Archives for category: History

I first started work on this project when pregnant in 2014. My daughter’s now 3 and we’ve finally finished – in style! It’s been a pleasure working with colleagues Harriet Morgan-Shami, Cath Ford and Shonagh Short as well as members of the Crafty Lasses art group at St Chad’s. (I do hope they find momentum and funding to carry on as they’re such a creative and dedicated bunch.)  You can see the fruits of our labour in an exhibition at Limehurst Library which travels to Gallery Oldham in May. You can also listen to memories of Daisy Nook, Hollinwood and Limehurst by visiting Oldham Local Studies Library where our 15 oral history interviews have been archived.

Listening to the recollections of others brought back personal memories of my own as well as the rediscovery of a long lost photograph of me with my Mum and Dad on a boat at Crime Lake in the early 1980s. I enjoyed the chance to reminisce and will be sure to take a trip to Daisy Nook again next time the sun is shining.

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My colleague Hannah Niblett and I, seem to have made it on to the conference circuit, sharing our insight of community-led work in museums and archives. Yesterday we presented a paper ‘Coming in from the Cold: Narrowing the Gap between Community Engagement and Collection Development’ to delegates at the DCDC National Archives Conference. It seemed to be well received, with much debate afterwards, around issues of authorship, ownership and access to historical narratives.

I also had the pleasure of chairing a session the previous day, exploring issues relating to the preservation and interpretation of memories of conflict. (A subject close to my heart when I have time to practice as an artist.) I’m so thankful for opportunities such as these, to learn new things and consider new ideas.

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Heritage worker Harriet Morgan-Shami and I had a fun day on Saturday at the Flavours of Hollinwood Festival, Oasis Academy.  We enjoyed chatting to people for the Limehurst heritage project – A View from Crime Lake – about all kinds of things including; the estate’s shopping precinct and mobile store, nearby pubs and cinemas, Daisy Nook Fair, mills, factories and jobs as well as social change in the local area. If you have any photos or further memories to share, please get in touch. We particularly enjoyed hearing about getting a ‘mixture’ from the local chippy, known as Dirty Dots!

dsc_1129.jpgAn interesting morning spent with members of the Connecting Communities Group from Salford. Workshop participants learnt about the dos and don’ts of oral history from me and I learnt about the dos and don’ts of southern African fashion from them. Their current HLF project ‘Slaying African Swag’ explores the fascinating history of dress and hair in 15 countries from pre-colonial times to the present day. I can’t wait to hear more and wish them well on their journey…

OHspring2Last week I was lucky to be one of 24 students attending an Oral History Spring School at the Institute for Historical Research, the University of London.  It was an intense few days, jam-packed with interesting case studies, ethical questions and differing approaches to collection and analysis. I really enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life – including sociologists, artists, historians and academics – employing the medium of oral history to inspire and further their work. (In particular Paul Thompson, the founding father of Oral History.) The course has renewed my enthusiasm for a subject that’s fascinated me since I was an undergraduate. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to work on OH projects about a huge range of subjects including Sheffield’s cutlery industry, migration, Yemeni heritage, Salford Quays, military memories, artist’s lives and race relations. Here’s to many more!

The Legacy of Ahmed project that I’ve been managing for the last 18 months has just been awarded ‘runner up’ in the Manchester BME Network awards, heritage category. Partners of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust, MRSN came first. Partners, Ananna also scooped first prize in the Arts section, so a brilliant night all round!

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On Saturday, I facilitated a workshop to engage young people from the Manchester Bangladeshi Women’s Organisation with the Legacy of Ahmed project. After a look at some posters from the Race Relations Resource Centre archive and an interesting discussion about their own experiences of racism participants produced some amazing posters. Thanks to staff at Longsight Library and to artists Jo Ford and Natalie Linney for leading the screen printing class. Thanks too to Archives+ for funding the activity.

I learnt about Ahmed and the courageous initiatives of his family. It made me think how we ‘evolved’ today and that we should always make others aware of racism. Teenage participant

The best day of my life!  Amelia, age 5