A TREASURE trove of objects and mementoes gathered from Leys residents will ‘come home’ after its time on display at the Museum of Oxford.

Time to Talk: Digital Storytelling in the Leys was created by Oxford Brookes researcher Jeni Burnell, to display and celebrate the lives of people in Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys.

Residents were recorded telling their stories during August.

Objects of significance to them and images of the estate were then mixed with audio recordings to create a series of 20-minute films.

The results are now on display at the Museum of Oxford as part of its 40 Years, 40 Objects exhibition, but are likely to be brought back to the Leys in December.

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Ms Burnell said: “It has been well-received at the museum. There were lots of people putting on the headphones and we had a comments book which was just lovely. People called the stories hidden gems – and they are. The joy is that everyone has got one to tell.

“We are looking to do a showing in the Leys in December, possibly at the Clockhouse.”

Among those participating were residents Eric Hall, who talked about his band, Isabella Williams, who brought along her immigration card from when she arrived in Britain from Italy, and long-time X Factor hopeful ‘Big John’ Humphries, from Greater Leys.

Each hour-long recording was condensed down to about 20 minutes and edited by Storyworks UK, a national group hat is dedicated to telling people’s stories through the medium of film.

Ms Burnell added: “Everyone who contributed to the project said they really enjoyed it, and working with them has been amazing.

“Sometimes the spires of Oxford overshadow the Leys. In many areas, you often only hear of the downsides,and this has been a great opportunity to celebrate the unique culture and character of the Leys.”

It is hoped the exhibition can be brought home at some time in December and set up somewhere in the Leys for residents to view at their leisure.

For Oxford East MP Andrew Smith, the opportunity to take part was too good to pass up.

The 64-year-old’s memories are on display as a film, alongside those of his constituents, and includes photographs of the Leys from the Oxford Mail’s own archive.

He said: “The story was about my time in Blackbird Leys and in what ways the area is the same, and how it has changed over the years. I gave them a few anecdotes.

“They wanted some early photos, so rather than ransacking my attic I directed them to the Oxford Mail’s picture library.

“I think it’s a great idea. It’s really good to draw on oral history and people’s local memories, and bring them alive in a new way.”

The 40 Years, 40 Objects exhibition is free to visit and runs at the Museum of Oxford until February 20. For more information visit oxford.gov.uk/PageRender/decM/Museum40Anniversary.htm