Saturday, 14 May 2011

Stepping back in time

25 years ago the BBC decided to undertake a new Domesday project, a survey for modern times to give a snapshot of life in Britain.

Contributions were made largely by schoolchildren in a mix of written testimonies and a few photographs (remember no digital cameras back then).

Once data was submitted it was then saved digitally to state of the art laser discs for future use.

Unfortunately laser discs then became obsolete and nothing could be done with them. The data had become useless. Until now....

The BBC have now managed to access the data and have uploaded it to the internet, and it's wonderful.

Times have changed, I guess noone even only 25 years ago would have foreseen digital cameras, GPS, mobile phones and particularly the world wide web, and as a result the contributions appear dated BUT they still have a sparkling resonance.

Unfortunately, it appears no data was ever collected for Thringstone or Whitwick but there is plenty of information for Coalville and other surrounding areas.

I particularly love the article on Shepshed's local language (it evokes memories of my grandparents) and in the Coalville block 'Deborah Allen's School Day' (I must have been about the same age).

On a serious note many of the concerns expressed and images written in words are still prevalent.

They paint a picture how in some ways our towns and villages are much better and yet in other ways we are so much worse off.

Take a look at the Coalville block article about The Broadway Shopping Centre and the wide range of shops available. Take a look at The Belvoir Centre today. You'll see what I mean.

We need to do so much more to carrying on the improvements whilst addressing the deteriorations.

If you want to take a look at the website (and It's well worth it) visit www.bbc.co.uk/domesday

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