We are delighted to be partnering with the Museum of Cambridge as we collect oral histories of weather stories in Cambridgeshire and East Anglia.
This collaboration is for the ‘Weathering Identity: Weather and Memory in England’ project in which researchers at King’s College London are looking at the relationship between weather, memory and a sense of place and identity in the east of England.
We are interested in how memories are woven into the stories we tell ourselves about our past and our present. For many of us, we have distinctive memories of what summer or winter was like when we children, our first experiences of the snow, swimming in the ocean or crunching Autumn leaves, or particularly significant storms or weather incidents we may have experienced.
We may also have a sense that our experiences of weather have changed over the course of our lifetimes, whether we continue to live in the same area or have moved to or from other parts of England or the world.
For us, it raises questions of what gets remembered about English weather, and what meaning people attach to those memories. As we become increasingly sheltered from weather in our lives and as weather itself changes due to climate change, understanding how we remember the weather and build our lives takes on new importance as well.
Our research project encourages people to share stories about the weather with us in two ways.
- We are inviting individuals currently living in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding area to share their memories of weather from across their life in the form of oral history, which will then become part of a publicly accessible archive. As an interviewer, it has been a lovely privilege to listen to people’s stories and hear them reflect on the way that weather is part of more memories than they had anticipated. As someone who has moved to England three years ago from New Zealand, it has also been fascinating to how people talk about typical English weather.
- We are also collecting stories of weather from people living in England through our website. We welcome anecdotes, stories and lived experiences about weather in England, which we will add to our collection. The memories – collected through oral histories and through the website – will be used to inform an artistic response by the project artist Inés Cámara Leret.
Dr George Adamson, our Lead Researcher, will be speaking about the project and representations of weather in the county on 28 April online at the Museum of Cambridge. You can book a ticket to attend here.
If you would like to be involved in the project or learn more, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can get in touch with Dr Jessica Rapson email@example.com or Dr George Adamson firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was written by Taylor Annabell, King’s College London