Bob – Port Stories and Me

Bob Ashworth

My name is Bob Ashworth. I came across Port Stories when there was a presentation at the Storey Building as one  of the “First Friday” events. I had recently returned to live in Lancaster and this project seemed to offer a great opportunity to learn something more about the City’s history.

I ended up looking into the Slave Rebellion on board the Lancaster Ship “The Mary” off the coast of The Gambia.

Having lived some years in Ghana in West Africa, I had visited many of the slave forts there and therefore had some interest in the history of this horrific trade.

However, little is heard about slave resistance and the likely conditions for the crews of slave ships. Here was a story of a local ship with a local crew!

The Port Stories project has been a wonderful experience. I have learned an immense amount about the rich and varied history of Lancaster and got to meet with some wonderful people as part of the process. Although short lived, the 18th century boom brought about by the port, with its African, West Indies and US trade, helped further develop Lancaster as an important historic town. Many of the buildings from that period grace our City centre today.


Bob is having trouble. Illustration by Len Grant.