Dial the Time Telephone Box to reach a portal to games and rhymes of the past.
Younger generations will discover games and rhymes of the past by playing with an unknown interface – the public telephonebox. Older generations will find themselves plunged into a common activity of the past: the use of the rotary phone, that will likely trigger childhood memories. The Time Telephone Box uses archival material recorded by the Opies between 1969 and 1983, and a selection of essays re-enacted by primary school children from London, Sheffield, Cardiff and Aberdeen.
Time Telephone Box is part of the project called Playing the Archive: Memory, Community and Mixed Reality Play. Playing the Archive is an ambitious programme of research and cultural production, exploring the nature of play by bringing together archives, spaces and technologies of play, along with people who play, both old and young. Funded by the EPSRC (Content Creation and Consumption in the Digital Economy), the project addresses the ephemerality of practices and memories encoded in play. It is a partnership between DARE at the UCL Knowledge Lab; the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the Bartlett School of Architecture; the University of Sheffield; the Bodleian Libraries; the V&A Museum of Childhood, and the Digital Humanities Institute, Sheffield.
Playing the Archive is inspired by Iona and Peter Opie who were folklorists active in the 1950s and who spent their career recording how children play, including street games, invented stories and complex traditions.