Memory Sharing Cafes


The project really began in early April 2017 with the first of a series of memory-sharing sessions held at the Round About Café in Swaythling.

The sessions immediately attracted ex-Ford workers who were more than happy to talk about their memories of the factory. One week, guest speaker Laurie Gresty, who had worked at Ford in the noughties, shared some often hilarious stories of her years on the production line. Another week, Andy Jones, formerly of Solent Sky Museum, came to talk about his film on the bombing raid on Cunliffe-Owen that took place in 1940.

It was at the community café sessions that volunteers were engaged and the key themes and content for the pop-up museum emerged. The lively sessions attracted new volunteers from the community, and by mid-June an active volunteer research team was formed with people using either their existing skills or taking advantage of the training offered to join in with research activities and oral history interviewing.

The Round About Café remained a focal meeting point throughout the project.