Nicky Wilson’s first job was as a community forester – but working on a plantation in Northern Sudan. With that kind of pedigree, supplemented by working in community development and urban regeneration around North Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, it was little surprise that she has recently completed a three year project for the Galleries & Museums Trust developing the oral history archive of Burngreave (funded by New Deal…) She is the author of the wonderful publication Burngreave Voices.
If you’ve not seen it, make sure you get a copy. It is widely acclaimed in and out of Burngreave. But the way in which Nicky has won a place in the hearts of many people she has interviewed, worked with, encouraged, talked with and shared her enthusiasms with. Galleries & Museums trust explain that since this project, the museum has been strengthened in its determination to collect the reminiscences of many neighbourhoods in this city. Nicky’s “rapport with people, her enthusiasm, her energy, patience, attention to detail and her commitment to resolve some complicated issues” have been all too apparent.
Nicky herself explains that her three years in Burngreave have been a complete treat. As someone who is used to being a stranger/an incomer where she has worked, she has never encountered any negative treatment here. “The sheer dazzling variety of backgrounds and experiences, always something new and striking,” is a further comment on Nicky’s take on Burngreave. Most of the honours warded are for those who live and work in Burngreave. Nicky doesn’t now do either – but Burngreave is certainly in her heart, just as she has served to publicise the wonderful human story that so many residents in Burngreave are able to tell.