Nearly two weeks ago I had the very great privilege of being able to conduct the first oral history interview for the Digbeth Speaks project. My excitement was matched only by my nerves, but I couldn’t have asked for a nicer interviewee for my first attempt and, with Dave Robinson (aka the other half of the dream team) by my side, I had a very supportive team mate.
Pete Smyth, joined half way through by his wife Emma Case, provided a vibrant, lively and thoroughly interesting account of Digbeth as it is today. Together they shared accounts of how Digbeth has been so important in shaping both their business and their personal lives, and it was a pleasure to hear. Being privy to such personal stories and experiences is one of the main reasons I became involved with the Digbeth Speaks project. As well as satisfying my naturally nosey nature, hearing the interviewees speak perfectly highlighted why such projects are necessary - it is important that we make efforts to preserve the memory of such dynamic places before they change forever.
Rachael Heaven, Project Volunteer