Lancaster’s maritime past brought to life

Some Port Stories community artists, Shane Johnstone, front, from left, Bob and Paula Ashworth, Zylpha Thomson and The Dukes Associate Director, Alex Summers. Picture by Darren Andrews.
Some Port Stories community artists, Shane Johnstone, front, from left, Bob and Paula Ashworth, Zylpha Thomson and The Dukes Associate Director, Alex Summers. Picture by Darren Andrews.

The 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 award-winning 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 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.”

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