Home Background Heritage Focus W.S. Gilbert Grim's Dyke Edmund Crosse William Morris Harrow Museum W. Butterfield WW I & II Oral History Film/Contacts
Oral History

Oral History was a significant part of the Harrow Weald - One Place Different Times Project. The vicar engaged a group of volunteers at the outset. After meeting with the project manager to find out more about the aims and proposed activities they were invited to identify what they could do or talk about. A wide spectrum of memories was shared at that first meeting which showed that a number of topics could be gainfully investigated by the pupils.

A historian from the Oral History Society was employed to train not only the volunteers, but also the professionals, including the video producer, project manager and teacher. The oral historian then worked with 2 volunteers and a whole class using a video camera to develop the children’s understanding of the skills involved in ensuring a successful interview. The children learnt about different types of questions, being a good listener and body language. They practised the questions they had written with the 2 volunteer ‘witnesses’.

This prepared the children for being ‘on camera’ later in the day when a group of 4 volunteers came to talk to them. The video producer captured the dialogues on film which gave them a professional angle to the process and kept the momentum going. The finished results were impressive and the young people were given a perspective that they would not have gained otherwise.

The film may be accessed from this web site.