National Trust: Souter Lighthouse

Marsden Exhibition

Immersive exhibition telling the story of the vanished Marsden Village.

Marsden Village stood just north of Souter Lighthouse on the outskirts of the seaside town South Shields, North East England. It was built by the Whitburn Coal Company to house the men (and families) of the newly sunk Marsden colliery. However just 50 years later, with higher costs of operation and coal extraction, it was decided to close the mine in the mid-1960s and subsequently to demolish the village. Nothing now remains of the village but it lives on in the memories of the previous inhabitants collected in a series of oral histories..

We were asked by Souter Lighthouse to create an immersive exhibition to tell these stories to visitors today. Using a cosy room within the Lighthouse, we created a 1950s-era living room set where visitors could imagine themselves in one of the last remaining house before demolition. We created a series of fake walls using freestanding panels, complete with photos frames and coal fired stove, alongside furniture and set-dressing items. Visitors were invited to sit and listen to a series of oral histories played out into the room from a hidden speaker.


Design & Production
Script & Research

Katie Hilton, Seb Chadwick, Emma Barnes
Phil Hewitt