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'Times of Old : Retold' - a new oral history project in the East Riding

East Riding Archives, at the Treasure House in Beverley, are taking steps to ensure that memories of bygone times in the region are recorded for posterity in a new oral history project - ‘Times of Old: Re-Told’.

Archives staff are appealing for volunteers to come forward and give interviews about their past experiences of living in East Yorkshire, under one or any of the following themes: 

‘Village Life’; ‘Second World War’; ‘Industry & Agriculture’; ‘Shopping’; ‘Sport & Leisure’; and ‘Transport’.

Archives assistant Dr Alex Ombler will be conducting the interviews and has extensive experience of documenting oral histories. He said:  “During the 1970s, oral history in Britain was a facet of folklore studies.  However, it has since grown to become a vital part of community histories. Today, oral history continues to be an important means by which we can 'make history' that can be recorded, archived and studied.

“We plan to invite members of the public to the Treasure House, either individually or in groups, to share the memories and experiences that they feel are important to their lives in the East Riding.”

The recordings will be preserved in the Digital Archive at the Treasure House in Beverley so that this and future generations can benefit from them.  Archivist Sam Bartle added: “We already have a valuable audio archive resource, but this project will allow us to build a more extensive collection of material and provide a more detailed and comprehensive record of our social history.

“They say ‘there’s a book in all of us’ and, during the course of our lives, we all have a story or two to tell – some of us more than others.  All too often though, these stories go untold, and unrecorded, with many people modestly assuming that no-one would ever want to hear what they had to say. 

But they couldn’t be further from the truth - what most people don’t realise is that, over time, their life stories become a part of the history of the times in which they lived, and they give us an invaluable window on the past and our social history. 

It’s crucial that these stories are not lost and forgotten.”

To volunteer for the ‘Times of Old: Re-Told’ oral history project or to get more details, call (01482) 392790, email archives.service@eastriding.gov.uk, or visit the East Riding Archives at the Treasure House, on Champney Road, Beverley.

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