Our project historian gave a talk and ran a reminiscence session at a community centre in Westminster this week. The talk covered the history of Operation Pied Piper and, as with the sessions he ran in the schools, he took along handling objects from the history including a full body sized baby gas mask. The group are looking forward to a follow up talk in early 2020 accompanied by the documentary film.
Two young refugees, Temor and Sali, came into Furzedown and St Thomas' Primary School to talk about their own experiences leaving their homes to come to the UK. The two gave short talks about their experiences followed by a Q&A with the children. Many of their experiences echoed those of the World War Two evacuees - the difficult decision to leave their families to find a safer place to live, spending time with foster parents, the danger of living in conflict zones at home. There were also major differences including the language barriers and also, in Sali's case, the danger of the journeys that saw him walking across Sudan and Libya aged 12 years without his parents, and taking a boat across the mediterranean to Italy.
We carried out 2 days of film training for the film group. Covering making a film visually interesting, the difference between a drama and a documentary, understanding the colour differences in different lighting, camera exposure, focus and framing, how to light a scene and sound recording. After much hands on training we moved on to interviewing techniques.
The film-makers were joined by the rest of Year 6 to develop questions for the interviewees. They began by brainstorming the thmes tey wished to be covered and then in small groups picked a theme to develop qustions for. These were all fed back to the whole group and added to and amended by everyone.
The Writers' Group visited Tooting Library and had a session looking at the documents and materials held by the Archives with Archivist, Emma Anthony.
Digital:works carried out 2 days of film training for the film group. Covering making a film visually interesting, the difference between a drama and a documentary, understanding the colour differences in different lighting, camera exposure, focus and framing, how to light a scene and sound recording. After much hands on training we moved on to interviewing techniques and finally they developed the questions to ask the interviewees.
The Writers' Group visited the Evacuees exhibition at Kensington Library and had a session looking at the documents and materials held by the Archives with an introduction from the Archivist, Dave Walker.
On Monday 16th September we went into Furzedown Primary School to introduce the project to the two Year 6 classes there as well as three young people from CARAS. We gave a talk about the history setting out the background to the evacuation of children during World War Two. There was plenty of hands-on work with the children donning helmets, handling gas masks, suitcases, ration cards and even a 1940s England Football top. We even sang some songs and had a quiz. The children were given some time to think about the type of questions they would like to ask the Evacuees when they meet them and they had lots of great ideas.
A similar session took place at St Thomas' Primary School on the 19th September.
If you were evacuated from London during WW2 and would like to have your experiences recorded for the project, then please contact us.
Matthew Rosenberg: email@example.com or 07949 107 023
digital:works have been running oral history projects across London that connect Londoners new and old with the history of the city. To find out more about us please visit our website at: www.digital-works.co.uk