Time Will Tell - Oral History

What's On

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Oakwood Church Leeds

As part of the Oakwood Clock Restoration project we asked people to talk about their personal experiences of life at Oakwood to our trained interviewers who included local residents, students from Roundhay School and members of the Leeds Branch of the University of the Third Age

We also worked with the Leeds Museums and Galleries Community History team to hold group memory sharing sessions. All these interviews now form part of a  permanent public record for future generations. Extracts are included in the Walk Around the Clock Heritage Trail and have been deposited in the time capsule at the newly restored Oakwood Clock

Maybe you used to sit under the clock, maybe you passed it every day on your way to work. Perhaps you still do. How has your community changed since you first lived in Oakwood? What makes it a unique place to live in? What would you like to see happen at Oakwood in the future?

Oral history was an important part of this project providing:

Where are the original recordings now?

They were deposited with the West Yorkshire Archive Service who hold the copyright

Who conducted the Interviews?

Left to right: Edna Murray, Jeanette Payne, Iain Macniven, Sharon Donaldson, David Donaldson, Tricia Ryan, Tracy Craggs

Navigating the material

Each interviewee’s photograph, sound file and timelog can be accessed via their name button. Timelogs are cross-referenced by Subject in the document below

When the late Jack Barstow ‘Jack the Clock’ (31 Oct 1912 - 16 Nov 2015) shared his memories with Dr Tracy Craggs, Oral Historian and Tony O'Reilly, Director of the Atom Film Company, Jack recalled arriving in the area more than 75 years before, when “Oakwood was in the country, it was almost a village”. He passed the clock every day when he travelled to Leeds by open topped tram, many times soaking wet in the pouring rain, as was the driver who also sat out in the open

Soon after his 101st Birthday, Jack met the Nostalgia spoken history group at Oakwood Church on 21 November 2013 and compared his second admission to Seacroft Hospital aged 100 - more than 90 years after his first  “… my face swelled up like a balloon and they didn’t have any cure for it so they made a lint mask, tied it with a bit of string, two eye holes and a mouth hole and my arms in splints. I was 6 or 7 and I was like that for a week. The Doctor came round and said ‘What’s this’? I was chained to the bed …”

Jack celebrated his 103rd Birthday on 31 October 2015 and was said to be Oakwood's oldest resident

At the Remembrance Service held at Oakwood Church on Sunday 8 November 2015, barely a week before he died peaceably in his sleep, Jack once again gave voice to these famous lines from the poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon…


“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.”

More Oakwood History Oakwood Clock

Oakwood Church Leeds

Walk Around the ClockJack Barstow - Sound  - Hospital then and now - NostalgiaEditedT2 Jack 21-11-13.mp3Time Will Tell - Timelogs cross-referenced by Subject [PDF]
Oakwood Day 2015Farmers MarketForest Hill Group9th North Leeds ScoutsAllan BamptonMargaret BarracloughLois BentleyDr Steve BlackRichard BoothroydJudith Blake Anne BondJean and Tom BrownMarshall CapelSue CarrBarry ClaughtonGeorge ClaytonDavid DonaldsonIndia DonaldsonSharon DonaldsonVictoria EmmsColin GillPaul and Margaret GreenJean HardmanJohn HarrisonAnne HodgsonKeith HopkinsonRay HudsonRowland JonesGeorge JordanPenelope KeechJoyce KilvingtonColleen KitchingDale KitchingEne KitchingEmma LapthorneGraham LattyIain MacnivenAbigail MayPaul MitchellRod MorganTom MurraySusan NewtonMichael ParrJeanette PayneMargaret PlowsTrevor PlowsIan PotterTony QuinnDavid RatteeTricia RyanJanet SheehanStewart SheehanKrystyna SpinkGwyneth SpurrGraham ThompsonWilfred ThompsonWilliam WaddellNick WayneSteven WebsterAngela and Kenneth WenhamAndy WilcoxAnn WilkinsonDavid WilsonJeanne WrigglesworthCarol Wurr
Time Will Tell Poster featuring Jack Barstow [PDF]