Bude Social History Community Book Project
To collect verbatim stories, memories, photos, documents, illustrations, archives and family recipes from tow pivotal times in Bude history: The Ration Years 1939-1954 and The Covid Pandemic 2020-2022. Then present it as a fantastic, glossy, full colour, hardback book, created for the Bude community, by the Bude community.
Mass Observation recorded contemporary social diaries during WWII. Similarly, because local people who were just children in 1954 are not going to be here forever, their stories and memories need to be recorded now. Bude is an exceptional community where we have particular challenges and experiences unique to us.
Personal memories from the Covid pandemic equally deserve to be recorded verbatim, or they will be diluted or lost within the universal influence of mass media.
Why Ration Years and the Pandemic?
Simply put, the similarities between these two times are fascinating. The social behaviour of a community dealing with world wide crisis appears to mirror each other. The British Government during the pandemic appeared to heavily reference WWII public information media. This is a unique opportunity to capture the social history of our Bude area at that time.
COME ON,GET INVOLVED!
We need to interview those with stories to tell.
We are looking for 100 people aged 75 or over from Bude and surrounding areas to interview for their stories and memories between 1939 and 1954.
It is not just about WWII but the recovery after war; the polio endemic of 1946; the economic crisis of 1946 and 1947 when food was even more scarce than during war time.
I wonder what local people to be interviewed may recall of the London Olympics in 1948, or how The National Health service was implemented locally. In 1950 did you ‘Listen with Mother’, or read The Beano in 1951 when Dennis the Menace arrived? What did Bude do when King George VI died, or in 1953 when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned?
Were you the first in your street to have a TV? Were you in the first Surf Life Saving Bronze squad run by Australian Alan Kennedy?
WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE BACK THEN?
WHAT WAS IMPORTANT?
WHAT MEMORIES DO YOU WANT SAVED?
We need to look back to be able to more forward. We must not forget tradition, culture, learning, sense of belonging, community. The ration years were an exceptional time in history, defining resilience, social impact, (both good and bad) and resourcefulness.
Similarly, the pandemic… both meant that life will never be the same. Coping strategies saw us repeat the same behaviour – messages from the government, and now post pandemic austerity.
Do you have a story.. Photos…Family recipes…Old memoirs? Everyone’s contribution is welcome.
THE PROCESS AND HOW FAR WE HAVE TO GO…IT IS A HUGE UNDERTAKING
- We have a project steering group to oversee the processing and collection of data.
- All due diligence and consent is in place for interviews.
- We are working with Budehaven Community School, collecting the voices of the young people through the Pandemic.
- We know local people have written books and we have no intention of ignoring them. We will do a formal literary review and bibliography of local books, newspaper archives and more.
- Collect family recipes because behind evert recipe, there’s a story.
- Audi-video, pod casts, You Tube and performing arts may result from the stories we collect.
- Because community matters. Our traditions, culture, values, heritage and history.
- Question: during the pandemic we were travelling less, using less, wasting less. The climate began to show signs of healing. Does that mean that we should live a little more like the Great Generation?