Press Release: Discovering the history and heritage of Cockermouth and its people

Discovering the history and heritage of Cockermouth and its people

A fascinating project that celebrates Cumbria’s diverse heritage by capturing personal experiences through a series of oral history workshops arrives in Cockermouth on Saturday (March 2).

In My Shoes is a series of events featuring storytelling and performances held in community centres across the region aimed at inspiring people to come forward and share their stories.


The Cockermouth event takes place on Saturday at the town’s Kirkgate Centre (from 1pm to 4pm) and participants will be able to:

· Hear local storytellers and spoken word artists;

· Share their own experiences and traditions;

· Find out how to be part of the In My Shoes oral history project and record their own stories with project volunteers, who are being trained up to collect oral histories.

Cockermouth-based storyteller Sophia Atcha will be sharing tales of her family heritage and West Cumbrian community.

In My Shoes is an 18-month project managed by Kirkgate Arts and Heritage in Cockermouth.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has committed £98,000 to the project. A further £5,000 has come from The Francis C Scott Charitable Trust, £2,000 from Cumberland Council (from the Allerdale Festival Fund), £500 from Papcastle Recreational Fund, £250 from the Arts Society and £200 from Cockermouth Town Council.

Sessions have already taken place in several Cumbrian locations during the winter and oral history interviews will continue during the spring and summer months.

Kirkgate General Manager Emma Heys said: “We’ve been really pleased with how the project has developed over the past few months and look forward to a continuing sense of engagement with our local communities.

“It’s about giving people the opportunity to understand what their cultural heritage is.

“While we want to hear from people who were born and brought up here, who might not realise how unique certain aspects of their life are, we also want to hear stories

from recent refugees, immigrants and people who have relocated.” “People are invited to come along on Saturday, celebrate what makes the Cockermouth community unique and share their family traditions and stories with others.”

Details are available on the Kirkgate website here -or from Helen Johnston, Community Projects Officer, ( or phone 01900 829966).


ENDS …..




Kirkgate is a charity based in Cockermouth, Cumbria. It operates an arts and heritage centre as well as working with towns and villages in West Cumbria to encourage a diverse programme of arts, culture and entertainment. Its vision is to ensure that creative talent is valued, developed and supported with opportunities for all to engage actively with, and enjoy, the arts, local heritage and community life.


The Kirkgate Centre brings the best cultural, theatrical and entertainment events to Cumbria. From the best feature and documentary films to live streaming of top London shows, to local talent, heritage exhibitions, music, theatre, comedy and more, there is something for everyone.


In the historic Kirkgate Quarter of the Gem Town of Cockermouth, sitting on the edge of the Lake District National Park, the Kirkgate Centre is the perfect venue for special occasions, conferences, meetings, courses, exhibitions or private film screenings.


Kirkgate manages Arts Out West which stages performances in community venues from Furness to the Solway, ranging from nationally-recognised theatre companies to international musicians with events that are as much a social occasion as a performance. It is a member of the National Rural Touring Forum supported by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation.

Follow @kirkgatearts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

For more information:

Emma Heys 01900 829966

The Kirkgate Centre, Kirkgate, Cockermouth, CA13 9PJ