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Record Your Stories of Local Buildings Before It's Too Late

As we get older, the community we live in tends to change. Parts that were once popular become neglected or their usgae changes over time. There are so many buildings wherever we live that have already gone, demolished. Then, as the population gets older, memories of those buildings disappear as well. I believe we should all record our memories of those older buildings, before it is too late.

Take the building above, for instance. Once this was the magnificent Grand Hotel, built in the early 1900s by the same contractors that built the municipal baths I'm currently researching. The hotel was still in operation as a pub when I was young in the 1960s, but the accommodation part had been closed. Over the next decade or so the place was closed totally and fell into neglect. Eventually somebody bought it and converted it into a number of trendy cafes downstairs and office spaces upstairs. It's quite a smart corner in town now.

Take a look around you. Are there places that you have strong childhood memories about? Why not write down some of your stories relating to that building. I certainly have plenty relating to the pub above. Personal stories add a magical touch when someone is writing social history. Stories such as yours become really precious. Don't waste time, start writing your stories now.

Image Credit » Personal photo of Val Mills, writer of this article.

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UK_Writer wrote on January 26, 2015, 7:16 PM

It's only once our own parents pass on and we realise the stories we've lost forever that these things occur to us, then it's too late as the buildings from our own youth have gone - and we suddenly realise the rate of change. These days, with the Internet, there are so many photos and web pages about everywhere it then seems superfluous to write things down about "now" and it's hard to work out what's best to do with the 10,000 memories in our own head that are just short snippets.

Porcospino wrote on January 26, 2015, 7:17 PM

This is an interesting topic. I like to look at the old photos from the city where I grew up. So many changes have happened since that time and there are plenty of things to write about,

valmnz wrote on January 26, 2015, 7:24 PM

Some people save them for their families. I'm currently writing the story of our old swimming pool, closed in 1966 so people younger than about 50 don't know much about it. It's now a car parking lot under a department store.

valmnz wrote on January 26, 2015, 7:24 PM

I find it fun investigating stories from the past.

CountryWine wrote on January 26, 2015, 9:49 PM

Long Beach, California has a huge hotel building along the coast that is no longer being habituated. It has been in the state of a museum for a very long time. Everyone who comes to visit takes a picture of this amazing hotel that once thrived.

Deema wrote on January 27, 2015, 7:17 AM

You are so right. Other than these places being destroyed, their names are changed and this too just causes its heritage to be lost.

Squidwhisperer wrote on January 28, 2015, 8:02 AM

The short-sightedness of city planners and ineffectiveness of heritage councils in a lot of places is a huge shame. Buildings resonate. Older buildings - anything older than a couple generations - literally "hold history." And we all know what happens when history is forgotten...

LilyDay wrote on January 31, 2015, 11:59 PM

The same is true when it comes to family stories. It is important to collect those voices while one still can.

bestwriter wrote on February 1, 2015, 7:51 AM

We just demolished our church building which was 200 years old. We now have a new church about which I had posted here.

It will not be difficult to salvage a picture of the old church