Inspired by Oral Histories

Memory Talks, oral history audio and podcasts, archives collected for the Dorset History Centre, community reminiscence and community plays and events at Portland Museum

Heart of Stone project was co-founded by Sarah Acton and the Portland Museum in 2018 as an oral history project and writing residency. The residency ran events to collect and share memories and stories of former quarrymen and Portland Stone in community conversations/events. In 2020 Sarah’s play using some of the oral histories, was devised and perfomed by The Portland Players, a community group, together with a professional theatre team co-led by Sarah, Charmaine and Steffy who together with Island Voices Community Choir, performed at b-side in 2021. The project obtained further funding to tour a new play across Dorset in 2022. The Heart of Stone project now goes back to its roots in 2023 and future as an oral history project encouraging and sharing conversations and memories of Portland stone, landscape and people.

Thanks to the quarrymen, Portland Poets and everyone who has supported this massive project so far – bringing joy and storytelling to some of Portland’s many stories of Portland stone, landscape and lives shaped by the stone industry.

Celebration films from the 2020-2022 community plays below…

who knows what new adventures this project may encounter next.

Heart of Stone project, Portland Players community/documents/play/oral history materials and memory talks (copyright)SarahActon2018/2019/2021/2022/2023/2024

one of many many recorded conversations with former quarrymen Trevor McColm and Rab Stone

Heart of stone community events and plays 2021-22

2019 writing residency

Discussion cafes with Paul Knight, Trevor McColm and Rab Stone
Evaluation film Heart of STone Tour 2022
Celebration of Heart of Stone Dorst Tour 2022