Lewes U3A Oral History Collection

The Lewes U3A (University of the Third Age) Oral History Collection is a valuable and fascinating historical resource of taped interviews, held at the East Sussex Record Office at The Keep, and available to listen to in tape or CD format.

In the summer of 1991 Lewes U3A members set up an Oral History Group with the aim of recording life in Lewes in the 20th century – ‘Lewes in Living Memory’. The interviews took place between August 1991 and 2000 and there are 248 tapes of the recordings in East Sussex Record Office along with supporting documentation: biographical information on each interviewee, a summary of each interview and an index covering all the interviews. The recordings are also in CD format.

Collection Ref. AMS6416 – see ESRO catalogue for more detail

Index to the Lewes U3A Oral History Recordings

Transcripts were made of some of the interviews for those sections relating to war-time memories, racing, and shopping in Lewes which were to form the basis of four publications, all available at Lewes Library:

  • Lewes Remembers the Second World War, 1939-1945 (1993)
  • Lewes Remembers Racing & Race Days (1994)
  • Lewes Remembers the Second World War, 1939-1945, 2nd Ed (1995)
  • Lewes Remembers Shops and Shopping (1999)

In 2000 and 2001 the group interviewed people about the Lewes floods. 24 recordings on this subject are also available.

The tapes are indexed by personal names, topics, places, buildings, businesses, shops, events, etc, with pointers to the tape number. You can listen to the tapes at ESRO, but you can make an initial check of the index to the recordings from here.

To get an idea of what is on the tapes, here are some short audio clips from a presentation by Joy Preston and Sarah Hitchings on the topic of the U3A Oral History Collection. (You will need Powerpoint to open this file).

Interviews are copyright of Lewes U3A, so please seek permission before publishing.

East Sussex Record Office, The Keep, Woollards Way, Brighton, BN1 9BP.
Phone: 01273 482349, e-mail : thekeep@eastsussex.gov.uk