Help to keep your best memories of Worcester alive

We’ve all the heard the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, but sometimes a photograph can trigger a thousand memories too. 

This is the basis of an exciting new project, Worcester Life Stories, which will see many thousands of historic photographs made available for the first time, in a bid to encourage local people to share their own stories about them. 

The photographic collection will be on display in Worcester’s Guildhall on Saturday 15 July from midday to 4.00pm.

The day will include: free refreshments and cake, an opportunity to take a stroll down Worcester’s High Street in 1951, a talk on Worcester Life Stories, chance to share your story, activities for children – ‘What’s that shop’ quiz and more.

Sheena Payne-Lunn is Worcester City Council’s Historic Environment Record Officer and manages this unique collection, which dates from 1951 through to the 1990s. 

“There are images from all across the City and we’re sure that you’ll be able to tell us much more about the places that they depict,” says Sheena. 

“We want to hear your stories about Worcester, and your ideas on how we can make this collection available for generations to come.” 

Sheena has worked on the initiative with Dr. Natasha Lord, Clinical Psychologist at Worcestershire Care and Health Trust, who was keen to use heritage collections to aid reminiscence work with older people. 

Natasha commented: “I am excited to explore the idea of sharing historical images within healthcare and the wider community, as we recognise the value of photographs in bringing people together, not only as a way of sharing memories but sometimes simply to provide meaningful conversation and relationships.  This can have an impact for people that may be experiencing loneliness or that have become socially isolated.  I look forward to seeing the project progress.”  

All of the comments and ideas shared on 15 July will help shape a funding application being made to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which if successful will see the Worcester Life Stories resource made available online, giving local people the opportunity to upload their own stories and images too.  A series of further events, volunteer opportunities and educational activities are also planned.

The project has received support from Age UK, Dementia UK, Worcestershire Association of Carers and the University of Worcester, and how hopes to attract Heritage Lottery Funding.

Sarah Dawes