Number of items in the collection: 253
The Mantle Oral History Project Collection comprises 159 interviews with residents of the Coalville and Whitwick area. The interviews were undertaken as an Oral History project, by the Springboard Centre at Mantle Community Centre in Coalville between 1985 and 1992. A number of interviews were selected and edited to create saleable cassette copies for the general public. The original collection was deposited with the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland for safe keeping in 1999 and became part of the the EMOHA in 2001.
What the Collection contains
The collection documents the lives of 159 people who were living in or around Coalville, Leicestershire between 1984 and 1992. The people recorded recall memories and events going back to the turn of the 20th Century. Most of these events are particular to the local area and Leicestershire. However, some include memories of other places as diverse as Cornwall and India.
There is considerable material on the experiences of childhood and early life, including school, games, the domestic environment from the1900s to 1940s as viewed by a child, and the work undertaken by children.
Life experience as young and older adults is also well recorded in this collection. Work is a prominent feature, particularly work in the mining industry which was a major industry in this area. Other occupations which feature significantly are quarrying, brick-making, farming, factory work and domestic service, many other types of employment are also detailed, including the work of a woman GP in Coalville.
Leisure and entertainment activities in the locality are recalled by many interviewees. The local Wakes and a very detailed account of the cinema in Coalville are among those recorded.
Local aristocracy, families, shopkeepers and trades people are described and events surrounding them recalled, providing a backdrop to the more personal memories of Coalville, Bardon, Whitwick and Copt Oak.
Major local events, such as the Zeppelin raid on Loughborough in 1916 and the extreme cold conditions experienced in the same year, also feature in this collection.