Many Saturdays in the summertime, always missed my tea…I’d rather wait and see the second team Ernie Barber - Blaina CC
Project supported by MCC Lord's and University of Glamorgan

Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London, NW8 8QN | Project enquiries: Neil Robinson | 020 7616 8559

Oral History – an Introduction

Oral history is a fantastic way of researching your club’s past. The real benefit of oral history is that you get the story that isn’t written down – how people felt about events that happened to them, details that aren’t considered important enough at the time to write down. For Taking the Field, this is a great strength. Cricket is a fantastically dramatic game with plenty going on under the surface. How many scorebooks record the drama and excitement of a last-wicket cup final win when the batsman have been dropped the over before?

Don’t forget as well that at Taking the Field we’re not just interested in the history of your cricket club (although of course this is very important) but we also want to hear about the people, members and community around the club. So do tell us about your social nights, your tours, your community, any works’ teams, the effect of the opening or closing of the local school or factory – all things that have changed around your club and community. Most of all, collect the stories around your club – get together the club elders and get them chatting, with a pint or two if that helps, about their memories. Once its on a digital file it will last if anything happens to these people.

A few warnings!

Memory is a funny thing – we do not know how it works exactly. People often remember more about their childhood as they get older and will often remember their impressions and opinions rather than ‘facts’, as it were.

This does not mean that oral history has less value than the written record – these opinions, feelings and impressions will not be gathered in any other way and that is the beauty of oral history. At the same time, do verify any dates or events with written records where you can, and tailor your questions to the stories and feelings of those involved – that will get the best results.

Resources

In this section of the website, you will find a 'how-to guide', some sample TTF questions and a TTF release form, some advice on cataloguing and editing and a final checklist - all you need to get you started!