To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 – the first manned mission to the Moon, we are delighted to announce Adverse Camber has secured a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to create an oral history archive of Derbyshire people’s memories of the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon Landing alongside stories about the Moon!
Moon Stories is an exciting creative project driven by young people in care and care leavers from Derbyshire. Carrying out research at the Derbyshire Records Office and online, the project participants discovered that, despite the fact Derbyshire possesses a rich aerospace industrial heritage, there are no records of local memories of the 1969 Moon Landing and very few well-known local stories about the Moon. And yet, many local people we have spoken to have very vivid memories of the Moon Landing and so we wanted to capture these before they were lost.
Ten young people in care and care leavers will collect and record over 40 stories and memories of the 1969 Moon Landings and stories about the Moon from people in Derbyshire aged 55 and over. The result will be the creation of a comprehensive archive plus exhibition at Derbyshire Records Office, Matlock, so future generations can witness the impact this historic event had on people living in the county.
Tim Peake, British Astronaut commented: “I’m really pleased that the young people working on this project are combing storytelling with astronomy. Viewing the Moon, stars and constellations against the blackness of space during my six months on the International Space Station certainly impressed me! I do hope that all involved really enjoy this project. Aim high and keep on learning more about the wonders of the fascinating cosmos around us.”
Building on the storytelling skills developed through the Stars and Stories project, the young people will also develop and perform new stories based on the new archive collection and the experiences they have gained along the way. Through this work, they will learn valuable skills and a better understanding of heritage, oral history and storytelling in addition to creating an important and engaging archive of material for people to enjoy for generations to come.
Adverse Camber Producer, Naomi Wilds said: “We’re delighted that thanks to the support of National Lottery players, the young people we worked with on last year’s Stars and Stories project have chosen to come together again to explore Derbyshire’s connections to the 1969 Moon Landings, it’s going to be fascinating to uncover this hidden piece of oral history and see what new stories come out of the project!”
The Moon Stories project will run for a year and has been made possible by money raised by National Lottery players. The project launches on Tuesday 16 July 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lift off!
Anne Jenkins, Director, England: Midlands & East, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “The Moon Landings were as Neil Armstrong said ‘one giant leap for mankind’ and a hugely significant moment in our heritage the world over, and Moon Stories will showcase the impact that it had on the people of Derbyshire. We’re delighted that thanks to National Lottery players, young people in Derbyshire will work with their community to preserve the local memories of the Moon Landings. We’re even more delighted that this project has been created off the back of Adverse Camber’s previous project, Stars and Stories, for these young people to continue to explore their local heritage even further.”
The project builds on the success of last year’s Stars and Stories project – a partnership between Adverse Camber and Derbyshire Virtual School. Young people in care and care leavers worked with a professional storyteller and an astronomer to develop their skills, experience and confidence which resulted in a brand-new performance which entertained and informed over 250 people at Wirksworth’s Star Disc as part of 2018’s Wirksworth Festival.
If you live in Derbyshire and have a strong memory of the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon Landing, please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!
Moon Stories is being developed in collaboration with Derbyshire Virtual School and has also received support from the Royal Astronomical Society for young people to learn more about lunar science. Adverse Camber is also grateful for support from Derbyshire Records Office and East Midlands Oral History Archive.
Image courtesy Steve Strange
Photographs courtesy Chris Webb Photography