Ripley pupils take step back in time

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Earlier this year, as the summer term drew to a close, a number of motivated young people from Ripley St Thomas CE Academy took the time to look back by unearthing a raft of interesting personal tales from older people in the local community.

The stories have been collected as part of the MyStory project, which aims to interview and record older peoples interesting memories in order to produce a number of short films which can be watched on the internet.

The films made by the students were screened at a celebration event held at the academy’s 6th Form conference centre and attended by both the young people and their storytelling counterparts.

Four of the local storytellers were welcomed as ‘special guests’ and included Pat Lambert, 63, who gave vivid recollections of working in Bath Street Cotton Mill as a teenager; Norah Boyd, 85 with memories of working in her family’s high class grocers shop; Lilian Cadoux, 90, who provided memories of working as a nurse during the London blitz, and also for the Quakers after the war and Ellen Clegg, 82, who represents one of seven generations to live in Lancaster, and who shared her story about the importance of family, name and place, which included a strong philosophical argument as to why Freeman’s Wood in Lancaster should remain a wood.

Sixth Form story collectors, including Katie Ashton, Bethany Dale, Michael Dixon, Sarah Bradley, Leah Baldwin, Bethany Moore and Kate Charlson, were also in attendance along with Avril Lowe, the school’s international projects co-ordinator.

Jackie Garnett, head of Sixth Form, spoke enthusiastically about her admiration for the efforts made by the students and the positive impact taking part in the project had upon participants from both age groups.

The stories, along with supplementary material, are located on the MyStory website at, and will form an archive resource of social history.

The resource is freely available and has many different potential users including Schools, Universities, Colleges, Museums, Libraries or for individual research.

The MyStory project has been partially funded by the European Union, and includes six organisations from five European countries.

Lancaster based DHE Solutions Ltd is the co-ordinating organisation for the UK.

Managing director David Evans said: “We are very pleased with the progress of the project so far, and of the great partnership we have developed with Ripley.”

The project is looking for further interesting stories, and story collectors. If you would like to be part of the MyStory project, either through collecting or sharing stories, contact David Evans on or on 842737.