Celebs star in mini-film for UCLan

Mark Lawrenson and Eric Knowles appear in a mini-movie to celebrate the 190th anniversary of the University of Central Lancashire
Mark Lawrenson and Eric Knowles appear in a mini-movie to celebrate the 190th anniversary of the University of Central Lancashire
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Former PNE footballer-turned-pundit Mark Lawrenson has swapped the BBC studios for the movies.

Mark, who also played for Liverpool and Brighton, and antiques expert Eric Knowles are working with the University of Central Lancashire to help the institution share the story of its inception in 1828.

The pair, who are both Honorary Fellows of UCLan, donned Victorian costumes to star in a short film written, directed and produced by staff and students to mark the 190th anniversary of the educational establishment.

The film 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, in a lighthearted look at how education has changed over the decades.

Mark, who is from Penwortham, 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 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 script to the film, You said, we did (in time)” written by Dr Andrew Ireland, UCLan’s executive dean of the faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries and filmed on location in Preston’s Cannon Street and the team was given access to Lancashire museum collections to allow them to re-create an early 19th Century classroom.

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.”

l See the film at lep.co.uk