Stories of My Life

Age Exchange has worked with The Drapers Company throughout 2015 and into 2016 running creative arts and reminiscence sessions for residents at the Queen Elizabeth College Almshouses in Greenwich generously supported by The Drapers Company.

The initial project lasted for 24 weeks and brought us into contact with a wonderful group of women full of fascinating stories and a great sense of humour. The sessions focussed around the interests of the group. So we:

• Looked at archive material from Age Exchange’s handling collection of reminiscence material
• Listened to music.
• Watched archive film
• The ladies brought in their own objects and photographs to share stories with.

Eventually we produced a musical CD for the ladies where they each chose a piece of music that had a special memory for them called Songs of My Life and each participant had a copy of their own to keep.

After listening to them sharing so many stories we decided that they deserved to be written up and illustrated in a book so that they could be read by others called Stories of My Life.
The stories they shared gave a wonderful picture of how life was lived across England and Ireland from the Second World War until the 1970s, from growing up to their first jobs and experiences during WW2. They are not only their stories but also the stories of so many people who grew up during this period.

“The Drapers’ Company has been providing alms-houses on its present site at Queen Elizabeth’s College, Greenwich since 1574. The original buildings have long since been demolished but the purpose of the alms-houses remains the same; enabling residents to live independently in a vibrant community of older people. A wide range of social and cultural events take place at QEC for the benefit of the residents who enthusiastically participate and so enhance the special community. However, the chance to work with Age Exchange offered something different. Through reminiscence and creative arts a group of residents have explored and celebrated their diverse histories and memories. The culmination of these sessions, held over the past twelve months, is this book of life stories encompassing their thoughts and recollections on subjects from Growing Up to First Jobs and The War. They are a heart-warming collection of stories.”
 - Andy Mellows Head of Charities at The Draper’s Company

Copies of the book are available from Age Exchange priced £10