Oral History: Sharing your memories

Recording equipment and CDs gathered together on a desk

For the past three years, we've been digitally recording interviews of people who have lived and worked at Croft during the twentieth-century. We're also recording the progress of our current, large-scale conservation projects. Sound bites of their stories can be listened to below. All of these stories form a permanent record of Croft's history and in conjunction with the British Library, are collated and held for the whole nation.

Oral History is the recording and archiving, through sound and video, of people's memories, feelings and attitudes. It allows people whose voices who might not otherwise be heard to share their experiences. Memories are selective and interviews are influenced by a whole range of factors, including the interaction between the interviewer and the interviewee. Oral Histories are therefore open to analysis and interpretation. It is this which makes Oral History challenging and exciting and just as valuable as written, documented facts. 

Hazel Landreth - Second World War school days  

In 1941 at ten years old, Mrs Landreth was evacuated from the bombing of Birmingham during the Second World War to Croft Castle. Croft was requisitioned to be a boarding school during the war. She was a pupil from 1941 to 1945. Listen to an extract of her Oral History recording below. 

Caroline Compton - Memories of Croft Castle

After the Second World War, Croft was about to be sold. As a young girl of 17, Caroline Compton witnessed her parents save the estate, negotiating its transfer to the National Trust in 1957. The Hon. Diana Uhlman, her mother, transformed the walled garden and forecourt garden over the years, with Caroline's enduring help.

Rob Russell and Mary Monroe - The Gardener's Children

During 1950-57, Mr Russell, the gardener, lived at Croft - these are some of the memories of his children, Rob and Mary, of their life at Croft, the household and the owners at the time. 

Imogen Sambrook - Managing the Fishpool Valley project

In 2017, the first year of Fishpool Valley's restoration, the Project Manager, Imogen Sambrook, describes her job, plans, aspirations and what to expect over the next few years of this complex, ongoing project. 

Do you have a story to share?

If you have a story about Croft that you'd like to share, please contact us via email at croftcastle@nationaltrust.org.uk