Some great feedback from participants about the website, the book and the project overall. Here’s a few we’d like to share…
I posted references to the Made in Oldbury site over the weekend and got a fair few likes and good comments from the FB members of each group. Hopefully the word will spread out from there and that the site goes on to get the recognition it deserves.
It’s brilliant to see the new perspectives that external partners can find in our documents and histories, and in the unique ways that they are presented. The interpretations made by the Oldbury Writing group and Happy Painters groups in response to the archive material they worked with was incredibly interesting, and really brought home the fact that behind every document that we preserve that there is the story of an individual, group, or organisation behind them. It reminds you that different eyes offer different interpretations of the stories told by archives, and offers a deeper understanding of their real-world meaning. We have also been privileged enough to be involved in the external open days that have been put on as part of this project. This has involved us taking our archives out of our base and putting them on display in an external venue. It has been really enjoyable for us to go out into the community and talk to people who worked in the industries covered by this project, and learn more about the records that they have been involved in creating. The great thing about this project has been how it has taken the stories told by these people and recorded them to add to our understanding of the archives that they have created, and of the history of Oldbury.”
Ian Gray, Sandwell Community History and Archives Service
Thank you. The book is great, another fine production for you. These books will help to keep our local history remembered. How different the way of life was back then even just 30 plus years ago
We published the very first OWG newspaper and I have the very first copy off the printer. I will treasure that copy and see it as a successful project, created with Laundry and written by the Oldbury Writing Group.
Angela Garrett, founder of Oldbury Writing Group
I really enjoyed myself and seeing reaction from audience, the couple next to me and the lady saw her Dad in the book she was so excited and proud and you did that by bringing this wonderful project forward so thank you for your dedication and passion for Sandwell’s history. I would like to see the final report and thank you for letting me be part of something so special, if you ever need me just get in touch,
Kindest regards, Suzanne
It was a year long delight to work on the project. My art groups, The Happy Painters based in Oldbury and Smethwick, along with myself contributed relevent paintings to the project. We also paid three visits to the community archives (CHAS), attended an exhibition at the Zion Church in February and the show at the Arts Cafe in the summer. We learned a lot about our local history and look forward to reading the book. Thank you for so expertly curating the shows and facilitating our involvement. The preparation and overall ground work is absolutely exceptional and first class really museum standard. It looks like it is meant to be there and it is there. I could not be prouder of being associated with this and a joy to work with Laundry because they are so experienced in this. It is important that people’s input is valued and appreciated.
The impact was extensive across our school. Students’ feedback was overwhelmingly positive and it was wonderful for them – at only the ages of 11 or 12 – to share in learning about the local heritage with real-life archive footage and personal memories. We had 90% attendance at this event – un-heard of for an evening such as this – and again parents/carers commented favourably at the exhibition and were proud of the students’ contributions. I can’t thank Brendan and Kate enough for how they interacted with us from start to finish and hope to work with them again in the future”.
Peter Lee, Head of School, Q3 Academy Langley
I just wanted to congratulate you [and your team] on the excellent website and book. I am about to email various friends from school days, particularly who are scattered around the world, as I know they will be particularly interested to look at the website. You have all put so much hard work into the project but, in my opinion, all the efforts are very well worthwhile!
PS Also good, and interesting, news about the forthcoming new project!
Best wishes, Pat
This was a fantastic opportunity to design a website in such an evolving way throughout the project, respond to new ideas, content, user test feedback and apply best practices. I hope the website will help the story of Oldbury’s important industrial past spread globally and be enjoyed by people everywhere for a long time. I also hope it’s an inspiration for future projects who can learn from how we approached it – as we learned from many outstanding inspirational websites in our design research.
Paul Lacey, Web Designer
It is increasingly urgent that such memories are unlocked and recorded now. This requires innovative and creative methods to engage with people and explore their hidden knowledge. In many cases a suitable trigger is needed to prompt detailed recollections of working life, and archival material, comprising, for example, newspaper reports, product literature, photographs and company magazines, can be a potent trigger and aide memoire. The has been developed in all these ways to involve people recalling their experiences, adding them to the record of local history, and sharing them with the community. And has been a huge success.”
Dr Terry Daniels, Chair, Langley Local History Society, Chair, Oldbury Local History Group Chair, Friends of Sandwell Archive.
And from further afield…
I’ve just found your “Made in Oldbury” website and think it’s marvellous! Thank you for all your work and effort on this project. I’m a retired museum curator and so am very interested in history. I’m putting together an article for my brothers and sister on where I used to play as a child – the Billy Bank and other nearby toxic waste areas!
I took time to read all three of the websites at the bottom of your email – very impressive. I suspect that you, like me, are a West Bromwich Albion fan. “Up the Baggies!”
Eric J. Ruff, FCMA, Curator Emeritus, Yarmouth County Museum, Nova Scotia, Canada