Here we aim to tell the story of the Duke of York’s through the memories and reminiscences of people whose lives were touched by the cinema. We believe these are just as important to the heritage of the Duke of York’s as understanding the history of the building or gathering artefacts. By telling their stories, they provide us with living links, connecting the building with the people that worked there or visited.
Exploring the past in this way is an exciting journey. We do not know where it will take us or what new insights may be revealed, or how it may redefine our understanding and future aspirations for the Duke of York’s.
The memories vary – some recall experiences faithfully and accurately, others are vaguer, relying on imagination and story telling to bring recollections to the fore. All are valid in enriching our understanding of the social history of the Duke of York’s.
What’s clear is that people are really interested in going back in time to explore our heritage. The process taps deep into emotional reservoirs and enables us to gain an insight into how ordinary people lived and the part that the Duke of York’s played across the decades.
Some of the memories are in the form of emails or posts. Others are letters, which have a personal quality and reflect a generation more comfortable with letter writing. There are summaries of longer interviews with former employees, with full recordings held in an archive for future research purposes. The common thread is that they collectively tell a story of individual and community involvement with the Duke of York’s.
Reading through the memories or listening to the recordings, you begin to understand why the Duke of York’s is so important to our cultural heritage.