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Preston’s literary history revealed with first ever mobile tour

Posted on - 21st September, 2014 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, City Centre, Events, News, UCLan, University
Dr Helen Day and Elsa Carron at where the tour begins

Dr Helen Day and Elsa Carron at where the tour begins

New students arriving in Preston have taken a more unusual first tour of the city.

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More than 200 first year language students are touring Preston using QR codes on their mobile phones and discovering the literary history of the city at the same time.

Devised by third year English literature student Elsa Carron and senior lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire in English literature Dr Helen Day.

The tour explains the city’s link with authors such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell and Karl Marx.

Carron, who researched and set up the tour in 10 weeks, said: “We wanted to combine literature with technology, so we’ve linked each location to online content that is easily accessible via a QR code.

“The tour encourages people to take a closer look at the area around them. It’s a great way to introduce the city to students, whilst allowing them to discover authors and literary figures who’ve either written about Preston, lived there or were born there.”

Kit bag showing the QR codes which power the tour

Kit bag showing the QR codes which power the tour

Armed with a map of Preston and UCLan campus, a list of clues and a smart phone, students search for the QR codes, which have been placed around the city and campus. Each QR code is a link to a webpage that contains a mini biography of the author, an extract from their writing, related courses at UCLan and what’s nearby that might be of interest.

Dr Day said: “The aims of this tour are twofold – firstly to celebrate Preston’s proud literary heritage and secondly to introduce new students to the university campus and the wonderful city of Preston. Setting up the tour has been a revelation as I have learned so much and have discovered so many beautiful and interesting locations in Preston that I didn’t know about.”

Have you been on the tour? Let us know how you get on in the comments below

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