Brown, Cynthia (14 of 31). Oral History of Oral History
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2014-01-20, 2014-02-26, 2014-04-02, 2014-05-22, 2014-06-03, 2014-09-16, 2014-10-28, 2014-11-26, 2015-01-07, 2015-02-17
Brown, Cynthia (speaker, female)
Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)
Part 14: [Session five: 3 July 2014] Oral history recordings in Northamp-tonshire. MSC funded via the Libraries Dept. mentions some examples in the re-cordings Corby Steelworks. Audio cassettes so difficulties of finding excerpt. Men-tions Professor Peter Clark [Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester] talking about recordings in Leicestershire in relation to possible HLF bid. Cynthia said the most important task was to make them accessible as much as new recordings. Men-tions a number of Leicestershire recordings e.g. Mantle [in Coalville]. Mentions what has been collected about WW1 and family histories collected in the 1980s. [08:50] Worked at Leicester Prison 1990 -2. Living History Unit started there late 1992. The Unit was the brainchild of one of the councillors, Stewart Foster. Started collecting stories from local industry, especially hosiery and engineering which have declined in recent decades. Based in Arts Advisory Section in the Recreation and Arts Dept. Museums Service run by the County Council. Leicester took over in the city in 1997. Used to take part in festivals and shows and other local contacts. [20:50] Unit was brand new colleague was from Tourist Information so knew each other. Three core staff and some sessional staff. Talks about challenges of transcribing and skills in the Section. Work programme set out by Cllr Foster and Arts Advisory Officer, Pete Bryan. Describes a diary kept by a 19 year old woman in 1883 which was published by them. They made a video using old film. Books Leicester Cele-brates and a book about an African Caribbean football club in conjunction with the Sir Norman Chester Centre. Issues around content around racist attitudes so asked a solicitor in the Legal Dept. Members of the club unhappy that some wording had to be changed. Described what they published including resources for schools. Mentions Valerie Tedder writing a childs perspective on WW2. Did a publication Desirable Locations - on Leicesters middle class suburbs, written by a geologist and an architect. Wharf Street Revisited, a working class neighbourhood that had disap-peared with lots of oral history content. Sold well. [39:00] Saffron Lane project about housing issues (concrete Boot houses) difficult meetings about the neighbourhood. A core group of four local residents Cynthia worked with them for 4 ½ years. Some earlier recordings had been done but they did a lot of recording of local people. Value of local peoples involvement. Funded by Awards for All. The houses were rebuilt eventually. City Council published the book Saffron Past & Present. [52:40] Pete Bryan and his support. He also managed The Guildhall, the City Rooms, and the Asian Dance Development officer. Light touch management. Nilima Devi suggested they do a project on Asian dance which ended up with a publication. Links with councillors. Unitary status meant the museums were returned to the City Council. Some inter personal difficulties around the changes.
Life story interview with Cynthia Brown, museum oral historian and former Project Manager of the East Midlands Oral History Archive