Hidden Voices: Students at University of Northampton ask local folk to share memories of their town

Date 24.03.2016

A group of undergraduate students from the University of Northampton are calling for Northampton residents to share their memories, photographs and anecdotes of Northampton’s buildings and places, as part of a project celebrating the town’s past and present.

Part of the ongoing Follow Northampton project, which created the app with the same name, the ‘Hidden Voices’ project aims to bring Northampton’s colourful history to life by collating memories from people across the town. The focus will be on buildings and places which have either disappeared or are altered and have changed their use so that the original buildings and sites only exist in the memories of the people.

The students are asking Northamptonians to answer the following questions:

1. Is there a building you remember from your past that is no longer there?

2. Or a building that has been repurposed and you would love to keep its past alive?

3. Do you want to share your memories with fellow Northamptonians?

Northampton residents are encouraged to think about their memories and consider whether they would like them to be recorded. They can either email the students directly, via hiddenvoices@northampton.ac.uk or fill in the short Hidden Voices questionnaire and deposit it in the special collection box located in the Grosvenor Centre. More boxes will be available around the town shortly.

Those who are happy to share their memories face to face can meet the students in the town centre on Saturday 16 April – the students will be in the Grosvenor Centre, by the Market Square, between 10am-2pm. Watch this space for further details! This will be an open event, but everyone who leaves their contact details will be invited directly. The class are also looking for photographs of the town, especially those of buildings that are no longer standing. The information gathered will be used to create a digital memory map which will be distributed via the Follow Northampton app and other media.

Anybody who lives and works in Northampton or has done so in the past is invited to take part.

Sabine Coady Schaebitz, Director of the Collaborative Centre for the Built Environment at the University of Northampton, explained: “Many of our memories are associated with spaces and places. Northampton has not only got a rich history, it also has got a rich historic environment, including that from the second part of the 20th century. We are hoping to find out how places have shaped people’s memories and their feeling about the town.”

To find out more about Follow Northampton and the Hidden Voices project, click here. The team are also available on email: hiddenvoices@northampton.ac.uk. Follow the project on Twitter @FollowNpton or leave a message using the #HiddenVoices hashtag.