How to get involved in King George’s Hall’s Centenary

Do you want to gain new skills relating to local history and heritage? 

Do you have some free time and like to get involved in celebrating something in your local community? 

Do you want to help preserve and share Blackburn’s history for future generations?

King George’s Hall has received a Culture Recovery Fund Grant in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and are seeking to form, digitise and share an archive of memorabilia, oral histories and photographs in preparation for its centenary celebrations in October 2021. This is an exciting opportunity to get involved in a community heritage project which will gather new stories and digitise the existing collection of material which includes posters, What’s On guides, and photographs. 

We are looking for volunteers who can commit to at least 1 element of the project between April and October 2021. Some of the opportunities are completely remote (for example, the transcription of oral histories), however, some will require travel to King George’s Hall and the wider Blackburn area (archive digitisation and exhibition staffing).

Please do get in touch if you have any access requirements, as we are committed to removing barriers to involvement in the arts. If you require the application form in an alternative format, please also get in touch. 

Volunteers must be over the age of 18 and adhere to any Covid-19 regulations put in place by King George’s Hall or Project Staff.

Archive Digitisation Volunteers

These volunteers will assist Programmer and Operations Coordinator, Darren, and Project Manager, Laura, to digitise the vast archive relating to the 100-year history of King George’s Hall. 

Location: King George’s Hall, Blackburn 
Requirements: willingness to learn new digitising skills, some experience with digital equipment is a bonus but not essential! 
Estimated time commitment: 5 hours per week between April-September 2021.

Oral History Transcribing Volunteers

These volunteers will transcribe the oral history interviews recorded for ‘100 Years and Counting’. The oral histories will uncover people’s memories about; attending concerts and events, how the building has been used for wider events such as field hospitals or for Civic functions, how the architecture and features of the building have evolved, working at and daily life within King George’s Hall.  All of these elements are an integral part of this project and these oral histories will form the basis of the exhibition that will bring archival photographs to life. 

Location: remote 
Requirements: access to own laptop and ability to type well 
Estimated time commitment: 1 interview per week (1 hour of audio = approx. 5 hours’ transcribing) between April-August 2021

Exhibition Creation Volunteers

Once the oral histories have been collected, we will be looking to use these and the newly digitised photographs to create an exhibition to be displayed around Blackburn during the centenary celebrations. This role would be ideal for anyone looking to gain experience in writing text for diverse audiences and curating stories based on archival material. We are anticipating that this process will begin around August 2021. Training will be provided in the form of workshops, with some remote working to complete the exhibition text. 

Location: remote with some possible travel to Blackburn depending on guidelines in summer 2021 
Requirements: an interest in local or music history, access to your own laptop and an ability to write clearly 
Estimated time commitment: can be discussed during recruitment, will likely take place between July-September 2021.

Exhibition Staffing Volunteers

Once our exhibition is finished and ready for display, we would like to take it out into the local community to showcase King George’s Hall’s exciting history. To do this, we need volunteers to supervise the display, engage with the public and encourage people to share their memories of the venue. This role is ideal for someone who wants to gain experience of working with the public and wants to learn more about local history. 

Location: various locations around Blackburn 
Requirements: ability to travel to Blackburn, an interest in local or music history is an advantage 
Estimated time commitment: 1 day a week, likely to be between September-October 2021.

If you would like to apply for one or more of the roles available, please fill out the application form which can be found here: Centenary Volunteer Application Form.

If you have any questions or would like an informal chat, please get in touch with Project Lead, Laura Owen, at laura.owen.historian@gmail.com