The aim of Storytelling is to turn just a small part of the mass of historic population data that we've gathered about Brighton & Hove into stories about those who lived Here in the Past and then to use mobile technology to deliver these stories to people as they explore the same neighbourhoods today.

To do this, a team of volunteers trawl through old newspaper archives to find interesting articles. Using our database, then they find out who is involved, where they lived and use other sources to fill in the background details.

These sources can be records at our local history archive The Keep, published diaries and books, searches on genealogy websites, court records, school registers, maps and plans, all sorts of things.

As the story takes shape it is published to the website, see the list below.

Sometimes there are pieces of information missing and questions remaining to be answered and these are included in the narrative. We would be delighted if you can fill in some of these blanks for us, or send us your views on the issues raised.

Once a story is complete, it is used as a basis for writing audio recordings, seemingly as told by the voices of those who were there at the time. Samples of these can be found below.

Photo of a female student testing software using an iPad and headphones while being observed by a male student
Two of our research partners at UCL, Ana Moutinho and Will Steptoe, testing audio storytelling software in the North Laine

The final step is to take the various character parts, comprising audio files, images and so on, and incorporate these into a mobile website or app. This will enable a user to explore the neighbourhood where a story took place, locate the various protagonists involved and hear their version of what happened in the place where it happened.

You can find out more about this here.


Here are links to some of the stories we have developed:

Chocolate Cream Killer - Listen to the audio introduction. Read the story

Celia's Story - Listen to the audio introduction. Read the story.

Death in Sussex Square - Listen to the audio introduction. Read the story.

Chartism - Listen to the audio introduction. Read the story.


These two stories are about the role of overseas troops and labourers during World War One:

British West Indies Regiment in Seaford

Chinese Labour Corps


These four audio stories provide introductions to some of the Regency architects/builders that shaped Brighton & Hove:

Charles Augustin Busby

Amon Henry Wilds

Charles Barry

William Ranger


Here are some more sample audio files from our experimental work with UCL (VisAge):

1851 George Wall, a tailor, aged 49

1851 Mrs Kent, a dressmaker, aged 42

1901 Harry Jones - a shoemaker, aged 35

1901 Peter Jones - Harry's son, aged 12

Heritage Fund logo and link