Discovering Sound Recordings and the History of Railways: Spring Term for Secondary Schools

The spring term involved helping 2 local high schools with different projects they have been working on.

Oral History

Firstly we welcomed a group of pupils from Old Buckenham High School as part of their oral history project. The school have been working on a project with the University of East Anglia inspired by Akenfield Now. The initial Akenfield Now project followed a similar format to the film Akenfield which was set in a small Suffolk village in 1974 and tells the story of the last century. Pupils have been using oral history recording to create their own version of the film.

The group of 10 Year 8-11 pupils spent the day at The Archive Centre, where they had an introduction to the Record Office, a tour of the building, including the searchroom and conservation studio. The highlights of the tour were the chance to see the Transfer Studio, which is where the material from our collection is digitized. Specialist equipment is used to play the original formats of recorded material, which ranges from mini disc, reel to reel and CDs.


David working in the Transfer Studio

Students also got the chance to see the tape store. A mini version of our general strongrooms, the tape store is kept at a slightly lower humidity (ranging from 40C) and houses all formats of recorded material.

For this particular project the students were working on interviewing people connected to the school before turning these recordings into bits of film. The final film will be screened later this year. We look forward to seeing it!

Marriott’s Way

At the beginning of February we welcomed a year 7 nurture group from Framingham Earl High School as part of their research into a Marriott’s Way. The group have been working with the Education Officer from the Marriott’s Way Heritage Trail, to find out more about the disused railway line that ran from Norwich to Melton Constable. The group are particularly interested in Hellesdon Railway Station, of which just the platform exists. The aim is build a proposal to help the area to be better used by the community and users of Marriott’s Way.

The class enjoyed the experience of visiting one of our strongrooms and looked at a variety of documents including the 1839 Costessey Tithe map (NRO, DN/TA 555) which shows the area before the arrival of the railway in the 1880s, and a 1845 plan showing the route of the intended railway (NRO, C/Scf 1/400). The pupils were amazed to find a 1950s plan of Hellesdon station (NRO, PD 700/77) which they could compare to photographs they had found on Picture Norfolk and also their experience of the site. They also enjoyed looking through the Hellesdon baptism register (NRO, PD 700/3) and found railway occupations and spotted familiar surnames.

pd 700_77

Plan of Hellesdon Station, 1950s. NRO, PD 700/77

The class really engaged with the documents (and the strongroom!) and all of which has helped them to develop their proposal ideas.

This entry was posted in Schools and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s