One of the reasons I decided to make films within the community was a strong belief that we need to be proactive in recording stories that are important to us. You know, the things that don’t make the history books. Or the source material in history text books which provides a footnote to ‘the bigger picture’. The fact is, that our common history and heritage is a sum of all of our personal histories – within our families, our community and our locality.
So it’s with a huge amount of excitement that I’ve entered 2010 with some fantastic oral history projects on the boil.
Back in December I spent the day with people who live in and around Kingshurst. Part of the morning was spent interviewing pupils from Kingshurst School. The rest of the day I had the privilege to run a workshop with some of Kingshurst’s older residents. I call it a privilege as it really felt special to indulge in chatting with them about their memories of the area and its development over the past six decades. We were lucky enough to be able to use a selection of photos collated by local resident Stan Tarrant to provoke some really interesting discussion. The result of the workshop is a lovely selection of interviews, illustrated by Stan’s photos of the area over the years. We’ll be launching the film sometime in March, so watch this space for an update on that.
Also in December, the Friends of Moseley Road Baths discovered that our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund has been successful. This will entail, amongst other things, a series of workshops in schools over the course of the next three years, where pupils will have the opportunity to plan, film and edit oral history interviews with people who have memories of swimming, working, socialising or bathing at Moseley Road Baths. For more details on the project take a look at our blog – we’ll be announcing details of next week’s launch event soon.
As if that’s not enough to keep me on my toes, I’m going to be working with pupils from two schools to produce a series of films for this year’s Lichfield Festival. The pupils will have opportunity to interview veterans of the Second World War and to visit the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas. They will also be actively encouraged to explore their own family’s histories. I’ll be keeping you updated on our progress and letting you know where you can see our finished films!