Stories of Nelson Brought to Life in Immersive Walk

09 February 2024

The stories of local people will unfold along the streets of Nelson as audiences are invited to take an immersive walk through Nelson in late February & early March 2024.

Stories of Nelson Brought to Life in Immersive Walk

About 'Stories We Tell: Nelson'

Running on 28th February, 29th February, 1st March and 2nd March, Stories We Tell: Nelson, will bring Nelson to life with sound, film and projection, with real stories from the people who live there. 

This is one of the many opportunities provided by This is Nelson; the arts and culture strand of the Nelson Town Deal, for local people to get involved with arts and culture.

Part of This is Nelson, which is the arts and culture strand of the Nelson Town Deal, audiences can enjoy this experience in Nelson with Rochdale-based theatre company Breaking Barriers.

People will listen through headphones to the memories, life events and experiences of local people, which will animate the walls and pavements of the town.

“It was a flourishing milltown when we came in the sixties and the Arndale Centre was new, and I could hear mills working when I walked to school. You could hear the rattle of the looms.”
Stories We Tell Nelson Breaking Barriers Credit Sarah Mason

The work is the culmination of a series of conversations and dialogue between the creators, Breaking Barriers, and local communities of Nelson. Through discussion, stories and memories have been uncovered, giving insights into real experiences and feelings about Nelson over recent decades.

It’s full of working class people, beautiful scenery, you’ve got Pendle Hill and the surrounding areas. It’s quite rich in sports history as well, with the football team being the first team to beat Real Madrid abroad.

Breaking Barriers have expertly blended these personal reflections with visual imagery, animation and soundscapes to create this immersive experience for local people to enjoy in the unconventional performance spaces of ordinary streets. 

You could walk into anyone’s house at any given time, they didn’t even have to be there but you’d walk in. They’d ask you, have you eaten?
The Stories We Tell Breaking Barriers Sarah Nelson 01

Parvez Qadir, Artistic Director of Breaking Barriers, says, 

This piece encourages people to experience their hometown through new eyes, and invites people to witness ambitious work on their local doorstep; creating a magnificent love letter to the places and spaces they call home. 

About the Performances:

Performances will be at 7pm and 8pm each evening on the following days:

  • Wednesday 28th Feb 2024
  • Thursday 29th Feb 2024
  • Friday 1st March 2024
  • Saturday 2nd March 2024

Tickets are free, but must be booked via

Stories We Tell: Nelson is part of This Is Nelson, supported by Arts Council England, and produced by Breaking Barriers.

Event Details:

The audio experience will be available through the headphones provided. This is a guided walking tour undertaken in a group. The route is mostly flat but there may be curbs - accessible options have been located. Breaking Barriers have worked closely with an Access Consultant to ensure that the route is suitable for wheelchair users. Meet at Nelson Bus Station; end at Macleod Street. Please wear comfortable footwear and dress appropriately for the evening weather. The walk will last a maximum of 30 minutes, and a hot drink and food will be provided at the end of the night.

This is Nelson Breaking Barriers Sarah Mason -06

About the Organisers

This is Nelson

This is Nelson is a programme delivered in partnership with In-Situ, Building Bridges Pendle and Super Slow Way, taking place over the next 3 years, bringing artists together to help us re-imagine Nelson, open up underused spaces, think sustainably and support ground-up community activism in the town. Part of the Nelson Town Deal.

Facebook: This_is_Nelson

Instagram: @t_ is_nelson

Breaking Barriers

Breaking Barriers are a multi-disciplinary production company based in Rochdale, who produce exciting, creative, immersive artworks - often in outdoor settings, and always inspired by community voices. They envisage a world in which storytelling starts on the doorsteps of diverse communities and leads to the production of incredible artworks that open minds, elevate appetite, and transcend socio-economic barriers. Breaking Barriers is led by Artistic Director Parvez Qadir and Executive Producer Jodie Ratcliffe, and joined by a creative team of exceptional people from Rochdale and beyond.

Facebook: Breaking Barriers

Instagram: @rochdale.breakingbarriers

Image credits: Sarah Mason

Stories We Tell Nelson Breaking Barriers, Credit Sarah Mason 4

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