South Cliff Gardens Scarborough, with harbour and castle in background

Love Stories From The Yorkshire Coast

An audio trail above Scarborough's South Bay shares unique real-life love stories
July 11, 2023

The dynamic Scarborough based community producing company, ARCADE, are about to premiere LOVE STORIES - a digital audio trail of community sourced love stories based in the recently restored South Cliff Gardens - and Mag North are heading along soon to join the team who've curated this extremely special collection.

From 22 July - 30 September, audiences are being invited to explore the stunning coastal gardens while listening to real-life love stories, inspired by the location, and set to an orchestral score. Listeners will be immersed in a romantic audio promenade of storytelling, poetry, music and song. The audio will be available to access for free via the Bandcamp app and audiences can listen using their own devices and headphones, following an accessible route on the meandering paths through Scarborough's Italian Gardens and beyond.

A Park Bech overlooking Scarborugh South Ciff Gardens
Scarborough's Italian Gardens (Image: Matthew Storm Cooper)

Hannah Davies - ARCADE Executive Producer explains the process: "We had over 100 submissions from people all over Scarborough and we were so moved by all the wonderful stories we gathered. We ran a series of workshops with a selection of the storytellers, alongside composer, Jackie Walduck and the orchestral musicians, Whitby Community Choir and Associate Artist Rebecca Denniff to create five beautiful audio pieces that document some of the love stories that have bloomed in this magical place where land meets sea."

Jessica Vautier And Liam Farricker (Image: Matthew Storm Cooper)

Scarborough residents and visitors alike will be no stranger to Scarborough Spa Orchestra, the last remaining professional seaside orchestra in the UK. Love Stories offers a unique opportunity to hear their work, outside of their usual setting of Scarborough Spa. Kathy Seabrook, a member of Scarborough Spa Orchestra, has been involved in the workshops and very much enjoyed being part of the co-creation process: "Being able to play my flute to help create these melodies and enhance the storyteller’s words has been a real privilege."

South Cliff Gardens have recently undergone a major renovation, thanks to £4,665,700 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund as part of the Parks for People programme, which has been further boosted by contributions from the South Cliff Community Group and Scarborough Borough Council bringing the total funding to £7.158m.

The restoration project aims to preserve the gardens’ unique heritage and improve them in a way that reconnects them with today’s residents and visitors, in the same way that the original gardens did more than one hundred years ago.

Each story in the LOVE STORIES audio trail tells a unique and special tale that has bloomed in the gardens and the project seeks to celebrate all kinds of love. The selected community storytellers range in age from twelve years old, to students in their twenties, to a couple in their sixties and one in their eighties.

Rusty and Ron Jones, members of the community storytelling ensemble say this about the project: "What an amazing experience this LOVE STORIES project has been. We have always kept our precious story to ourselves. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to share it with family, friends and the world."

Rusty And Ron Jones (Image: Matthew Storm Cooper)

The Love Stories audio trail is free to stream via the Bandcamp app from 22 July - 30September, with an option to download the five tracks within the app for 50p. Connectivity is patchy in the gardens, so ARCADE recommends this as the best option. Audiences who cannot access the gardens, can listen to the tracks via the ARCADE website.

If you would like to experience the LOVE STORIES audio trail, PLEASE CLICK HERE or look out for the signage with QR codes in the gardens.

ARCADE is a charitable community producing company based in Scarborough and Bridlington. They think everyone is creative and believe that culture belongs to everyone.

The charity are part of the part of the Arts Council England National Portfolio.