In order to gather research for Coming in from the Cold, Marzuqa and I have been contacting representatives from cultural and heritage organisations across Greater Manchester. Some have responded to a questionnaire by post or by email, providing background information on lists of projects we have already identified. Others have met us in person, to tell us about further initiatives we have missed, or to discuss issues with their service which may have impacted on delivery. We’ve also been trying to assess the scope of BME-related material in historic collections, in the hope that some items may inspire further project work.
Through this process we have already identified a wealth of interesting projects and resources – sometimes in unexpected places. A conversation with Jane Williams from Wigan and Leigh Archives directed us to an article in their bi-annual publication, Past Forward (Aug – Nov, 2016), entitled ‘The Life of the Black Knight and other visitors to Victorian Leigh’. The Black Knight was the pseudonym of Reverend J H Hector, one of several preachers and entertainers to stop off during tours of the region in the late 1800s. The piece, written by volunteer contributor Brian Joyce, shares early discoveries made during what he hopes will be a longer research project. Perhaps Brian’s research will inspire local communities to respond, or to document their own history for the archives?