Recording the past: Oral History volunteers needed

History is happening all around all the time. There will come a time when today and tomorrow are history and the way of life of the early 21st century in the Land of the Fanns is looked back upon with interest and wonder as today we look back upon the early 19th century. The changes that have occurred in the past 50 years or the last 100 years are remarkable and have affected the ordinary lives of many men and women across the area. It is these changes, the memories of past times, that the Land of the Fanns are keen to record and preserve so they are not forgotten.

The Land of the Fanns is seeking volunteers to join its Oral History team. The team collects the memories of people who live in the area, by talking to them about their lives. Those who have lived and worked in a place for a long time have fascinating recollections, many dating from a time before technology and transport had changed society. By recording local people talking about their own experiences and their lives in the Land of the Fanns, these memories are captured for posterity and are a significant social history of the place.

To train as an oral history recorder, no specialist background or skills are required. All that is necessary is an enthusiasm for talking to people and the ability to listen carefully. Full training in interview techniques and using the recording equipment is given. The equipment is a very easy to use digital recorder and the interviewers always work in pairs with one person talking to the interviewee and one person recording. Interviews are conducted in a covid-secure manner. The training run by volunteer Patti Plested. The memories captured can be fascinating, unique and very moving. Once recorded the histories will be passed to the British Museum where they will form an important record of the lives of ordinary people in the Land of the Fanns in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Anyone interested in learning more about becoming an oral history interviewer should contact Mrs. Patricia Plested on 01708 474106 or 07948 533999. Or email her at Alternatively, contact the Land of the Fanns at

Thames Chase Trust, Pike Lane
Upminster, Essex RM14 3NS

01708 642970

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