Port of Tyne fund to uncover stories of ship-building community’s past

A volunteer-led charity, which curates a web-based 20th century history archive reflecting local life in North Tyneside – as told by those who lived, worked and played there – has received a funding boost from the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation.

Remembering the Past, Resourcing the Future exists to capture stories that are in danger of being lost, and the funding will enable volunteers to focus on adding valuable information about the ship-building industry to its collection.

Over a period of six months, a team of volunteers will work to collect, archive and disseminate the stories of twelve people living in North Tyneside. Contributors will be interviewed using digital recorders to collect their memories; the emerging recordings, together with any photographs or documents loaned by the contributor, will then be prepared for digital use by a team of technical volunteers, before being displayed on Remembering the Past’s dedicated website. Contributors will receive digital copies of their recordings and written transcriptions as a way of saying thank you for their involvement.

Heather Coltman, Group Legal & Insurance Manager at the Port of Tyne, said: “We’re delighted to support this digital heritage project, which has wide-ranging benefits for the community.

“Remembering the Past will provide training opportunities for volunteers, and seek to reduce isolation in residential care homes. It’s a wonderful project that we hope will contribute to a stronger community in North Tyneside.”

Elaine Holdsworth, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, said: “Remembering the Past will create a lasting legacy of stories and anecdotes that will benefit the wider community. Funding from the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation will capture stories that could otherwise have been lost.”

The grant of £1,950 will support the project with volunteer training in interview techniques, the production of sound files, archiving and digital production costs, as well as contributing towards a celebration event for those who have contributed their stories.

Since 2007, the Port has donated almost £500,000 in grants through the Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation.