Then there’s Gunwharf Quays, which had a naval past before becoming a retail and homes development.

Go on, delve into the past and find out more about the areas and buildings that surround you.