Bygone Banbury gathering people’s memories of how our town used to be


An online workshop this weekend will take memories of Banbury as it used to be as the basis for a creative work

A project to record memories of bygone Banbury has, for the last few weeks, been completing interviews and gathering stories from local people.   This weekend an online creative writing workshop will take some of these memories and use them as the basis for writing prose or poetry.

The project has been organised by Banbury Canal CIC, a group which formed to celebrate the heritage of our area.   The project is focussing on the area around Banbury canal and the town centre where redevelopment is seeing the landscape changing quickly.   Banbury Canal CIC want to capture memories, stories and pictures of the area so its history is not forgotten.

The project has received funding from the Community Lottery to help people who might feel isolated by the current lockdown by offering something different to think about.   Anyone who has memories of the canal in Banbury, or the area around it, is invited to get in touch.

Banbury Canal CIC director, Kate Saffin, said: “We have been wanting to capture some of these stories for ages, so getting this funding is such a help. And it’s great to be offering something for local people to get involved in that will take our minds off Covid and lockdown, even if just for an afternoon.”

The project team are keen that people don’t dismiss their own recollections of Banbury as not being of any use to the project.   She encouraged them to make contact.   Kate is particularly keen to hear from anyone with a recollection of a World War II event.   She said: “There is one story we would love to hear about from some of Banbury’s older residents, who may remember that night in November 1940 when a bomb landed in the lock.”

This Saturday an online creative writing workshop will be held with the 2015 Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Heather Wastie.    The session will offer participants the opportunity to have a go at writing prose, poetry or even a song!

It is hoped that the project team will be able to share the many stories and memories of bygone Banbury via Tooley’s boatyard website, social media and a booklet.

Anyone interested in joining the creative workshop on Saturday can book a place here. Those who have memories to share can email, visit the Facebook page, or call Kate directly on 07976818959.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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