Our Walk down Memory Lane at Ecclesfield Library was very successful and we are planning another afternoon session in September. It was not only a chance for people who have lived in the area for many years to meet up but we also had visitors from much further afield (London & North Germany) who were former residents.
Ecclesfield Library Event August 15
One of the main themes through the afternoon were the changes that have taken place in the area. This was prompted by a 1948 edition Ordnance Survey map which showed the expanse of fields and farmland that existed then. Several of the people who came remembered the ‘new’ estates being built and moving there as children. Further memories were prompted by a series of old adverts from local shops and businesses, and some photos that people had brought along. There were around 20 people in total, some of whom had not seen each other for years and others who realised that they used to live quite close by as children but went to different schools because of the Sheffield / Yorkshire West Riding boundary.
Thanks are also due to Ecclesfield Library for providing the facilities and to the helpers for keeping us supplied with refreshments!
I am hoping at the next meeting we will have more photos to look at and stories to tell.
The first training workshop took place on 18th July at Grenoside Reading Room. We were fortunate to have Michelle Winslow from the Oral History Society’s network of trainers leading us through the day. After a few early technical glitches, participants were introduced to all the different aspects of carrying out an oral history project which led to a very full day. We all agreed at the end of it that more practice was needed with the equipment, it wasn’t as easy as it looked and that transcribing and putting the oral history interviews together for the archive is a big part of the work. In some ways the easier bit is the interviewing!
We’re starting a list of people to be interviewed and will decide on topics. However, what it also showed was that we needed to get old interviews from audio tapes to digital as it is often the voice and phrasing of the person being interviewed which is the most revealing thing.
There were 12 of us at the Newgate Close ‘down memory lane’ event on 21st July. We chatted about a range of topics over a couple of hours and a cup of tea. I learnt that the site of Newgate Close flats used to be a swampy field with springs running through where people used to pick watercress. The springs have been culverted and I’m assured that after heavy rain if you stand outside at a certain point you can hear the water rushing down under your feet. A pair of semi-detached houses were knocked down to make way for the road entrance when the scheme was developed. It was built under Wortley RDC and there is a picture of the ‘new’ scheme in their celebration brochure. I had a few more geography lessons amid tales about the estate which surrounds it and the roundabout at the end of Jeffcock Road. It was really interesting to hear about daily life not just in High Green but other areas during the 1930s and 40s. A couple of the people who came along said we could go and talk to them again and knew others who would be good to talk to regarding the project.