Film crew seeks help to make ‘Looking for Sambo’

Sambo's Grave at Sunderland Point.

Sambo's Grave at Sunderland Point.

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Film students are asking for funds to make a documentary about a slave who is buried near Morecambe and Lancaster.

The team behind ‘Looking for Sambo’ is running a ‘Kickstarter’ campaign to raise cash and is just over halfway towards a target of £2,500.

Students at the University of Hertfordshire who want to make a documentary called Looking for Sambo about a slave who is buried at Sunderland Point.

Students at the University of Hertfordshire who want to make a documentary called Looking for Sambo about a slave who is buried at Sunderland Point.

The group of final year film students from the University of Hertfordshire want to make a documentary about Sambo, a cabin boy brought to Sunderland Point in 1736 on a ship from the West Indies. It is widely believed he was a slave.

Sambo fell ill and died, and his body was buried at the Point, a village near Morecambe and Lancaster.

Farai Zimowa, co-director, said: “Very little is known about him and there are so many myths surrounding his death.

“We want people to join us on this journey as we try to uncover what happened to him.

“This particular story is intriguing. We have an amazing crew working on this project and our research team has already visited Sunderland Point in Lancaster as well as the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool.

“We need help to fund this project so we can tell Sambo’s story.”

The money would cover travel, accommodation, marketing, research and access to historical archives.

People who pledge can write their own personal tributes to Sambo which the film crew will place at his grave, or get an executive producer credit, or have the chance to attend a screening at a film festival, depending on the size of donation.

At time of writing the project had 38 backers who had pledged a total of more than £1300.

If you are interested in pledging to help make ‘Looking for Sambo’ a reality see HERE.

SAMBO’S GRAVE

Samboo/Sambo (the gravestone is spelled Samboo, but most other references are Sambo) came to Sunderland Point around 1736, the servant of a ship’s captain, and died in Upsteps Cottage (1 The Lane).

Presumably Sambo had not been baptised and therefore could not be buried in consecrated ground in Overton in 1736.

Today his grave is well tended and has many visitors.

In 1796, the Rev James Watson, retired headmaster at Lancaster Grammar School, wrote an elegy to Sambo, which is engraved on a brass plate attached to the grave.

Schoolchildren regularly paint stones with messages which are left on the grave or nearby.

While many are under the impression that Samboo was a slave, he was almost certainly a crew member of a West Indian trading ship. The Reverend James Watson’s verse on the grave was written in 1796, and can still be seen today.

Information from www.sunderlandpoint.org .