Category: oral history
During the course of my work I get to interview some wonderful people and get an intimate but short-lived window into their lives. My beautifully chaotic interview with the ‘Yorkshire Shepherdess’, Amanda Owen, has to rank as one of my favourites.
Driving to the Yorkshire Dales on a crisp early autumn morning brought back lovely memories of my time working on a moorland restoration project in the early 2000s. The uplands have a unique smell – a mix of fresh air, vegetation and peat – and my destination today was in the heart of the Upper Swaledale.
Amanda Owen, watched by millions on ITV’s The Dales, met me at the door with babe on hip and two young smiling toddlers in tow. She and her young family live a life that has almost gone in today’s modern world, a life ruled by her … Read More »
An audio trail builds a story, guiding visitors from one point of interest to the next. It may contain oral reminiscences, sound effects, music and/or characterisation; but every single one contains a bit of our soul.
Whilst working for the Peak District National Park Authority Dan became aware of a wonderful collection of oral history recordings. They had been saved on CD and left in the back of a cupboard. It seemed such a shame to deprive the wider world of so many wonderful stories and so he set to work pulling clips from the recordings to create the first downloadable audio guides in the UK. Shortly after Dan set up Audio Trails in 2006.
We’ve interviewed hundreds of people since that time. Soundbites from those recordings (and other archives collecting dust!) have been sympathetically used to create immersive and engaging audio trails and podcasts for a wide variety of clients.
For … Read More »
How do you learn about the world’s first railway town that has now been absorbed by the 1960s new town of Milton Keynes? Why, download the MK Trails app of course!
“Imagine a geometric pattern of raw, red brick, made up of long straight streets of terraced houses criss-crossing each other…the whole plumped down in the middle of gently undulating green fields and cornlands…and you have a rough bird’s eye view of my home town, Wolverton”
Greta Barker, Buckinghamshire Born
A town of modest red brick terraces, Wolverton is nevertheless unique as the world’s first ‘railway town’. It was built by the London and Birmingham Railway Company in the 1830s to house its workshops and workers.
Welcome To…Milton Keynes
Working with Milton Keynes Living Archive and Wolverton and Greenleys Town Council, Audio Trails have developed a smartphone app based upon their Welcome To…Native app software. The MK Trails: Wolverton app guides visitors and locals around some … Read More »
The Gower Peninsula in Swansea is a land of history, beauty and amazing variety.
The ‘This is Gower’ app has featured on BBC’s Countryfile and Radio Wales. Scroll down to watch/listen.
There are now several resources available to help you explore Britain’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and learn about its natural and built heritage, its archaeology and lesser-known industrial history, together with past traditions and practices.
This is Gower app
‘This is Gower’ is a location-aware guide to the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
With over 80 places to explore, the app (available on iOS and Android) promotes popular locations such as Worms Head and Arthur’s Stone alongside other less well-known spots that appeal to both visitors and locals alike.
This is Gower also features 15 easy-to-follow trails varying in length and theme for users to explore – from a quick jaunt to visit … Read More »
An audio trail celebrating community activism.
From a crime-riddled no-go area to desirable estate. That has been the transformation of Perry Common over the last 25 years – all captured in the Perry Common and Me audio trail.
In the 1920s Witton Lodge Farm became a housing estate on the outskirts of Birmingham. Residents from the cities back-to-back slums were moved to this idyllic spot. The new houses were built from an innovative design of steel and concrete that would prove to be their downfall half a century later.
Once these infamous Boot Houses began to fail in the 1980s, residents were told their houses would be demolished, yet they were given no assurances about where they would live. The community was about to be torn apart. The residents took action and took the lead in protecting their future. It was hard work, but their … Read More »