ABOUT CHOCOLATE HOUSES
The Chocolate Houses project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and sees a group of young people from the Bournville estate, Weston Super Mare, supported by boomsatsuma, work with Weston Museum. They will create an hour long professional film documentary on the history of the Bournville estate and its residents from the origins of the estate in 1927 to the present day.
The documentary will seek to understand what the estate was like, and how it has changed, through historical research and the oral histories of the many senior residents. The film will celebrate the people who live on the estate and be a chance for them to share their stories and memories.
The film itself will be researched, scripted, filmed and edited by a group of young people aged 11-19 who live on and around the estate with the aim to develop their research, production management and technical skills.
Pictures of the area in the 1930s show thriving local shops and a tight working class community. The area was full of canals carrying parts to the Bristol Aeroplane Factory nearby. The proximity of the factory meant the area was bombed intensively during the war and the stories of pop up shops being erected to look smart for the royal visit to inspect the bomb damage.
It is the stories of the people that the project is most interested in. The young people developing this project want to focus on the oral history supplied by residents. There are some residents who moved to the Bournville as children in the 1940s and this is probably the last chance to get their stories. They want to investigate the changes of a seaside housing estate through the stories of the residents from the earliest memories around 1933 to the present day. So that their voices, that otherwise wouldn't be heard can be recorded.
Our partners Weston Museum believe this is a very important project. It is an area of the town that has been neglected in terms of recorded history and it continues to be neglected. boomsatsuma believe that this project can not only fill in a gap in understanding the growth of the town but it can also help to restore a pride in the place that comes from an understanding of the heritage.
boomsatsuma recruited the help of a young production team through Weston Youth Centre, focusing on the heritage of the Bournville. Working with Heritage Consultant, Tamsin Mosse, they practised their interview skills and worked through archive material to better understand the history of their local community.
Supported by the Healthy Living Centre on the estate, the Production Team hosted a small event in the library to meet people and share the research material collated at their library and the main library at the Town Hall. Offering refreshments to all members of the community, the Production Team took the time to speak to local people about their memories, recording them for further research.
The Production Team met weekly to develop their research and worked towards a memories event that encouraged members of the elderly community to come together and share their stories and memories of the area. The event took place at St Andrew’s church hall on Sunday 3rd of December
Once the bulk of the research was conducted, the production process began. The team received training in camera skills, production planning, interviewing and running. These skills were then put to good use during the interview process where the oral histories of some of the willing residents of the estate were filmed.