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Report: Telling Your Own Story

At our last meeting Margaret Burns gave a presentation on the introduction and benefits of Oral History to local historians which she called “Telling Your Own Story”.

As well as being a Society member, she explained that she was also a member of Herne Bay Community Memories Group which had been involved over the past ten years in recording people’s memories to augment the exhibitions and displays put on at Herne Bay Museum covering such subjects as Childhood Memories in Herne Bay, Sporting Lives, Make Do and Mend, Memories of Herne Bay Pier, and Memories of the 1953 Floods.

She explained that personal memories were vital to record as they could add so many extra dimensions to the bare facts and written records of both local and national events. The expanding interest in genealogy and tracing family history was also another area where personal recollections and family stories were vital to record.

Margaret showed some illustrations taken from her own and other local families which gave examples of stories about various subjects such as working in shops in the town, working on the local pleasure trip boats in the 1950’s and collecting coke from Sea Street gas works in the 1950’s.

The evening generated some interesting questions and stories from members and Margaret reminded them that the society was interested in recording memories particularly with reference to shops and shopping in Herne Bay to add to research already being undertaken by the society on this subject.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 20th February when James Brazier will be talking on “Doing their Bit – The Home Front 1914-18” starting at 7pm with doors opening at 6.30pm. This will be followed by the launch of the society’s latest publication compiled by John Fishpool “Herne Bay in the Great War”. Copies of this will be available on the night or at local retail outlets from 21st February. Visitors are always welcome for a charge £2. Contact 01227 362666 for more information.

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