Working memories of Frome

MEMORIES of working in Frome, recorded by the Home in Frome group, can now be viewed online. The latest project of the community group, which records the changing life of the town, has been the mammoth task of turning the Working Memories book into a website, https://workingmemoriesfrome.co.uk/

The new website goes live on Tuesday, 27th October, exactly eight years on from the launch of the original boo, which sold out its original print run. .

“It has taken a bit longer than expected, but we are delighted with the result,” said Home in Frome secretary Gill Harry, who has co-ordinated the work alongside a small project group of editor, John Payne, film and video maker, Alan Campbell, and computer wizard, James Gardner

“We certainly would not have managed it without a starter grant from Frome Society for Local Study, encouragement and resources from Frome Museum, and the great support of our loyal wider membership,” said Gill. As well as all the people who were willing to share their memories, there were many others, such as Trevor Biggs and Sue Latham, who contributed photographs and documents.

“The next logical step after the book was a website,” said John Payne. “Not knowing much about computers, I thought that would be easy, but it has been very hard work getting everything exactly right. It means that people can now hear extracts from the large number of recordings we made in people’s own voices as well as the voices of family, friends and neighbours, the people they grew up with and worked alongside.”

Sue Bucklow, who chairs Home in Frome, thought the chief value of the project was in bringing together the people of Frome: “The experiences of the long-term residents of the town and more recent arrivals are often very different, but we hope that Working Memories has helped to create a bridge between these. The book and web-site explain Frome to incomers in a very personal way, through the voices of its inhabitants. Older Frome people can take real pride in the town they helped to build.”

One sadness for all the Home in Frome team is that not all the people recorded in Working Memories are still alive. Many of those interviewed are much missed, as is Jacqueline Peverley, who founded Home in Frome more than a decade ago.

“If I wanted to single out one person among the hundreds who have contributed to Working Memories, it would be Jacqueline,” said Helen Ottaway, a founder member of the Home in Frome team, “She would have been very proud that this new stage of the Working Memories project has been achieved.”

Sue Bucklow said. “We would love more people to come forward with tales of their lives in the past, which can be recorded and added to the site, to share with others now and in the future.”  If you are interested in a story being recorded, please email: homeinfrome@nullgmail.com for further information.

To coincide with the launch of the website, Home in Frome has reprinted the Working Memories book with a new introduction. This will be launched at the same time as the website, on 27th October and will be available at Hunting Raven bookshop and other outlets in Frome.

Pictured: Home in Frome members (left to right) Helen Ottaway, John Payne, Gill Harry, Alan Campbell and Sue Bucklow, photograph © Home in Frome; In Black Swan Yard, photograph by Sue Latham