Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Recorded memories - a unique present to give

The word "Christmas" slipped into my last blog post. Now I've stated before that I'm not big on Christmas: yes great for children and a reason for families to meet up but for me not something to get overexcited about to be honest. "Christmas" inevitably leads on to the little matter of presents and here I'll put my hands up and say that personally I'm not into exchanging presents with adult relatives; if that makes me sound scrooge like then so be it - I'll just have to live with that!

However this is an opportunity to flag up a very very different sort of present to the usual products - it's about the oral recording of people's memories. With today's technology that permits really top class recording in a person's home and our increased desire to connect with our past family history it is unsurprising that recording voices for posterity has become increasingly popular - history groups for instance are getting into this. An example is our own Calstock Parish Archive in which a number of our more senior citizens have willingly allowed themselves to be taped.

This is fine of course for we local historians but there are many people out there who would wish that they had recordings, really high quality recordings, about the richness and variety of their own lives and the changes they have seen that they could hand down to the family. Yes photo albums are great but what if these were complimented by CDs of their voices recalling their memories. Sadly in my case I took insufficient note of what my late mother and father said and recollections have got a bit fuzzy to say the least. But for today's folk help is at hand - well in Devon and Cornwall at least. How? Well let me introduce you to a lady, Lorna Baker, who with husband Ted lives in the Tamar Valley. Lorna has a business 'Real Life Recordings' in which she professionally records peoples life stories. When I say "professionally" I mean it in the truest sense of the word - Lorna has in depth experience of working with the BBC in her earlier life and is the sort of person who doesn't do things in a half hearted way so what you get from her is a 'proper job'. She has a really pleasing website here which includes some audio clips (with the various 'owners' permission obviously) which are indicative of the sort of memories that come out when she talks to people.

Of course recorded memories would make a wonderful present at anytime of the year, not just at Christmas. And unlike the typical consumer product which is likely to wear out, break or otherwise get discarded this is something that will last indefinitely. I'm very happy to endorse high quality products and services on this blog and believe me this is of the best.

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