New Towns, Our Town – Heritage Volunteers wanted

P2818The Independent Cinema Office (ICO) is seeking volunteers for a new project ‘New Towns, Our Town – Stories on Screen’ which will celebrate the unique history and heritage of the first four New Towns – Crawley, Harlow, Hemel Hempstead and Stevenage.

At the time of their development there was considerable interest in and high aspirations for the New Town movement. As well as attracting considerable media attention, the Development Corporations themselves were keen to document their progress, choosing to record much of this on film. For decades these films have been kept in various film archives with limited public access. The films reveal a fascinating insight into the development of the Towns, with footage from the 1940s to present day showcasing how these areas have changed over time.

Thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, this project will bring the films together and enable people to engage with and enjoy this material once more, seeing familiar places – and perhaps faces! – on the big screen.

The ICO are seeking Project Volunteers to assist with community screenings and record oral history testimonies in Stevenage. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone with an interest in local history and hearing people’s stories and memories first-hand. No previous experience is necessary – Project Volunteers will receive bespoke, high-quality training through which you will gain valuable and transferable skills that can be utilised in future volunteering and/or employment opportunities. All reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

What’s Involved?

Assisting at public screenings of material in Stevenage town centre to promote the project.
Facilitating screenings of the material for local community groups and identifying individuals who would like to be interviewed for the project.
Arranging and recording oral history interviews that capture people’s memories of moving to/living in Stevenage, and summarising key points covered in interviews.
Training & Support:
‘Lives in Focus’: Recording Oral History Interviews on Video – an introduction to oral history interviewing and some of the issues around oral history, life stories and memory, followed by the principles and techniques of recording, editing and distributing oral history on video.
‘Screening our Memories’: Using Archive Film as a Reminiscence Tool – an introduction to using archive film for reminiscence in community settings.

Time Commitment:
Volunteers will be expected to commit a minimum of 9 days to this project, but we welcome applications from those who can contribute more. Note – attendance at training sessions on 28 and 29 November is essential.

If you are interested in taking part in this exciting project, or would like further information, please contact info@independentcinemaoffice.org.uk by 25th October 2018.

If you wish to have an informal conversation about this role please call Jemma Buckley on 020 7079 5950.

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