TV personalities star in 190th anniversary film

BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson and antiques expert Eric Knowles are working with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to help the institution share the story of its inception in 1828.

The duo, who are both Honorary Fellows of UCLan, appear in a short film written, directed and produced by staff and students to mark the 190th anniversary of the University.

It tells the story of a lecturer from 2018 travelling back in time to the dawn of the ‘Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge’, which was established in Preston by local cheesemonger, philanthropist and founder of the Temperance Movement, Joseph Livesey, and is now the University of Central Lancashire.

In the film, the lecturer meets Joseph as well as Charles Dickens and takes part in a student feedback session, taking a playful look at how education has changed over time.

Both Mark and Eric donned Victorian dress for the film, which is being released on Monday 5 February to mark the launch of the National Student Survey (NSS).

Mark Lawrenson said: “UCLan is very much a community based University and this story really reminds us that this has always been the case. It’s great to play a part in the University’s 190th anniversary celebrations and really show how far UCLan has come since 1828.”

Eric Knowles added: “I am delighted that the University has invited me to take part in this very special film. It highlights how Joseph Livesey brought people together, believing education could transform lives.”

The Executive Dean of UCLan’s Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries, Dr Andrew Ireland, has written the script to ‘You said, we did (in time)’. He said: “We wanted to make a light-hearted film that tells the story of the institution since it began in 1828, when it was just a couple of rooms above a shop on Cannon Street. It’s a celebration of how learning and the student experience has evolved. And it gives us a chance to have a bit of fun with history.”

The film was shot on location in Preston on Cannon Street and the team was given access to Lancashire museum collections to allow them to re-create an early 19th Century classroom. Staff, students and alumni from UCLan’s acting and film production courses helped to bring Dr Ireland’s vision to life while hair and make-up was done by staff and students at UCLan’s partner college, Accrington and Rossendale.

UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas said: “How times have changed. Over the years the Institution expanded to include classes on a wide range of subjects, and its successors began to offer university-level education to the people of Preston. We’ve had many name changes over the years and since 1828 we’ve been known as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge, the Harris Institute, Harris College, Preston Polytechnic, Lancashire Polytechnic and now the University of Central Lancashire.”


The Lecturer
Channique Sterling-Brown

Joseph Livesey
James Urie

Charles Dickens
Lew Freeburn

Pokey’ Lady
Isobelle Whinnett

Eric Knowles, Mark Lawrenson, Sophie Adamson, Joshua Besso, Ryan Butterworth, Rebecca Clewett, Connor Gale, Matthew Gradden, Zak Greaves, Amy Hurst, Joseph Mansfield, Rebecca McDonald, Matthew Robert, Aarti Shah, Nicholas Snowden, James Swain, Rebecca Tebay, Holly Whiteman.

Hannah Arthur

Hair and Makeup
Roxanne Askew, Janette Rawstron

Lyndsey Boardman

Ric Brame, Alex Callaghan, Alison Wolstenholme

Production Manager
Tania Callagher

Technical Manager
Steve Cooke

VFX Producer
Ian Crook

Camera Technical Operations
Toby Gregory

Camera Crew
Niamh O’Grady, Ethan Rogers, Matthew Steele.

Director of Photography
Simon Lovell

Production Coordinator
Aleks Michajlowicz

Eliza Place, Sarah Place

Visual FX
Matthew Hill, Andrei Madalin Natasa

Script Notes
Stephen Lawson

Oliver Smith

Writer and Director
Andrew Ireland

Special Thanks to…
Brian and Julie Beck (European Fine Arts and Antiques), Andrew Birchenough, David Brookhouse, Lancashire Museum, Paul Critchley, Jackie Cunningham, Heather Davis, Tony Dickson, David Schofield, Dawn Worthington, Accrington and Rossendale College, Joseph Fossard, Stuart Hampton-Reeves.

Copyright University of Central Lancashire 2018.