About the Site
The contents of this site have been created as a result of research project funded under the Economic and Social Research Council and Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Cultures of Consumption Programme (www.consume.bbk.ac.uk ). The project, entitled Manufacturing Meaning Along the Food Commodity Chain, was led by Professor Peter Jackson at the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Professor Neil Ward at the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University (www. ncl.ac.uk/cre) and Dr Rob Perks at British Library National Life Stories. The researcher on the project was Dr Polly Russell. The project examined the politics and culture of food production in Britain through the collection of oral history recordings with food producers. These recordings have been archived at the British Library Sound Archive as part of National Life Stories Food from Source to Salespoint collection.
The recordings on this site are taken from the Food: from Source to Salespoint archive and from the Millennium Memory Bank recordings. The audio was selected and text content written by Polly Russell, Food Researcher and Oral Historian, and by Anna Lobbenberg, eLearning Manager at the British Library, with contributions from Jenny Linford, Jenny Rourke, Kath Dalmeny and Marianne Holm Hansen.
Food from Source to Salespoint:
Food: From Source to Salespoint charts the revolutionary technical and social changes that have occurred within Britain's food industry in the twentieth century and beyond. Over the last decade, the project has established a programme of life story recordings, capturing people working at every level of the sector. Interviewees include those in the ready-meal, poultry, sugar, meat and fish sectors; employees of Northern Foods, Nestle, Sainsbury and Safeway; and key cookery writers and restaurateurs. The project encompasses Tesco: An Oral History (C1087) and An Oral History of the Wine Trade (C1088). Through these recordings, the project explores changes in the production, distribution and retailing of food within living memory. To date there are a total of 271 recordings in NLS food collection.
Millennium Memory Bank
The Millennium Memory Bank (MMB) is one of the largest single oral history collections in Europe. It was a joint project between BBC Local Radio and the British Library Sound Archive to create an archival 'snapshot' of 'ordinary' Britons' opinions and experiences at the turn of the century. During 1998 and 1999, forty BBC local radio stations recorded personal oral histories from a broad cross-section of the population for the series The Century Speaks. Sixteen themes were conceived and developed to frame the whole project, including such topics as 'where we live', 'getting older' and 'beliefs and fears'. From the outset, the project sought to focus on local, everyday experiences. Interviewees were encouraged to reflect on events and change at a community level rather than on the wider world stage. Contributors were either recruited from established groups within the community, such as local history societies, or chosen from respondents to appeals broadcast over the radio. Although the focus for the MMB recordings was broad, all interviewees were asked to speak about eating and drinking. It is from these recordings that selection for the Food Stories website was made.
Design and Development
Animation is by Layla Atkinson at Trunk Animation (www.trunk.me.uk/)
Development is by Hugo and Cat (www.hugoandcat.com/)
Thanks to: Barbara Crowther at Fairtrade; Kath Dalmeny at Sustain; John Floyd, David Lambert, The Geographical Association; Peter Jackson at The University of Sheffield; Katy Harrington; The Marks & Spencer Archive; Jenny Linford, Cookery Writer; Sarah Olive, University of Sheffield; The Sainsbury’s Archive; Neil Ward at CRE; Victoria Williams at Food Matters; and to all interviewees who gave permission for their recording extracts to appear on the Food Stories Website.