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Launch Lunch

02.02.13 Launch Lunch

Clay History Project Group Members
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On Saturday 2nd February 2013, volunteers for the ‘Making Places, Chaning People’ project met for a special launch lunch at the Three Daws pub. It was an opportunity for volunteers to meet each other and share their excitement and aspirations for the project. Among the attendees were a retired partner, an associate and an architect from the George Clay Partnership, as well as directors and employees of the current Clay Architecture. Members of Urban Gravesham Historic Society also attended as well as residents of Gravesend with interests in the history of the town.

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The lunch provided the first official opportunity for Project Manager, Irene Siejo to formally introduce the project. Both she and Kasan Goh gave speeches on the importance of collective memory and outlined the project programme and scope. It is hoped that the project will be part of the Love Architecture Festival this summer, organised by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).

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26.02.13 Oral History Interview Workshop

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Volunteers met for a day long workshop to learn interview methods which will be used to draw out the collective memories of local people as well as retired directors and associates of the George Clay Partnership.

The day left volunteers excited about the project and enthusiastic about practicing their new skills.

Below are comments from some of them:

It was a very informative and enjoyable day; the volunteers got to know one another and learnt a great deal about the gathering & recording of oral history, which is such an important part of studying the past. I'm sure the project is going to prove a success in exploring different aspects of buildings in Gravesham and their effect on the lives of people who lived and still live locally; I'm looking forward to helping with this fascinating project. Gill Emerson
I found the training day on oral history very interesting and informative, I gained a lot of information which will be useful for the project. As for the project, I think it is an excellent idea and something I am looking forward to being a part of. Mary Whitsitt
The Oral Training Day was a fascinating and informative introduction to the task of interviewing people and encouraging them to share their memories. We learned many of the dos and don'ts of recording oral accounts and it was fun to put into practice what we had learned during the day by interviewing each other. Not as easy as it seems!
Having lived in Gravesend all my life I am delighted to have the opportunity to be involved in this exciting project which when complete will be a very important record of our town's great history and heritage. It's great to know that public access to the planned exhibition, workshops and website will bring our findings to life for a wide audience. Beverley Draper
I really enjoyed the Oral History training day. I found it most informative, and very professionally run. I was totally enthused by the presentation, and although I have realised that interviewing for the project will require considerable skill and commitment I can't wait to get started.
I have been speaking to Gravesend octogenarians with many memories of the 30s and the war years and all are keen to be involved, so I don't imagine there will be any lack of volunteers! Pauline Cunningham
I enjoyed the training day, and it made me happier to continue being involved in the project. Although I am a relative newcomer to the town - I've only been living here for 45 years! - I have accrued a great deal of historical knowledge about the place, much of it which came from writing the history of our church, although I also undertook research when I was being trained as a teacher in the 1970s (my subject was geography). I have several acquaintances who are Gravesend born and bred, and know that I can persuade them to open up as to their memories of Gravesend over the past 80 years in at least one case. Peter Shearan
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