Suzanne Rose, the Mass Observation Archive's Education and Outreach Officer had prepared a fantastic array of material for the pupils to explore. Wartime diaries, Mass Observations documents, Astoria's scrap book from the 1950's, newspaper cutting about the mods and rockers, photos of Brighton from the 40/50/60's to name a few.
The pupils launched themselves wholeheartedly into the role of researchers and even got the chance to look through boxes and files of material that the Mass Observation Archive hadn't seen before.
They particularly liked looking at photos of Brighton and working out what had changed. 'That's where Primark is now" and that's 'H & M'.
Looking at photos of the Odeon cinema that got bombed during WW2 and reading the diary of a girl who narrowly missed being in the cinema at the time, but who lost friends had a powerful resonance.
Carina Westling co-director of the Nimbus group and instigator of the Giddy project popped in to meet the group and do a bit of research herself. We came across a great giddy sounding story from the 1950's of a rendezvous under the pier and wondered if we'll get any other under the pier stories in our first memory day next week.
We even found the word giddy:
For the final 10 minutes the group shared and talked about the material they found interesting.
Carina told the group about the man she met on the streets of kemp town, Brighton who invited her for a drink and to share a few memories. On impulse she went along with this proposition and after a couple of drinks and some very eye opening tales he took her on a walking tour of the streets where his memories actually took place. The idea for the app came from this extraordinary interaction with this stranger...
Next week the first memory day, there's been lot's of interest a from the public as well as local radio and we are expecting to be busy....