In the end, for my first visit, I sat in the audio booth and listened to an audio history recording made by Mr and Mrs Hall on 8th February 1978. The reference was T/114.
This web site has been built on the memories of many people and many of the things in the almost two hour recording are already in these pages. Hearing the voices and actual words brings history alive but I had two problems. I couldn't always make sense of what was being said, sometimes due to accents and the use of unfamiliar words, and sometimes in context. Both Mr and Mrs Hall covered a lot of detail, particularly regarding life in Heddon in the early 1900s up to the First World War.
Mr Hall was born in Newburn in 1894 and moved to Heddon in 1924. Both of his parents came from Newburn and his father was employed as a blacksmith. Mrs Hall was born in Heddon in 1894. Her parents, Mr and Mrs Gibson also came from the village, and were part of one of the oldest village families. Her father worked as a stoneman at Heddon Colliery.
I made a lot of notes but for the reasons outlined above, they will suffer from some inaccuracy. I will add a section to the Memories pages and add some of my notes when I find the time. Any errors will be mine - both the Halls seemed to have excellent memories and sound and acute minds. It was a memorable and moving afternoon.