A NEW venture is giving people the chance to leave a lasting legacy in the historical archives of the future.

Aireborough local historian Carlo Harrison has launched his Back Chat initiative to record the lives of ordinary people to give future generations a valuable insight into the past.

Mr Harrison is archivist at Aireborough Historical Society but his venture, launched last November, is a private one.

So far he has completed and edited16 interviews with a further one ready for editing and four more awaiting recording.

He said: “My intention is to build an historical archive in an audio format that will appeal to followers of history now and become a fascinating insight into history spoken by the people who have lived it to be listened to in say 50 to 100 years’ time.”

He described it as: “Just normal everyday people talking about themselves, what they do, what they have done, what interests them and people that they have known.”

He said: “My thoughts behind Back Chat started a couple of years ago when we lost a very exuberant chap called Derek Wilkinson who was active in amateur productions in Guiseley and Rawdon and appears in all their programmes.

“This loss was followed very quickly by the death of George Crompton a truly delightful man and a much-treasured schoolteacher to all who knew him at Rawdon St Peters School.

“My opportunity had gone to be able to talk to these two chaps and record what they had done in their lives.”

“I decided to launch the Back Chat project using Gerald Long as my guinea pig, testing out equipment and methods of recording with my very skilled sound engineer David Myers.

“Two weeks after we recorded Gerald, he was killed in a car crash.”

Mr Long was a prominent figure in the local community and former president of Aireborough Historical Society.

Back Chat has covered many subjects so far, including the Second World War, Yeadon Dam “when it was just a patch of muddy water”, Yeadon old brass band, open water swimming, being a coal man, and emigrating to Australia.

“It really doesn’t matter what we chat about today because in 80 years’ time it will have changed and our chat today will have become fascinating oral history,” Mr Harrison said.

Anyone interested in taking part can reach Mr Harrison at https://www.facebook.com/carlo.harrison or at carloharrison@aol.com