Since October, I have had the wonderful opportunity of helping Claire at the London Bubble Theatre Company on a project called From Docks to Desktops. The project looks at how work around the London docks has changed over the past decades.
The first stage was interviewing people, now retired, questions on, for instance, the changes in: finding work, working conditions (e.g. Health and Safety policies and sick pay), uniforms, technology, pastimes, the relationships between bosses and their workers and community life.
The interviews are recorded and have to be transcribed. I have primarily been involved in formatting the final transcriptions so they are presented in a similar way, with a short summary for each one and doing the final checks. These are than finally uploaded onto the London Bubble website along with some photographs taken of the interviews.
There’s also going to be an interactive map of the local area online, showing where the factories (which these people worked in) used to be with old photographs and background information for each one. I’ve also helped research information on the factories and searched for old photographs.
Reading these interviews and doing this research has been really fascinating! Finding out about how this area around London, near where I live, has changed over the years. Finding out what life was like, not that long ago, without computers, how socializing and community life has changed over the years, how things have changed but also beginning to feel a greater connection with the past.
Before Christmas, I also had the opportunity to get involved with preparing for and helping out on an event called Workers Playtime. This event was an opportunity for all the interviewees to get together and have fun remembering popular songs from the 1940s onwards, as well as old radio shows and T.V. series, etc.
My involvement so far in the project has been a wonderful experience for me, as well as getting a chance to get to know everyone at the company. I very much hope later to get a chance in helping out with using all this material to devise and perform a production for the local community!
Thank you Bubble!