Latest news and events round-up from the RHC


Welcome to the latest e-newsletter from the Department of History’s Regional Heritage Centre. If you have difficulty reading this email please open it in your web browser.
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In this edition:
•         Reminder about 19 May 2018 launch of the Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive Online
•         The latest creative activities relating to the Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive from our creative partner organisation, Mirador
•         News of an upcoming exhibition launch at the Maritime Museum Lancaster linked to an RHC publication on the whaling ship Abram
•         External events and announcements

Welcome to the May 2018 newsletter

Oral History in the North West. A special conference to launch the website of the Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive

The Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive is a unique resource, through which we can hear the voices of people born at the end of the nineteenth century sharing their perspectives on the timeless themes of birth, love, marriage, health, work, family and death.  Preserving this important research for the future, and digitising the transcripts to offer much broader access, has been a priority for the Centre over the past three years.  Now, thanks to the support of a range of institutional and individual funders, we have been developing a website to host the transcripts of the interviews.
To mark the website launch, we’ve teamed up with arts organisation Mirador to bring you a really exciting special conference on Oral History. This event will feature Dr Elizabeth Roberts herself in conversation with Dr Corinna Peniston-Bird, discussing the origins and development of the linked projects that make up the archive, as well as a demonstration of the new website and the first screening of a new documentary film exploring artists’ creative response to the archive in new work funded by the Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. There will also be a chance to find out about other oral history projects going on in the North West. With so much fascinating material on offer, and a specially subsidised enrolment fee of £20 per head. Please, don’t delay. Secure your place now.
For more information Click Here or Book Now

And why not make sure your contact information is up to date on our e-newsletter mailing list, so you’re always the first to hear about RHC activities? New data protection laws coming into force in May make this the perfect time to give us your details, tell us your preferences, and opt in or out – simple.

And speaking of Mirador…

Their project ‘Walking in Others Footsteps’ has offered some wonderful opportunities to participate in creative workshops and meet their artists. Now the public can view audio artist Dan Fox’s fabulous installation ‘Voices from the Hood’, inspired by the Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive. To find out when the installation comes to your area, and for more information Click Here.

Good News  - and A Slight Detour - for Supporters Attending Our On-Campus Events

In the past, we’ve had a lot of feedback from you about how difficult it is to find your way around the Lancaster University campus…steps have been taken to improve the situation. The campus has been transformed with new external signage that will help visitors and newcomers navigate more easily. A new, easy-to-use map divides the campus into five colour-coded zones and gives each building a three letter code replacing the old number system. This should make it easier to find our lecture theatres and hopefully improve the visitor experience. You can find the updated campus map online at
It wouldn’t hurt to allow a little extra travelling time – parking is still free on campus on Saturdays, but you may find yourself walking a little further. If you are coming to an RHC event, please note that all the details are clearly given on our website and the printer-friendly version of the downloadable details.

An Invitation to the Launch of a New Exhibition

The Regional Heritage Centre will launch a new exhibition about the voyages of Abram on 7th June at Lancaster’s Maritime Museum. The RHC’s predecessor, the Centre for North-West Regional Studies, published a book on the subject in 2013: The West Indies and the Arctic in the Age of Sail: the voyages of Abram (1806-62), by Rob David and Michael Winstanley with Margaret Bainbridge. The new exhibition will tour to locations associated with the vessel, thanks to a legacy from long-time CNWRS supporter Dr Margaret Bainbridge, whose original research forms a basis for both the book and the display.

The Voyages of Abram opens on Thursday 7 June 2018 at the Maritime Museum in Lancaster, and will travel on to other locations visited by the vessel, including Shetland and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. To celebrate the exhibition launch, we are holding an afternoon reception, to which Patrons and Friends of the RHC are invited. Places are limited, so please let us know if you wish to attend by Thursday 24 May 2018 (

Date:      Thursday 7 June 2018
Time:     15:30-17:00
Venue:   Maritime Museum, Lancaster.

Lancaster Maritime Museum is located in the Custom House on St George’s Quay, alongside the River Lune. It is a ten-minute walk from the railway station and a similar distance from the bus station. There is time-limited free public parking on St George’s Quay, including a Blue Badge space, and some availability at the rear of the museum. There is also a public ParkSafe car park in Mitre House at the end of the Quay – take the turning just before the Three Mariners pub.

External Events and Announcements

Please note that the RHC cannot provide further information on these events and announcements, nor be held responsible for any inaccuracies in what is posted below. If you have queries or wish to book for any event listed here please contact the organiser/venue/promoter directly.
The Friends of Lancaster City Museum announce a special nocturnal opening for May. This year, both the City Museum and the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum will be hosting Museums at Night events on Friday and Saturday, 18 & 19 May, between 7pm and 9pm. Museums at Night is a national initiative and this year staff will be giving mini talks on some of their favourite objects in the Museum so don't miss out. The event will be free. For more information, contact Lancaster City Museum on 01524 64637.


Morecambe Bay Partnership and Coastal and Intertidal Archaeology Zone Network (CITiZAN) are hosting a free training event on Wednesday 30 May in Barrow in Furness. The event is covering the topic of coastal archaeology and evidence of past environments, which are often exposed and are particularly vulnerable to damage from coastal erosion and storms. Speakers include Professor Martin Bell from Reading University who has extensive experience investigating and recording intertidal sites in the Seven Estuary, Alison Burns who has undertaken research and recording of footprints and paleoecology, in particular at Formby, and Dr Sue Stallibrass from Historic England who will demonstrate how evidence from animals bones can used to explore past environments.

Further information and booking Click Here.

The University of Salford and the Greater Manchester Archaeology Federation announce the Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival from Thursday 21 June to Sunday 24 June. The Archaeology Festival features free events throughout the city region. For more information, visit

Cumbria Archives Services is planning improvements to some of its venues. Ongoing construction means some closures and changes to archive services, particularly in Kendal and Whitehaven. For more information, please visit their website or Click Here

Lancashire Archives will be running a series of free events as part of their new initiative 'Family History Fridays'. Monthly events include family history surgeries, talks, and Getting to Know sessions which introduce Archive collections and procedures. For more information and to book your free place send an email to or ring 01772 533039.
Transcripts of Six Inquiries by the Duchy of Lancaster Concerning the
Forest of Bowland in Lancashire and Yorkshire Between 1592 & 1613
This publication should appeal to local and family historians with its wealth of names of people, their residences and often the ages of many who dwelt within the Forest of Bowland. Deer poaching, illegal felling of Forest trees, disputes concerning boundaries and the deer park at Leagram are all included.  The depositions of local residents reveal first hand what life was like in Bowland, at a period when disafforestation and the sale of the holdings were soon to follow. These transcripts of the original documents are a fascinating insight into the management of Bowland before these changes occurred.
The original documents are deposited at The National Archives and are transcribed by Frances Marginson from photographs taken by Dr Bill Shannon. They are available, price £8 plus £2 p&p from Slaidburn Archive, 25 Church Street, Slaidburn, Clitheroe. BB7 3ER or see for more information.

And one final note concerning the Judges’ Lodgings in Lancaster…

Following a Cabinet decision last week,  Lancashire County Council has now agreed to re-open the Judges’ Lodgings in Lancaster on three days a week (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) from 21 July for an initial three-year period (with school visits and external bookings on the other days). Various options were presented to the Cabinet, and it was commented that the hard work of the Trustees, Friends group and local people had pushed the councillors to seek alternatives to closure. It has also been agreed that County Council officers will work with the Trustees in a partnership arrangement, with paid staff to be appointed shortly. Following through on ideas that grew out of the consultations, and securing the funding that will be needed to develop projects, will be a strong focus. Watch this space.

We hope this newsletter gives a good idea of the range of heritage activities on offer locally, and we look forward to seeing you at a Centre event in 2018.

Best wishes,
Ann-Marie Michel

Regional Heritage Centre

Department of History,
Bowland College,
Lancaster University,
Lancaster LA1 4YT

RHC telephone: 01524 593770 (Tues/Thurs/Fridays 0930-1530)
For more details of our activities and publications visit our website at
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