From hidden histories to local urban legends, eight contemporary writers across England have worked with their local communities to explore the everyday magic of high streets.

From today, you can download the ‘High Street Tales’ eBook for free from the Historic England website – featuring stories set in Great Yarmouth, North Shields, Weston-super-Mare, Hastings, Leicester and more. The eight writers have also narrated their stories for a ‘High Street Tales’ podcast series, which releases weekly until 24 March.

The eBook and podcasts are the result of a national creative partnership led by New Writing North on behalf of Historic England to create a set of stories that celebrate the local high street, and the people and communities who depend on them.

The nationwide call for writer submissions included a call from the National Centre for Writing to find a socially-engaged writer to write a short story about Great Yarmouth high street. In December we revealed that our selected writers were Ligia Macedo and Ellie McKinlay-Khojinian. In ‘Under the watchful eyes of seagulls’, the writing duo explore the seaside town of Great Yarmouth: ‘Here we dip behind the flamboyant arcades and candy-floss colours of the seafront on a visit to King Street, through the eyes of a kindly Portuguese migrant who befriends an elderly resident.’

You can download and read Ligia and Ellie’s story for free here.

Their podcast will be released on Wednesday 17 March 2021. You can tune in to the full playlist below.

Historic England · High Street Tales – New Podcast Series

High Street Tales is part of Historic England’s high street cultural programme; four years of nationwide cultural activity helping to make high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time. The programme is run by Historic England, in partnership with Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England. Find out more