Save and Sound – the people who build Britain’s credit unions

By cunews posted 16-10-2020 11:40:21


Set up to collect and preserve the memories of people involved in setting up and running credit unions before 2000, the Credit Union Foundation’s Save and Sound oral history project launched online on Thursday 15th October, International Credit Union Day. 

Speakers at the online event included, Lord Kennedy of Southwark, Chair of the Credit Union Foundation Trustee Board, Dr Paul A. Jones, Reader in the Social Economy, Liverpool John Moores University and Mary Stewart, Curator, Oral History, and Deputy Director of National Life Stories at the British Library. 

Lord Kennedy of Southwark, said: “The Credit Union Foundation is proud to have been entrusted with this important project. It is because of the commitment and enthusiasm of our credit union pioneers that communities and workplaces can now access safe savings and affordable credit.  Save and Sound will ensure that their efforts are not forgotten.”

Dr Paul A. Jones, said: “A wide range of people have been involved in establishing credit unions in Britain, from churches and community groups to trade unions and local government.  I look forward to Save and Sound producing a collection of interviews which reflects the diversity of influences within the sector.”

Mary Stewart, said: “These interviews will enrich the national collection of oral histories with detailed, personal testimonies about the foundation of credit unions, and their day to day function.  On behalf of National Life Stories at the British Library, I am delighted that researchers now and in the future will be able to access to these recordings alongside our other rich holdings on the banking and finance sectors.”  

Save and Sound is funded by the National Lottery with money raised by lottery players.  It will collect 40 oral histories from credit union pioneers across the north of England.    The interviews will become part of the national oral history collection cared for by the British Library where they will be available to generations of researchers.

Volunteers are being recruited to carry out the interviews and to populate a new website where clips of the interviews and other material will be hosted. The project will also produce a new online course and podcast to help more people understand the heritage of credit unions.  A toolkit will enable more interviews to be collected across Britain. 

Anyone interested in the project or the heritage of credit unions is invited to register for the event at: