This year-long project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, celebrated and recorded stories from the Hoo Peninsula in North Kent. The project involved local people having their memories and stories of working on Hoo recorded for the future.
Volunteers from the community received professional training from experts in sound recording, oral history, photography and as heritage hosts, and acted as interviewers and photographers documenting the project.
We also worked with pupils from Hoo St Werburgh primary school to develop material with the aim of helping pupils gain a deeper understanding of their local history.
The project culminated in 2017 with an exhibition staged at Hoo and Grain libraries.
The oral history recordings focused on the living memories of people who have worked on the Hoo Peninsula, sometimes for generations within the same family, on the land and the surrounding rivers and shorelines. We collected interviews with tradespeople such as fishermen, bargemen, bird wardens, farmers and foragers who work on the marshes and mudflats, as well as those who work in industries dependent on the two rivers which converge at the Peninsula, the Thames and the Medway, such as the power stations and the container terminal.
The full recordings have been permanently placed at the Medway Archives & History Centre and are made available to the public through a permanently held public collection for visitors and users to access.
This project aimed to enrich understanding of this very particular shoreline landscape and its working communities, conserving stories for the future, and involving local communities in the collection and sharing of the Hoo Peninsula’s unique heritage. By engaging with the outcomes of the project individuals from this place, and wider afield, will gain a deeper understanding of the Hoo Peninsula and its histories, and most importantly the people from the Hoo will be part of the stories being told about their home.
A project website now hosts excerpts of the oral history interviews and a downloadable podcast with photographs.
The project website hosts excerpts of the oral history interviews and a downloadable podcast with photographs.