Accessibility Statement
Skip to main content
Chat icon Chat with us live

Sound Recordings at the Tameside Local Studies & Archives Unit


Sound Recordings

Image of an oral history researcher at Tameside Local Studies and Archives CentreThe Local Studies Library has two main sound collections: oral history interviews with elderly Tameside residents; and the Manchester Studies oral history recordings.

Tameside Oral History Interviews

We have over 360 recordings, mainly in the life story format, with elderly Tameside residents. Recording started in 1976, which means that the memories of a generation which has since died out have been captured. Most interviewees talk about the period between the wars, although a few go back to the First World War and before.

Many of the people we interviewed had worked in the cotton industry but other occupations include a canal boatman, a slaughter man, proprietor of The Reporter, farmers, shop workers, an undertaker, workers at Park Bridge, a miner, a music-hall performer, boxer, trade-unionists, swimming teacher, hat workers, clerical workers, etc.

Well-known local personalities recorded include Frances Lockett the Cotton Queen, the grand-daughter of Henry Dowson - minister at Hyde Chapel, the daughter-in-law of Robert Cummings - Vicar of Hurst - and Harry Rutherford.

Interviewees talk about working life, family life, schooldays and leisure activities including such local customs as the "monkey run". We have a few recordings with veterans of the Manchester Regiment in the First and Second World Wars.

We hold recollections and transcripts which were recorded as part of the Threads project in Mossley in 2003. People from All Saints Church and school recorded life in the town.

We also hold the Tameside Oral History Project. This was an HLF funded project to record the memories of people who came to Tameside from the Indian sub-continent in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The result is over 150 recorded interviews in various languages, but all transcribed in English. These are in the archive collection TOHP and can be consulted at the Local Studies and Archives Centre.

Photographs were also collected and can be seen on the Tameside Image Archive (the keyword "minority" will bring up the whole collection, but they can also be searched using specific words and names). An exhibition and a book, Here to Stay, were also produced. They give a small flavour of the collection with extracts from a selection of the recordings and photographs.

Our recordings are indexed and most of them are fully transcribed. They can accessed in the centre where can be listened to. However, please contact Tameside Local Studies and Archives to ensure that this material is available beforehand.

Manchester Studies Recordings

There are summaries for all the recordings and transcripts for about half.
They cover topics such as childhood, marriage, school, work, leisure, politics, trade union activity, the cotton industry, poverty, housing, Italian immigrants, domestic service, the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, along with tapes concentrating on areas such as Wythenshawe and Miles Platting.

There are summaries for all the tapes and transcripts for about half. The index is limited to the main subject of each interview, there is no detailed subject index. The summaries can be consulted on the online catalogue To see the whole collection put 'Manchester Studies' in the any text box and click the oral history option in the format box.

Currently we are unable to access the recordings of the Manchester Studies project; however the transcripts are still available. Please check the catalogue.

North West Sound Archive

The NWSA provides resource material and information for reminiscence therapy, local history research, academic research, drama, dialect and accents, broadcasting, schools, the visually impaired and family history research. They can advise on oral history projects and training.Telephone Number01280 427 897 

Revised April 2021

Starting an Oral History Project

The Local Studies Centre holds a range of books on oral history recording and can offer advice to anyone thinking of starting an oral history project. The library can also provide a permanent home for recordings that can be preserved and made available to local historians.
Please add Revised April 2021

General Information

Advance booking is necessary for microfilm readers. Please note that archives will not be produced within thirty minutes of closing time and that all archives must be returned fifteen minutes before closing time.

Important: Please include your name and postal address when you send us a message as this will help us provide a full response to your enquiry.


Contact information

Send us a message
0161 342 4242
Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre
Cotton Street East
View location on map