Common Ground

Common Ground is a pilot project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The project has created activity, memory and reminiscence resources for five East Midlands cities using the anecdotes and stories of local residents over the age of 65 with lived experience of each city.

Interviews were carried out over the phone and via Zoom over Autumn and Winter 2020/2021 by reminiscence artists Chris Boote, Karyn Stavert and Emma Wass. In addition to the one-to-one interviews, Chris Boote interviewed and delivered group sessions to older adults living in sheltered housing units and care homes. These sessions were based on the Common Ground Themes of ‘Growing Up’, ‘Domestic Life’, ‘Work and Industry’ and ‘Music and Nightlife’. The captured colloquialisms, common haunts, stories, and other key information has informed and personalised the content of each pack, making them more relevant to the care home residents of each city.

The cities we worked in were Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and Sheffield. As well as the quotes and information provided by our contributors, the packs also include photographs and activities relevant to each city.

The local fleapit was The Rex. I recall the excitement of seeing The Adventures of Robin Hood, with Errol Flynn. I loved the cinema. Bambi was the first movie I watched. I cried a lot. Who didn't?!

In the 70s my first job was for Ruston Bucyrus, one of the biggest employers. We built huge cranes and excavators. I loved working in the factory. When you finished an excavator and saw it taken away, I felt a lot of pride in that.

Dad used to keep pigs. In the upstairs back end of terrace houses we just had a bath and sink. Pigs used to get hung up. Grandma used to say, "You can eat everything on a pig bar its squeal." Used to frighten me to death. During the war you needed a licence to kill your pig; a man would come and inspect.

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