The W.R. Mitchell Archive and the Importance of Local History
at York University – Main Campus, 30th October 2012, 6.30pm - 7.30 pm
Speaker: Gillian Waters, Gillian Waters Consultancy
Tickets are free - but you need to book in advance from the university. See:
"We are interested in people not things" a young journalist named WR "Bill" Mitchell was told by his editor, Harry J Scott, when joining The Dalesman magazine in 1948. Whilst “tweed-clad, pipe-smoking” Scott donned his carpet slippers, Bill travelled the Yorkshire Dales interviewing Dales folk. Bill recorded hundreds of hours of interviews on cassette tape with the men and women of the Dales. These interviews formed the basis for his written work; over 190 books as well as numerous articles for magazines and local and regional newspapers.
This collection of over 400 taped interviews captures the stories of well-known Yorkshire personalities such as James Herriot, Hannah Hauxwell, Kit Calvert and Marie Hartley but also the tales of ordinary Yorkshire folk scraping a living against the odds in remote Dales communities. They also represent a unique archive of the different accents and dialects used over forty years ago, voices which are not often heard in the Dales today.
Gillian Waters explores the importance of local and oral history archives and their relevance in reconstructing a regional identity.