15 Minutes… Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots

Mar 18, 2024 | Featured Articles, Interviews



15 Minutes… Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots

Mar 18, 2024 | Featured Articles, Interviews

The ‘Telling our Stories, Finding our Roots’ project is overseen by Devon Development Education – a learning charity – and has been running across other Devon towns over the last 10 years. The stories are captured in the form of recorded voice interviews which are then archived on the project’s website: www.tellingourstoriesdevon.org.uk

On the website anyone can find and listen to any of the proud stories told by people who many of us may assume are simply long-standing members of our community, without realising the rich and tapestried background so many of us have. 

To date stories have come in from people living in Exeter, Okehampton, Tiverton and Bideford with Honiton and Illfracombe on stream shortly.

“We have lots of exciting stories coming forward from Honiton’s rich Romany Gypsy heritage, to the story of Polish, Irish and African American serviceman based here before, during and after World War II, the story of the Ugandan Asian refugees in 1972, to the mysterious photograph of a young Indian ayah in 1958 found in the photo album of a local family,” Jess says.

Among the Exeter stories is the tough but uplifting story of Ayşe Kuzu and her husband Abdullah, refugees from Turkey who made the decision to leave their home and start afresh in the United Kingdom. They started the popular Dinosaur Restaurant in Exeter, and their story is one of bravery, determination and of finding safety.

You can also listen to interviews with local people, some who have just settled and some who are second or third generation, from countries as far afield as China, Egypt, Bangladesh, Syria, Trinidad & Tobago, Poland, Portugal and Cyprus to name a few.

Jess says the project’s key aims are to unearth family stories that have not had a chance to be publicly told, and then to collect and share memorabilia, audio recordings and pictures via the website and also through an exhibition, events and an interactive town map.

“By putting these stories on a wider stage, we hope to encourage community cohesion, promote unity and understanding, while at the same time hopefully helping overcome any misconceptions and prejudices we may harbour,” she says.

If anyone has a Honiton story they would like to share please contact Jess Huffman on jesstosfor@gmail.com or if you have a story of your own arrival elsewhere in the county please contact the project directly on dde@globalcentredevon.org.uk

Image of Mary Holland standing on the high street selling flowers: © Mr Ian Lange

See more like this

Weston Mouth Circular

Soak up stunning Jurassic Coast views, meet the donkeys, and learn more about coastal hillside farming from the late nineteenth century

one mag

One Magazine
8 Woodbury Business Park, Woodbury, Exeter, Devon, EX5 1AY
01395 233 247
one mag facebook one mag twitter one mag instagram