‘In Living Memory’ is Hastings Pier Charity’s intergenerational oral history project.
The project was managed by Beatrice Rapley, one of the charity’s Learning and Education Managers, as part of our Heritage Lottery funded Activity Plan and coordinated by Jake Bowers. With a background in journalism, Jake trained Performing Arts students from Ark Helenswood Academy in interview techniques and taught them how to use professional recording equipment.
Jake and the students met with members of the local community throughout 2015 and recorded their diverse memories of bands, dances, angling, working and falling in love on Hastings Pier.
A team of 10 volunteers were recruited by Jo McLaughlan our Education Volunteer Coordinator, and they worked remotely for over 100 hours to transcribe over 50 oral history interviews.
The transcripts were delivered back to the school in December 2015 and the students used these as inspiration to devise a new and original piece of musical theatre under the guidance of the Head of Performing Arts, Niall Whitehead, to be performed on Hastings Pier on Saturday 14th May 2016 at 2pm.
Jake edited the audio files and transformed them into mini films called ‘Digital Stories’, which you can listen to in our Digital Memory.
Our In Living Memory performance (presented by Hastings Pier Charity and performed by Helenswood Ark Academy students) brought memories of Hastings Pier to life through music, dance and drama on Saturday 14th May 2016. You can watch the whole performance on the video below:
Photos of Ark Helenswood students listening to stories of Hastings Pier told by elderly residents at Grosvenor House, St. Leonards. Copyright Donna Howell.