North Country Guides









Poetry & Art

The Hayloft Stable


Young People



Pennine people, places and memories - new writing


About this book:

  • ISBN: 190 452 4540 (paperback)

  • Published 2007

  • Price £10.00 + postage

  • 84 pages
  • Illustrated with 39 colour photographs

About this Book:

Traces is a new anthology featuring over 30 poems, stories, impressions and recollections from people across the rural areas of Lancashire and the North Pennines.
The book is the outcome of a creative writing project, What's Your Story, which ran throughout the past year, led by writer and playwright, Maureen Lawrence, and jointly coordinated by Spot On and Highlights Rural Touring Schemes.
Maureen's play about the life of Charlotte Deans, Once a Lady... toured villages that Charlotte herself visited back in the 19th century. Charlotte's story was also the inspiration for the writing project which resulted in the Traces collection.
Maureen explains the background: "I was given a copy of Charlotte's memoirs about 20 years ago with the recommendation that her story would make a great play. She led an amazing life and Once a Lady... took shape around her own words and accounts of events. I know how many stories there are hidden away in our rural communities today and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Spot On and Highlights to organise writing workshops across the Pennines, encouraging local people to capture their own stories and submit them for the anthology. It is great to see the final collection in print and I hope that readers will enjoy the variety and flavour of these stories."
Traces also features images and impressions of local landscapes by Preston-based photographer, Catherine Caton: "I was invited to trace Charlotte's footsteps through the northern counties to try to capture the essence of her journey," she says. "Travelling Charlotte's route - albeit from the comfort of a car - gave me some understanding of how challenging it must have been for her to travel all those miles. I feel privileged to have journeyed a short distance in Charlotte's memory and I am proud to see some of my images alongside new writing from these same places."


Maureen Lawrence, hunter-gatherer of these narrations, speaks for and to those whose voices would otherwise remain unheard. Catherine Caton's photographs show extraordinary landscapes, both temporal and geographical, dotted with touchstones and signposts. These Traces are reflections of our past, leaning towards our future. Pam McKee and Norman Warwick, Just Poets.

As well as Arts Council England funding, the project has been supported by Defra, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the North Pennines Leader+ programme as well as the Lancashire Economic Partnership, European Rural Development Fund and Lancashire, Durham and Cumbria County Councils.


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