Hidden Stories, Shared Lives

This oral history project was a partnership between Cumbria Development Education Centre, South Lakes Equality and Diversity Partnership, South Lakeland District Council and AWAZ – the Voice of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) People and Communities in Cumbria. The initial project was funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund. A second phase featuring community workshops has been funded by The Big Lottery Fund, through Awards for All, and from Cumbria County Council.

In 2017 interviews were conducted with 50 people who were born outside of the UK and now live in Cumbria. Interviews cover their life story, from birth and family background to exploring the reasons they left their country of birth, how they came to Cumbria and their lives now.

The project aimed to look at the human stories behind the migration statistics in Cumbria and, more widely, to understand migration in a global context. The interviews then became the starting point for a special exhibition and learning resource that toured libraries, museums and schools.


Leopold shares his love for the Lake District and returning back to Keswick to work as head chef at the  Keswick Hotel. (DX-2361-1) Transcript here


Andrea details how she found employment in Grasmere and discusses her current job in Keswick. (DX-2361-2) Transcript here


Tuang Li Liaw talks about her husband choosing to pursue his career in Cumbria and having a happy life in Cockermouth. (DX-2361-19) Transcript here


Humphrey recalls leaving Kenya for Cumbria as a result of meeting Leslie Rhodes who hired him as the manager of her hotel. (DX-2361-26) Transcript here


Thanks to Maddie Sheldon, one of our volunteers, who made all the audio clips for this page.


The full length interviews will be available at Carlisle Archive Service in due course.

You can read the full descriptions online at the British Library’s Sound and Moving Image catalogue. The British Library collection reference is UAP029. The local reference is DX-2361.


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