Mantle Oral History collection

Physical details

  • Number of items in the collection: 253
  • Venues where material can be listened to: Record Office, digitised copies of some interviews are available to listen to at EMOHA 
  • Media available on: CD, digital files

Collection history

The Mantle Oral History Project Collection comprises 159 interviews with residents of the Coalville and Whitwick area undertaken by the Springboard Centre at Mantle Community Centre in Coalville between 1985 and 1992. A number of interviews were selected and edited to create saleable cassette copies for the general public. The original collection was deposited with the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland for safekeeping in 1999 and became part of the the EMOHA in 2001.

What the collection contains

The collection documents the lives of 159 people who were living in or around Coalville, Leicestershire between 1984 and 1992. Interviewees recall memories and events going back as far as the turn of the 20th Century and mostly related to the local area. There are also accounts of Cornwall and India.

There is considerable material on the experiences of childhood, including school, games, the domestic environment and childhood work between 1900 and the 1940s from the point of view of a child. Life experiences of young and older adults are also well recorded in this collection. Work is prominent, particularly the mining industry, a major employer in the area. Other occupations which feature significantly include quarrying, brick-making, farming, factory work and domestic service. Professions are also represented, for example the work of a female general practitioner in Coalville. Many interviewees recall leisure and entertainment, such as the local Wakes and the cinema in Coalville. Local aristocracy, families, shopkeepers and trades people are described and events surrounding them recalled, providing a backdrop to the more personal memories of Coalville, Bardon, Whitwick and Copt Oak. Major local events, such as the Zeppelin raid on Loughborough in 1916 and the extreme cold conditions experienced in the same year, also feature in this collection.