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Inspiring a new generation

Here I am again surrounded by school-children in these fantastic surroundings. The idea of the workshops is to help schools make a film about their own local heritage inspired by Derek's photographs - a very simple idea but one that always bears fruit.

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Frank Owen - Hereford's forgotten MP

In the week of local elections we ask, has there ever been a more curious and mercurial an MP as Frank Owen? Why he isn’t more widely known and admired – locally and nationally - is a mystery really.

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Carousel or Gallopers? What's the difference?

See the horses' legs stretched in permanent mid-leap? And how the lady riding side-saddle has to cling on because the horses are rising and falling, up and down? The horses are also pointing left. These are all features of the Galloper.

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Touching the intangible

Smart phones, iPads, digital cameras, allow us to photograph indiscriminately, leading us to amass hundreds if not thousands of images. How many of these escape the memory card and find their way to the old-fashioned album? How many of us spend lost hours flicking through page after page of nostalgia, family members and friends long gone, some forever nameless and forgotten? This digital world is creating a host of problems for archivists. How do they access the intangible? How do they record the virtual? It’s a problem.

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The art of asking questions

Did you ever think of the act of question asking as a skill? Actually, I never did until my time with Catcher Media. How can something so basic be so fraught with possibilities - both good and bad? Over the last several months, I have learned that a good question can open up wells of emotion, anecdotes, unwritten histories and genuine human connection - whereas a bad one could create an awkward or even antagonistic atmosphere, shutting down conversation and distancing you from your interviewee. A lot of what I have learned has come via osmosis, from watching Marsha and Julia conduct oral history interviews, but a lot of it has also come from direct experience and some very good advice. So, what are the key lessons I have learned so far?…

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