Potteries Heritage Society has been successful in securing Heritage Lottery Funding for our Revealing Voices: North Staffordshire project. The grant of £51,300 is to help preserve and showcase original reel-to-reel tape recordings made in the 1970s and 1980s by former radio producer, jazz musician and canals enthusiast, Arthur Wood. (See News)
The two-year project will conclude in 2018 to coincide with Radio Stoke’s 50th anniversary and will digitise over 400 tapes, create a catalogue and searchable database of their contents and make them available through the city archives. The journey of discovery will include working with local students and volunteers, a series of events with communities and schools and an exhibition to be hosted by the Potteries Museum. There will also be equipment for listening, editing and audio-visual presentations.
The recordings were originally made for broadcast on BBC Radio Stoke, where Arthur Wood was education producer. They need to be digitised now because the original metallic tapes are likely to deteriorate beyond rescue within the next few years so their content is in danger of being lost forever. The collection includes local history, oral history, schools broadcasts, programmes on industrial heritage, canals, railways, dialect, and many other topics of local interest.
The project has attracted an enormous amount of interest from local organisations that appreciate what an important resource the digitised audio files will be to their own projects and we already anticipate taking Revealing Voices to several events over the next year. We would welcome your ideas and suggestions for events and are seeking volunteers to help catalogue the files and to be among the first to hear the recordings for more than three decades.
If you would like to know more about the project or are able to offer your help as a volunteer, please get in touch using the contact form and choosing the Revealing Voices category.