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hstri_logoHStRI is the hub for UCLan’s outward-facing and collaborative heritage work. It provides an organising principle for the wide variety of heritage-oriented activities happening at UCLan, so that external organisations and groups of all kinds can engage with the university, access expertise and find academic partners easily. It also helps staff find and work with external partners, whether in the heritage sector, in businesses, charities or the public sector, or with communities and community-based groups. Students are invaluable contributors to this enterprise, andHStRI will enable UCLan staff and partners to access placements and student skills to help their collaborative projects flourish.HStRI aims to build sustainable, mutually-beneficial relationships that allow people’s pasts to be captured, explored and shared in creative, engaging and useful ways.

HStRI is an innovative initiative of the University of Central Lancashire. It is run by the Project Director Dr Alix Green but connects into expertise across the university – in particular the School of Humanities and Social Science and the Media Innovation Studio.


Post-War Migrant Stories, Caribbean Routes to Preston 1948-1990
Alan Rice


The Institute for Black Atlantic Research (IBAR), established in 2014, is a research institute utilising UCLAN’s interdisciplinary and internationally renowned research pedigree in African Atlantic studies. Housed in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, it fosters partnerships with museums, galleries, broadcasters and community organisations to promote the study of the Black Atlantic in the North West and beyond. Its emphasis on art and culture makes it distinctive in comparison to other centres in the field locally, nationally and internationally which are typically devoted to historical and/or social science concerns. This project aims to develop a unique archive of the migrant stories of the African Caribbean community in Preston. This community was established in the wake of the arrival of the S.S. Empire Windrush and other ships in the late 1940s and grew during the period of mass migration in the 1950s and 1960s with smaller numbers thereafter. The Preston community consists of folk from many different islands with contrasting backgrounds who were to form a West Indian community which has become a vibrant and important part of Preston life. Students from UCLAN will collect oral narratives which will talk of sometimes perilous journeys to the North-West and of the conditions that confronted the migrants on their arrival. The narratives will not shy away from the racism and discrimination that greeted many and will also celebrate the traditions brought from the Caribbean such as carnival and cricket. The principal subjects for the study will be the elders of the community whose wonderful stories have yet to be recorded for posterity. The urgency of the project is reflected in the death notices in local papers which threaten silencing of the full story to be gained from these significant human historical resources. IBAR’s main partner would be the Preston Black History Group (PBHG) with whom Professor Rice has been working since 2010. ​ They would be key interlocutors with the community and enable IBAR to find the best interviewees, photograph and record them. Another partner, Lancashire Archives would be a key depository for the materials.


Built in 1871 to the designs of architects Brade and Smales, Christ Church is a grade II listed church situated in Carnforth, north Lancashire. The church was founded to serve the people of Carnforth at a time of rapid population growth propagated by the arrival of the railway and a new ironworks in 1846. A series of additions to the church were added in the early C20th: these included a tower and the provision of extra seating within a new aisle. A century on, whereas the worshipping congregation of Christ Church has reduced in number from the late Victorian heyday, there is a growing demand for the church to provide space for other community uses. The Community Church Space Project aims at facilitating the identification of new uses through community engagement, coupled with the design of simple, sympathetic internal alterations, which both conserve and celebrate the heritage values of the building whilst making it a more flexible space. The Project will culminate in a community engagement event. This will showcase design options for alteration – produced by UCLan architectural studies and building conservation students – to a range of local community groups, whose views on new use options and perspectives on the heritage values of the church will be explored. The Project promotes the role of heritage as an asset for all within the community.

Peter Atkinson

This project initially scopes the more full project on The Brewery Arts Centre’s (BAC) heritage as it brought artists of renown to a small, regional town – thus connecting that town, and the North West region, with national, and international touring circuits. The impact of this will eventually be measured by quantifying the number of nationally / internationally known artists and events hosted by BAC in each year, quantifying the number of national reviews, and gathering testimony from programmers, directors and those who experienced the events, some of this will be transacted through means of social media. The first stage of the project here will be create lists of all the artists who performed, and identify key people in the centre’s development. We will also prepare initial contextual information about arts funding in the period in question.

HSTRI Project: The Peterloo Witness Website
Dr Robert Poole, Guild Research Fellow and Reader in History, School of Humanities & Social Science

2019 sees the bicentenary of the 1819 ‘Peterloo massacre’, when armed troops dispersed a peaceful mass meeting for reform in St Peter’s Fields, Manchester. It was the best-documented political event in nineteenth-century England – over 300 eye-witness accounts survive. This project, in partnership with the Peterloo Memorial Campaign and the Manchester Histories Festival, is to design a prototype website which will make this material freely available, and allow users to tag it and map it, in time to support the commemoration of Britain’s first mass pro-democracy movement here in the north-west.

Cotton Industry Heritage Information Board


It is no exaggeration to claim that, in the days of King Cotton, Harle Syke was the most important cotton weaving village in Lancashire. Not only were there almost 10,000 power looms in the village but cotton manufacturing, as opposed to spinning, firms founded in Harle Syke operated throughout the weaving districts. Almost half the loomage of the largest of the weaving towns, Burnley, was controlled by firms which started their operations in Harle Syke. In addition, Harle Syke, Liberal in politics, successfully pioneered a version of the “Co-operative principle” in manufacturing which was much vaunted by early Socialists.
The aim of this project is to erect a Heritage Information Board in the heart of Harle Syke, the principal village of Briercliffe near Burnley. It will tell the story of the textile industry from days of the handloom weavers to late Victorian and Edwardian times when the influence of the village, and its fame, were at their peak. The historic core of Harle Syke, set out in a typical grid system, remains the best preserved Victorian cotton weaving village in the county. It is right that its story should be told in this way.

Weavers’ Triangle Visitor Centre

Visitor Centre

The project is part of the Weavers’ Triangle Visitor Centre in Burnley.  It is to create a  display illustrating Clock Tower Mill which was largely destroyed by fire thirty years ago and later demolished.  It will be based on a full size, seven-foot illustration of  one of  the clock faces to include the only numerals that have survived.  There will also be photographs and information about the mill and its founder, George Slater

The Chorley in Lancashire Exhibition
Chorley Heritage Centre Support Group

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Our group has worked with UCLAN students in producing several public exhibitions. This year, on November 27 at Astley Hall, Chorley is holding its inaugural Lancashire Day. At the centre of this CHCSG will mount the “Chorley in Lancashire” display, funded by the HSTRI hub. The display will be housed in the Astley Farmhouse which is Chorley’s interim heritage centre. The exhibition will be a lasting yet portable statement of the key turning points in Chorley’s history. It could be taken to outside venues and eventually be at the heart of the long desired permanent heritage centre for our town.

The Leyland Historical Society

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“The Leyland Historical Society has always said that the stories of the total workforce of Leyland should be recorded before all the workers disappear. Whilst we can appeal in the local papers if they are willing to publish people’s stories, the society thought we should take a more direct approach.

The Leyland Historical Society will set up a temporary exhibition in an empty shop on the main shopping street, Hough Lane, in order that we can attract ex-employees of all the companies that used to trade in Leyland, namely Leyland Motors, Leyland & Birmingham Rubber, BTR, the cotton mills, two gold thread works and Leyland Paints.

The exhibition will consist of various projects that the Society has conducted previously though mainly on the Industrial Heritage of Leyland to attract footfall as opposed to the South Ribble Museum which is not close to the shopping area of town.

We aim to either interview ex-employees if they are just visiting the town or preferably take their contact details for the project with UCLAN when we hope with the students help to interview them and retell their stories at a later date.”

Arts and Heritage Company

mirador print

Mirador, a new and exciting arts and heritage company, is delivering a wide ranging programme revealing the fascinating hidden history of a site built in 1865 as a Carriage and Wagon Works which became an internment camp during World War One and which, for the past 90 years, has been a major employer as the home of Standfast & Barracks, the UK’s leading printers of premium furnishing fabrics.
This ambitious programme will include:

  • A series of original artistic, performance, participative and heritage events to open up the Caton Road site to the public
  • Exhibitions revealing the varied history of the building from a Carriage and Wagon Works to its current industrial use, and the impact it has made over the past 150 years
  • Inspirational engagement with local, Lancashire, regional, national and international communities
  • A ground-breaking global digital engagement programme utilising Minecraft
  • Photography, costume design, film-making, innovative textile art
Preston Heritage Open Weekend


2016 is the fourth year that Preston has celebrated Heritage Open Days with a weekend of historic sites to explore around the city. From a tiny art nouveau bathroom in a carpet shop to the wide expanses of historic Avenham Park, there is more to Preston’s architecture and heritage than people realise.

Each year the number of sites and the number of visits has increased, and this year, with the support of HSTrI, Preston History Network aims to establish the event as a recognised contributor to Preston’s cultural tourism offer by attracting more visitors from further afield, adding at least two new sites and raising awareness of the city’s intriguing and significant history.

Friends of Worsthorne and Hurstwood


We are a newly formed community organisation that is proud of the beauty and heritage of the area where we live. As our villages and hamlets change and develop, we want to encourage people to become involved with their local community, enjoy what it has to offer, improve it and share it with others.

Worsthorne is the largest village in our area and we want to install a Heritage Board in the village centre, detailing the interesting sites and buildings that can be found there. We chose this as one of our first projects as it will accessible to both local people and visitors of all ages

Hopefully, this award from UCLan will be the first of a network of Heritage Boards across the Parish.


Mobilising Museum Collections

Harris Museum

event 1, 2

As part of UCLan and the Harris Museum’s ongoing collaboration through the Heritage Stories Research & Innovation (HStRi) Hub, a series of events were held at the Preston Harris Museum focussing on the future of museums and collections.

The first event, on 21st June 2016 was ‘Mobilising Museum Collections’ and centred on two case studies – the Preston Harris Museum itself and the Heritage Centre of the John Lewis Partnership in Cookham. Speakers included Jon Finch of the ‘Re-imagining the Harris’ project, Sue Latimer of the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library, and Judy Faraday of the John Lewis Partnership Archives.

The second event, on the 6th July 2016 highlighted some fresh and innovate thinking on museums under the title: ‘The future for museums: Re-imagining their role’. It asked: Do they still matter?  How can they embrace change, providing a space for people to share experiences and tell stories about their past, present and future? And at a time of rapid change and limited funds, how can they sustain their public roles and add value to our lives?
The event included presentations from: Katy Ashton, People’s History Museum; Janet Dugdale, Museum of Liverpool & Merseyside Maritime Museum, Dr Jerome de Groot, University of Manchester.