Back in October 2012 the school was approached by Debra Hearne from Windrose Rural Media Trust to ask if we would like to take part in a Heritage lottery funded project recording the memories of our senior citizens of how Lyme Regis used to be.  We asked our History staff to recommend to us those students who had demonstrated a real interest in local history and they were invited to take part in the project.  One of the conditions was they had to be prepared to give up a whole day of their February half term holiday, another was they had to be interested in talking to and learning how to interview our older residents.

From an initial group 30 interested students the group whittled itself down to 15 - Henry Cornish, Maisie Dascombe, Ellie Gillan, Basher Merrett, Eleanor Ohlsen, Harry Robson, Polly Rodin, Rory Townsend, Holly Weare, Christopher Lancashire, Brianna Curry, Kieran Allen, Eddie Beardwood, Daisy Parsons and Reuben Heeler Frood.

In four groups the students interviewed Ken Gollop, David Cozens, Celia Rattenbury and Les Loveridge.

Celia came to Lyme Regis in the 1930’s and told about her memories of growing up in Lyme, of going to school and the Olympic torch relay of 1948. She showed the students her old photographs which gave them a real insight in her life back in the 30’s and 40’s.

David was keen to talk about his memories of Lyme Regis Boys Club, the landslip that happened in the 1960’s, his love of the town’s cinema, and his thoughts and feelings about our very own Woodroffe School.

One of the great things we found out about interviewing Ken Gollop was how proud he is of his fishing heritage and what his family history means to him. The war had a huge impact on Lyme Regis and especially for Ken’s family; and in the interview he related his memories of the change in Lyme at that time.

Les was born in Lyme Regis and shared his memories about growing up on the Colway Mead estate, American GI’s and P.O.W’s, and what it was like growing up in Lyme Regis.

As part of the project the students were also taken on a tour round the BBC in Bristol where Debra used to work before she went free-lance. This was a fantastic experience for the students particularly as they were given the opportunity to produce their own edition of the local news and weather, and also to read through a gripping radio play complete with all the sound effects. The students all participated in this activity and it was interesting to see how they selected different roles they were comfortable with. This was another eye opener of the visit showing how many different aspects of radio and TV production there are and the variety of job opportunities within the industry.

The project concluded with an evening where the students invited their parents and interviewees together to listen to extracts of the recorded interviews.  The students introduced each interview and related to the audience what they had achieved and had learnt from the project and also invited the interviewee to comment on what the project had meant to them.

The evening concluded with Debra thanking everyone involved and hoped that this project will create a lasting legacy of radio production within the school.

Mrs Wood, Mr Neesam and Henry Cornish are all very keen to see a radio magazine produced monthly with students interviewed about their recent accomplishments. Henry is very enthusiastic about coordinating the event and we hope that after Christmas we will be able to embark on our own exciting new project.

Mrs Wood, Director of Art

Recording Lyme's Heritage

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