Hello. My name is Paula Ashworth. I have always loved history and therefore was interested in the Port Stories Project because of this.
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.
Having just come to live in Lancaster last year, I also felt it would be a good opportunity to get to know more about the town, and therefore feel more a part of it.
I have enjoyed very much researching this aspect of Lancaster’s history. For example, looking at primary source material in the Lancashire Archives in Preston; the reading of secondary source material online and in books about the slave trade, to visiting places in Lancaster like Castle Park and the Memorial Garden in The Priory Church. These last two places having a particularly close connection to the town’s largely unknown black history.
It has been great to meet, and hear about the diverse areas that other people in the group have focussed on.
I feel that I have learned a great deal more about Lancaster than I certainly knew before. Walking around the town now I feel I know it better, at least from the perspective of the 18th century!