This part of the programme involved recording the memories and
memorabilia of older residents and former residents of the Ancoats
area. Subtitled 'All Work and No Play?', the archive is intended
to celebrate the great sense of community in Ancoats and to rekindle
that community spirit through intergenerational activities and celebrations.
A group of volunteers completed a programme of training in interviewing
techniques and photograph scanning at the Greater
Manchester County Record Office and the North
West Sound Archive. They identified people to interview and
visited them in their homes. Over forty recordings have been transcribed.
Some have been used to support exhibitions about Ancoats life, as
part of the Skills, Schools and Stories project and in Manchester
galleries, including the Manchester
People's History Museum. A few sound clips from the interviews
can be accessed on the Extracts page
of this website.
Selections of these recordings have been published in a book, "All
Work and No Play? - An Ancoats Scrapbook". This is
a quality publication on the oral history of Ancoats, packed with
over 60 pages of photographs, quotations and colourful insights
into the home life and playgrounds of sixty years ago.
an online version of the book.
The focus of the book is on the fun times that were had by local
people. Editor Brian Holmshaw said:
has been a lot of emphasis placed on how difficult life was in Ancoats
and how hard the work was. It's true of course, but outside of school
and work, a large chunk of Ancoats people's lives was spent relaxing.
The interviewees have been marvellous - there are some natural storytellers,
and I hope that we've been able to show some of the sheer diversity
of working people's leisure time alongside the obvious poverty of
Project Manager Jennifer Gosling said:
Skills, Schools and Stories community project is a unique and imaginative
way to bring heritage to life. It has provided an opportunity for
people of all ages to explore the vibrant history of Ancoats and
engage in its exciting regeneration. Those that have participated
and volunteered their time have contributed to the project's enormous
success.It has been an honour to work with such a diverse range
of people and we hope that the experience has been memorable for
Free copies of the book were made available to former and present
local residents in Ancoats. Unfortunately, we have now run out of
copies to hand out, but copies of the book have been given to every
public library in Manchester.
Original recordings, transcripts and images will be archived with
Greater Manchester County Record
Office and the North
West Sound Archive.