In the rich tapestry of County Durham’s history, an unexpected but vibrant thread runs through the independent greyhound racing, affectionately known as ‘flapping’. Brimming with energy and community spirit, this intriguing subculture is now being meticulously documented and celebrated through the project ‘Dogpeople’.

The Visionaries Behind ‘Dogpeople’

Spearheaded by the award-winning writer Dr. Louise Powell, herself a lifelong participant in the flapping scene, ‘Dogpeople’ delves deep into the social history of this unique sport. Louise’s connection to the flapping community adds an authentic and heartfelt dimension to the project, ensuring that the voices and stories of those who lived the flapping life are brought to the forefront.

Bridget Hamilton, a creative force renowned for her ability to weave narrative and sound into compelling audio experiences, expertly handled the project’s audio production and editing. Together, Powell and Hamilton form a dynamic duo, transforming memories and anecdotes into a rich, immersive journey through County Durham’s greyhound racing past.

A Community-Centered Approach

‘Dogpeople’ is not just a project but a cultural celebration. It combines community events with various cultural outputs, ensuring that the heritage of flapping is preserved in the very words of the people who frequented the tracks. This approach creates a living archive, one that breathes life into the stories of the men and women who were integral to the flapping community.

Partners and Support

The project is a shining example of collaborative effort, supported by public funding from Arts Council England and commissioned by No More Nowt’s ‘Untold Stories’ strand. It is delivered in partnership with several key cultural and heritage organisations, including No More Nowt, Redhills Durham, New Writing North, The Story at Mount Oswald, and Wheatley Hill Heritage Centre. These partnerships are crucial in bringing the project to life, and providing the resources and platforms needed to reach a wider audience.

Listen to the Stories

One of the most exciting aspects of ‘Dogpeople’ is its podcast series, which is available on Spotify. These podcasts offer a deeply personal and engaging way to experience the stories of County Durham’s flapping community. Listeners are invited to immerse themselves in the rich oral history, reliving the greyhound racing tracks’ excitement, camaraderie, and unique culture.

To explore the world of ‘Dogpeople’ and listen to the podcasts here

Preserving Heritage for Future Generations

‘Dogpeople’ stands as a testament to the power of storytelling in preserving cultural heritage. By capturing and sharing the memories of County Durham’s flapping community, the project ensures that this vibrant piece of history is not forgotten but celebrated and cherished by future generations. It’s a poignant reminder that our stories, no matter how niche, form the backbone of our collective history.

Through ‘Dogpeople’, Dr. Louise Powell, Bridget Hamilton, and their partners have created a lasting tribute to the spirit of flapping, honouring the past while inspiring the future.