The Birmingham Lost Communities project (2016-7) brought together teams of young people based in George Dixon Academy, Perry Beeches Academy II, Kingshurst Academy, Al Hijrah School, and Calthorpe School. 

 

They worked with Birmingham historian Professor Carl Chinn, to research the history of communities that have now disappeared: the ‘Italian quarter’ in Digbeth; the Jewish community on Hurst Street; and the working class area in the Jewellery Quarter. They tried to imagine what life was like, when the streets of Digbeth were filled with the Italian voices ... when the shops on Hurst Street sold bagels and kosher meat ... and when the Jewellery Quarter resounded with the sound of clogs on cobblestones. 

 

Each team focused on one particular ‘lost community,’ and produced their own films, oral history interviews, and drama performances, based on their findings.

Project supervisor: David Allen (MAT)

Facilitators: Gillian Adamson, Gina Biggs, Iona Towler-Evans

Historical consultant: Professor Carl Chinn

Films produced and edited by: Tom Corden and Frances Hill

Music: Josh Herring

Oral History Consultant: Charlotte Lewandowski (Newman University)

The Lost Communities project was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (Young Roots scheme). 

The Lost Communities project on Midlands Today!

The Lost Communities project was the subject of a special report on BBC Midlands Today, on July 5th 2016.  To see the report click here.

Birmingham's Lost Communities Exhibition - John Lewis Store, Birmingham PART 1  Or: Four go mad in John Lewis’s…

 

As part of the Birmingham Lost Communities project, we created a special exhibition for Birmingham Heritage Week 2016, in the John Lewis Department Store.

 

Four of us dressed in costume as people from Birmingham’s past, and accosted shoppers in the store! 

 

The four were: 

Tara Hutchinson, as Morris Dight the Optician 

Daniel Kirby, as Loo Bloom the Tailor

Katie Tonks, as Guiseppi Saracacine the Ice Cream Seller

Hollie Wynde, as Polly Greenhill the Washer Woman

Birmingham's Lost Communities Exhibition - John Lewis Store, Birmingham PART 2 

 

As part of the Birmingham Lost Communities project, we created a special exhibition for Birmingham Heritage Week 2016, in the John Lewis Department Store.

 

Let Gillian Adamson be your host, as she shows you round the exhibition – in role as Mrs. Bolton.

The Ballad of the Midget VC: The Arthur Vickers Story by David Calcutt 

 

This film was created by a group of young people at Kingshurst Academy. They worked with the writer David Calcutt, to devise ‘The Ballad of the Midget VC: The Arthur Vickers Story’.

 

Arthur Vickers (1882 – 1944) was born in the Aston area of Birmingham. He enlisted in the 2nd Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1902 after being rejected a number of times because of his height. He served throughout WWI, and was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

 

Project group: Maisie Biddle, Callum Bolton, Kian Dagnall, Denver Ellis, Nathan Ellis, Rheanna Esson, Lewis Higgins, Matthew Ford, Holly Freeman, Carris Hannah, Codi Hickin, Kyle Johnson, Ayden Jones, Ellie Main, Evie Mason, Paige Morris, Charley Musgrove, Katleho Panyane, Luke Payne, Olivia Sharp, Brodie Small, Saffron Swoffer, Naomi Terry, Leigha Wheeler, Elise Woore 

 

School liaison (for Kingshurst Academy): Lee Fletcher, Jo Poole 

Mick Volante – The Italian Community in Birmingham

 

A group of boys at Al Hijrah School has been finding out about the history of the Italian community in Birmingham. They recorded this interview with Mick Volante.

 

Project group: Ma'az Abbasi;  Ghani Abdul; Sulaymaan Abduljabar;  Abdullahi Abdullahi; Ibrahim Ahmed;  Masroor Ahmed; Abu Ali; Mohammed Ali;  Mohammed Alom; Muhammad Altaf; Uqbah Amin; Hamza Asadullah;  Daud Atif; Abdullaah Bah; Ghassan Burhan; Arfan Faizan; Abdulaziz Hassan; Mohammed Hetisham; Ibrahim Hishaam; Sulaiman Khan; Uwayce Malik; Haroun Mohammed-Kabir; Subhaan Saghir;  Hussain Shabir; Mussadiq Shah; Syed Shah; Mohammed Suleman; Mohammed Thouqeer; Amaan Zahoor  

 

School liaison (for Al-Hijrah School): Mohammed Hassan

Dorothy Bradbury – The Italian Community in Birmingham 

 

A group of girls at Al Hijrah School has been finding out about the history of the Italian community in Birmingham. They recorded this interview with Dorothy Bradbury.

 

Project group: Aliya;  Haleema Ali; Khadijah Ali; Amal Alim;  Anisa Arif; Sumayah Asif; Khadijah Azhar; Ayesha Bakib; Maryam Butt; Yasmin Cherif; Razan Elmahi; Asiya Gure;  Safa Husnat; Maryam Ibrar; Ammarah Intizar; Marya Islam; Sara Ismail; Humaira Kauser;  Aishah Khan; Sanah Khitab; Samra Kouser;  Asima Nessa; Maryam Noor;  Tayyibah Parveen; Aisha Qaisar; Saarah Rashid; Shamaila Sajid; Aishah Sakhi; Sumaiyah Yehia; Muminah Zafar

 

School liaison (for Al-Hijrah School): Mohammed Hassan

Lionel Singer – The Jewish Community in Birmingham

 

Teams based at George Dixon Academy School have been finding out about the history of the Jewish community in Birmingham. One group recorded this interview with Lionel Singer.

 

Project group: Husnehn Ahmed, Ahmad Ali, Mohammed Amaan, Mohammed Asim, Samar Awadh, Sundus Barkhadle, Shamima Begum, Tahirah Brou-Martin, Cherayah Clarke-Shaw, Ruhaan Ghani, Husnen Hanif, Rayano Haynes, Aaliyah Hussain, Usama Isse, Mohammed Junaid, Rafina Kauser, Louis Landucci, Bilaal Mahmood, Munasar Muhidin, Mohammed Omer, Humza Rafaqat, Aysha Seif, Atiya Williams

 

School liaison (for George Dixon Academy): J. Llewellyn, G. Pearce

Anthony Joseph – The Jewish Community in Birmingham 

 

Teams based at George Dixon Academy School have been finding out about the history of the Jewish community in Birmingham. One group recorded this interview with Anthony Joseph.

 

Project group: Teddy Adam, Tasnima Akhtar, Aisha Ali, Shahima Ali, Ghislaine Angoulangouli, Akash Arif, Willohe Sita Barber, Sumyea Begum, Rajpal Bhogal, Rudar Dassaur, Harjot Dhillon, Catrina Duarte Mineiro, Danial Hussain, Sana Hussain, Suzana Kotlarova, Nawal Mayow, Farrah Omer, Ibrahim Osman, Ashanti Reeves, Naomi Reynolds. Ekta Sidhu, Vanesa Sipavicute, Oceanna Watson-Jarrett, Deneth Weerasinghe, Jessica Whittear-Agard

 

School liaison (for George Dixon Academy): T. Mann, G. Pearce

Jean Frier – The Birmingham Market

 

A team based at Al Hijrah School has been finding out about the history of the Birmingham market and its community. They recorded this interview with Jean Frier.

 

School liaison (for Al-Hijrah School): Mohammed Hassan

The Birmingham Lost Communities Project

© Midland Actors Theatre  Tel.: 0121 608 7144 or 07946 006511

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