Close your eyes and be transported to the seaside with this new short story, ‘Under the watchful eyes of seagulls’, written and narrated by Ligia Macedo and Ellie McKinlay-Khojinian, as part of High Street Tales.
In the story, Norfolk writing duo Ellie and Ligia explore the seaside town of Great Yarmouth – from the flamboyant arcades of the seafront to the local café – through the eyes of a kindly Portuguese migrant who befriends an elderly resident. You can listen to the story below and download the ebook here >>
Ellie and Ligia were commissioned to write the story by the National Centre for Writing as part of High Street Tales, a national creative partnership led by New Writing North on behalf of Historic England. 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. The programme is part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone scheme, which is currently working to breathe new life into 68 English high streets including Great Yarmouth.
Ellie McKinlay-Khojinian and Ligia Macedo said:
”Under the watchful eyes of seagulls’ is a tale of unexpected encounters and unlikely friendships. When we asked interviewees and workshop participants in researching this project how they could sum up their town, the words most often used were ‘diverse’, ‘historical’ and ‘misunderstood’. In this story, these themes emerge – with a light touch – as we meet Maria, James and Alistair – characters who offer a glimpse into their own unique experiences, backgrounds and quirks on a walk along Great Yarmouth high street.’
The Great Yarmouth High Street Heritage Action Zone will celebrate and preserve the heritage of the Market Place and King Street, as well as create a lively mix of leisure, culture, heritage and retail opportunities.
Ellen Harrison, Head of Creative Programmes and Campaigns, Historic England, said:
‘Historic England is taking a unique approach in combining cultural programming, community engagement and physical regeneration to transform high streets across England. The Cultural Programme’s aim is for artists to work with local people to help them rediscover and express the pride they have in the places they’re from.’
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. Catch up on the full High Street Tales’ podcast series here and don’t miss the final episode on Wednesday 24 March.