St Helens Oral History recordings

This collection is made up of recordings with St Helens residents regarding living and working in the Borough. Interviews were mostly conducted by Library Service staff or local heritage representatives for the purposes of capturing memories before they were lost. The recordings span 1945-1997, but the majority were recorded in the 1980s-1990s.

The sounds of glass being trimmed and then falling down the cullet shoot, then cullet truck passing on monorail, at Pilkingtons, St Helens. Recorded by Ken Howarth, c.1980 (OH/1 – NWSA/79)

The working interviews include memories of glass-making, farming and coal mining. One interviewee remembers working as a pit brow lass in the 1930s. The collection also includes a variety of different types of recording which complement the oral histories, including the sounds of glass-making at Pilkingtons, poetry by residents, a recording of BBC4’s Any Questions, children’s play songs and an election campaign speech from 1945.

Annie Nicholson describes a typical morning as a pit brow lass in Haydock in the 1930s (OH/47)

The recordings are held by St Helens Archive Service, where you can make an appointment to listen to it. The British Library reference is UAP045. The local reference is OH.

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