Share your memories at a relaxed meet up on Saturday 8th December 11- 1pm.
10:30 for coffee. Held at the Courtyard Room, Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4QH. See map here. Close to Liverpool St station.
Speakers’ Corner regulars are gathering to share stories about the spiritual home of free speech. The reminiscence event on Saturday 8th December will be an opportunity to look at fascinating archive materials and trade stories in a relaxed atmosphere. Attendees are encouraged to bring their photos and memorabilia.
An exciting new project, Sounds from the Park will document the history and traditions of soap box oratory at Hyde Park and create a public archive at Bishopsgate Institute. Sounds from the Park is run by On the Record and Bishopsgate Institute, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust.
“I have been a member of Speakers’ Corner audiences since 1960. I mingled with the crowd, listened to great speakers and enjoyed the wise-cracks of hecklers and the speaker’s repartee. The spirit of Speakers’ Corner must be celebrated and preserved to help inspire a new generation of budding orators and keep this unique place of public debate and free speech alive. I am happy to be part of this exciting project” said Reinhard Wentz, from the project’s steering group.
Sounds from the Park aims to collect 20 oral history interviews with diverse speakers, listeners and orators. An exciting program of learning workshops and public events will culminate in an exhibition, a radio show and a permanent archive of Speakers’ Corner oral histories and memorabilia at Bishopsgate Institute. The archive will span from 1866, when the Reform League tore down the gates of Hyde Park, to the present day.
This volunteer led project will provide a new perspective on social and political developments in 20th century Britain. Platforms at Speakers’ Corner have included women’s suffrage, pacifism, socialism, LGBT rights, national liberation and religion alongside comic, often eccentric, speakers who entertained the crowds.
If you would like to attend or if you would like to find out about other ways to share memories of Speakers’ Corner, please contact On the Record.