THE STOREY'S STORY:
Memories, Stories, Poems, Images
Edited by Rodge Glass
Published by Litfest Publications, Lancaster
to coincide with the 2004 litfest, price £5
Reviewed by Michael Nunn
A valuable addition to the local history of Lancaster
As the title declares, this paperback volume is a collection "derived
from a variety of sources,' as a note hidden somewhat in
the text explains. Immediately striking and fascinating to my mind were
the recollections from people worked or studied there in the days when
it was, as originally intended, a teaching establishment. One of the
contributors, Dorothy Cooper, is 88 and recalls lessons at The Storey
in 1936. Chemistry was particularly memorable for her, but I won't
give the plot away!
There are also photographs ancient and modern, within and outside the
building, (including one of a sprightly-looking Ms Cooper) though some
are unnecessarily overlaid with text and other graphics. This does not
allow them to speak in their own right, as the former students and workers
do. Some are not easily identifiable, others are clumsily juxtaposed,
and many are uncredited.
Two double-page spreads are especially striking: one, towards the end
of the book, of very fine two brush and ink drawings by Moreen Francis;
and four black and white "Stained glass watercolours'
by Robert Ashmead.
There is also a dozen fascinating photographs from the Lancaster City
Museum Collections which show The Storey and the people in it at work,
dating from the 1890s up to 1939. Among these is a ‘then and now'
pairing of a group of students at a distance of – well, er, many
This volume is both a welcome additional resource for the history of
Lancaster, and also a welcome contribution to the debate about future
of this important building and its illustrious heritage.
Copyright © 1 January 2005 Michael Nunn