One World One Essex: Family Stories and Folk Tales

Chinese dancers at One World One Essex event

One World One Essex

Family Stories and Folk Tales

Oral History and Storytelling

One World One Essex brought together seven different stories from families living in Essex, celebrating their journeys, cultures and experiences of living in the county. These were featured in a touring exhibition with an accompanying booklet. Their stories were also recorded, narrated by Storyteller and Narrative Specialist Seema Anand, to be permanently archived at Essex Record Office in Chelmsford. These diverse voices have therefore become an important part of the oral history of the county.

Pots are central to all world cultures, whether it’s for cooking, storage or ceremony. For One World One Essex, each family story was accompanied by an image and description of a pot relating to that culture, and on the audio recordings each oral history is followed by a folk tale inspired by pots from the family’s cultural background.

We invite you to listen to each families’ stories below, interlaced with folk tales from around the world, and read the full exhibition booklet alongside the audio recordings.

One World One Essex

About the Project

One World One Essex was a celebration of cultural diversity in Essex, through the stories of various individuals and families who live in the county.

The project took place in 2010 with a touring exhibition, accompanying exhibition booklet, oral history recordings and an exciting series of events. Events included a Debate on Cultural Identity for Essex Book Festival, and a Global Gala in Chelmsford’s central park with music, dance, crafts and food to celebrate the many different cultures in Essex.

For centuries people have migrated to Essex. Almost everyone who lives in Essex has come from another land or culture. You could descend from Roman invaders or their families and slaves or Anglo-Saxons or Normans or even the Dutch. Your family could have come here from another part of Britain or Ireland, or you may have come in more recent times from one of the countries that were part of the British Empire. Whatever your family’s journey, you are here.

“This is a wonderful thing to be happening in Essex. Our culture is everywhere you look and I hope this raises awareness of the myriad of events taking place in Essex everyday, so that more people can enjoy them” Jeremy Lucas, former County Councillor and Cabinet Member for Heritage, Culture and the Arts


Logo for Essex County Council