VOLUNTEERS are needed to help chronicle part of Chester’s recent heritage.
Chester Mystery Plays is recruiting helpers to record people’s memories of the plays since 1951.
The company has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Sharing the Mystery project, to create an archive of the plays in the modern era.
“This isn’t just about dry documents like board papers,” explained chairman Jo Sykes. “It’s also about collecting people’s memories and their photos.”
Project coordinator Jane Dawson added: “We’ll be working with people who have volunteered with us before, but we also want to add to the mystery plays family and bring in some new volunteers to develop the archive for us and go out and interview people.”
Training will be given to all volunteers by the University of Chester, the Cheshire Record Office and the Oral History Society.
Angela Walsh, deputy director of the university’s Learning and Information Services, said: “We are delighted to be helping with this project which will store the history of Chester Mystery Plays for future generations to enjoy.”
Volunteers signed up so far include 15-year-old Alex McNee, a student at The Queen’s School, who will work on the project as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award.
She said: “I performed in the plays in 2008 and loved it. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the plays and get some new skills. I’m particularly looking forward to interviewing people – everyone has a story to tell.”
Chester Mystery Plays were first performed in the city in the 14th century. The next production will be in 2013, although a miniature production of The Creation will be seen as part of Chestival on the amphitheatre from June 17-19.
To volunteer, if you have anything to contribute to the archive or would like to share your memories in an interview contact Jane Dawson on 07813 661949 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.