Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Memories Begin

It was just before Christmas the 21st December when I received the email telling me that the Senior Citizens - Oasis group based at The Abingdon Resource and Wellbeing Centre had been successful in their bid for funding from the Awards 4 All Lottery application. This was indeed wonderful and meant that the amazing stories of these incredible people are now going to be documented through digital video and archived for future generations.

So it was on Monday the 9th January that we had our meeting with Mary Southey, Doris Hurley and Josie Kinduich from the group along with myself, Jackie Bowler from the Centre and Abigail Brown the Arts Development Officer from the Vale of the White Horse. Unfortunately Renee Zarecky wasn’t available on that day but I did manage to catch up with her a few days later and she let slip that she had once taken part in a show to entertain the troops. I’m really looking forward to that story.

We were all incredibly excited and we draw up a rough outline of the project. The ideas is that I will now schedule in events, activities, day trips and these will run from April – September. Some of the events and visits will be followed by group discussions that I will also be filming and I will also be interviewing people towards the final films. All this will be put towards an exhibition that will in the first instance be taking place in September. We are also discussing space for of the exhibition to be shown in other local museums. I have also had some interest from the Hanney group of Senior Citizens who would like us to visit after September, they would like to see some of the films and I hope to encourage the Oasis group to come along as well. I think it would be very inspiring to hear this group talk.

I have also had a meeting with a wonderful lady Anne Ransome who will be paying a visit to the group with some of the amazing photography and poster archive from the Co-op. She showed me photograph of an Co-op stall from the 1920’s which was not far from where I now live and I was really taken back with it.

We will also be working with a local school as well as the Daryton Brownie group and I’m looking forward to hearing a younger generations outlook on life without computers, mobiles, TV and lets face it general telephones.

So I will now be working closely with Forum Chairs: Renee Zarecky , Josie Kinduich , Doris Hurley, Janet Churlish, Sylvia  Pead and Mary Southey, Abigail Brown – Arts Development Officer (Vale of the White Horse), Jackie Bowler – Assistant Manager (Abingdon Wellbeing & Recourse Centre) as well as my new assistant Cait Sweeney who will be supporting me in some of the co-ordination.

I would also like to thank welcome those of you who have shown an interested in this project

I am so please that I made the two pilot films Ration and Fashion as well as the Women During the 2nd World War I think they give some insight into what is possible in filming the memories of these amazing group.

I also feel incredibly privileged to be allowed into the past of people’s lives and feels that they have allowed me a little bit of my Grandmother back. That I somehow understand why she believed and thought certain things now, that I didn’t when I was younger, it is indeed a bonus to find that the group you are working with have given you back some memories of your own.

Down Memory Lane is funded by The Awards For All Grant – Lottery Fund.

The project is being run with:

Forum Chairs (representing the Oasis group)
Renee Zarecky , Josie Kinduich , Doris Hurley, Janet Churlish, Sylvia  Pead and Mary Southey

Jackie Bowler – Abingdon Resource and Wellbeing Centre
Abigain Brown – Arts Development Officer Vale of the White Horse District Council

We would also like to thank:
Pauline Krason, Pat TaylorJean Abraham, Sarah Holloway, Lina Mokute, Christine Sadler and Jackie Richards. 

Cait Sweeney – Assistant Co-ordinator   

Anybody who is interested:
We would like to hear from local businesses, educational establishments or individuals who feel they could offer something to the project for example a Restaurant who might be interested in making a Wartime meal using rations that were available at the time or a Garden project who might be interested in revisiting the ‘Dig for Victory’ Campaign.    

Those organisations that have already contributed:
The Oxford Bus Company
The Oxford Bus Museum
The Phoenix Picture House
Newport Film School (Philip Cowan)
Little Nellies (Traditional Sweet Shop) Henley (Kate Harman)

Those who would like to contribute in someway can contact local filmmaker Sharon Woodward 

Project Co-ordinator and Filmmaker:
Sharon Woodward
Sharon is an Independent Filmmaker, Project Manager and Media Tutor she has over the years received a number of awards for her documentary work as well as corporate production. She trained at Newport Film School, the National Film and Television School and with BBC Wale and Tyne Tees Television. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to take part in documenting the past for future generations.

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  1. I love the idea of these films, they're so interesting to watch. I bet you've met some fabulous characters with great stories to tell.I can imagine your experience being great fun but quite emotional. Kate x

  2. Thanks Kate the two short films I've made so far have been really insightful and I'm looking forward to working on this project more fully. If you are around in September do come to the exhibition. Thank you for your comments. Sharon x