Last night saw the launch of our brand new Moon Stories project at the Derbyshire Records Office – 50 years to the day since the launch of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing Mission – the perfect way to celebrate such a momentous occasion!
It was amazing to see so many friends, colleagues and supporters gathered in one place to learn about our passion for storytelling, astronomy and working with young people who are developing as emerging artists, alongside gaining many other valuable work and life skills.
We were thrilled to have representatives from many organisations across the county including John Everitt from the National Lottery Heritage Fund England, Midlands & East, Kim Johnson from Derbyshire Virtual School, professional storyteller, Maria Whatton and Royal Astronomical Society Fellow and space writer, Nick Spall – thank you to everyone that came to celebrate with us!
What a wonderful treat to introduce Analogue Electronic Whatever featuring the singer, Jamie Joseph at our event, on the same day their limited edition 7” vinyl single, Fly Me to the Moon (The Right Stuff) was also released. You can watch the video of the single here.
We were also able to enjoy hearing the first memories we’ve collected from Alan Eccleston – an ex-Rolls Royce aeronautical engineer – who told us how his experience of witnessing the Moon Landing was so powerful it inspired him to follow a career in the field, he also delighted in telling us that he was only two handshakes away from Neil Armstrong – his brother has met the legendary astronaut!
On 21 July 50 years ago, over 600 million watched as Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the lunar surface, that televised event set a world record on viewer numbers, only broken twelve years later when Prince Charles and Lady Diana married – these figures alone show just how significant an event it was and how connected we are to the Moon.
The Moon has almost certainly fascinated and inspired humans ever we first set eyes on it. And today even though we know so much more about the Moon and how it influences the Earth, much still remains a mystery and continues to inspire us in many ways including, of course, through stories.
Our Moon Stories team is made up of dedicated young people from Derbyshire who have been inspired to find out how important this connection to the Moon is to people living in Derbyshire. Ten young people will be collecting over 40 Derbyshire people’s memories of watching the first person walk on the Moon – what it meant to them, how it may have inspired them, what they were doing at that time in their lives – and we’re sure many more fascinating stories will come out of these conversations.
The stories and memories will be collected together in an exhibition and archive at the Derbyshire Records Office. We will also be creating new work inspired by the collection to be shared at public events.
Our launch event was rounded off beautifully with the telling of two fresh new stories inspired by the Moon from Jack and Emma part of our dedicated team. And now, we can’t wait to get going and to hear and collect the stories and memories of Derbyshire people and their connection to the Moon!
Moon Stories is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and being developed in collaboration with Derbyshire Virtual School. The project has also received support from the Royal Astronomical Society and we are grateful for support from the Derbyshire Records Office and East Midlands Oral History Archive.