This is a page for people who I’ve contacted about The House Of Mirelle.
You may be reading this page because you are one of the people I’ve contacted to ask if you are happy to be involved with this research. Hello and a warm welcome to this page, which explains why I’ve got in touch with you.
One of the most crucial aspects to my research into The House Of Mirelle is that the story will be told by a mixture of fact and first or second-hand recollection i.e. people’s memories. This is called “Oral History.”
Here’s a factual for instance; The House Of Mirelle existed on King Edward Street in Hull.
That fact isn’t disputed and is in the public domain.
These facts have been sourced through normal avenues for historical research; some from Hull and some from other publicly available resources.
But that information on its own is not enough to tell the story of The House Of Mirelle.
My research is also about the people who had contact with the fashion house. For instance, I’m seeking out the mannequins – or models – who worked there and also people who may have had clothes made there.
This is a vital aspect to my research. The book is a non-fiction book. That means the content is factual information and that information must be accurate. It’s a collaborative process in that the story is told partly by me and partly by the people who recall the House of Mirelle.
Sometimes I discover that people I’d like to talk to are no longer alive.
In that case I’m seeking out relatives, friends and / or work colleagues of the original person to see if you have information to share.
Friends, relatives or work colleagues may have received a letter from me, introducing myself and explaining why you are someone I’d like to talk to.
That helps because you may recall conversations and experiences also.
This is every bit as valuable – I’ve discovered little-known facts that aren’t available in the public domain that way.
As you can tell, people are really important to telling this story properly.
The House Of Mirelle has to be researched thoroughly so that there is confidence and certainty that the facts presented in the book are accurate. That’s something publishers and the reading public need to be confident of too.
That’s the first reason for getting in touch with you.
The second reason is that the book is a piece of social research as well as a piece of research about business and fashion. I’m telling a story that isn’t my personal history, it’s the history of Hull as a city and of the people who shopped, worked and lived there also.
The history is ‘owned’ by those that remember and experienced it. Part of ensuring ownership of your history in the final book is to have people those involved with The House Of Mirelle incorporated into the story.
In Social History and particularly Oral History, it’s what people say about an experience in their lives that is the focus of the research.
So, for instance, when I’m talking to people who recall The House Of Mirelle being on King Edward Street, what’s important isn’t only what the historical facts say, but what the person has to say about it too.
If someone has a memory to share that is included so that the piece of writing involves the person also.
Here’s what the mix of factual and people’s memories can do to develop the story:
“In 1946 The House Of Mirelle was based at 60, King Edward Street.”
“In post-war Hull, parts of King Edward Street was decimated and the City centre lay in fragments. Buildings that survived the Nazi bombing campaigns stood out amongst the gaps and rubble. By 1946 the row of shops where The House Of Mirelle proudly asserted its survival retained a glimpse into the world of the past.”
You can read the difference in that short excerpt.
The words of Marie Jubb who was turned away from The House Of Mirelle when they wouldn’t copy Lady Patricia Mountbatten’s wedding dress adds something to the fact that The House Of Mirelle made wedding dresses on its own.
In this way your memories, even if they are second-hand, are crucial to telling the story properly.
On the front page of my website I talk about the type of information that I’m seeking out. You could be the key to unlock a hidden aspect to The House Of Mirelle and that makes your memories part of the story too.
Your contact with is valuable for that reason.
Thank you very much for reading this page and for taking the time to get in touch. I’m looking forward to talking with you.