Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Release

BBC Domesday Reloaded unveils rarely-seen local material from 1986

BBC Local Radio and Regional TV stations are asking the people of Britain to take a walk down memory lane back to 1986 – when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, mullets were the craze, Maradona's "Hand of God" destroyed a nation's World Cup dreams, the first Japanese car manufacturing plant opened in the UK and the ZX Spectrum was the game console of choice.

One of the most comprehensive digital time capsules has been unearthed through BBC Domesday Reloaded, providing a rarely-seen snapshot of what local areas looked like 25 years ago. The public is being asked to explore and, more importantly, update previously unseen images and articles from their local area by going onto the dedicated Domesday website.

The campaign, led by BBC Learning, runs throughout the year and is supported by BBC local radio and regional TV from Monday 16 May, with programmes and activity highlighting fascinating stories from local areas.

Programmes include BBC Radio Kent and South East Today focusing on a teenager from Strood who commented on the fashions of the day in 1986 as part of the original Domesday project and who is now a top stylist for the stars. BBC Midlands Today and BBC Radio Stoke take a trip to Staffordshire University to look at Eighties games consoles and computers with the university's scientists including the original Domesday machine. BBC Look North speaks to a Teeside farmer, a pupil at the time of the project whose parents ran a 150-year-old, 220-acre farm in 1986, fattening cattle to send to Darlington mart, as well as growing wheat, barley, hay, oil seed rape, peas and potatoes. Stuart now runs the farm, diversifying into the disposal of green waste and has applied to have a windmill on his land.

As Craig Henderson, Head of Programmes for English Regions, says: "BBC Domesday Reloaded will be focusing on amazing stories which highlight changes to the physical and social landscape experienced over the last 25 years. Because of the sheer volume of original contributors, we have a comprehensive snapshot of England from 1986 which allows people to explore and update at a hyper-local level.

"This makes the experience extremely personal; allowing the public to see not only what has gone before, but to contribute to the picture today. Domesday Reloaded will offer a valuable contribution to the past, present and future, enabling everyone to interact."

One million people took part in the Domesday Reloaded project in the UK covering 108,000 square km of the UK, submitting more than 147,819 page articles and 23,225 photos in the process in an attempt to capture the essence of the UK in one place. All the local community content – photographs and text – are now available on the website.

In addition to the online and broadcast activity there will also be variety of learning resources and activities aimed at primary school children and families, designed to get them hands on with their local history. Activities and resources available include Primary School Lesson Plans and regional workshops that are taking place across the UK.

BBC Learning has been working very closely with The National Archives and with their help and expertise in web archiving and digital preservation, this resource will be available to the public for generations to come.

For more information on the project, including BBC Radio 4's involvement, see: BBC Learning takes you back to Eighties with Domesday Reloaded

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