Burnley Talks

This oral history project was run by the Community Development Section of Burnley Borough Council with support from the Stocks Massey Bequest Fund to record the memories of older people living in Burnley and Padiham. The project started in June 1997 and a book, compilation tape and exhibition titled ‘Burnley Talks – Memories of the town’ were launched at Towneley Hall in March 1998.

42 interviews were conducted by volunteer interviewers Lawrence Chew, Daisy Choudhury, Edna O’Hara and Kath Thomas on cassette in community groups including over 50s clubs, Burnley Wood Community Group and the Bangladeshi Welfare Association.

Topics covered in the interviews include memories of schooldays, married life, local events, stories of work in local mills, factories and mines. Many recordings are of people who were born in the borough and who lived there all their lives. Some trace memories back to before the First World War. Others moved to Burnley from other parts of Britain, or from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

Playlist from the Burnley Talks compilation tape



Playlist from clips made by UOSH project volunteer Maddie Sheldon


The full length interviews will be available at Lancashire Archives in due course. A selection of interviews will be published on the British Library website.

You can read the full descriptions online at the British Library’s Sound and Moving Image catalogue. The British Library collection reference is UAP019. The local reference is 2008.0001-0141.


  1. Hi,I would be very grateful if you could let me know how I could obtain copies of audio recordings that my late grandparents made in 1998,june and Mike turnbull. Thankyou

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