Friday, 25 April 2014

Mill memories

Over the last two years, Sarehole Mill has had a major £450,000 restoration and refurbishment with a team of volunteer millers who are beginning to mill regularly with a view to selling flour later in the season.

Set on the edge of Moseley Bog with a large mill pond that attracts a range of wildlife, it is easy to see how Tolkein took inspiration from this landscape and to see why many visitors to the mill feel as if they are taking a trip back in time when they enter the mill buildings. It is an evocative place which has stood as a landmark building for over 200 years in some form and in its present form with the tall chimney, for over 100 years.

Working as a volunteer miller, it is the stories of the visitors that bring to life the history of the mill over the last fifty years. As you stand and chat to them about their memories of the mill and it’s surrounding area, with the backdrop of the sound of the water wheel and the vibrations of the mill stones which shake the whole building, you get a sense of the importance of the place and the connection people have to it.

Over the coming weeks, Richard and I will be visiting the mill at weekends to record some of these stories of visitors, millers and staff as a permanent record of the place of the mill in the memories and history of the local community.

If you or a friend or neighbour has a story or memory about the mill that you would like to share with us we would very much like to hear it and add to our collection of Mill memories. You can contact us via this blog or on our googlegroup email or just drop in when we are around, listed below

Mill Memories drop in sessions start Sunday 27th April.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Cooperate :)

If you are interested in people, stories, your local area, and sharing our heritage and culture, then maybe People's Heritage Co-operative is for you!

We are a group of heritage practitioners who want to work collaboratively to develop exciting creative projects that record the stories of Birmingham people for interest and for our  historical record.

We want to support others doing the same things by promoting what you do, sharing resources and sharing practice.

We are a free, open organisation that is member led and run, by the people for the people (of Brum!)

Please join us virtually by signing up to the blog and following us @PHCooperative and in real life by coming to our member meetings. First one is this Friday 25th April at 1:00 at Aroma Cafe, University of Birmingham.

If you have a project you want to share, an idea for a project you need support with, or you like the look of working with us on one of our projects, then please get in touch.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Stories from the past - Kitty

I love interviewing people. I've chosen one to start our blog - Kitty was 102 when I interviewed her in October 2000.  She could talk from first hand experience about life before World War One.

She talks about family life, the'workers examination' entry to grammar school, minimum wage for children, starvation wages, the first 'council schools' forcing all children to attend school and about World War One.

She talks about the first labour government under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 which 'changed everything', she talks about travel, shorthand, secretarial work and what it was like as a woman working between the wars.

The interview clip I enclose is big, but only half of the interview.  For transcript see below.

Kitty abridged transcript