Budding film makers

Day two of our Pool of Memories project in schools and pupils spent the day learning how to use all the film and audio equipment and had chance to film and interview each other.

The group set up all of the camera equipment and learnt about different shots and camera angles, how to use the camera and played around with different microphones.

Playing with sound

It was a real giggle using all the microphones, especially the ‘shotgun’ microphone which was good for whispering into and pointing at different parts of the room.

Using the shotgun microphone

We then went on to talk about how we conduct interviews, how we can put our interviewees at ease and help them to tell their stories.  We decided that it is best to ask open questions and to really listen to what they are saying to see if they need more time or more guidance.  To get some practice we interviewed one of the pupils about his memories of going swimming at Moseley Road Baths.  Everyone took on roles for this; one person was on camera, another did audio, one person asked the questions.  Afterwards we talked about what had worked well and what we needed to change to make our interviews better.


Tomorrow we will be taking all of these skills and interviewing people who have memories of going to Moseley Road Baths.

Pool of Memories school work is underway!

We’re absolutely thrilled that after months of planning our oral history film work in schools is underway!

The series of nine school projects involves local film maker and member of the Friends of Moseley Road Baths, Rachel Gillies, going into local schools and helping pupils to create short films, based on their research and filmed oral history interviews with members of the public.

Today the first of the projects began at Anderton Park School and it will run for the rest of this week.  We began the day with looking at the Virtual Tour website and then went on a walk to the Baths where we had a guided tour of the building from Deputy Manager Jean Rabone.

Due to limited time in the curriculum and a marked decrease in swimming provision across the city, fewer and fewer young people are having the opportunity to undertake school swimming lessons, despite this being a component of the National Curriculum.  The pupils really enjoyed walking through the area as pupils from the school used to do on a regular basis.  We even stopped off to see the chickens on Malvern Street as we were passing by!

Outside the farm

We spent some time outside the Baths, looking at some of the detail, the sculpture above the Women’s Entrance and the general state of the building.  There was a lively debate about what ‘First Class’ and ‘Second Class’ meant above the doors!  We then went in and met with Jean who took us into the Gala Pool, despite it being closed to the public since 2003.  We took some time to look at the detail and learnt about some of the activities that used to take place in there.


We then went into the ‘Slipper Baths’ and learnt more about people who went there for baths and what happened when they came in.  A few of the group thought that paying a bit of money at the baths was probably better than paying for the bills at home!


The pupils especially enjoyed going into the boiler room to see the huge boilers and filter tank.  There were lots of questions about the system and how the water was filtered and heated.


Tomorrow we will be looking at the Virtual Tour website and completing a quiz, before going on to learn how to use all of the film equipment.  We’ll be finding out what an oral history interview is, practicing our interview techniques and then even filming each other!  On Wednesday we’ll be putting all of our research, filming and interviewing skills into use by filming people from the school and the wider community talking about their memories of going to Moseley Road Baths.  Later in the week we will edit and share our film with the rest of Year 6.