Oral History

What is the definition of Oral History?

  • The collection and study of historical information using sound recordings of interviews with people having personal knowledge of past events
  • A record of this kind
    • - their own oral histories

Of course oral history can also be compiled by means of a conversation and note taking with a person as well, but in that case the evidence consists of notes or transcripts without an actual recording.

Oral history is a rich and important source of anecdotal information, and is particularly relevant in a local history context.  It does of course need to be qualified by pointing out that memories can be faulty or incomplete, and documentary evidence may need to be collected to confirm some of the facts obtained by oral history.

The Blakenall – Know Your Place Project included as part of its remit the audio recording of selected local peoples’ memories by means of digital recorders.  This was to be supplemented by summary notes of the content of these recordings.

The project did not include full word-for-word transcripts of the recordings, but these can be made after the fact.

We have made available for download in pdf form the summary notes of all the recordings made.

One of the unedited recordings is provided below as a download in .mp3 format to demonstrate these recordings.  This has been reduced in quality and converted from stereo to mono to keep the download size down.

Digital copies of all recordings, together with these notes, have been donated to Walsall Local History Centre.

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Oral History Notes

The following links open pdf files of the oral history notes compiled by the Blakenall – Know Your Place Project from digital recordings and conversations.

Please note that these are made available for personal interest or study only.

No other use is allowed without written permission.  All rights reserved.

Iris Sill nee Bradley

Ernie Dunn 

Lillian Edwards

Betty Friend

Barry Hayward

Colin Heeley 

Robert John Hyde

John Ireland

Stan Lyons

Harry Pryce

Wendy and Terry Tierney

Mary Margaret Tricklebank 

Cliff Webb

Millie Willey

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Oral History Sample Recording

The following link opens a .mp3 file of one of the digital recordings made by the Blakenall – Know Your Place Project, as an example.

This has been reduced in quality and converted from stereo to mono to keep the download size down. Even so, it is 7.5mb in size and may take a little while to download!

If your browser does not automatically open this file you should download and save it before playing by clicking on the link with your right mouse button and then clicking “Save link as”.

Please note that this recording is made available for personal interest or study only.

No other use is allowed without written permission.  All rights reserved.

Cliff Webb

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