GCLP: Greensand Country Oral History Archive

Friday 21st May 2021 - Thursday 01st July 2021

Doors open: 12:00 am

Join us as we launch the Greensand Country Oral History Archive – part of the ‘Celebrating Greensand Country’ programme which aims to uncover the stories of the people of Greensand Country.

Through the Oral History interviews we will be able to give a snapshot of the landscape, the people who live and work here and help show what Greensand Country is today.  By collecting living memories, and building an Oral History Archive, we will be providing a fantastic resource for generations to come.

The Oral History Archive will be hosted on the Greensand Country website and then later preserved as part of the Bedfordshire Archives as a permanent resource.

All of the interviews were led by volunteers from Greensand Country, specially trained for this project.

The Project

Our team of volunteers were recruited in December 2020 and in late January 2021, undertook a series of workshops in Oral History, led by Rib Davis. Rib is an expert in the field of Oral History having been involved in the collection and use of oral history since the late ’70s. Rib was appointed an accredited trainer in oral history on behalf of the British Library and the Oral History Society and he has given training to, amongst others, the Science Museum, London, the Royal Opera House, the National Army Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Britain and Oxford University Press.

Following a call out for local voices in February 2021, our interviews began – all achieved by our team of volunteers. Due to Covid-19 restrictions all interviews were made remotely which was an incredible undertaking of both interviewer and interviewee.

Our volunteers are also a significant part of the official archiving process – providing their time to create summaries and sensitivity checks for each interview. Greensand Country Landscape Partnership would also like to extend a huge thank you to volunteers from The Higgins Bedford for producing the transcripts for each interview and to Lydia Saul (The Keeper of Social History, The Higgins Bedford) for providing training in Transcribing and great support for the project.


Paul Cox, Nigel Freestone, John Hele, Tim Kirk, Katie Knox, Liz McCartney, Martin Nellist, Kevin Panter, Andrew Phillips, John Scott, Mark Smith

Interviews, Summaries and Research

Daniel Bowles, Peter Goff, Sian Griffiths, Dorothy Jamieson, Molly Lambourne, Mark Lewis, David McKears and Sheila Meekums

Sensitivity Checks

Mariella Cook, Kelvin Horton, Mark Lewis and Sandra Reed

Transcribers – The Higgins Bedford

Valerie Banyard-Smith, Vicki Blair, Tim Coles, Vivienne Dunlop, Chas Leslie, Jane Leslie, Tom MacKinnon and Sam Temple

Training and Sound Editing

Rib Davis

With Special Thanks to

Dawn Apcar (Kent Wildlife Trust), Pamela Birch (Bedfordshire Archives), Rib Davis, Isobel Keech, Mike Marshall, Lydia Saul (The Higgins Bedford), Amanda Wisson, all those helped us find local voices, those who interviewed, those who offered to be interviewed but whose voices we couldn’t capture due to Covid-19 restrictions and to our volunteers from GCLP and The Higgins Bedford.


Ickwell May Day 1969 – courtesy of Chris Deverall

Bow Brickhill, The View Down Church Lane – courtesy of Bow Brickhill History Society

Old Warden 1884 – courtesy of Shuttleworth

Clophill Mill House 1910s – courtesy of Colin Watt, Clophill History

Start of the Greensand Ridge Walk, 1989 courtesy of cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Mark Anderson – geograph.org.uk/p/5928113

Further resources