Cheshire East Council is backing a new project that encourages older people to share their memories of the iconic ‘Crewe Works’.
The Council’s partnerships team is working with the Enterprise and Education Alliance (EEA) and the Crewe and Nantwich Senior Forum on the initiative, called ‘Those were the days’.
The aim is to capture the memories of people who worked in Crewe Railway Works during its heyday from the 1930s to the1970s, when British Rail used the site to build and repair steam trains, electric trains and carriages.
As a major manufacturer ‘the works’ employed thousands of people and played an integral role in local life, particularly in the neighbourhood of St Barnabas, where the facility was located.
Rail-related work is still carried out on site and part of the project will be to document the change in working practices over the years.
Using £9,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding secured by the EEA, Council staff will encourage conversations between the elderly community and record the rich oral history of the area.
This will be done through visual displays, films, interactive workshops and even trips to other areas with a rich rail heritage, such as York.
Councillor Les Gilbert, Cabinet member in charge of communities and regulatory services, said: “Crewe is a railway town and ‘Crewe Works’ plays a major part in the pride and passion townspeople have for the railways.
“Not only will this create a valuable historical resource that future generations can use, but it will also allow older people to get out and socialise and reminisce about times gone by.
“I expect that local schools will also get involved and pupils will be able to learn about how their grandparents lived and worked.”
Lesley Christiansen, from the EEA, said: “We are looking forward to talking to older residents and learning about their skills, abilities, home and work life, and sharing those memories with everyone.”
‘Those were the days’ will be launched on Redshift Radio on Thursday, January 24, between 6.45pm and 8.45pm.
If anyone would like to get involved with the project they can contact Lesley Bakkers at the EEA on 07949 240371, or Deb Lindop from Cheshire East Council on 07736 694443.
They are particularly keen for any old photographs or documents relating to Crewe Railway Works that could be scanned and then used as part of a display.