We have now held two oral history training days here at the library which were a great success. Our two trainers, Michelle Wilnslow and Ros Livshin, both from the Oral History Society delivered one full day session each which covered the skills needed when conducting oral history interviews. There was much to take on board and think about, the training will be of great benefit to the project.
We are now in the process of conducting interviews and creating the first recordings so it is an exciting time. We have recruited 28 volunteer interviewees so far. All the recordings will become a part of the permanent collection here at the Library and will contribute to a new oral history archive which will complement the existing audio material in the collection. If you are interested in being interviewed then please get in touch with the Library.
Just to recap – the workplaces we are focusing on are Agecroft Colliery, Ward and Goldstone Ltd and Richard ‘Dickie’ Haworth’s Mill.
I recently met with a small group of former Ward and Goldstone employees who are now keen to come into the library and investigate our collection of Volex (Ward and Goldstone) documents. Among other things they shed light on, an interesting snippet was that Ward and Goldstone were very economical with left over materials from the cable division. Rather than discard unused materials, more often than not they would turn them into something else useful and marketable. For example they produced clothes line made from left over cable plastic and also claim to have invented the Hula Hoop! (the toy not the snack). A good customer of theirs was Woolworths which as we know has also sadly vanished from our high streets / working lives.
This is sadly my final week here at the Working Class Movement Library but it has been a real pleasure to work here and be a part of such a great project. I intend to stay in touch but am handing over the role to Neil Dymond-Green who will be taking over immediately following my departure. We have been working together over the past week to ensure a smooth transition. I look forward to hearing the finished podcast next year and hope everyone involved has a great time working on the project!