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New project aims to tell the stories of former dockers

Artists and oral historians, John J. Campbell and Moira Kenny: The Sound Agents, were awarded a £10,000 grant from Awards for All for The Dockers Club: Jobs for Life oral history project.

They worked in partnership with Sefton Libraries and supported by Sefton CVS.

Due to the global pandemic the project was put on hold until it was safe to continue.

 

The idea was initiated by a small group of ex- dockers, who met in Crosby Library with The Sound Agents and expressed a desire to record their personal stories.

 

When the Dockers Social Club closed it left a large hole in their community. The overarching aim is to reduce social isolation and improve the well-being of participants.

 

The Sound Agents will be holding film training workshops with participants to enable them to capture their own memories of working life to pass down to their families.

 

The films and photographs will be uploaded on to www.liverpooldockersclub.com and a Facebook Group

 

Director John Campbell of The Sound Agents explains: “Drawing upon Liverpool’s rich heritage of the Docks we will be recording the personal journeys of families who lived, worked and socialised together.

 

“We are interested in hearing from Irish families; wives and children. We want to capture life on the Docks and stories that have never before been revealed or documented.

 

“We aim to develop the stories in to a verbatim play which will be read by actors on a scratch night to share with the wider communities and we will curate an exhibition of photographs and memories in Crosby and Bootle Libraries.”

"We are interested in hearing from Irish families; wives and children. We want to capture life on the Docks and stories that have never before been revealed or documented.

 

Mike Howlett, Senior Citizenship & Volunteering Officer at Volunteer Centre Sefton, a project of Sefton CVS, states that he is more than happy to support with the promotion of the project’s volunteer roles, providing support around volunteer management and recruitment best practice.

 

“This project will make a difference to men who do not normally take part in activities yet want to learn new skills to share seldom told stories of a hidden Dockers World,” he said.

 

“The project will be looking to engage with, amongst others, the men who worked on the docks. According to the UK Civil
Society Almanac (2019), men are less likely to volunteer so this will provide a unique and interesting opportunity for local men to get involved in a community project.

 

“The stories will explore the Dockers working and social lives and families documenting an insight into the relations.”

 

Moira Kenny, Artistic Director of The Sound Agents, illustrates the importance of preserving the legacy of the Dockers and families, especially today as the Docks have changed so much due to containerisation.

 

“First hand accounts of everyday life will capture the lives of families whose life revolved around the Docks by developing their stories into a play that will be uploaded to YouTube, we can share the memories to a wider audience and pass down the stories to younger generations for years to come.”

 

For more info follow @seftonlibraries @RadioChinatown.