AN open day is being held for a Heritage Lottery project which aims to create a "history map" of the villages of Great Witley and Little Witley.

The Witleys Oral History Group volunteers have started recording interviews with local residents to capture personal memories and interesting facts about the area. The recordings, along with photographs, people and events, will be used to create an on-line map that will be available for anyone to view and listen to.

Now the group is holding a special open day and hoping more residents will come forward to find out about the project, suggest photographs or other documents that could appear on the map, or agree to be interviewed.

The open day is being held at Great Witley Village Hall on Saturday, October 25 from 10.30am to 3pm. "Any one is welcome to drop in, have a cup of tea or coffee and hear about the project from volunteers," said Stephen Westacott of the Witleys’ Oral History Group. "The work done on the map so far will be available to view and there will be recordings to listen to. The group is inviting people to bring along photos or documents that could appear on the map, as there will scanning equipment to copy them on the day. Volunteers will also be available to interview any visitors who would like to share their stories of the area. We have conducted more than 20 interviews so far and recorded some wonderful memories which are a joy to listen to. We have an ambitious target of doing another 80 or so and hope that our open day will encourage people to come and find out more and perhaps share their stories or photos.

“It is proving to be a very rewarding project for all those taking part, with many learning new skills, including interview techniques and editing. We are also beginning to work with Great Witley School to develop the pupils’ interest in oral history and in the creation of the online map and there has already been some work done with the Chantry School, Martley, by our partner C&T, which is helping us develop the map.”