We Chat to Scott Taylor, the Brains Behind the We Share These Streets Podcast

Words: Lottie Murray
Photos: Nathan Langman
Wednesday 07 June 2023
reading time: min, words

Do you ever consider the streets you’re walking on? What happened on them hundreds of years ago? These are the exact questions Scott Taylor asked himself when he created We Share These Streets - the twenty-episode podcast exploring the days of Nottingham past…


The popularity of podcasts has undeniably increased over the past decade, and online streaming services make listening to a plethora of topics, via podcast format, very accessible. During lockdown, Scott Taylor felt inspired to make his own series, and so decided to put his enthusiasm for the history of his hometown to good use, by allowing others to join him on his journey of discovery and the preservation of ordinary people’s stories which are largely forgotten about in the history books. 

Scott appears to have a quite relaxed and positive approach to the process of creating We Share These Streets, which has proven to be an excellent decision. The episodes were all recorded in Scott’s home; no fancy studio, mics, special guests. Yet the atmosphere he creates in each one is perfect for the listener to feel a subconscious connection with the folk whose stories are being shared: “I always really liked the ones that are homemade.” 

The very essence of the podcast is locality and personability, and this was developed by Scott when he decided to reach out to a mutual connection on Twitter, Danielle Etches, who would later become the co-creator/researcher for We Share These Streets. Having still never physically met Danielle in person, Scott was initially very impressed by her Twitter account, describing her feed as having “really cool tweets about her family history, which was largely Nottingham-based.” Despite the “fragmented way” that the podcast came together, this collaboration harvested the ability to produce well-researched content and an exploration of “true tales of everyday folk in bygone Nottingham”.

The beauty of producing a podcast is that a qualification isn’t a requirement

With the nature of this podcast topic, it can be difficult to find themes and details to hone in on from a story point of view, and then create an episode that people truly want to listen to. Scott outlines that the process of finding a suitable and engaging tale stems from “a discussion between us [Scott and Danielle] consisting of sending stuff back and forth for sometimes weeks.” This online communication works well for the pair, and Scott states that “from us conversing, I know a little bit, so I’m fairly comfortable when I come to deliver it.” 

Scott’s interest in Nottingham, and his eagerness to learn more about people who walked these streets some hundred years ago, is beautiful and refreshing. Although it is hard for anyone to really pinpoint where an interest stems from, Scott distinctly remembers that when he was younger, growing up in the nineties, he “got into going to the library and looking at pictures because there used to be a railway station there, but I didn’t really know that until my mum told me.” 

This nostalgic reflection on Scott’s younger self having a fascination for what once was has been developed into something impressive, and the podcast now acts as comfort to current folk living here. Scott describes his connection with Nottingham as being “purely personal” and he is so interested in our culture primarily because “my roots are here”. 

Neither Danielle nor Scott have any background of studying history, and the beauty of producing a podcast is that qualification isn’t a requirement. Scott’s interest lies in what “people tend to call social history; I am really not interested in kings and queens.” Normal people are an essential part of all elements of historical research - they were the people who influenced policy and they were “previously the majority. The kings and queens, and politicians, even with their income, were the minority and in the elite, comfortable group.” 

Like most cities, many people currently living in Nottingham are students, and thus they do not have as personal a connection to our spot as a lot of locals. From the surface, one of the biggest attractions to tourists and temporary residents is Nottingham Castle and the legacy that Robin Hood left - but Scott believes that these things essentially distract people from appreciating the rest of the heritage and culture present within the city. “Although the site and the caves underneath are massively important, there are buildings in the city centre which are older than it,” he asserts, “so I’m just not massively into it.” 

I focus on what people tend to call social history; I am really not interested in kings and queens

Overall, Scott and Danielle are much more interested in the independent achievements of locals as opposed to things that “Nottingham has done as an authority”. Scott tells us that he has discovered individuals such as Watson Fothergill, who has influenced the city in big ways - but is rarely mentioned by the “tourist board or the local authority” in the same way that Robin Hood is.

The past and present have such a connection, but on a day-to-day basis, we don’t particularly fathom it. From Scott’s perspective, the relationship between Nottingham’s past and present is “more of a reflection of the past” than the past having an influence as such. Interestingly, Scott focuses on the shift from “manufacturing to academia”: Where, previously, the majority of people came to Nottingham due to traditional industries, such as the lace trade in the Georgian and Victorian era, now it is primarily for studying and attending university. “People are still drawn here, albeit for completely different reasons - but it was always a bit of a mishmash.” From this observation, Scott concludes that, overall, “Maybe Nottingham has a tradition of uniting populations, and can still do that.”

The We Share These Streets podcast bridges the gap between parts of the city and people that are no longer with the living elements of the city which still flourish. I encourage you to join Scott and Danielle in their appreciation for the history of Nottingham and ask yourself the question, ‘If I was born in a different time, but with largely the same circumstances, who would I be?’

You can find We Share These Streets Podcast on Spotify or YouTube


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