People’s memories of Backwell to be recorded for history project

PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 February 2018

'Life With The Girls' was presented by Backwell Players Drama Club at the Parish Hall in 1965. Leonora Haworth holds the camera and in the picture are members of the cast in a scene from the play.

'Life With The Girls' was presented by Backwell Players Drama Club at the Parish Hall in 1965. Leonora Haworth holds the camera and in the picture are members of the cast in a scene from the play.

Archant

The memories of people living in a North Somerset village will be recorded as part of a history project starting in March.

Backwell school pupils who served refreshments at the school's open day in 1966.Backwell school pupils who served refreshments at the school's open day in 1966.

Audio recordings will be made in Backwell, to build a permanent collection of memories from people who have lived in the village for a long time.

The History Project is being run by The Meeting Point, a community group which provides a place people of all ages can gather for tea and coffee and receive advice from various services.

Martin Canning, part of the organising committee at The Meeting Point, said: “We thought it would be nice to provide a way of remembering what the village was like many years ago.

“A number of residents have certainly been here for many years, and some for all their lives.

Backwell County School's presentation of 'Listen to the Wind'. Nigel Cooke, Michael Gibbs, Denise Crabbe and Ann Pasker pictured in 1967.Backwell County School's presentation of 'Listen to the Wind'. Nigel Cooke, Michael Gibbs, Denise Crabbe and Ann Pasker pictured in 1967.

“We wanted to catch that if we could.

“It’s not about the facts and figures of history, but more about their personal memories and childhood, and growing up in the village.”

A similar project runs on BBC Radio 4, which hosts five-minute talks where people speak about an aspect of their lives.

The Meeting Point organisers have chosen to replicate the idea, but focusing entirely on Backwell.

Peter Bowler, John Williams, Ian Broadbent, Peter Charman, Keith Day and Martin Parsons, pupils of Form 3B, display some of their paintings at Backwell School's open day in 1966.Peter Bowler, John Williams, Ian Broadbent, Peter Charman, Keith Day and Martin Parsons, pupils of Form 3B, display some of their paintings at Backwell School's open day in 1966.

Martin said the project has received a positive response.

He said: “I have spoken to a few people in preparation to get a feel for if they are interested.

“We have had a very positive initial response.”

The first session will take place on March 6, and will then run every week at different times.

Martin said: “People have the opportunity to come and speak into a dictaphone, maybe prompted by questions to start them talking.

“At the moment there is no prescribed agenda in terms of what subjects to look at.

“We may want to transcribe it all and get it published.

“But first we want to see if it catches people’s imagination.

“Things have changed over the years, and they could change rapidly again in the future, so it would be good to get a record of people’s memories now.”

The first session will take place at The Meeting Point, in the parish hall in Station Road, on March 6 from 10-11am.

The recordings on March 20 will take place at the same times, while sessions on March 13 and 27 will run from 2-3pm.

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