Welcome to the Hayle Oral History Project & Hayle Churks app Blog

To hear a selection of audio clips please click here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

'Hayle Churks' app FREE & published on iTunes

‘appy New Year

The ‘Hayle Churks’ mobile phone app is published on iTunes and completely FREE.  Created by Lucy Frears to play memories and show archive pictures automatically while walking around a Hayle route, there is also a manual feature on the published app, so that media can be heard and played from any location in Cornwall, Britain or the world.

“The app is an abstract experience that involves walking through people’s memories from different decades.  The walker uses the information they have: their location, the story, archive pictures and historical facts on the map to try to piece together the clues. The app reveals and locates experiences from Hayle’s past and present which may nudge us to think about the future of the town and our own legacy,” says Lucy.  “At a time when town council’s are being given planning powers, it’s important to be reminded about the past significance of land that can, in Hayle’s case, look derelict but is historically important.’  

The app uses many memories recorded by Hayle Oral History Project plus archive pictures from international, national and local archives but especially Hayle Community Archive’s scanned images from personal collections.  ‘Hayle Churks’ is partly funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund’s All Our Stories grant and is part of Lucy Frears’ doctoral research at Falmouth University. 

“The Hayle Churks app could be described as a love letter to Hayle but it’s not just sentimental nostalgia or a PR exercise.  As well as happy stories and funny stores, the app reveals terrible consequences of personal and public decisions, mistakes and wrongdoing that, perhaps, we can learn from. It’s certainly not simply promoting a ‘good old days’ point of view about the past.”

In addition to sound effects recorded by Frears ranging from birds in Paradise Park to sounds on the beach and underwater recording experiments, there are songs by Falmouth based musician Thirty Pounds of Bone and Hayle-born folk singer Joff Ryan, music composed by Philip Reeder and sounds begged and borrowed from others, such as whale and dolphin recordings by a Plymouth-based friend, Thom Green. 

The app was made using the AppFurnace app-making toolkit developed in Bristol and has been designed for iPhones with cost preventing publishing for Android and windows smart phones at present.  An iPad or iPod touch can be used to experience the manual ‘listen at home’ setting but for those without access to these, Frears will continue to upload many clips and photos to the ‘Hayle Churks’ historypin website to increase access.

The app walking route can be split into short manageable sections or walked in one go for approximately two hours starting from the Hayle Heritage Centre gate in Foundry Square.  Headphones are recommended for the full sound experience although some testers reported that listening and walking at the same time was tricky during the public trials set-up in March, August and September 2013 to gain feedback. Changes were made to the app in response to the feedback before publishing. 

“One of my regrets is that I had to divert the route away from Copperhouse as I don’t have enough stories about the Cornish Copper Company, the original Hayle foundry,” says Frears.  

Cornish Copper Company (CCC) closed before Harvey’s and long before living memory.   CCC records have disappeared, as have many important buildings in the Copperhouse area. 
“This means that the app contains more about Harvey’s, which already dominates recent histories of the town and possibly changes the emphasis in the story of the thirty year war between the foundries that split the town. If anyone has any family stories passed down about CCC I’d love to hear them.”

For more information look for ‘Hayle Churks’ on iTunes and historypin, ‘Hayle History’ on Facebook or email hayle.history@btconnect.com.

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