Ambleside Oral History Group

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Ambleside Oral History Group commenced recording in 1976 and has created an Archive of over 450 interviews, on almost every subject related to life in Ambleside, Cumbria, and its surrounding area, in the Lake District of England, beginning with memories from the 1880ís.
More recently, interviews have focussed on contemporary events with a view to having fresh memories available in the decades to come.

Access to the Archive

The archive exists in both printed transcript and electronic document form, as well as sound on CD. The transcripts are searchable by topic or keyword from this site. We also host the archives of the Lorton & Derwent Fells History Society and the Clearwater Project of the Freshwater Biological Association which are also searchable. Recordings of interviews can be heard by prior arrangement.
The archive is open to all, and can also be accessed in person at Ambleside Public Library. It is wise to contact the Library (hours as below) in advance to arrange help and guidance into the material.

Members of the Group will also give presentations locally accompanied by extracts of recordings on a variety of topics, by prior arrangement.

The collection is housed at
Ambleside Public Library, Kelsick Road, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9DQ Tel. 015394 32507
Library Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 10am-5pm,
Tuesday 1pm-7pm,
Thursday & Sunday closed all day,
Saturday 10am-1pm
The archive contains material on a wide range of subjects.
It is likely to prove particularly valuable on the following topics: Some contributors


Bell Ringing
Blacksmiths
Bobbin Mills
Building
Carriers
Choirs
Childhood and Education
Charlotte Mason College
Death
Domestic Service
Farming and Country Life
Gardening
Health and Doctors
Hiring Fairs
Hound Trails
Hunting
Life in Ambleside
Life in the Langdales
Life in Grasmere
Life in the Big House
Local Industry and Commerce
Mountain Rescue
Observer Corps
Quarrying
Rock Climbing
Ruskin Lace
Transport
Thirlmere Aqueduct
Sport and recreation
Wildlife
Woodland Crafts
World Wars I & II
The collection is constantly being expanded.
THE WAY WE WERE
In 1988/9, the Westmorland Gazette newspaper published a weekly series of 76 articles entitled 'The Way We Were', compiled from interviews from this archive.
Read them all here