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Migration Stories

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Migration Stories was a project which recorded stories of moving into the East Midlands from within the UK and further afield.

Having received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Renaissance East Midlands and Igniting Ambition, we recorded stories of people from a wide variety of groups and communities who have moved into the East Midlands since the end of the Second World War to find jobs or education, or to flee persecution or war, or to make the East Midlands a place for retirement. Working with the groups the project provided recording equipment and training in how to use it, and how to carry out interviews.

Have a look at the videos and information about the participating groups on the project website here - http://www.migrationstories.co.uk/ - or just watch the videos on the EMOHA You Tube channel here - http://www.youtube.com/user/EMOralHistory

The project was part of the Cultural Olympics and this page documented the progress of the project over from 2010 to 2012 and the London Olympics. In the summer of 2010 the project manager, Colin Hyde, visited festivals in Derby, Leicester & Nottingham in the 'Nanoplex' cinema to promote the project and show film of migrant communities from the collections of the Media Archive for Central England (MACE). Over 300 people attended these screenings.

Photo of the Nanoplex cinema

Colin welcomes you to one of the smallest cinemas in the UK. He returned with the Nanoplex in July 2011 at the SO festival in Skegness!


Groups who took part included:

National Sikh Heritage Centre & Holocaust Museum, Derby - will record stories of Sikhs who have come to live in Derby

Nottingham Chinese Welfare Association - will record stories of people who have come from China to settle in Nottingham.

The Friends of Thringstone - will record stories of coal miners who came to the village from Scotland and the North East of England in the 1960s.

St Matthews Church, Skegness - many people in the town come from outside Skegness.

The Malawi Association, Northampton - a small but well organised community in Northampton.

Corby Heritage Centre - not just Scots who have moved to Corby!


Thringstone - November 2010 saw a 'bring a photo' session at the Thringstone Members Club. This photo of the Thringstone Rangers Supporters Club football team c.1975 kicked things off as people tried to identify all the players.

Photo of Thringstone football team

The recorded interviews tell the story of the early 1960s when coal miners from Scotland and the North East of England migrated to the Thringstone area to work in the local mines.

Newspaper headline

A housing estate was built for the newcomers featuring street names like Kelso Court and Melrose Road to help people feel at home!

Picture of houses in Thringstone

Eventually the Rangers Supporters Club, now the Thringstone Members Club, was built as a place for people to meet.

Picture of the Thringstone Members Club

The project finished at the Thringstone Heritage Fair on Saturday 4th June 2011.

Photo of Thringstone Heritage event Photo of leaflets at Thringstone Heritage event
Photo of laptop computer Thringstone Heritage event

Above: the Migration Stories folder, full of fascinating information!

Above left: Colin Hyde of EMOHA and Ann Petty of the Friends of Thringstone

Left: The final video on the small screen

Congratulations to all involved with the project!


Nottingham - at the beginning of February 2011 the Notts Chinese Welfare Association have completed 18 interviews with members of the Association. Jocelin Zhou conducted many of the interviews as well as translating them from Cantonese, and we are now in the process of editing them. The Chinese New Year on 5th February provided memorable music and dragon dancing.

Picture of Jocelin interviewing Thomas

Jocelin interviewing Thomas.


Picture of Jocelin Zhou with camera

On the receiving end of the camera!

Picture of Jocelin and Thomas with laptop computer

Looking at the footage afterwards.

Picture of Chinese new Year event at NCWA

Chinese New Year at the NCWA.

We celebrated the end of the project with a viewing and lunch at the NCWA.

Photo of people watching video at NCWA

These are some of the people who were interviewed, or created the videos, for the project. Congratulations to everyone who took part!

Photo of group at NCWA



The Nanoplex - again!

In July 2011 Colin headed to the SO festival, Skegness, to show some of the Migration Stories films in the newly painted Nanoplex. Over 100 people watched the videos, along with film of Skegness from the collections of MACE.

Photo of the nanoplex in Skegness


National Sikh Heritage Centre & Holocaust Museum, Derby - in autumn 2011. Interviews have been recorded interviews and will be edited soon.

photo of interview at Sikh Museum in Derby

Signing the forms after an interview in the Holocaust Museum.


Malawi Association in Northampton - autumn 2011. Have now started their interviews.

Photo of football match

The various Malawi associations across the East Midlands often meet for football matches.

Photo of Malawi group with laptop

Clement and the lads make sure there are plenty of biscuits to help with the editing!


St Matthew's Church, Skegness

A cold morning/afternoon at the beginning of March 2012 saw interviews taking place at St Matthew's Church in Skegness. Hot drinks and cake helped everyone survive the experience of being interviewed by local historian Jill Caine. The next stage is to get some shots of Skegness after Easter when holiday makers will be in the town.

Picture of the Nanoplex at the So Festival, 2011.

Another shot of the Nanoplex at the So Festival, Skegness, 2011.


Corby Heritage Centre

Photo of Corby Photo of group at Corby heritage Centre

A picture of industrial Corby from the Heritage Centre display.

Group picture after the interviews.

Photo of Lynda asking questions Photo of John Douglas

Lynda asked all the questions

John was town crier and this was his bell.


On 16th June an event was held at the New Walk Museum, Leicester, to celebrate the end of the Migration Stories project. However, the project will informally continue over the summer to enable all the participating groups to finish off their videos.

Photo of final event

Lynda Callaghan talks about her project at Leicester's Emerald Centre.

Photo of final event

The ghostly face of Mandeep Khela delivers a video message from Derby.

Photo of final event

Members of the Northampton Malawi group, plus Colin.


A selection of past projects with a migration theme in the East Midlands:

‘NOW WE’RE HERE’ BY GEOFF SADLER. Book published 2005. Memories and experiences of people who have come to make their home in Chesterfield from many parts of the world. Approximately 20 interviews.

‘The Voyage’. The Open Doors Forum is helping 30 young people capture for posterity the stories of their ancestors who travelled from the Caribbean and Africa to Derby in the 1950s.

Calabash Project. Based in Leicester the project will be collecting oral histories from African Caribbean people about the herbal remedies, foods and beauty products that were used and how they have developed over the years.

Highfields Remembered covers the history of the Highfields region of Leicester and contains memories of local people as well as a good photo archive. Have a look here: http://highfields.dmu.ac.uk/recollections.html

Legacy of Partition explores the legacy of Partition 1947-8 by gathering the memories of local people who lived through the upheaval of Partition, and the creation of East and West Pakistan, and who now live in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland.

Leicester Jewish Voices is a reminiscence writing project which also used oral history to record memories of the Jewish Community in Leicester during the 1940s and 50s. Have a look at the website here: http://www.leicesterjewishvoices.co.uk/index.html

Preserving Asian Heritage. An oral history project carried out by the East Midlands Economic Network Ltd in 2005/2006. The project tells the story of the Asian Diaspora from Uganda and the arrival of these people in the UK and in particular Leicester.

The Northamptonshire Black History Project aims to record and promote the histories and stories of Northamptonshire's Black communities and individuals over at least the past 500 years. For more information about the Project have a look at the website: http://www.northants-black-history.org.uk/.

The Nottinghamshire Living History Archive Millennium Awards Scheme operated from 1999 to 2002. Examples of themes covered by the projects include the Ukrainian community in Nottingham, childhood games, Clipstone and Manton collieries, evacuees in Nottinghamshire, and the Mansfield business community.

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Last updated: 11/09/2012
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