Newcastle: Sharing Heritage oral history project

Four young men stand in front of the opening of an exhibition with a sign reading 'Destination Tyneside' behind them. Some of the men hold up two fingers in a peace sign.
  Young people from Space 2 - the interviewers. Courtesy of Alex Henry, Curiosity Creative





This oral history and research project – funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Sharing Heritage programme – formed part of the Journey to Justice Footsteps to Freedom exhibition programme in the North East.

The aim of the project was that young people from the youth organisation Space 2 based in Newcastle would carry out oral history interviews and documentary research in order to discover Newcastle’s heritage relating to migration, anti-racist movements, the struggle for democracy and Martin Luther King’s visit to Newcastle University to receive an honorary doctorate in 1967.

Space 2 worked with Curiosity Creative, a social enterprise specialising in oral history and digital storytelling, and adults from a community group with an interest in Newcastle’s history, Westgate P.A.S.T. 

With thanks to:

  • Theresa Easton: Chair, Artists Union England
  • Maureen Foster: anti-fascism, LGBT rights, anti-deportation
  • Meredyth Bell: former Newcastle University student, met Martin Luther King when he received his honorary doctorate at Newcastle University in 1967
  • Keith Hodgson: UNISON, workers’ rights and education for young activists.
  • Paul Barry: a Newcastle University student in 1967. Paul photographed Martin Luther King for The Courier when he received his doctorate.
Theresa Easton with Walter at Space 2
Courtesy of Alex Henry, Curiosity Creative

The research aimed to reveal untold stories about action for social justice, to understand the factors behind successful campaigns, and to inspire people to get involved in working for human rights. Participants from Space 2 interviewed five people who have been activists in the North East of England.

Meredyth Bell and fellow students with Dr. Martin Luther King, Newcastle University, 1967
Photo courtesy of Paul Barry and The Courier
A black man sits at a table. He is wearing a colourful silken gown and is wearing the black cap of a graduate/ He is signing a large ledger book in front of him.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. receiving an honorary degree from the University of Newcastle, November 1967.
Courtesy of the University of Newcastle

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