Stories of Sheffield life revealed at exhibition

Students an local residents came together to help the tell hidden stories from the city using audio and written accounts

Students an local residents came together to help the tell hidden stories from the city using audio and written accounts

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STUDENTS have worked to uncover tales of the lives of ordinary Sheffield residents – from wartime service to memories of day-to-day life and work.

English students helped residents of the city, including those with disabilities, to tell their stories.

The Storying Sheffield exhibition, which is in its third year, is run by the University of Sheffield as a culmination of a 12-week course.

Course leader Brendan Stone said the idea of the course is to open up the university to local residents and help build relationships.

He said: “We’ve had a great diversity of work this year a lot of films, a lot of oral history stuff, visual arts, narrative, it’s has been great.

“Half the students on it are under graduates and half are residents of the city, most of whom left school at around 16 and haven’t had much connection with education since.

“It’s about our students learning from the experience from those who live and work in the city.”

One resident Ken Dawson, 75, from Handsworth, was helped by 20-year-old student Emma Wray to tell his stories, including his memories of his time in the army and the Sheffield Blitz and how Sheffield has changed.

Emma said: “It was good to learn off Ken, he told all his stories to me. It was a true collaborative effort. Listening to Ken’s stories has been really interesting, it’s been a different way of interpreting different narratives. I’d definitely do it again.”

Ken said: “I’ve enjoyed it, it’s been very good and I hope everyone has learned something from the experience.”

Two students Chis Kelk and Gabriella Hunter, told the story of one Sheffield man who has been working as a plasterer since he was 14 until he fell off a roof and couldn’t continue work.

Chris said the story was about uncovering the memories and hidden stories of one man who couldn’t work any more and about remembering all of the positive things that had happened.

“One of the ethoses of the course was to break the divide between the city and those in the city. I think it helps integrating people,” he said.

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