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Feb 11, 2011
History Speed Dating?

Sharing our history is a funny old thing, sometimes we will readily do it and sometimes for whatever reason we don't. I was at a family history meeting the other day which was designed so that members could share their discoveries. In the event there were only two out of twenty or so, who spontaneously shared our discoveries. It wasn't quite the exciting evening I thought it would be. I had envisaged a sort of history speed dating (not that I have experienced that I hasten to add!) I told of the work I was doing in local history starting with some very early records and in contrast the work with Boulton Paul Heritage Centre (who were aircraft manufacturers). The man who followed me told a simple story about his family which was amusing and well told. My contribution went down like any of the cliches you care to think of and his was so warmly received that they asked him to come back and speak. I spoke to the man afterwards and said how much I had enjoyed what he said, which was true. There flowed story after story. I wanted to say, "Stop, I've had enough now" but I actually said "Have you written these down" and the answer was more stories, so I guess you know the answer as well as I. Oral history is excellent but unless it is captured it is likely to be more entertaining than informative.

In contrast N. Corbett did write down his refections and recollections. 1577825 W/O Corbett, N,  was an aircrew member in World War 2 and I am sure he could tell a good tale but he also wrote it down so that although he died a few months ago we have Mr Corbett's history. Out of courtesy I have asked for permission from his relatives to publish so it is hopefully "Coming soon." If you can't wait, you will find it at the BoultonPaul Heritage Project in Wolverhampton.

You may not think your story is as important as Mr Corbett's but it is the most important story you can tell - not for yourself but for others. So whether it is images, stories, biographies, family trees just share it so that others can be entertained and better informed. 

Two items about the site I want to ask for your help with. The first is how we can ask for help and the second is how we can ask for information. I am thinking that if you want help with something you might simply tag the item "help" followed by as much detail as you care to put in. For example, "help name people Bilston 1946."

The second is probably a bit easier since the term - "looking for," is in general use. Often, I would imagine you would write a memories story saying what you are looking for and then tag it "looking for ..."

So I need help on how this might be done. Ideas please!

This site is privately funded. If you would like to towards the extension of this archive we can digitise more and still keep access free.