Researching Community Heritage

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A Break in the Clouds

A Break in the Clouds is a collaborative film project funded by the AHRC Connected Communities programme which develops earlier research on people, landscape and weather in Mosser, Cumbria, during the late eighteenth century. In particular, the historical diaries of two residents of the area, Isaac Fletcher and Elihu Robinson, provided fantastic glimpses into how daily life and farming knowledge was intimately connected to perceptions of the changing weather.

Like those eighteenth century diarists, we are experiencing weather that is becoming noticeably more erratic, yet little has been done to understand how weather affects the people currently living in Mosser. In A Break in the Clouds, we have been working to address this by using film to facilitate engagements between ourselves and the local community. From these interactions and interviews, and using the words of the diaries to guide us, we are able to document and explore the stories of the present day community, reflecting on the practices and routines of the farmers, and the impact of weather on their daily lives.

Toby Pillat (archaeologist) & Gemma Thorpe (photographer and film maker)