New Street Station was built in 1854 on the site of a Birmingham prison. Inspired by the site’s current regeneration, 90 young people explored why the station was built and the impact it had on people’s lives. With support and training from Birmingham Library, the young people chose how they wanted to explore this past and split into groups to research archives, interview people, write scripts and create an exhibition that was seen by thousands of commuters.
To share what they had uncovered, the young people acted out some of the colourful characters from the station’s past and led 300 visitors around the station to encounter the ghosts of New Street.
Katie Tonks, one of the young actors, said: “I played the role of an Italian ice cream seller situated in front of New Street station… It was lovely interacting with all the children.”
Young film-makers from North Birmingham Academy then wrote and shot several short dramas inspired by the hidden histories.
All the oral history recordings, research and films were finally preserved in Birmingham library archive and online for future generations.