We are keeping a diary of the project as we go along so you can get a flavour of what we are up to.
We had a wonderful evening showing the film in the Camden Local Studies Centre in Holborn Library. After the film three Kings Cross rail workers and one of our volunteers took part in a Q&A the audience. There was an interesting discussion about all kinds of aspects of the history with funny stories along the way. One woman in the audience told us about her father who came from the Carribbean in 1959 and went to work as a guard at Kings Cross in the early 1970s and how the film revealed to her something of what her father's working life must have been like. It was a very moving and lovely moment. We have more screenings like this planned.
We had the launch of the film at Kings Place in Kings Cross which is a great venue and very close to the station so a perfect place to have the event. We had a packed crowd as around 180 squeezed into Hall 2. It was a lovely mix of current and retired Kings Cross workers plus lots of others. We showed the film to a very appreciative audience followed by a Q&A. It was a really good night so thanks to everyone for coming and to everyone who helped put it together. Some photos of the evening are below starting with a group image of some of the Kings Cross workers who came along on the night.
Today we watched the first rough edit of the film part of the project together. It's a big responsibility sculpting a film from oral history interviews with lots of practical and ethical considerations and cutting around 36 hours of interviews into an hour long documentary film is a complicated job. We had a very interesting and useful discussion with the group around how far the film accurtaely reflected what people had spoken about in the interviews, how well it flowed, and if it was entertaining! We also showed the film to some of the interviewees as well as some people with no knowledge of the history to see if it all made sense. We will use this discussion to go away and make final changes to the film ready for a grand launch in the new year. Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful and useful comments and discussions.
Today we went on a fantastic day trip to the National Railway Museum in York. We were joined by some Kings Cross workers who pointed out the trains they worked on and told us some stories about their working lives, their memories jogged by the trains on display. We also met the Archive team at the museum to discuss how we might access the images and film footage they hold to compliment the oral history interviews we have conducted. It was a fantastic day, both at the museum, but also having a wander around York's beautiful lanes afterwards before getting the train back to London.
Today we met the wonderful Lloyd Barnet. He came from Jamaica in 1956 and got a job as a driver at Kings Cross the following year and stayed working at "The Cross" until he retired in 1999. He was one of a number of Windrush generation men who came from the Caribbean and worked at Kings Cross. He was interviewed by one of our volunteers who is the daughter of another Kings Cross driver.
Two very full days and six wonderful interviews and so 23 interviews completed so far. We aim to do one and possibly two more. Great work from our team conducting the interviews and running the audio recorders. It's been a very busy and enjoyable few weeks. Next up, a trip to York to the Railway Museum and another site visit or two to Kings Cross. Below are some of our interviewees with the team: Barry Careford who worked in the dining car from the 1950s. Helen Zato who has been a Guard on the trains out of Kings Cross since 1985. In the third image, Tricia Roche who was the first woman driver at Kings Cross since WW2, and PJ Smith who was a driver from the 1960s.
The interviews have begun and the team met a range of older and retired workers. The interviews were fascinating, full of the intricacies of work, but also the funny stories and the highs and lows. We interviewed drivers going back to the 1950s, firemen, people in signalling, a guard and a station announcer. Below is driver Felix Gomes being interviewed and Carmel Fleming following her interview along with members of the team. We are looking forward to the interviews next week.
We had a talk about the history of Kings Cross and the rail workers from former driver Steve Forey. We then had a reminiscence session with several workers coming along to discuss with us their working lives. Finally we went on a walking tour of Kings Cross Station with two retired workers. All of this is crucial background information that will help us develop the themes we will be exploring through the interviews that start next week. Tomorrow we will be developing questions and then more practise.
We have a great team of volunteers on the project and spent today getting to know eachother and getting the training uner way. We discuss the ethical and practical issues that surround oral history before getting hands on wit the technical aspects of recording. We will also be covering interview techniques and developing themes and questions for the actual interviews that start next week.
We met with some older and retired workers who were or are based at Kings Cross Train Station. The idea was to tell them about the project and also to find out about their histories, to work out who to interview and begin to think about how to shape the project. They will also be spreading the work to help us find more people to interview for the project. It was a great meeting, very interesting, and something of a reunion for everyone who came along. We will build on this initial meeting to get the word out to find more people to interview. If you worked at Kings Cross Station and would like to share some memories please get in touch now.
Matthew Rosenberg email@example.com or 07949 107023
Pictured below are: John Morgan, Bob Priston, Ron Bales, Wally Levy, Howard Kay, Chris Munro, Mick Daly, Clive Page, Rachel James, Steve Forey and Ray Knight. Thanks to them all for coming along.