WHY ARE OUR STREETS IMPORTANT?
WHAT STORIES CAN THEY TELL?
Street Museums was a project run in 2015 in collaboration with Kingston University, Kingston Museum and History Centre and the residents of Cleaveland Road in Surbiton to explore how the objects that individuals value can tell their unique and collective stories
We asked residents on one single road in Surbiton, Cleaveland Road to record the story of a cherished possession.
We supported this recording process by training students from Kingston Universities Museum and Gallery studies MA in oral history techniques.
The students then worked alongside the residents to build the narratives of the objects and build a street of stories told through heritage - a Street Museum
The students curated the resident's objects using a wide range of techniques such as investigating the history of the type of object, oral history interviews and investigating personal connections and wider themes relating to space and place.
Objects that were contributed by residents ranged from the immediately local such as a photograph believed to be of VE celebrations on the street in 1945 to far travelled objects such as
Ugandan placemats. Childhood memories were represented in teddy bears and tape players and enduring love shone through in photos of lost loved ones.
The objects, oral histories and research conducted on the history of the street were brought together for an interactive exhibition which ran at Kingston Museum for 2 months over the winter of 2015.
The exhibition highlighted the nature of personal heritage and storytelling and importantly bought together the community from Cleaveland Road to share their collective and individual narratives. Since the exhibition the street has begun working together as a community to arrange street events and celebrations.