[East Midlands Oral History Archive logo]

Derbyshire Oral History

[search][skip catalogue menu]
*

[News]

[Catalogue]

[Schools]

[Community]

[Training]

[EMOHA]

[partners]

Information about oral history projects in Derbyshire

If you would like to add details of your project to this page, email us at emoha@le.ac.uk. For all projects that have been granted Local Heritage Initiative grants, look at the LHI East Midlands page. For information about oral history in the other counties of the East Midlands have a look at the East Midlands Projects page.

***

Ashover Audio Trail - Delve into the minds of residents past and present during this short, but fascinating 1.5 mile audio tour around Ashover Village in Derbyshire. You will hear the stories of eight people whose memories of the village stretch right back to the very early years of the 20th century when things were very different. Discover where Liquorice Allsorts were first made, where the site of Ashover's very own zoo was and much, much more as you take in 12 enlightening stops that peel away the layers of time in the village known for its 'peace and wildflowers'.

Developed by Audio Trails (www.audiotrails.co.uk) the guide can be downloaded onto MP3 players, iPods and mobile phones, and is linked to from the Ashover Parish Council website at http://www.ashover-pc.gov.uk/trail.html. Some interviews were conducted especially for the audio trails, while others date back to 1984. All are archived at the Derbyshire Local Studies library in Matlock.

***

Bamford Living Memory Project is a project run by Bamford Community Arts and Crafts for Bamford, in the Hope Valley. Bamford is typical of Derbyshire villages which saw great changes during the twentieth century. Local valleys were flooded to make the Howden, Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs, and many people whose families had farmed the land for generations became dependent on water management for employment. The decline of manufacture in the UK saw Bamford Mill - once an important source of employment in the village - eventually converted into luxury flats.

This project is an enjoyable way - through face-to-face meetings and creative writing - for older villagers to pass their memories on to younger generations in their own words, and for younger generations to respond. The project is run by a local voluntary association, Bamford Community Arts and Crafts, working with Bamford Primary School and local groups such as the Senior Citizens Committee, Over-60s Club and History Group. During 2004, a selection of writings from the project will be published and performed. The words and music of local carols will also be transcribed and published, and recorded on a CD by groups of local adults and children. A local photographic group will record activities, using digital photography and video. Selected material will be exhibited and performed at the next Bamford Festival, in October 2004. Free copies of the books and CD will be available to local people, and copies will be placed in national, regional and local archives. Project Contact: Andrea Spurling, Address: Knowle Cottage, Taggs Knoll. Bamford. Hope Valley. Derbyshire. S33 0BQ. The Group received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £24996

***

Bakewell Old House Museum - is running an oral history project looking at the history of the local DP Battery company, a firm which was the largest employer in Bakewell, after the demise of the cotton mill, and which made batteries for submarines, post office telephone exchanges and electric vehicles etc. The project started with an event in March 2009. Museum website - http://www.oldhousemuseum.org.uk/

***

Belper Library (Derbyshire Library Service) and Belper Historical Society conducted an oral history project in 2004 on memories of Belper, particularly relating to the Second World War. We have 19 recordings. The information in the recordings dates from 1930s - 1950s. Some recordings are available on CD, others are only in minidisc format. Contact for the group is Mrs Ruth Sharpe at ruth.sharpe@derbyshire.gov.uk. Posted March 2011.

***

'Boiler Suits, Bofors and Bullets' was a Derbyshire County Council project, co-ordinated by Jenny Edgar, which recorded the memories of workers at the Collaro munitions factory at Langley Mill during World War II. The following is taken from the Derrbyshire County Council website: 'The reality of working in an ammunitions factory is only part of the story. Waving goodbye to sweethearts, dancing the night away at the Town Hall, 'sanding' their legs to make them looked tanned and singing along to Joe Loss and Glenn Miller is the other side of a fascinating story. This award-winning book is available to buy at £5.99 plus £1.00 postage and packaging.  Please contact Robert Nimmo on 01629 580000 ext 6591 or email robert.nimmo@derbyshire.gov.uk.' The book was also turned into a double cassette pack.

***

Borrowash - the Unexamined Lives project. A project undertaken by the Ockbrook and Borrowash Historical & Archaeological Society recording the history of the 20th century as it was lived by residents in the Derbyshire village of Borrowash. Features transcripts of interviews. Website - http://unexaminedlives.com/

***

Buxton Partnership Oral History Project - Present from the Past. Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Buxton and District U3A, Discover Buxton, Liz Mackenzie the Community Officer from the Crescent project and Daniel Atherton the Crescent Researcher are working together on a project to capture  memories and create an audio archive. Buxton’s ‘Present from the Past’ project will capture sound-bites and snap-shots of the town and bring the rich history of Buxton and surrounding area to life. The memories collected will be deposited at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and the Derbyshire Record Office and  be part of the Collections in the Landscape proejct at the Museum as well as help inform the development of the Buxton Crescent and Spa Heritage Experience. Contact Liz Mackenzie email: lmackenzie@buxtoncrescent.com. Further details of the project are also available on the Crescent website http://buxtoncrescent.com/.

***

Chaddesden Historical Group - covering the Osmaston Park and Chaddesden Park areas of Derby, Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire’s “The Past On Your Doorstep, The Future In Your Hands” project is hosted on the Chaddesden Historical Group website. Groundwork worked with local schools, over two years, to investigate the development of industry in Derby over the last 100 years, and compared and contrasted the simultaneous changes to the Osmaston Park and Chaddesden Park areas. Listen to the recordings and view slideshows here - http://www.chaddesdenhistoricalgroup.co.uk/groundworks_site/interviews.html

***

Chatsworth. During the summer of 2007 a group of twelve young people, aged between 13 and 17 years, came together to creatively explore the gardens at Chatsworth. The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a grant of £25,000 to Glassball Art Projects to provide the young people the opportunity to work with professional artists, archivists and photographers. They had unprecedented access to the Chatsworth archive and spent many hours talking to past and present members of staff. Using photography, filmmaking, graphics, and writing they arrived at a contemporary, vivid, and fresh look at Chatsworth.

Their resulting work has been exhibited at Chatsworth and made into a 64 paged, case-bound publication. The book provides a fascinating documentation of the project that will be distributed in the area and deposited in local and regional archives. Illustrated throughout in colour, the book also contains a DVD, which includes photographic slideshows, sounds captured from the garden and all of the oral history interviews filmed by the participants during the project.

In the summer of 2009 Glassball worked with another group of young people to investigate the working lives of other employees at Chatsworth. The results of these projects can be seen here - http://www.growingstories.org.uk/

***

Chesterfield Library collect for Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire, and are always happy to accept any relevant donations of oral history recordings. Details of the library's oral history holdings and full contact details can be found here: www.le.ac.uk/emoha/emoha/chesterfield . Among others, this link contains information about 'Now We're Here' by Geoff Sadler which was based on the 'Chesterfield's Hidden History' project. This project recorded local memories, particularly those of the long-established ethnic communities who had lived in the town and its district for half a century or more.

In 2009 a project called 'Listen to Us. The story of how a group of Visually Impaired People came together to form a popular Listening Group at Chesterfield Library' was started. It was completed in 2011 and you can listen to extracts and find out more here - http://www.le.ac.uk/emoha/community/chesterfield.html

***

'A Book for Cressbrook' is a project run by the Cressbrook Village Community Group which will create a book containing historical and contemporary material about the village of Cressbrook and its people, as well as its natural history. Local people will be involved in the collation and organisation of photographic and oral histories, and the creation of a detailed sociological record of contemporary rural life. The Group received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £20340. Project Contact: Richard Throwogood. Address: Cressbrook Institute, Institute Row, Cressbrook, Derbyshire SK17 8SX. Finishing Date 31 Oct 2006. The book has now been produced!

***

Cresswell Crags are running two oral history related projects as part of the 'Limestone Journeys' project. 'Securing the Past' will preserve and digitise oral history archives held by local history societies. Volunteers will be trained in order to expand the digitisation to other groups in the area, generating a comprehensive digital archive. 'Mining Memories' will capture memories from a time when mining was the dominant industry. Training will be offered for volunteers to record oral histories from members of the local community. Further information can be found on the website: http://www.creswell-crags.org.uk/limestone-journeys/about-the-projects.aspx

***

Derby Local Studies Library has around 172 general oral history tapes plus a number of radio and audio recordings covering local memories and reminiscences, Derby County FC, events from 1976-1991, BBC Radio Derby broadcasts. Contact details and more details of the collections can be found here: www.le.ac.uk/emoha/emoha/derbycitylocalstudies

***

Derby County Hall Local Studies Library has a collection of around 130 interviews covering lives lived in Derbyshire communities, local industries, farming, World War II. Communities covered include Ashover, Belper and Renishaw. Contact details and more details of the collections can be found here: www.le.ac.uk/emoha/emoha/derbylocalstudies

***

Derby Video History. Derby people of all ages have been interviewed about their memories, hopes, fears and aspirations, during a Millennium project to create a computerised archive of video clips. This will soon be available for public use in the City's libraries, and features people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Wilbarton College has provided training in interviewing, digital recording and editing for volunteers working on the project, leaving a valuable legacy of new skills in addition to the archive itself. Other partners in the project are Derby City Libraries, Derby University, Q Arts, and Derby City Museums. For further information, contact Derby Local Studies Library, 25b Irongate, Derby, DE1 3GL, tel. 01332 255393.

***

The Derbyshire Law Centre is running an HLF funded project collecting oral histories and written accounts of residents’ experiences of social housing in North Eastern Derbyshire. The website features an elegant timeline of legislation relating to housing as well as oral histories and other material - http://socialhousinghistory.org.uk/  - and features an elegant timeline of legislation relating to housing as well as oral histories and other material.

***

Derwent Valley - The ‘Derwent Valley Threads’ project is based on the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site (DVMWHS), inscribed as such by UNESCO in 2001 as a place of ‘Outstanding Universal Value to Humanity’. It aims to capture the memories of people who used to work at the textile mills between Masson Mill in Matlock Bath and the Silk Mill in Derby, or who lived nearby. The site contains a mix of mill complexes, the watercourses that powered them, and the settlements developed for the workers, but: ‘Most of the Mills closed in the 1980s, so the mill workers are now all ageing and are therefore an “at risk” resource. There has, as yet, only been limited work done to preserve the memories and stories of the area. The two year project will tackle this in new and innovative ways, developing artist-led inter-generational work that will enable artists and young people from the area to work with older people in preserving the stories on the web, rather than in a printed publication.’

The project plans to train young people in interview techniques, oral history and reminiscence work, and to provide workshops for all ages in writing for the web and meeting the technical requirements of the artsderbyshire website on which the memories will be published alongside sound, art work and photographs. It is hoped that the project will also encourage more people to visit the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and learn more about it. ‘Derwent Valley Threads’ is being organised by a partnership, working together as Derwent Valley Arts, which includes arts officers from Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council Arts and Derbyshire Dales District Council; the DVMWHS Coordinator; representatives from Amber Valley Borough Council & Derbyshire Dales District Council, and local independent arts development organisations including Fleet Arts and QUAD. Fleet Arts is managing the project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and the Derwent Valley Mills WHS Partnership.

Give Sarah or Jane a ring at Fleet Arts on 01773 820484, email sarah@fleet-arts.org , website: www.artsderbyshire.org.uk/projects/threads/index.html

***

The oral history of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and the surrounding area. Lead mining and limestone quarrying formed the basis of Wirksworth’s prosperity for several hundred years and the railway contributed to the local economy for over 100 years, with the transport of stone as well as agricultural products. The overall project is to record the memories of people who worked on the Wirksworth Branch Line and surrounding quarries, including stories of people whose relatives worked there.

A video will be made of some of the people, incorporating depictions of relatives from the past. Interpretation boards will be installed at stations south of Wirksworth relating to the oral history recordings. A 1960s railway coach will be refurbished by volunteers to house the interpretation of the oral history in DVD form together with railway and quarry artefacts found in the area. Finishing date 31 May 2006.
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association. Project Contact: Mike Craft. Website at: http://www.evra.org.uk. The Group received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £24944.

***

The Etwall & Burnaston Local History Society aims to raise awareness of the evolution of place and community for the benefit of residents & visitors by the research and publication of four heritage pamphlets: ‘Etwall Built Environment’, ‘Understanding the Rural Landscape’, ‘Geology & Building Materials’ and a fourth pamphlet for young people. An archive covering the twentieth Century will be created incorporating an oral history record gathered from the memories of elderly residents, a pictorial collection assembled from the community and a research record of the evolving social and economic circumstances of the time. The archive will be exhibited as appropriate and housed locally. Project Contact: Mr John R Blackton Address: Hill Pasture, Sutton Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire DE65 6LQ. Finishing Date 31 Jan 2007. The Group received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £12391.

***

Food Heritage Project. Launched in November 2006, this project celebrates the Peak District’s food heritage by capturing memories and stories of local food producers, retailers, workers, farmers and consumers.  Working in partnership with writer David Fine and a team of volunteers coordinated by 'Read On Write Away!', the Farming Life Centre will bring together the memories collected as a book of reminiscences to be called 'Seasons to Taste'.  Material will also be available on listening posts sited in and around Bakewell.  Contact details are on the website: http://www.thefarminglifecentre.org.uk/index.asp?ID=175

***

Gardom’s Edge Audio Trail - A number of archaeological excavations on this rich historical site have uncovered many treasures, and it is the memories of some of the people working on one such dig in the 1990’s, which forms the basis of this audio tour. As you journey along this 2 ¼ mile route you will not only visit the site of a roundhouse dating back 3000 years but discover evidence of bronze and iron age settlement is widespread - including rock art engraved into the gritstone, ring cairns and standing stones. Developed by Audio Trails (www.audiotrails.co.uk) the guide can be downloaded onto MP3 players, iPods and mobile phones from www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk/mftf/audio_trails/gardoms.htm

***

The Hadhari Oral History Project - in 2013 the Hadhari project in Derby captured and documented the outstanding lifetime achievements of Derbys' Afro Caribbean residents during the period post WWll. The programme was primarily a set of intergenerational activities endeavouring to bring together Young People and their community elders who came to the UK during the 40's, 50's and 60's to live and work in Derby. Many of the men who settled in Derby during this period were services personnel during WWII and went on to work at local manufacturing companies including Rolls-Royce. Many of the women then came after the war to join their partners, later working in the local health and transport services, as they developed to meet post war needs. 50 years on most have retired, some have returned to the Caribbean and sadly we have lost many. Those who remain here are now in their 70's/80's and we have decided that we must capture their memories for future generations to understand what they went through. The Group received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £49,800. Website - http://www.hadhariproject.org.uk/NewProjects.html

***

Holmeswood Audio Trail - Explore the history of one of North East Derbyshire’s former mining centres – and hear how it has become an unlikely haven for birdlife, butterflies and wildlife. The audio guide is brought to life by interviews with local residents, countryside rangers and wildlife experts. They talk of memories of the old Holmewood Colliery and the creation of the former Great Central Railway, with expert accounts of how the land was reclaimed and restored to its present-day glory as a wildlife haven. There’s even a chance to get in shape on the ‘Trim Trail’ through the Holmewood Woodlands. Local flora and fauna – along with dragonflies and butterflies – provide good company for walkers along the 1.9 miles route, which takes in part of the Five Pits Trail.

Developed by Audio Trails (www.audiotrails.co.uk) the guide can be downloaded onto MP3 players, iPods and mobile phones from North East Derbyshire District Council’s interactive website YOURspace  - http://www.neddc-yourspace.org.uk/page/archive?c=37.
Interviews conducted for this project can be requested by contacting enquiries@audiotrails.co.uk.

***

Holymoorside History Society have a heritage trail on their website - http://holymoorsidehistorysociety.com/page34.html

***

Kinder Sheepwash Project. The focus of the project is farming life and agriculture in the Kinder Valley pre 1950. The Hayfield Civic Trust group will be recording the voices and reminiscences of farmers in the Kinder Valley to provide a living record of life there. They will also be restoring an old sheepwash (one of the few traces on the landscape of a once thriving upland farming community) and research and document how it was used and it's place in the farming calendar. The sheepwash will also provide the focus for illustrating the historical competition for natural resources between town and country. An interpretation platform will be installed next to the sheepwash. A CD ROM will be produced which will contain oral reminiscences and other researched information on the social and economic life of upland farmers. Project Contact: Judith Lanham Address: Brynawel, Station Road, Birch Vale, High Peak, Derbyshire SK22 1BP. Finishing Date 30 Jun 2004.

***

Living History. The project is drawing together ten "Out of School" clubs in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire. It is enabling children to work with their communities to learn about and record the history, customs and traditions of those communities. The project will result in a range of outcomes, depending on the preferences of the children currently involved. However, all individual groups are working under the guidance of the Network Co-ordinators and their own supervisors within the local people.

This project is enhancing the regeneration of this area of Derbyshire by engaging children and their communities in positive investigation of their heritage. Furthermore, by encouraging the exchange of skills and knowledge, the project is building on local pride and understanding. North Derbyshire Childcare Clubs Network, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. the group received a Heritage Lottery Fund of £2,990

***

Making History. Gamesley - The Manchester Overspills. Manchester residents were rehoused on the Gamesley estate in the early 1960s. The community-led project will collect memories and reminiscences to be used in the production of a book and interpretive art. Pat Javanaud, C/O Gamesley Early Excellence Centre, Winster Mews, Gamesley, GLOSSOP, Derbyshire. SK13 0LU. The Group received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £24970.

***

Monsal Memories is part of the Monsal Trail and Tunnels website. The Monsal Trail uses the tunnels of the former Midland Railway Line to offer one of the most spectacular leisure routes in Britain for cycling, walking and horse riding. The website includes six ten minutes podcasts about people who worked on, lived by or travelled on the former Midland Railway. Website: http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/cycle/monsaltrail

***

‘Moor Memories’ will collect the disappearing spoken history of the Peak District Moorland landscape. This two year project is organised by the Moors for the Future Partnership, which carries out landscape scale restoration to the Peak District moorland for the benefit of the local community, visitors and wildlife, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is based at the Moorland Centre in Edale, Derbyshire. Moor Memories is a partnership project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, South Pennine Leader, East Peak Innovative Project, the Peak District National Park Authority, National Trust, United Utilities and the Sheffield Ramblers. Details: website www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk/mftf/main/Home.htm

From press release January 2010: Over the next two years we will be recording Oral History interviews with local people who have been involved with managing and looking after the Peak District moorlands, as well as people who have witnessed changes to these landscapes within living memory. We are particularly interested in speaking to people who have been involved with physical changes to the moors (including farming, forestry, game keeping and regeneration work), people who have used the moors for leisure (including ramblers and climbers), and people who remember significant events (such as the Second World War or the arrival of the motor car) and the effect of these events on life on the moors. We are also interested in seasonal stories, for instance, about deep winter snow, or summer droughts. Over the next three months we will be running a series of public workshops around the Peak Park, to encourage people to get involved and to share their memories. The memories we collect will be safely stored in a permanent, public archive (that will be made available through the Moorland Centre in Edale, and the Derbyshire Local Studies Library) and will be used to create public exhibitions, audio trails and booklets. These will publicise moorland histories, and celebrate the importance of local moor memories. At the end of the project we will also use some of the memories in a drama summer school for young people. For more information please contact Tegwen Roberts at Moors For the Future: E-mail: tegwen.roberts@peakdistrict.gov.co.uk . Telephone: (01629) 816585 (Thursdays and Fridays only).

***

Quarndon: Then & Now - a Local History Book. The idea for the project came about following an exhibition of contents of the parish chest, in addition to which villagers lent photographs, paintings, artefacts & memorabilia. It attracted over 500 villagers and former residents. There was a general and enthusiastic demand for all the resulting information to be preserved in a fully-illustrated book. The project will enlist local volunteers in recording and listening to memories, gathering information from Head Teachers' logs and minutes of meetings of the Civil & Ecclesiastical Parish as well as local societies, collecting and collating pictures, artefacts and memorabilia and in detailed archival research. Quarndon Parish Council. Project Contact Bryan Harris, Address c/o Park Nook House, Inn Lane, Quarndon, DERBY Derbyshire DE22 5LB. Finishing Date, 31 Dec 07. The Group received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £22351.

***

Reppin Endz was a Heritage Lottery Fund project by young people that looked at Osmaston Park, Chaddesden Park, Markeaton Park and Normantion Park in Derby. The project used interviews, music, photography and film, and the website is here - http://reppinendzderby.com/

***

Tideswell Tales - the Tideswell Living History Group launched the project in April 2012 to preserve and communicate the recent past of Tideswell, a village in Derbyshire. The group collected the memories and old photographs of Tideswell and district residents, ex-residents and visitors – adults and children – in order to preserve and communicate over 150 years of community life through voices and pictures of all ages. The Group received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £32,900. Website - http://tideswelltales.wordpress.com/

***

'Trains and Trails' was a collaboration between Derbyshire County Council and the Peak District National Park's Countryside Service, co-ordinated by Jenny Edgar, in 2001/2. This project recorded people's memories of the Cromford and High Peak Railway, and the Ashbourne to Buxton Railway, and looked at how these railway lines were turned into public trails. The resulting book, CD and talking tape are available from Middleton Top Visitors' Centre, whose website is here: http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/countryside/countryside_sites/visitor_centres/middleton_top/default.asp

***

‘The Voyage’. The Open Doors Forum helped 30 young people capture for posterity the stories of their ancestors who travelled from the Caribbean and Africa to Derby in the 1950s. Over 10 weeks, the group was trained in how to effectively interview and record memories. The project concluded with a celebratory cultural evening to bring the whole community together. Contact: Beverley Stewart, The Open Doors Forum, on tel: 01332 762202. The Group received a Young Roots Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £24,500.

***

Wirksworth Heritage Centre has created 'IPODS, BABOONS AND CROCODILE SHOES', a Community Exhibition. Young and older residents of Wirksworth have worked together to create this exhibition which explores memory and place, using photography, oral histories and interactive maps. Wirksworth Heritage Centre website - http://www.storyofwirksworth.co.uk/index.php

***

Top

Home>>EMOHA>>Links>>E.Midlands Projects


Last updated: 15/12/2016
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.

Valid XHTML 1.0!