Thursday, 17 December 2015

Memory day at Hop 50+ cafe, Hove

Today we ran our first memory day at the Hop 50+ cafe in Hove from 10-2pm. We had a steady stream of older people coming to share their stories of their giddy youth in Brighton.

The day started on BBC Sussex radio and an interview with Giddy's Nimbus Group's Co-director Carina Westling promoting the memory day. She read out a diary entry found during our research aof the Mass Observation Archive at The Keep.

Here's the radio interview with some images from our photographic research and first memory day:

We had different stations set up for various activities in the lounge next to the cafe as well as in two separate rooms and the pupils from Longhill did a fantastic job in rotating around various roles:

1. Being on the 'front desk' welcoming the older people and talking them through the various consent forms they needed to sign.
2. Scanning images that people may have brought in.
3. Assisting photographer Elizabeth Doak in taking portraits.
4. Interviewing older people working with sound recordist Paul Farrington.
5. Independently interviewing and recording oral histories.
6. Generally chatting with newcomers and helping with the essential cups of tea etc.

See below a selection of the photos taken on the day. Elizabeth was looking for expressions that somehow captured their different personalities and response to sharing their stories. The gentleman with his eyes closed said he found the experience of sharing his stories quite an emotional one. We selected different backgrounds using material from 40's/50's and 60's and changed these from time to time. These images may end up as part of the exhibition and perhaps on the App itself.

Pupils working with Elizabeth to take portraits

Photos brought in by participant of the Memory day

Caricature drawn by Ben Ware, brought in by his daughter who also took part in recording her own oral history. 

Dance hall in Brighton brought Photos brought in by participant of the Memory day


  1. It is nice to see all the events that were going on in the 40s. It is interesting to see the dance hall and how they have changed.

  2. These interviews sound really interesting

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