History of Wokingham to come alive in video diaryBy Laura Herbert
March 19, 2013
The history of Wokingham will come to life in a video diary of townspeople’s memories.
Theatre company Bottle Top is looking to secure funding for its archiving project, which aims to capture the memories of Wokingham from people living in the town.
Hayley Blakeman, Bottle Top’s co-artistic director, explained: “We are in the very early days of the project and it is very much about ideas at the moment.
“Bottle Top has been going for around two years and our aim is to use drama to engage those who are socially isolated, so we use it as a tool but it is about building a community and the value and self-worth of the people we work with.”
The company, based in Wokingham, has worked with councils, the Ministry of Defence, primary schools and the Nepali community.
The project aims to create a video of stories of days gone by in Wokingham from the people who remember it first hand.
Mrs Blakeman said: “As Wokingham gets older we want to capture the memories of what used to be here in the town.
“Ideally we would like to get schoolchildren and people not in education, employment or training (NEET) involved and interview different members of the community and then share their stories.
“It would be even better to have people telling their stories live with some interaction or with their memories acted out.”
The business, which is applying for charity status, plans to work with The Link Visiting Scheme and Wokingham Remembers to find people to take part in the project.
Bottle Top has also approached the town’s Cultural Partnership and Wokingham Town Council and hopes to launch the initiative during Heritage Open Days in September.
Organisers are looking to secure financing before applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for match-funding.
Plans for the project were announced at the town council’s arts and culture meeting on Monday night.
Councillor UllaKarin Clark, committee member, said: “This is very interesting and very important because in the next 100 years we will have something that is unique.”
Cllr Gwynneth Hewetson, chair of the committee, said: “There are many groups already doing something like this therefore, it is about bringing everybody together so we are not duplicating.
“I’m really excited about it but we need to get everything together before we apply for the match-funding.”