Oral History

David J. Wood's Collection of Oral History

david wood oral history
David Wood - The creator of 'David J. Wood's Collection of Oral History'

David J. Wood was one of the first people in Leicestershire to start collating Oral History in the early 1980s, and has also been involved with East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA) by helping them to increase their archive.

In March 2001 David created a website to allow the public have easy access to his work, the website was added to over the course of time creating a well-known extensive library of transcripts.

15 years on in March 2016, the two premier local history websites ‘David J. Wood's Collection of Oral History’ and ‘Hinckley Past & Present’ merged together, giving a fantastic resource of local history for Hinckley and the surrounding area.

Oral History, what is it?

Oral History is not about Kings and Queens or what happened in 1066, Oral History is Local History of people like you and me and how they lived, worked and spent their money. The transcripts were recorded with a tape recorder and used in sound and transcribed form.

Transcripts from 1844

During the middle of the 1800s, there was a great deal of unemployment in Hinckley, as there was in the whole of Leicestershire.

There were a number of reports on the working classes on:

Both reports were presented to both houses of parliament.

Local people were employed to record what was said in the inquiry and all statements were recorded in the words of the person who was interviewed along with the interviewer.

John Brooks - Stocking Weaver Nicholas Eales - Pawn Broker
George Carter - Frame Work Knitter. Wrought Hose William Law - Board of Guardians
Thomas Cotterell - Hinckley Union Medical Officer John Southam - Frame Work Knitter, Wrough Hose
Joseph Dare - School Master Joseph Spencer - Mayor of Hinckley
Rev George Dealtry - Vicar of Hinckley Thomas Vann - Relieving Officer in the Hinckley Union


Mary Belton - Remembers her life Arthur 'Snowy' Mason - Stoke Golding's Village Baker
Harry Bevin - Talks to about his life Jack Matlock - Hosiery Union and Hosiery Trade in General
Joe David - Yeoman of the Guard & Town Crier John Mayne - Memories of a Farmer
Brian Davis - The Vicar that tells jokes Artie Payne - Remembering Barwell
Ron Dickens - How Castle Street became Pedestrianised Mr & Mrs George Payne - Young life in Barwell
Mr J. T. Gallagher - Memories of Hinckley Gas Works Gwendoline Pointon - A Nurse's Story
George Geary - Aged 90, talks about his life Elizabeth Shaw - Talks about her life in Burbage
Robert Hall-McNair - Ran from Lands End to John O'Groats Annie Snow - Born 29th January 1885
Joyce Hardy - I was evacuated from Birmingham Archie Spencer - Memories of a Barwell man
Bill Joy - Policing the Town Centre in the 1990s Gladys Spencer - Talks about Farming in Hinckley
Mr L. Lester - The experiences of a Barwell Policeman Reg Tipler - Shoe Hand / Photographer / Label Printer
Mr & Mrs Albert Lucas - Talk about the Home Front David Wood - Two points in time
Mr & Mrs Albert Lucas - Talk about local Jobs & Marriage Born in a Workhouse
Tom Lucas - Ex-Director of George Ward in Barwell  

Visitors History

Joe Bartley - Village Dialect Brian Pugh - Music of the Night
The Powers - The Power(s) of Barwell Arthur Timson - Hinckley in the 1930’s
Dulcie Newton - Thoughts and Memories The Moat House - Reminiscing with the residents
Dulcie Newton - Life in the 1920s The Hinckley Mob - Hinckley from 1950s-1960s

Cheips Wi' Old Stockiners

'Cheips wi' Old Stockiners' is the name of a series of five articles. 'Cheips Wi' Old Stockiners' was first published by the Hinckley Times in the 1890s. This is a fine example of an oral history transcript of this period, by an interviewer who signs himself 'T'. It gives an insight into the cottage industry and the sort of lives people lived.

Article 1 - Our Sam Article 4 - Bill Higgin's Fust Vote
Article 2 - A Parish Coffin Article 5 - Told I' the Ten-Acre
Article 3 - Liza Digby's Top  


All copyright retained by the Interviewer/Transcriber, all rights reserved by D. J. Wood and Hinckley Past & Present which permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for non-profit, educational purposes, with full accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list.


Jean Wood, Hugh Beavin, Geoffrey Cope, Jack Matlock, Margaret Osborne, Pat Ludgate, David Leslie & Juliet Perry.

David would like to thank all the people who helped make this collection possible, the Interviewees and the people who introduced them to him.

Thanks goes to the Hinckley Times for giving permission to reproduce ‘Chelps wi' old Stockiners’ that was published in 1896.

If you wish to make contact with us and have enjoyed reading the transcripts, then please use the Contact us page and select 'Oral History' from the pulldown menu.