About Austin Village Stories

Built to Last: Austin Village at 100 project ran from November 2017 - April 2018 and set out to tell the story of the residents who call the village home now and capture its unique spirit through photographs, village newsletters, homemade films and more. It gives a snapshot of life in its hundredth year, through the memories and anecdotes of residents. Their pride in living there is evident, a thread that runs through all of the interviews and conversations we’ve had. People in The Austin Village are hugely passionate about this place they call home. The project was initiated and managed by West Midlands based arts and heritage organisation Ampersand Projects.

The Austin Village Stories website has been created which tells the stories of residents in 2018 and includes fascinating oral history interviews, photographic portraits by artist Stephen Burke and photographs submitted by residents at community sharing events. A pop-up exhibition took place at the Northfield Cons Club in April 2018 to conclude the project.

Residents have been at the heart of the Built to Last activity. A dedicated group of community volunteers have received training to upskill and empower them to collect and share oral histories, use photography and to manage the stories website.

Built to Last: Austin Village at 100 ran from November 2017 - April 2018 and was generously supported by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. 


Ampersand Projects - Built to Last Cover.PNG

We collaborate with communities and artists across Birmingham and the Black Country with the goal of building meaningful connections between people and public spaces. We work to empower communities and individuals to be creative, to discover their heritage and share their own stories.


Ampersand Projects would like to thank the following:

The Austin Village Preservation Society
Christine Bagnall, Esther May, Hazel Griffiths and Chris Pollard for their enthusiasm and dedication as volunteers on the project
All of the residents of Austin Village who have been interviewed or have contributed to the project
Stephen Burke
Andy Price
Adam Neale
The Clarke Historical Library of Central Michigan University
The Holodeck Printers, Birmingham
Northfield Conservative Club
The Heritage Lottery Fund and players of The National Lottery

Special thanks to Alan Taylor, President of the AVPS, and Megan Evans, for their support in making this project a reality




This website and its content are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial. Content may be reproduced as long as it attributes the source and Ampersand Projects and Stephen Burke as the creators in accompanying text, and is not used for commercial purposes.