By Katie Scaife, Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project manager.
Monday 18 January saw the launch of an amazing new series of podcasts called Bristol Schools. They’ve been created by local people with the help of BCfm community radio and Bristol Museums’ participation team. 9 freshly trained podcasters tell 9 special stories inspired by the oral histories in Bristol Libraries ‘Bristol People’s Oral History Project’.
These oral histories were recorded as part of a project run by Stephen Humphries in the late 1970s to record recollections of childhood and youth. The project interviewed about 200 working class people from Bristol and the West Country who were born between 1890 and 1925.
Under the guidance of BCfm’s Marcus Smith, local people were recruited and trained to create podcasts based on these recordings, enhancing them with commentary that contrasts and compares schooling today with that of a century ago. Moving, funny and thoughtful by turns, they have been compiled into a one hour broadcast that is now available on Bristol Museum’s Soundcloud site – along with some special bonus material!
Marcus observes that “It’s been a real pleasure listening to the stories and memories of going to Bristol schools one hundred years ago. The playfulness and naughtiness of school children really hasn’t changed over the years and decades, but teachers and the education system have changed massively, and mostly for the better. I’d like to thank the team of volunteers who made this project possible and who really brought these old Bristolian voices to life for all to enjoy.”
These oral histories are now available in digital format thanks to the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project based at Bristol Archives.
Unlocking Our Sound Heritage is a national project led by the British Library and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Find out more about the project.