Brookes contributes to Museum of Oxford 40th anniversary exhibition

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Blackbird-Leys residents

Oxford Brookes will be contributing to the Museum of Oxford’s new exhibition ‘40 years, 40 objects’, which opens on Monday (28 September).

The exhibition will celebrate the Museum’s 40thanniversary and will feature 40 objects selected by the local community to tell the story of their city.

Throughout 2015, the Museum of Oxford has been working with local people and community groups to bring together objects which reflect their experiences and memories of Oxford over the past four decades. Visitors will explore Oxford’s recent history through everyday objects, historic artefacts and personal mementoes.

This summer, researcher Jeni Burnell from Oxford Brookes’ Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) developed a digital storytelling project titled ‘Time to Talk: Digital Storytelling in the Leys’ which will be exhibited as part of ’40 years, 40 objects’.  Jeni worked with local people, the Museum of Oxford, StoryWorks UK, Oxford City Council and Leys Community Development Initiative to record their stories, past and present, to create a series of digital stories that share the unique heritage and character of the Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys neighbourhoods in Oxford.

Jeni said: “The stories shared in the Leys have been fascinating. Many of the people we spoke with have lived on the estate since it was built. They talk about working at the nearby Morris Motors and Pressed Steel factories and of the estate’s active social life.

“It has been a privilege hearing people’s stories from the Leys and I am incredibly grateful for the time and generosity of those who have contributed to the project. I’m looking forward to sharing these stories with others and celebrating the Leys unique contribution to Oxford’s cultural heritage.”

I’m looking forward to sharing these stories with others and celebrating the Leys unique contribution to Oxford’s cultural heritage.

Jeni Burnell, Research Associate, Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP)

Another ‘object’ donated by the University to the exhibition is a collectable model of the blue BROOKESbus which operated between 2009 and 2014.

The BROOKESbus service has been in operation since 2004 and it provides a vital link between Oxford Brookes University and the city of Oxford. Between 2009 and 2014 almost 12 million journeys were made by passengers and almost 40 per cent of those were members of the local community.

The BROOKESbus model represents the commitment Oxford Brookes has to providing community services over the past 150 years and it is also part of the long-standing commitment to sustainable travel.

The BROOKESbus network recently won a national environmental award for the ground-breaking Gyrodrive technology used in the fleet. More information about the award-win can be found on the Oxford Brookes news pages.

In addition, the University has submitted a copy of Celebrating 150 Years. The University has been celebrating its 150th anniversary throughout 2015 and the book represents the history and achievements of Oxford Brookes and its predecessor institutions

From our oldest living alumni to the legendary gigs in the student union, Celebrating 150 Years charts Oxford Brookes’ history with stories, facts and images. The book celebrates the values pioneered by its modern founder, John Henry Brookes and the contribution the University makes to communities in Oxfordshire, the region and many countries around the world.

The exhibition opens on 28 September 2015 and will run until 20 February 2016 at the Oxford Town Hall. Entry is free and the exhibition will be open Monday – Saturday, 10.00am-5.00pm.