Colin is East Midlands Oral History Archive Researcher and Outreach Officer at the University of Leicester. Colin’s involvement with oral history goes back to the original Leicester Oral History Archive which was established in 1983. Colin has worked on many community-based oral history projects including the publication, Walnut Street Past, Present and Future (1995).
Colin works closely with community organisations in Leicestershire and Rutland, both to retrieve existing oral history recordings and to encourage and support new work. It was Colin who first suggested that Shaun listened to Jelly Nixon’s oral recordings about 1960’s Leicester which kickstarted the Shaping a Generation project.
“The ‘Mod’ scene in the 1960s wasn’t just about music. It took in fashion, photography and design, and it involved many young people from across the country. While London is often the focus for writing about youth culture in the 1960s, young people in provincial towns such as Leicester and Nottingham created their own scenes. They developed their own tastes and styles and took them out into the wider world. In some cases, they were hugely successful and influential, but their stories have barely been recorded.
“While there have been a few projects about youth culture in Leicester in the 1960s, there haven’t been many and there is a definite need for as many aspects of post-war youth culture to be investigated as possible (by both academics and non-academics). In particular, Mod culture has barely been touched at all at the local level. Unfortunately, we have already started to lose key figures from the local Mod scene and now is definitely the time to do this project. Shaun Knapp’s contacts, knowledge, and enthusiasm for the subject make him the ideal person to cast light on a rarely told but important aspect of 1960s youth culture for both the book and exhibition.”