Living and Working on Sheppey: Past, Present and Future project visit

Article dated: 10 May 2010

On 26 April 2010, ESDS Qualidata was pleased to receive some team members from the Living and Working on Sheppey project: Dawn Lyon, from the University of Kent; and Alice Young and Jenny Hurkett, both from the Blue Town Heritage Centre. 

The Living and Working on Sheppey project takes as its starting point Ray Pahl's research on Sheppey in the 1970s and 1980s, published as Divisions of Labour (1984). The current project is a combination of new research and secondary analysis of this earlier data, most notably SN 4876 Social and Political Implications of Household Work Strategies and SN 4867 School Leavers Study, 1978. New data includes interviews conducted by local people with older members of the community about their memories of Blue Town and the naval dockyard before its closure in 1960 and their experiences of change. It also includes essays written by local young people in which they imagine what their futures will hold in terms of work and family life. This project is funded by HEFCE.

A key purpose of the visit was to familiarise Alice and Jenny with data on Sheppey, such as SN 4876 and SN 4867, held at ESDS Qualidata so they can, in turn, teach others who may be interested.

The main activity of the day consisted in reviewing the materials of Ray Pahl's original project, which are held by ESDS Qualidata at the National Social Policy and Social Change Archive at the University of Essex's Albert Sloman library. These included overviews of the digitisation and enhancement processes of the paper collections, online access and registration procedures. It was a very useful and informative day for both visitors and the Qualidata team.

The 'Living and Working on Sheppey: Past, Present and Future' project is hosting an event on Saturday 12 June 2010 at Blue Town on the Isle of Sheppey to present the work of the project and to solicit comments and discussion. For more information contact Dawn Lyon or Alice Young