Morecambe Bay fishing oral history project wins national award

Fri, 2017-07-07 14:48

Morecambe Bay Partnership’s Oral History volunteers and their Fishing Traditions of Morecambe Bay Oral Archive project, have received a national accolade, picking up the ‘Inspiration Award’ at the Community Archive and Heritage Group Awards 2017 in London today.

The Community Archive & Heritage Awards celebrate the importance of community archives and promote best practice, and their recognition of the Fishing Traditions of Morecambe Bay project shines a spotlight on the fantastic archive of memories that the volunteers involved with the project have collected.  

Morecambe Bay’s winning community heritage project, which started training volunteers from local communities in 2015 and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is collecting the memories of Morecambe Bay’s inshore fishing communities and recording, for future generations, the experiences, skills, changing technologies, dialects and social history that have been a vital part of the Bay’s identity for well over a century. Commercial fishing is now in decline in the Bay but the community links to the industry remain very strong so it is imperative to capture these recollection now, before it is too late.

Some amazing Morecambe Bay memories have come to light, including life aboard a Morecambe Bay ‘Nobby’ (traditional fishing boat in the Bay), and the extraordinary sights witnessed, such as upside down rainbows and elephants being washed off Blackpool Beach. Most of all, the passion for the Bay and the love of fishing shines through the archive.

Picking up the award at the ceremony in London, Michelle Cooper, Community Heritage Officer at Morecambe Bay Partnership said

“We are delighted to receive this award, on behalf of both the fishing communities of Morecambe Bay, who have so kindly allowed us into their lives to record their extraordinary traditions and memories, and the volunteers who have put so much into gathering these very special stories. We hope that the archive we’ve created will inspire lots of people to find out more about Morecambe Bay’s heritage.”

Jenn Mattinson, who led the project and trained the volunteers added

“We’ve been thrilled with the archive of fishing memories that we’ve been able to collect for posterity, and for the Community Archive and Heritage Group to recognise the project as a excellent example of how to run an inspirational project means a huge amount to us all.”

The extraordinary heritage of Morecambe Bay’s fishing communities will be further celebrated later this year and into 2018, with three art projects specially commissioned by Morecambe Bay Partnership, which will shine a light on these inspirational memories and showcase extracts in exciting new ways.

It is hoped that by winning this award, Morecambe Bay Partnerships fishing oral history project can share their ideas and good practice with other community archive and heritage groups.

Catching Tales' oral history volunteers in action

FInd out more about the Fishing Traditions of Morecambe Bay project

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