Audio Dramas

Port Stories Locational Audio Dramas from James Harker and May Sumwanyambe.


Port Stories Documentary from film-maker Jonny Randall.

Education Pack

Key Stage 3 History Education Pack from Karen Merrifield at Innovate Educate with support from Central High School.


Research and Creative Responses from the Port Stories Community Group.

Participating Artists

From November 2016 to March 2017, a group of 9 Community Artists worked alongside The Dukes to explore and respond to C18th Lancaster, the Port and its rich heritage. Lino-Cut Portraits by Rebecca Willmott.

Jilly – Port Stories and Me: Deaf History & Audiences

Sign language was not a formalised discreet language and few ordinary people were educated. How would a Deaf person have communicated with their family? After a trip to Preston archives, finding little documented evidence for Deaf culture it prompted me to ‘imagine’ this life.

Shane – The Big Game Hunter

I first got involved with Port Stories because of the flyer. On it is an 18th century painting of a view of Lancaster. On the right hand side of the painting is a huge hull of a ship.

Emma Chandler

Emma – Port Stories and Me

As my contribution towards the Port Stories project, I researched a relatively unknown charitable educational institution, called the Lancaster Girls’ Charity School.

Paula – Cape Coast Castle & Far Beyond

Cape Coast Castle was originally built by the Portuguese in the 15th century as a trading lodge to trade mainly in gold, which was plentiful in this part of Ghana. In 1653, it was taken over by Sweden’s conquest of Cape Coast, and a more permanent wooden fortress was built by the Swedish Africa Company for trade in gold and timber. Over time the fortress passed through the hands of the Danes and the Dutch before being conquered by the British in 1664, by which time the building had been reconstructed in stone.

Zylpha Thompson

Zylpha – Handmade in Lancaster: the Text

Gillows of Lancaster, later known as Waring and Gillows, were furniture manufacturers. The firm started in the early 1700’s and finally closed in 1962 and for over 250 years they created furniture of outstanding quality, examples of which are still around today.

Juliette Chandler

Juliette – Port Stories and Me

I was fascinated by the stories behind some of the ships, most of all where they got their names.

Paula – A Letter to James

Dear James

I have just been looking through a box of old photos and came across the one of you when you were about 5 years old. The one where you are sitting on an old canon outside Cape Coast Castle in Ghana. At the time you would not have known that this place is part of your heritage.

Bob – The Slave Rebellion

This fictional story of an onboard slave rebellion is based around the known history of the Lancaster Captain Samuel Sandys and the Lancaster slave ship “The Mary” in 1761. After what appears to have been a very troubled voyage, and having survived one attempted uprising, Sandys and most of his crew ended up being killed in a slave insurrection off the coast of The Gambia. This fictional story is told from the perspective of one of the few survivors of the voyage, on his return to Lancaster many months later.

Bob Ashworth

Bob – The Slave Rebellion (Audio Drama)

The Slave Rebellion. Written by Bob Ashworth, performed by Phil Chandler, directed by Alex Summers and produced by Karen Lauke at Naked Productions.

Shane – the Artist’s Dilemma: Julius Ceasar Ibbetson

A contract: to paint a picture from Cable Street, Lancaster, and before the frontage of the German Sugar House.

Emma – The Story of Ellen Preston

Dear Miss Townson,

I wish to inform you that I have succeed in gaining a position with one of the most respectable families in Lancaster.

Zylpha – Handmade in Lancaster: the Animation

Handmade in Lancaster - Animation by Christopher Blower. Words and narration by Zylpha Thomson.

Explore More From the Community

Explore More
  • The Dukes
  • Lancashire County Council
  • Lancaster City Council
  • Lancaster University
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Lancaster Arts City First Friday
  • Global Link
  • Arts Council England