Port Stories Launched

August 18, 2017 - 9:00am

Port Stories Launched

The fascinating history of Lancaster’s maritime past is brought to life in audio dramas, films and artwork on a newly launched website.

Port Stories aims to increase awareness of the importance of Lancaster’s built heritage and museum collections at a time when the future of the county’s museums remains uncertain.

Led by The Dukes and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, through money raised by National Lottery players, Port Stories is the result of a four month community project and has also involved awardwinning writers and professional actors including Julie Hesmondalgh, last seen on television in Broadchurch.

Julie voices one of the four audio dramas available on the website which can be downloaded and listened to during walking tours of historic sites around St George’s Quay and Castle Park.

David Crellin, who appeared in The Dukes autumn production of The Ockerbys on Ice, plays Lancastrian Quaker Williams Stout in another of the dramas.

“It's always interesting to look into the lives of those who came before us,” said David. “Their trials and tribulations help us appreciate how far we've come, how much easier our lives are and the debt we owe them”.

The website also includes a wide range of content produced by nine community artists – from schoolgirls to pensioners – and an education pack for key stage 3 history students produced with the help of Central Lancaster High School.

Among the topics covered are Lancaster’s involvement in the slave trade, the lives of young women in 18th Century Lancaster, the story of Gillows furniture makers, how ships got their names, an artist’s perspective on Georgian Lancaster and what life was like for deaf people in this period.

“What struck me about the community element of this project was the commitment of the participants,” said Len Grant, one of the artists and writers involved.

“There was a variety of ages, backgrounds and interests but all were 100% enthusiastic about making their mark on the history of Lancaster.”

Port Stories was a Dukes led partnership with the Regional Heritage Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster Museums Service and Global Link. To view the website, visit www.portstories.org.uk