27000 project to preserve Leicesters postwar memories

The East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA), based in the Centre for Urban History at our University, has received £27,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project that will record memories of the period 1945-1962 in Leicester and Leicestershire. For a year, from September 2016 to September 2017, volunteers will record the memories of people over the age of 80 and, particularly, over the age of 90.

The years after World War Two saw some dramatic changes that still affect us today. There were huge new housing estates built around Leicester; the start of migration from the new Commonwealth; the creation of the National Health Service; the start of the nuclear age. In 1957 the Prime Minister Harold McMillan proclaimed that ‘most of our people have never had it so good’. This project will encourage people to listen to the memories of the older generation to understand how Leicester and its people experienced these events and rebuilt their lives after the trauma of the war.

Free training in oral history recording and how to use the Record Office for Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland (ROLLR) will be provided for volunteers, and the results will be posted on the City Council’s Story of Leicester website. For anyone with an interest in local history, or their own family history, this is a great opportunity to engage with a fascinating period in our history.