Domesday Reloaded project maps Essex social history

Picture of Southend High Street taken in 1986 for the BBC's Domesday project
Image caption A picture of Southend High Street taken for the Domesday archive in 1986

People in Essex are being encouraged to take part in a BBC project to create a snapshot of life in the county.

Domesday Reloaded is a follow up to a 1986 initiative that asked people to document everyday life in their locality through words and pictures.

That information has now been transferred to an online database and it is hoped people will update it with information from 2011.

The BBC is also looking for people who took part in the exercise 25 years ago.

Stories recorded

The original BBC Domesday project was designed to be made available on special computers in libraries and schools.

Volunteers, scouts, schools and local historians were encouraged to populate it with descriptions of the area they lived in, the people who lived in it and the stories making the news.

Among the stories recorded in Essex from 25 years ago were the opening of the first MacDonalds in Clacton and the Queen's visit to Colchester.

In Laindon, it was recorded that Shirley Ellis had won the Essex Window Cleaner of the Year accolade, whilst a pupil from Chadwell Heath Primary School wrote about the day in the life of her father who was a postman.

Another school pupil wrote of the differing religious beliefs between younger and older generations in Dagenham, whilst elsewhere there is an account of the former Elsenham Jam factory.

All of this information has now been made available online at the Doomsday Reloaded website.

It is hoped people who took part in 1986 will come forward and the database will be updated to show how life has changed in the towns and villages of Essex.

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