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High Street Tales

Stories capturing the everyday magic of high streets

Starting in Autumn 2020, Historic England commissioned New Writing North to lead a national creative partnership, working with regional writing agencies, local writers and local communities to produce a set of contemporary high street tales.

Eight writers on seven high streets across England began work on High Street Tales: a new storytelling initiative to uncover the hidden histories and celebrate the everyday magic of the high street.

The writers collected reflections, memories and stories from local people about their high street and what it means to them. Inspired by what they found, they led online story writing workshops with community groups to build the final tales – keeping local people at the centre of the authoring process.

The high streets featured in High Street Tales:

  • Great Yarmouth, by Ellie McKinlay-Khojinian and Ligia Macedo
  • Hastings, by Robin Pridy
  • Leicester, by Rod Duncan
  • North Shields, by Celia Bryce
  • Wednesbury, by Maria Whatton
  • Weston-super-Mare, by Rebecca Tantony
  • Woolwich, by Merrie Joy Williams

The stories have been collected in an e-book and as a podcast series. They will also be submitted for consideration by the Historic England Archive, the nation’s archive for records of England’s historic buildings, archaeology and social history.

Celia Bryce, writer for North Shields

Celia Bryce is a singer-songwriter and author. She has won awards for short stories and radio drama, while her YA novel, Anthem for Jackson Dawes, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. She has an MA in Creative Writing and has just released an album of original songs, ‘Here Before’.

Download the ebook

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the series from start to finish, subscribe to the podcast in your preferred app. Search ‘High Street Tales’ in your podcast player.

High Street Tales is part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zones Cultural Programme, led by Historic England.


The High Street Tales podcast will be preserved in Historic England’s Archive, the nation’s archive for records of England’s historic buildings, archaeology and social history.

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