Oral History Project

The 50th Anniversary Oral History Project captures interviews and memories with founding members, former staff and alumni from five decades at Leeds Trinity University.

The audio project was compiled between June 2015 and June 2016 by historians Dr Helen Kingstone and Dr Di Drummond to trace the institution’s transformation from two Catholic teacher training colleges in 1966, to a University renowned for teaching excellence and producing highly employable graduates.

More than 30 hours of interviews have been recorded and will be stored in a university archive. Highlights from the interviews have also been edited into a series of 80-second clips, which are accompanied by photographs of the interviewees and the institution.

Mobile Exhibition

A snapshot of the Oral History Project can be seen and heard on campus at Leeds Trinity University. A mobile exhibition showcases 14 interviews with John Sullivan, Damian McHugh, Judy Hoffman, Joyce Simpson, Winefred Kean (widow of founding principal Andrew Kean) and many more. They share their memories including the challenges of opening in 1966 when the accommodation was not yet ready, and  the freedoms of being able to design new courses from scratch.

The exhibition will be visible at all 50th Anniversary events in the 2016/17 academic year.

Our History Timeline

All of the Oral History Project clips can be heard on the 50th Anniversary website. The Our History Timeline captures a range of interviewees, including Mark Seaward, who relates how he helped landscape the new campus. Dan Baldasera and Rosie Connell share their memories of building a broad new “Human Movement” department in the early years, and more recently of an innovative “Cooking Communities” project that brought together elderly people and schoolchildren from different cultures.

You can search the timeline by year at the top, or ‘Audio’ using the dropdown menu, to find relevant interview clips.

Launch of Oral History Project

A special event to showcase the Oral History Project took place on Tuesday 6 December with a campus tour for members of the local community.

Dr Kingstone and student ambassador Ethan Lowe led a walking tour of the campus, showcasing buildings from 1966 through to the present day, and recounted anecdotes from interviewees. Former staff Joyce Simpson and Damian McHugh also attended, contributing other stories from their time at the institution.

Photographs from the event can be seen on our Events page.

The 50th Anniversary Oral History Project received £200 funding from the English Catholic History Association, which enabled staff to travel to interview people in their own homes.

Dr Kingstone would encourage other alumni and staff to contact her if they would like to contribute to the project. Please contact her on 0113 283 100 +521 or h.kingstone@leedstrinity.ac.uk.