Situate Yourself: Exploring Hulme Story Trails with Petrus Homeless Project

EdLab MMU and Community Arts North West have recently hosted a visit from Petrus Homeless project to the Brooks Building in Hulme. The visit inspired and supported the Hidden Rochdale project, a highly interactive digital trail that will tell the hidden stories of Petrus homeless service-users. Their goal is to take the audience on a provocative and highly engaging journey through Rochdale to uncover digital artifacts that will be concealed in the landscape.


To prepare, the EdLab MMU team worked with Hulme residents to create a mini-trail of Hidden Hulme. During the visit, this trail was explored to experiment with the use of mobile recording technologies, location aware, tagging and tracking technologies.


Photos: Lee Kirby

Mick Chesterman and James Duggan from the MMU shared advice on creating interactive, digital story trails for smart phones. Some of the key tips included.

  • Use simple to use, accessible tech (e.g. QR codes) and free Treasure Hunt apps for phones (e.g. Actionbound)
  • Always test your trails
  • You can integrate your codes into attractive designs to customise your trail
  • Go back and test some more

Mick Chesterman, EdLab MMU project developer shared:

For the test trail we took the approach of using low cost equipment to record local activities and stories in a simple but intimate way. Codes are then displayed where the videos were recorded which draws those doing the trail into new spaces, opening up new experiences and connections to an area.

More info:

The project page for Hidden is here –
The Petrus group will come back and share the results of their digital storytelling workshops at the Brooks Building on the 27th of July as part of the Community Learning Festival.