Black Country Stories – oral histories update

March 1, 2012

By Julia Letts

1st March, 2012

Rahul Chaudhari & Roger Wouhra, East End Foods, West Bromwich, 2010 © Martin Parr / Magnum

For the last six months, I have been recording memories and experiences of people who live and work in the Black Country.

Many of them were photographed by Martin Parr for Black Country Stories, but my interviews don’t just cover what they are doing in the photographs. We often start with where and how they grew up, what led them to their first job, how their lives and communities have changed, whether they’ve stuck with the same industry or moved from place to place. The result is a fascinating social history of the Black Country, charting everyday life from the 1950s to the present.

This is an opportunity for me to thank my interviewees for being so frank and funny with me, for giving me a snap shot of their lives, and telling me of their hopes and fears for the future.