Heritage Quay facilities remain closed as with the rest of the University campus. However staff continue to work remotely as we have done since March.
We are working hard to undertake risk assessments and plan new ways of working so that we can make the necessary changes to be able to open our facilities. This will take place as soon as it is safe to do so and will likely be phased over a period of time. The wellbeing and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers are our priority. We will be working in collaboration with other providers where appropriate and in line with government guidance.
In the meantime we continue to respond to emails and we will respond to essential enquiries where we can.
Further updates will be made on our website and social media channels.
Please continue to adhere to official advice to protect yourselves and others: Public Health England, and do not travel to Heritage Quay.
Like many other institutions and individuals we observed blackout Tuesday on 2nd June across our social media channels in support of #BlackLivesMatter.
As a memory institution we believe that we have a social responsibility to protect our collective memories. However, unequal power structures result in many forgotten, undervalued and erased histories from various under represented groups. These include LGBTQIA, Disabled, BAME, neuro-divergent, working class and women. We acknowledge that the collections at Heritage Quay currently perpetuate this situation, and are taking steps to dismantle this.
We want to stand with those who are striving for a real change and against oppression, racism, injustice and inequality. We believe it is important to take concrete action as well as standing in solidarity.
This is new blog series from the team at Heritage Quay where we’re going to be sharing the practical steps we’re taking to make our collections, staff and services more diverse and accessible.
This is a long-term project that we have committed to working on, so please get in touch to tell us how we are doing. It’s important to us that we are open about what’s going on.
Those of you who keep an eye on the archives sector may have seen that the last ARA conference ended very acrimoniously. This emphasised for us that it isn’t enough to say that we believe in equality and diversity in archives, we need to take concrete action to make changes.
We’ve started by drawing up a plan for the areas we think we need to work in. This gives us some ways of planning our activities and focusing our efforts.
To begin, we’ve identified some quick things we can do to lay the groundwork. This includes reading up on what other people are doing well, putting together a list of resources available to use, and mapping networks to speak to in the next phase.
That phase will involve a lot of listening and talking with those more qualified and experienced than us.
We commit to sharing the outcomes of those conversations here, and making changes in what we do. This will be a long-term project, and we are bound to get some things wrong, but we are committed to learning, openness and humility as we go. We also want to be allies to people already doing work around injustices in the sector, and offering concrete support and help to them where we can.
Like most heritage organisations Heritage Quay keeps a disaster kit in case of serious damage to the University’s heritage collections (eg. through flooding). We are very fortunate in that we have never had to use our disaster kit – other than in practices!
Last week Sarah was able to access the University’s closed campus and retrieve the personal protective equipment from the disaster kit and donate it to two frontline NHS workers known to members of the Heritage Quay team.
We were able to donate 500 gloves, 800 aprons, 11 full
protective suits, about 40 masks, and a pair of goggles, as well as 6 packs of
Heritage Quay is committed to the health and safety of our visitors and staff. We are closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19, and we are working to monitor and respond to the evolving conditions and following guidelines.
We are pleased to add this rare record to the British Dance Band Collection. It is a special souvenir recording issued to commemorate the maiden voyage of the RMS Queen Mary in May 1936. The BBC’s band-leader Henry Hall was asked to direct the ship’s orchestra for the trip to New York and to mark the occasion, he wrote “Somewhere At Sea” as the signature song of the brand new liner.
In the British Dance Band collection is a vast array of old 78 rpm records with attractive labels. Here’s a rare one from about 1930 advertising Siemens light bulbs! It is hoped that the collection will provide research material across a wide range of disciplines. Perhaps a Graphics student might write a thesis on pre-war record label design……..
An advertising record produced for the promotion of Siemens and their Opal and Pearl light bulbs. Recorded by an unidentified group of musicians and the vocalist Eddie Grossbart. Listen out for a lovely pair of solos….an alto just before the vocal and a trombone later on. The presence of Grossbart and the composer credit “Jeanette” have led some people to speculate that the musicians are members of Ambrose’s Orchestra. I am not so sure, and suggest that the band resembles that of Howard Godfrey’s Waldorfians. The record seems to have been pressed using the Duophone “unbreakable” process, but the recording timbre and quality is definitely that of Piccadilly. I would also suggest that the record was made towards the end of 1929 or even 1930 (rather than 1928 given in the discographies).
THE UK experiences of people of African-Caribbean descent over four generations are charted and explored in an ambitious new film that draws on more than 80 newly-recorded interviews with individuals whose ages range from 11 to well over 80. It focusses on the African-Caribbean descent community in Huddersfield, and the town’s University – staff and students – contributed to the project’s diverse production team, with the project archive being made available at Heritage Quay.
Now, as part of Black History Month, the 70-minute documentary, titled Windrush: The Years After – A Community Legacy on Film, is to have two showings at the University of Huddersfield where it was first screened last summer. A public screening in association with the University of Huddersfield Archives will take place in Heritage Quay as part of the Windrush Huddersfield Exhibition on Saturday 19 October (12 noon to 3pm). This event includes a Q&A session with key community members and opportunities to look at extensive displays. The Department of History is also to host a screening on Thursday 24 October (2.15pm to 4.15pm), in the Joseph Priestley Lecture Hall (room JPG/18) where there will further opportunities for discussion.
The prime mover in the project is Milton Brown,
the son of invited economic migrants who came to Huddersfield from
different parts of the Caribbean in the post-war years. He is now chief
executive of Kirklees Local TV (KLTV) and is also studying for a PhD at the University of
Huddersfield, so involving the University was an ideal way of linking
research and community interests. A key collaborator was the film
historian Dr Heather Norris Nicholson, who has been a Senior Research
Fellow at the University’s Centre for Visual and Oral History.
“We needed to put this story together for a wider audience,” said Mr
Brown. “I was doing it purely to give the African-descent community a
voice, rather than another generation dying out without being able to
tell the story.”
As the interviews progressed, the constant theme was one of struggle,
as newcomers from the Caribbean and their families, faced economic and
social pressures, including day-to-day racism, continued Mr Brown.
“They had to take jobs that nobody else wanted and it was a question
of ‘how do we overcome this?’. They retreated from the mainstream of
society and started to build social and economic dependence within their
own community. There was a quiet dignity among the majority who came
here and they showed an ability not to quit, even though the odds were
stacked against them.”
Funding for the film included £34,500 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The University of Huddersfield also provided financial support. In addition, Professor Barry Doyle, who heads the Department of English, Linguistics and History, in discussion with Milton Brown, enabled PhD researcher Joe Hopkinson and a number of undergraduate students to contribute to the project as part of their own studies and work alongside volunteers and the 14-strong production team at KLTV.
“While a lot of the people involved in it are University people, they
weren’t doing it for the University, but working within the community.
And there were people from a lot of different ethnic and social
backgrounds involved,” said Professor Doyle.
Mr Brown added that having such a diverse team was a major aid in
understanding the historical and cultural journey that was being
recorded. “We created a community within a community and learned a lot
from each other.”
The team conducted 80 new interviews and the film includes footage
from 45 of them. All of the material – plus a research copy of Windrush: The Years After – is archived at Heritage Quay.
“Making the film was only one part of the project,” said
Dr Norris Nicholson. “Running alongside it was a process of creating
educational resources, gathering papers, posters and memorabilia, and
then cataloguing the material and depositing it at Heritage Quay, where
it is available now.”
The team agree that the findings and the testimonies from the project
have a relevance to all peoples who experienced migration, wherever
they settled. “But there are also dimensions that are specific to
Huddersfield,” said Dr Norris Nicholson, citing the district’s
industrial history and patterns of post-war re-development.
“Some people we interviewed talked about their journeys to the UK and how they reached Huddersfield. Others reflected on their own lives as Yorkshire-born peoples of African-Caribbean descent. We were conducting oral history and tracing individual life stories, so a lot of details came out about experiences and attitudes during different decades. The film tells a story of national and international significance from a local perspective.”
Story originally published at https://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2019/october/windrush-the-years-after-huddersfield/