This year-long project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will celebrate and record stories from the Hoo Peninsula in North Kent. The project will involve local people having their memories and stories of working on Hoo recorded for the future. Volunteers from the community will receive professional training from experts in sound recording, oral history, photography and as heritage hosts, and will act as interviewers, and photographers documenting the project. This will give individuals new skills, and new ways to experience and learn about their heritage. The project will culminate in an exhibition staged at Hoo and Grain libraries, in 2017. A project website will host excerpts of the oral history interviews, and a downloadable podcast with photographs. A small book documenting the whole project will be given to all participants. We will also be working with pupils from Hoo St Werburgh primary school to develop material for the exhibition and website, with the aim of helping pupils gain a deeper understanding of their local history.
The oral history recordings will focus on the living memories of people who have worked on the Hoo Peninsula, sometimes for generations within the same family, on both the land and the surrounding rivers and shorelines. We hope to collect oral history interviews with tradespeople such as fishermen, bargemen, bird wardens, farmers and foragers who work on the marshes and mudflats, as well as those who work in industries dependent on the two rivers which converge at the Peninsula, the Thames and the Medway, such as the power stations and the container terminal. The recordings will be permanently placed at the Medway Archives & History Centre and will be made available to the public through a permanently held public collection for visitors and users to access.
This project aims to enrich understanding of this very particular shoreline landscape and its working communities, conserving stories for the future, and involving local communities in the collection and sharing of the Hoo Peninsula’s unique heritage. By engaging with the outcomes of the project individuals from this place, and wider afield, will gain new knowledge and a deeper understanding of the Hoo Peninsula and its histories, and most importantly the people from the Hoo will be part of the stories being told about their home.
Histories of the Hoo Peninsula has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to work with Rachel to make this project happen.