Last year, Upper Harbour Local Board allocated funding to a story-gathering initiative called ‘The Travelling Apple Cart’ – a project designed to engage, capture and share the stories of people living in the fast-changing Upper Harbour Local Board area.
“The aim was to seek out residents who would tell us their unique stories connected to the area, past and present,” says Amelia Yiakmis of arts organisation Flock.
“When approached to assist with gathering and capturing the many colourful stories heard over the years, we discussed using the technology of today to capture the stories of yesterday.
“We wanted to embrace the long-held tradition of handing down stories person to person, but also wanted something that would live on and could be shared beyond each storytelling experience."
Between spring of 2019 and the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, dozens of stories were collected, edited and uploaded to the project’s dedicated website.
Stories come from people ranging in ages from 5 to 95, spanning all corners of the local board area.
Mitchell from Greenhithe recalls his nan hiding her gumboots at the bus station before donning her town shoes for the ferry into the CBD; a bustling Diwali Festival organised by a community-focused couple in a former airbase cinema in Hobsonville, and a 95-year-old Peg telling of a time when there was nothing but farming and dirt tracks as far as the eye could see in Albany.
The Travelling Apple Cart, whose name pays homage to the Albany apple orchards, was funded on the basis it supported the outcome of ‘Empowered engaged and connected Upper Harbour communities’ – a key outcome contained within the current Upper Harbour Local Board Plan.
The local board hopes its communities will continue to support and contribute to the project, inspiring more people to come forward with their stories, and keep the cart travelling.
Listen to others’ stories, and upload and share your own via the Travelling Apple Cart website.