‘I’m in my eighties now. my first job was at Ingham’s Colliery when I was 14 and I’ve had many jobs since. I never went out of the village and I never had a day’s unemployment!’
‘The book is great. The reason it’s so good, and the reason it’s different to when we’ve worked with other designers, is that you listened to us. You listened, you understood what we wanted and you interpreted it correctly.’
Oral history group participant, on working with Andrassy Media
Transforming Thornhill Lees is a book about a small corner of Huddersfield that was once an industrial powerhouse whose products went around the world.
The book was designed and made in close collaboration with a group of people from Thornhill Lees, who had previously been supported by Kirklees Council’s community heritage service to create an exhibition about the industrial heritage of their village.
Keen to have a more permanent record of their research, the group commissioned Andrassy Media to make a book which would serve as a kind of oral history of a tiny place with a huge story to tell.
As is often the case with book projects, especially those involving community groups, the task was as much about editorial process as it was about design. Working closely with group members to negotiate what should go into the book and what, inevitably, had to be left out, was an important part of our role.
Though designing for a client should be the same whoever that client is, designing for a community group demands a special set of skills. We wanted to ensure the book felt like it belonged to the group, and hope we managed to capture the essence of the group’s feeling for their village, its people, and its special place in the history of the industrial north.