About Howard Giles,
As one of Britain’s most experienced historical event professionals with over 5,500 events successfully staged, Howard is perhaps best known for creating and thereafter directing English Heritage’s ambitious events programme, 1984-2000 and from 2001-2016 staging many more through his company EventPlan Limited. With a flair for showmanship he has personally organised, scripted and directed many events - both historical and non-historical - notably large-scale “spectaculars”.
Directing English Heritage's huge national programme also involved balancing it by geography, theme, scale and date across 100+ historic properties, whilst still meeting diverse regional objectives. Howard trained many staff and literally “wrote the book” on events, English Heritage’s 300-page manual covering every aspect of event planning and management. A slimmed down version of this was later published by English Heritage. in addition Howard appeared in "Ticket to the Past", an English Heritage film about how to stage special events, and currently available on YouTube.
In 2000, Howard resigned from English Heritage to found EventPlan, continuing his work as an event specialist but for new clients. He remained Managing Director until selling the company in February 2016, now offering his services as a historical consultant, to research historical subjects, write articles, narrate re-enactments and generally advise on historical recreations, live or for TV and film. As part of his contract of sale for EventPlan he is not able to offer event planning services until early 2018, but at this point he may well accept the occasional planning project if it interests him.
The Battle of Orgreave was one of the most complex events successfully staged during Howard's long career as a historical expert and event professional. Other events include huge multi-era historical spectaculars such as the famous History in Action series at Kirby Hall. Howard has advised in India on improving the infrastructure and interpretation in and around the fantastic ruined city of Vijayanagara. He has trained performers, scripted and helped direct military, gladiatorial and chariot racing displays for The Roman Army and Chariot Experience at Jerash in Jordan. Long running annual events included multi-periods within the iconic setting of Sherwood Forest and Rufford Abbey Country Park, and 1940s themed weekends at several National Trust properties.
Howard's encyclopedian knowledge of history (particularly military history) has enabled him to narrate a huge array of live historical displays, in an informative yet chatty style. He enjoys researching and writing about key events in history including for example, piecing together scattered and contradictory accounts of the infamous Battle of Evesham in 1265 to offer a reasonably detailed stab at what might have happened. Indeed it was this curiosity about establishing the truth amongst vagueness or "spin" that led him to take such an interest in the Battle of Orgreave.
Howard also offers his expertise as a historical advisor to film and TV. This was used to good effect when supplying and coordinating over 100 Roman extras for a major TV advert for Tetley's Bitter. Amongst many other filming projects he supplied and co-ordinated the historical extras for - and appeared in - all 6 episodes of Historyonics for BBC 1 and was featured in the series Perfect Weapon, as on screen military expert on the use of the iconic 1853 Enfield rifled musket.
Howard's love of history runs in the family. He is the son of historian and Western Front Association founder, the late John Giles, and just after 11am every November 11 is privileged to lay one of the first wreaths at the Cenotaph as part of the official party. With the centenary of the Great War in full swing, public interest in the "war to end all wars" and its millions of victims is increasing every day. Long may this continue.
Howard's historical consultancy web site, hmghistoricalconsultant.com, complete with sample articles and more details of his work, will go live very shortly. In the meantime please do contact him if you wish to discuss his possible involvement in an upcoming project.