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Dudley Web: Past and Present

Image of Web Oral History
Montage picture off the Web Oral History leaflet

Thanks to a £37,000 grant from the Learning Revolution Transformation Fund, Dudley Archives and local History Service is carrying out a new oral history project called, Dudley Web: Past and Present.

Everyone has a story to tell and we aim to tap into the knowledge of the borough's citizens in order to gather a wealth of information about the changes that have occurred over the last 60 years.

Our aim is to record the living memories of a number of prominent local business people to create a contemporary archive about the history of key industries in the area. Young people will help to record and edit these reminiscences which will be placed on the Internet via our website and copies of the interviews, together with a full transcript of each recording, will be stored permanently in the archive.

Some items such as photographs or company brochures may be digitised to bring context to the interviews, and we would like to hear from anyone who may have photographs, memorabilia or records relating to the industrial history of the borough. We would also like to broaden the scope of the project to include workers’ reminiscences and so would also like to hear from anyone who would like to share their memories with us.

Dudley has a fascinating history and this new resource will allow local people to achieve a better understanding of the area’s vibrant industrial connections and broaden their knowledge of the Black Country, its people and its industries.

Project Update - Phase One

What have we done?

  • Recorded approx 1 hour of memories from each businessmen.
  • Downloaded from recorder to computer.
  • Transcribed each interview in full.
  • Digitally mastered each track so that pauses and extraneous noises have been taken out, if possible, and the sound quality enhanced.
  • A booklet containing brief biographical information and a few quotes has been produced, with an accompanying compilation CD.


Project staff have recorded the memories of 12 local businessmen.

  • Roger Burman, Burman & Sons Ltd., & Teledictor, Burnt Tree

  • Richard Davenhill, Dreadnought Tiles, Pensnett

  • Michael Evers, Harwood & Evers, Stourbridge

  • Robert Herman-Smith, Herman-Smith Ltd, Dudley

  • John Heynes, Wollaston Garage

  • David Higgs, Higgs & Sons, Brierley Hill

  • John Marsh, Marsh & Baxter, Brierley Hill

  • Terry Mockett, Stourbridge Tannery

  • Stephen Morley, Comley & Pitt, Pensnett

  • Michael Needham, potato merchants, Dudley

  • Roger Pauli, Stuart Crystal, Stourbridge

  • David Williams-Thomas, Royal Brierley Crystal, Brierley Hill

What will we do next?

  • The original interview will be downloaded exactly as it is and stored permanently in the Archives
  • An edited version of each interview will be made. This will be available for public consultation in the archive.
  • Launch Phase 2


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