History

Listening Bench

The Listening Bench project was where a team from Southend area U3As, selected memories of Southend from the material already held by the Essex Sound Archive. It was an amazing success and there were more hits on this Listening Bench than on all the other Heritage Lottery funded benches in Essex during 2018.

This time, the SLP team actually interviewed and recorded memories of current U3A members, rather than using old material in the Sound Archive. So this was an Oral History project.

The full interviews were deposited with the Essex Sound Archive and then we took sound clips from the interviews and updated the solar powered panel on the bench ready for the tourist season this year.

Jo Livingston who is the Subject Advisor for Living History also took part in the training sessions we had from the Sound Archive and we would both like to promote more of this type of project.

We believe that there are many U3A members who have fascinating memories of the place they have lived in for many years and these are a valuable record for local historians in the future.

An easy to use application such as “Audacity” can enable sound recordings to be put onto websites or passed on to a local museum or heritage centre for their archive.

It is quite easy to make recordings and basic recording devices are not very expensive. I have more details of the equipment and how to transfer the recordings to “Audacity”.