Due to my half Caribbean background, and having lived in Ghana in West Africa for three years, during which, I visited a couple of the slave forts along its coastline, I had a personal interest in finding out more about Lancaster's involvement in slavery during the 18th century.
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.
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.
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.
I saw the invitation to become involved with Port Stories on the Regional Heritage e-newsletter and it suggested that participants would be creatively exploring the history of Lancaster. As a volunteer at Lancashire Archives and a member of the U3A it seemed like an attractive proposition.
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