Monday, November 11, 2019

British Shipbuilding Memories to be Stored for Future Generations

Northern History Charity Project Funded by Port
Shipping News Feature

UK – Britain's maritime heritage often engenders feelings of both pride and sentimentality and nowhere is this to be seen more than in the communities surrounding the ports and traditional shipbuilding areas of Northern England, such as the Port of Tyne.

Tales of the industries in the area will feature highly in the latest project to be funded in part by the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation, the creation of a web-based 20th century history archive, Remembering the Past, Resourcing the Future, reflecting local life in North Tyneside, as told by those who lived, worked and played there.

The volunteer-led charity, which curates the site, exists to capture stories that are in danger of being lost, and the funding will enable volunteers to focus on adding valuable information about the ship-building industry to its collection. Contributors will receive digital copies of their recordings and written transcriptions as a way of saying thank you for their involvement.

Over a period of six months, a team of skilled volunteers will work to collect, archive and disseminate the stories of twelve people living in North Tyneside. Contributors will be interviewed using digital recorders to collect their memories; the emerging recordings, together with any photographs or documents loaned by the contributor, will then be prepared for digital use by a team of technical volunteers, before being displayed on the dedicated website. Heather Coltman, Group Legal & Insurance Manager at the Port of Tyne, who chairs the Port’s Community Action Fund panel, said:

“We are delighted to support this digital heritage project, which has wide-ranging benefits for the community in which we operate. Remembering the Past, Resourcing the Future will provide training opportunities for volunteers, and seek to reduce isolation in residential care homes. It’s a wonderful project that we hope will contribute to a stronger community in North Tyneside.”

The grant of £1,950 from the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund in association with the Community Foundation will support the project with volunteer training in interview techniques, the production of sound files, archiving and digital production costs, as well as contributing towards a celebration event for those who have contributed their stories. Elaine Holdsworth, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, commented:

“Remembering the Past, Resourcing the Future will create a lasting legacy of stories and anecdotes that will benefit the wider community. Funding from the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation will capture stories that could otherwise have been lost.”

Since 2007, the Port of Tyne has donated almost £500,000 in grants through the Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation. Recently, grants totalling £18,480 have been awarded by a panel of Port employees who meet to review applications and award community grants.

Photo: Volunteers John McKever and Ted Davy (L and R Front) showing old photographs to Port of Tyne CAF members Ron Hillaby, Bill Kimage, Lyndsey Magee and Nicola Smith.