Oral History

The training was based on a model developed for community researchers and was informed by good practice guidelines from the Oral History Society.


Gallery 1 - Oral History

Gallery 2 - Shopkeepers and their customers

Gallery 3 - Products



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More oral history extracts exploring the themes of Community and Migration are available to download from theTeaching Resources page.



Community Researcher Quotes

"I enjoyed the experience. It's quite special to learn all about someone else's life directly from them."

"I was moved. Both were such lovely people. They told me everything."

"I didn't realise how much hard work it was to run a shop. It never ends."



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Credits

Gallery 1 - Oral History
1-9 of 39 by The Corner Shop Project Partnership © 2008


Gallery 2 - Shopkeepers and their customers
10-18 of 39 by Anand Chhabra © 2008

19-21 of 39 by The Corner Shop Project Partnership © 2008


Gallery 3 - Products
22-29, 30, 35-36 and 38-39 of 39 by The Corner Shop Project Partnership © 2008

25-29 and 31-34 of 39 by Anand Chhabra © 2008


Main Body
37 of 39 by Anand Chhabra © 2008

38-39 of 39 by The Corner Shop Project Partnership © 2008

Oral History Training and Research


Black Country Touring led on the training and research which was developed by working closely with heritage consultant Izzy Mohammed and English Heritage. The training was based on a model developed for community researchers on a former project and was informed by good practice guidelines from the Oral History Society.

We ran two training sessions: one in Smethwick and one in Wolverhampton reaching a total of 16 researchers. The training consisted of presentation, seminar-based learning and action. It included interview practice time with the audio recording equipment.

The research questions for interviewers were composed to obtain factual and narrative information from the respondents. Foursight Theatre contributed to this process to ensure that the research findings would be stimulating to create the theatre production. Questions were produced for shop-owners, their family members and customers.

Researchers could make their own choices about which shop to interview. Some preferred to be told and were given leads to pursue.


Our definition of corner shops was deliberately broad:

Consider grocers' shops, these could range from shops that just sell groceries to ones that sell almost everything: from groceries to paper aeroplanes. All shops must be family-run businesses. Do consider shops that you think are distinctive: this could include the look of the building, the frontage and presentation to the things sold which might be unusual, rare or exotic. Do also consider shops selling particular goods for specific communities e.g. Yam, fabrics etc. Finally, do consider shops or stories you think interesting.

Community researchers were recruited by putting a call out on our website and through our Corner Shop Project Partnership and peer networks. Their ages ranged from 16 - 67.

Thirty-one interviews were collected and recorded using mini disc recorders and directional microphones.

Each interview recording that was completed came with its necessary documentation: Clearance Form for informed consent by the respondent, Interview Summary Sheet, Interview Synopsis Sheet and Archive Contribution

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