Voices of the Bottle Ovens: Oral history in Stoke-on-Trent

Dr Chris Montgomery, Lecturer in Dialectology at the University, tells us about his project’s progress.

The project is now complete, and the new audio files have been uploaded to the phones in the Gladstone Pottery Museum. The project permitted the update of exiting audio files, and the installation of a new phone and audio sample in the mouldmakers’ room, further enhancing the visitor experience at the museum.

Whilst completing the project, the students were able to visit the museum to look around the site and see where their audio was to be installed. The picture below shows two students, Michael Gray (l) and Daniel Pearson (r) listening to the old audio samples that this project updated.

Voices of the bottle ovens

The project achieved its aims, detailed in a previous post:

  • To involve students in a project that requires them to work in partnership with the Gladstone Pottery Museum and its staff
  • To produce audio excerpts for the museum that will further increase engagement amongst visitors
  • To work with an underused resource in order to tell the stories of the people recorded and publicise the archive

By permitting the stories told by people in the oral history archive used in this project to be heard by a new audience, the students involved in this project were able to see the value of collaborative working, and appreciate the ways in which their skills as English Language and Linguistics students could be applied in ways they hadn’t imagined.

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