Preserving lived-experiences; bringing the past to life

Oral histories are a rich primary source for people wanting to discover more about a certain event or era.  It provides a deep insight into the impact events had on the people alive and involved.

It is the perfect way to collect and honour the stories of people’s lives as knowledge, memory and experience are passed on by word of mouth. Interviews focus on respecting the person’s experience, and empowering them to tell their story on their own terms

Traditionally oral history recordings were audio only, but developments in technology mean that it is easily affordable to film picture as well adding a further dimensions to the material

I can film and edit these precious stories, or work with your group to enable you to record them yourselves

I have researched and edited a wide range of broadcast series which draw on the oral history tradition. ‘Sea Fever’ BBC4 and ‘Home Movies’ HTV, brought archive footage to life with interviews of the people who filmed or witnessed events from the past

You can see a clip from the ‘Sea Fever’ episode ‘Gone Fishing’ here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p007t975

South Gloucestershire Second World War Stories Project

From April 2018 until October 2019 I was engaged as the Story Project Worker on this fantastic project at South Gloucestershire Council. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, this project explored the impact of the war on people who lived in South Gloucestershire

I delivered reminiscence sessions in care homes and community settings; made ten short films; delivered sessions to primary school children and took living history volunteers into schools. Our team created a touring exhibition, community and commemoration events and published research on South Gloucestershire’s war memorials. All the legacy resources can be found at https://beta.southglos.gov.uk/south-gloucestershire-second-world-war-stories/

Marjorie Bennett grew up in Iron Action. She was at Parnall’s factory in Yate on the day it was bombed. She talks about discovering a spy at the local cinema and joining the WAAF when she was still underage

Jim Perrett grew up in Filton. A keen motorcyclist, he joined the Royal Army Service Corps and spent the war as a dispatch rider and mechanic in North Africa

Molly Rogers was bombed out of three different houses during the war, including once during the daytime raid on Bristol Aeroplane Company in Filton. She talks about rationing, war work and life growing up in Patchway

Joan Davis remembers her life in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force where she helped soldiers after the evacuation of Dunkirk and became a commissioned Officer

Hella Hewison was born in Berlin. After Kristallnacht she came on kindertransport to Bristol and became the first non-British nurse at Southmead Hospital

Roland Woods was a boy in Kingswood during the war. He remembers a near miss with a piece of shrapnel, joining the Auxiliary Fire Service and training on the Flying Fox in Bristol. He talks about his post-war National Service on a mine sweeper

Rose Kuhn lived on a smallholding in Elberton. Not far away was a Prisoner of War camp. She met and fell in love with a German PoW

As a boy, Eric Garrett lived at the White Hart in Olveston. He remembers evacuees coming to the village, a mock invasion and the impact of the war on the local farms

Iris Arnold was a school girl at the beginning of the war and helped out with war war. She eventually met and married Henry Arnold, a soldier who had been billeted to nearby Thornbury

Brother and sister, Molly and Ken, were part of a family of eleven children. They talk about the roles each of the siblings played during and post war

Christina Wheeler

Film and podcast maker

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss a film, talk, children’s workshop, or any other story project idea, no matter how wild or tentative!

I am based in Gloucestershire and am happy to travel

07557 537217

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