The John Pounds community clubs are social groups open to those over the age of 50, which meet at the John Pounds centre every week on a Wednesday and Friday.
Some of the members of our group were children during the time of D-Day. We decided that for our project we would try to capture these memories.
In December we visited The D-Day Story and had a good look around. We enjoyed the opportunity to visit the museum and it helped us to agree on our project theme.
In our research session, we have been looking at memories of events surrounding D-Day and learning how we could capture those memories. There have been some great sessions so far – we had particular fun with the interviewing techniques session. Learning about which type of questions might be helpful during interviews produced some lively debate and we all left having learnt something new.
In our second session, James Daly gave an interesting talk on an overview of D-Day and the important part that Portsmouth played in the preparations. We were also able to watch filmed interviews taken of local residents who were children or young people during D-Day. This gave us the opportunity to see how our own filmed interviews could look.
We will be continuing our research into how we record oral history and in April we will be going on a visit to Southwick House, which is very exciting.
Wednesday Club is researching the role that Portsmouth Dockyard played in the D-Day landings. Our community centre is just down the road from the Dockyard, so we felt this was part of our local D-Day heritage. We hope to find out what happened prior to D-Day, during D-Day and the aftermath of the landings, when men and boats returned to Portsmouth.
We will also be researching the lives of people involved – the services and the people on the ground that made everything work. We will look at their working life, their social life and family life. We hope to find out how the morale was kept high by people working together regardless of the position they held.
We will be continuing our research in the coming months and we will also be deciding on how best to showcase the research we are doing.