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Local Residents Develop Students’ Heritage Skills
Level 1 Brickwork students from Lancaster & Morecambe College are currently working with local residents at Sunderland Point to reconstruct a section of the sea defence wall to prevent erosion, and create an improved access path to Sambo’s Grave along the West Shore at Sunderland Point.
Jordon Dearnley and Jordon Bell are enjoying building on their heritage skills and learning the art of Stone Masonry with members of The Sunderland Point Community Association, which was formed back in 2007, to try and counteract the effects of coastal erosion and an increasing need to manage the flood resilience of the area due to the ever increasing threats of climate change.
The students have taken a keen interest in the history of the area, which dates back to the beginning of the 18th century, where Sunderland Point was a port for Lancaster, serving ships too large to sail upstream. At this point, Lancaster was the fourth largest trading port in the country after London, Bristol and Liverpool, serving cotton, sugar and slave ships from the West Indies and North America.
According to local history, Sambo arrived with a cargo ship in 1736 from the West Indies as a servant to the captain of an unnamed ship. He was taken ill shortly after landing and died in one of the cottages on the Point, and was buried in a shallow grave overlooking Morecambe Bay. Sixty years after Sambo’s burial, in 1795 a retired headmaster of the Lancaster Royal Grammar School, Rev Watson, heard this story and raised money for a memorial to Sambo be placed on his unmarked grave. This plaque is still in existence today, and Sambo’s grave is now well looked after by local children and students from the College are improving the path to his grave.
The students have been helping Brian Holmes and other committee members to build the sea wall one to three days per week, and hope to be able to continue this into the spring term to see the project to completion. “I’ve really enjoyed working on this project and learning new skills which I can carry forward and use again. It is a real challenge trying to fit the stones together, I have a wall in the back garden at home which I now have plans to rebuild and utilise new newly learned skills.” said Jordon Bell about working on the project.
Brian Holmes said about working with our students, “This is a community project specialising in working alongside the Morecambe Bay Partnership and is a great opportunity for the students to work with volunteers at Sunderland Point. We’re enjoying working with the two Jordan's and appreciate their input in being a part of the history of Sunderland Point.”
Other developments which are currently taking place at Sunderland Point and which will be part of the Sea Wall Project are a Horizon Line Chamber, which will be a permanent sculptural installation by international land artist Chris Drury and the construction of a bird hide overlooking the intertidal marsh. The Horizon Line Chamber is a conical stone chamber remade from hundreds of reclaimed building stones unearthed from the surrounding area, and is shaped to reflect an upturned boat which holds a surprise for those who venture in. Inside visitors will find an ever changing image produced from a self-contained projector, which inverts the outside world onto the chamber’s lime-plastered walls capturing the sea and its dynamic conditions, the rich bird life and the unique light of the Bay in a transformed perspective of Morecambe Bay’s evolving environment.
To find out more about our full time or part time Construction course and learn heritage skills, contact 0800 306 3906 or visit www.lmc.ac.uk.
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