On Thursday 27th and Saturday 29th April a group of Year 7 students at Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey interviewed members of the public as part of the Dockyard Church Reminiscence Project. The sessions took place at the school, as well as at Sheerness Gateway Library Hub, and members of the public were invited to come and share their memories of the Dockyard Church.
The event was the culmination of an 8 week programme of workshops, which were aimed at training the participants to undertake oral history interviews, whilst learning valuable transferrable skills in literacy, enquiry, and heritage, as well as building up their confidence levels. Over the 8 weeks, students learned various interview techniques, found out about the history of the Dockyard Church, looked at many other examples of oral history, designed their own questions, and learned how to use the recording equipment. In the coming months, the participants will also help in the transcription of the interviews, which will be used to create an exhibition, showcasing the many important memories of the church, and will be involved in the continued restoration work due to take place.
This Oral History Reminiscence Project was undertaken by staff and students at the University of Kent, in partnership with the Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust, and the Queenborough Fishery Trust. The Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust have also recently been awarded £4.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund in order to complete building and restoration work on the Dockyard Church. The reminiscence project will feed into the work carried out in the community, and secure the future of this important historical landmark on the Isle of Sheppey. For more information please visit http://sheernessdockyardpt.org.uk/.
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