The building of Queengate - image copyright Graham Wade

Forty Years On Project

Forty Years On is an ambitious and exciting three year programme of theatre, oral history and archive work. Led by Eastern Angles Theatre Company and the Peterborough Archives Service, it will explore, archive and creatively interpret forty years of Peterborough history from 1968 to 2008.

With £160,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Forty Years On will give local people the chance to investigate the history of Peterborough’s development and see it celebrated in a touring documentary show. Meanwhile, £60,000 from Arts Council England’s ‘Grants for the arts’ scheme will support a new community play in Spring 2014 based on the research and stories of residents.

Over 100 volunteers will take part in the Forty Years On project. They’ll catalogue and conserve the archives of the Peterborough Development Corporation to enable public access to the material for the first time. Alongside this, participants will collect over 150 oral histories from long term residents, those who relocated to Peterborough during the city’s rapid 40-year expansion, as well as Peterborough’s established immigrant groups and more recent arrivals from Eastern Europe. The interviews will form a valuable oral history archive within Peterborough Archives Service.

Forty Years On will leave behind a complete and fully accessible archive in Spring 2014 along with educational materials for school curriculum projects.

Visit the volunteering page for information about our latest volunteering opportunities, or contact us at volunteering@vivacity-peterborough.com 01733 864775 if you are interested in getting involved in any aspect of the project.

Have a listen to a snippet from the recent production of ‘Parkway Dreams’, our musical documentary play, and hear what some of the audience thought about the show.

Did you migrate to Peterborough in the 60s, 70s or 80s? Contribute your memories to the oral archive!

We’re interested in talking to people who migrated here in the 60s, 70s, and 80s particularly from Uganda, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Caribbean and other Commonwealth countries.

We would also like to hear from you if you arrived in Peterborough more recently from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.

Contact Tina or Beverley on 01733 864298 or email if you’d be interested in chatting to us.

If you would like a FREE copy of the ‘Forty Years On’ commemorative booklet, which includes photographs, maps and quotes taken from interviews with members of the Peterborough Development Corporation, business owners and residents, please contact using the details above.

Download our latest newsletter below or visit our events and activities page for updates on our progress.