Sunday, 23 August 2015

A short film about the project

One of our funders City Living, Local Life put together a short film about the project:

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Interviewing Begins

Day 4

On day 4 we interviewed 8 people including Ted and Delilah and they told us about their childhood. 

They told us some naughty stories and some of the punishments they got. Ted was one of the best swimmers in his area! Delilah went to Barlby Primary school that still remains to this day!!!

Today we interviewed Ted and he said when he was younger he played football and when he got into trouble he got his hands whacked with a ruler which stung him. Delilah said she and her friends played dominos. She was mixed race and when the teacher told the children to hold hands noone would hold her hand.
Some of the group interview Doreen Marrow

More members of the group.

Reminiscence Group

Visit to the Archives

Maggie Tyler with members of the reminiscence group.
As part of this project local historian Maggie Tyler has been running a reminiscence group running in parallel to the activities in Barlby Primary School.

A group of ten local people have met weekly to discuss their memories and experiences in NW Kensington around work, housing, campaigns, leisure and whatever else came up. This group also visited the local studies centre in Kensington Library before going in to Barlby School to meet the young historians. Each gave a short talk about their experiences before working with smaller groups in a more informal, giving the opportunity for questions and chat.
Eddie Adams and Mick Kasmir

The group really enjoyed the opportunity to speak to the children, and the children learned more about the history of the area and also the importance of oral history as an important ways of exploring and understanding history.

The meeting also gave the children the opportunity to think about developing the actual interview questions they will use for the interviews the following week.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Meeting the interviewees

Day 3

On the third day we met the interviewees and we had a talk to them about their history in this area.
Eight people came in who had been living in the area for many years and had been involved in many local projects. We were told fascinating stories about events such as the campaign against the Westway, the race riots in 1958 and other tales of local life.  One lady called Delilah was a pupil at Barlby in the 1960's and she talked about being a mixed race child at the time. She told us about not fitting in with either group and trying to scrub her skin white in the bath. Each person sat with different tables of children and talked about their life. One man called Alan told us of all the naughty things he did as a kid - all the trouble he got into!!! He also said that when using the outside toilet in winter he had to take a stick to break the ice in the bowl.

Learning the equipment and interviewing techniques

Day 2

Day two concentrated on using W.I,F.F.L.E in an interview situation, setting up and using professional equipment. The theory of lighting was explained and the students learnt how to set up lights, attach tie pin microphones and the techniques used to get a good interview. Each student took turns with all the different jobs such as camera, sound, lighting and interviewer. One student acted as the interviewee to help with framing and sound. To focus the camera it was necessary to zoom in very close and then frame the shot allowing for nose room. This is having the camera at an angle and keep space to one side, not shooting straight on. The lighting had to balance the light from the window to eliminate shadows. During the soundcheck the audio levels were checked by asking the interviewee to count to ten in their normal voice after the tie pin microphone was attached. Later interviewing techniques were discussed including using open questions. Maintaining interested eye contact (not staring), and allowing the interviewee to finish their sentences.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

A visit to the Borough Archives

Day 1

The film group from year 5 went on a visit to Kensington Central Library to look at the archives of North Kensington. They looked at photographs of a bakery, boys swimming and bomb damage of the area. They enjoyed looking at all the maps of the area as it has changed and old photos of the houses and cars. What was very interesting was how quickly the area became built up from the 1840s. This was due to the railways and canals being built.The history of the Westway was all about the knocking down of housing and caused great divisions.

When they returned to school the students were introduced to W.I.F.F.L.E
W - White balance
I - Iris
F - Focus
F - Framing
L - Level of Audio

These are the five techniques used when setting up a camera for interview. The students took turns in each of the operations. Matthew and Sav explained the various techniques to the students with each one being their assistant. The students thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to researching and making a documentary.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The oral history project on NW Kensington has started.

We recently received confirmation from the Heritage Lottery Fund that they will be funding this oral history project. Thanks to HLF and also to the RBKC City Living: Local Living fund and the councillors of Notting Dale, St Helens and Dalgarno wards for their support.

We are now very busy working out logistics with Barlby Primary School and setting up the reminiscence group which will be run by local historian Maggie Tyler. We are looking for older people in the area who can come to Barlby Primary School to meet the children. If you would like to get involved please visit the project website and contact Ken MacDonald through this.

Soon the young film makers will take over updating this blog and will be keeping a diary of it throughout with words and photos so come back soon.