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Talking hosiery

pic of winding in factory The East Midlands Oral History Archive announces an on-line exhibition on the hosiery industry in Leicestershire

Did you or your relatives ever work in the hosiery? Would you like to find out about the hours people worked in Leicestershire’s hosiery industry during the twentieth century? Or to hear about the Bedaux strike or a hosiery workers first day at work? If so you should visit the East Midlands Oral History Archive’s first on-line exhibition at

The exhibition recalls the time when hosiery made Leicester into a boom city and attracted workers from all over the country to move to Leicestershire. Using oral history extracts and photos from the archive the exhibition gives interested web surfers an insight into the working conditions and lives of those who worked in 'the Hosiery'. Hear how to 'link a toe' and about the smell of a hosiery factory first hand from those who actually worked in the industry.

“We are using new technology to tell the story of one of Leicestershire’s traditional industries,” said Tristram Hooley of the East Midlands Oral History Archive. “Our archive contains dozens of interviews with the county’s hosiery workers gathered over the last twenty years. Some of those interviewed were able to recall back to the start of the twentieth century and it is now possible for anyone to visit our website and hear a century of history.”

The hosiery exhibition is one of a number of projects undertaken by the East Midlands Oral History Archive to make the recorded history of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland available to the people of the city and the two counties. The archive also produces a regular newsletter available on request that features excerpts of oral testimonies. A CD of reminiscences about the toys and games people played from the start of the twentieth century to the present is also planned in the near future.

The East Midlands Oral History Archive is a partnership between the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester, the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland (ROLLR), and Leicester City Museums and Library Services. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish the first large-scale archive of oral history recordings for Leicestershire and Rutland.

Its first aim is to retrieve as many of existing recordings as possible, and to make them more accessible through a website, an on-line catalogue, newsletters and edited CD-ROMS and cassettes. In addition to the Record Office itself, some of the recordings will also be available later in libraries and museums. EMOHA also aims to generate new oral history recordings through its own programme of interviewing, and by providing advice, training and support for community groups, museums and heritage organisations, students and other individuals who are interested in developing their own projects.


For further information contact Tristram Hooley on (0116) 252 5064 or visit our website at We can provide print quality photos on request.

Tristram Hooley
May 2002

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Last updated: 31 May 2002 17:00
Created by: Rachel Tunstall
Created by: Barbara Whiteman

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