Hidden Stories is a heritage project that gathers, shares and celebrates the story of migration in Cumbria – the coming and going of people, past and present that shapes Cumbria’s identity. Because everyone comes from somewhere.

The resources on this site present an overview of historical migration in to and out of Cumbria. Through 2017, we researched and recorded contemporary migration stories, some clips of which are shared here. An exhibition with audio toured Cumbria through the winter of 2017-18.

As the evolved Hidden Stories – Extending the Conversation project (funded by The Big Lottery Fund through Awards for All and by Cumbria County Council), the  travelling exhibition and workshop are visiting libraries, exhibition spaces and schools across Cumbria between June 2018 and Spring 2019.

The exhibition and workshop have so far been to Kendal Unity Festival, Cockermouth School, Cross Cannonby Primary School, Barrow and Whitehaven Libraries and Millom Discovery Centre, to name a few.  We will be bringing it to Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness in early 2019. Take a look at our Programme page to find out the latest information.

Oral histories are important because they give us a unique glimpse into the way we make sense of our experience. In its broadest sense Hidden Stories is about exploring what connects us and how we see ourselves and our identity as Cumbrians.

If you are a teacher and your school is a member of CDEC, you can borrow a Hidden Stories resource box to share and explore the intricacies of the lives lived with your school children. Give CDEC a call on 015394 31602.

"This is an exciting and important project that will connect people through the stories it gathers. I think it will raise understanding and awareness about migration in Cumbria.”

Lord Dubs, Nov 2016

Lord Dubs sponsored a recent amendment to the Immigration Act 2016 to offer unaccompanied refugee children safe passage to Britain. He arrived in the UK in 1939 as a six-year-old refugee, fleeing Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.