This Is Normanton project website


Over the last two years Fifth Word has been running an exciting Community project entitled ‘This is Normanton’ in partnership with Derby Museums and supported by Derby City Local Studies & Family History Library. This project aimed to Collect personal stories and memories from a range of residents of Normanton and undertake archival research on the area. Normanton is an inner city suburb and ward of the city of Derby in Derbyshire, England, situated approximately 2 miles south of the city centre. Normanton Road is a unique place with a constantly evolving population and is home to people from many walks of life who bring a wide range of beliefs, cultures, customs and traditions. Over a period of 12 months partner organisations Derby Museums and Derby City local studies and Family History Library trained and worked with local volunteers to research the specific heritage focus of Normanton from 1960’s to present day. We worked with East Midlands Oral History Archives to train volunteers to interview and capture personal stories from a range of residents about settling in the area and their customs and traditions. The Physical transcripts of these oral histories are now permanently held at Derby Local Studies and family history Library for future generations to get a snapshot of what it was like to live in this fast shifting community from the 1960’s onwards. The project culminated in the creation brand new exhibition co produced with volunteers and members of the community that launched at Derby Museums site Pickfords House in March 2018 before touring venues across the community. Andrea Mercer from Derby Museums says “this project has enabled Derby Museums to engage with a more diverse audience who may not normally see themselves as visiting a museum and conversely habitual museum goers to appreciate and learn more about the fascinating and vibrant communities of Normanton” The project worked with actors, directors, volunteers and a Roma youth group to create an original performance and film for based on memories of living and settling in the area and exploring what Normanton means to them. Some fascinating stories were unearthed as a result of the project including that of Rob Williams who was part of a thriving reggae band signed by Chrysalis records in the 1970’s. A project volunteer went the extra mile to track down Rob and we were able to record his story and digitise some amazing memrobila from his touring days. Mark Young from Derby Local studies and family history library says: “As a result of the project Derby Local studies and family history library has been able to digitise Rob’s very rich collection of posters, correspondence, photographs and other ephemera relating to Pressure Shocks, a local Reggae group who were performing and recording in the 1970s. This material will now be made available to the public via the library’s online digital archive, ‘Derby’s History’. Gathering this material was an unexpected and very welcome outcome for the library.” Check out the project website which includes the This is Normanton documentary film here

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