use the buttons below to explore different versions of our family memories
FREE RANGE Begin by exploring my memories of growing up in the 1970s. This memoir is told through my eyes as a child
FAMILY DISCUSSION Follow a family discussion debating memories of the events you have just read about.
BEDTIME STORIES Read a bedtime story as told to me by my parents and discover more about our extended family history.
about this memoir
This story begins in 1971 when my family moved into a new house in Station Rd, Radyr, Cardiff.
I was seven at the time and we lived there till I was twelve. My most vivid childhood memories relate to this time.
When I started writing down these memories they were told through my eyes as child.
As I wrote I realised that the stories I was telling did not only belong to me. They were shared experiences and I wanted to involve my siblings in the remembering of them.
My versions of these stories seened shaky and unreliable. I felt that they needed corroborating or verifying in order to tell the story more completely.
I took it upon myself to get my siblings to read my stories and then to interview them to see whether their memories of these events differed from mine.
Many of the incidents described are small seemingly trivial moments .Yet they have resonated over time. Although small, they loom large in the emotional and visual landscape of our childhood.
I have discovered that my brothers, sisters memories of that time are equally unreliable. We share stories and family myths but they are remembered and misremembered uniquely by each of us.
In bringing them together I hope we have succeeded in creating something representative, a form of collective family memoir.
Debbie Ballin is a filmmaker, writer and lecturer. Her film and TV work has been broadcast on BBC 4 , Channel 4 and ITV and screened nationally and internationally at major film festivals. Her films have been critically acclaimed and she was nominated for a BAFTA in 2005.
She is a senior lecturer in film at Sheffield Hallam University and a member of the Art and Design Research Council. She is currently studying an MA in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam.
This is her first attempt at an interactive memoir.