Cadw app trail – The Great Storm of 1859

  • Skills Needed:
    Design, illustration, video, interpretation, photo-retouching, animation, mobile, web
  • Client:
    Cadw, Welsh Government

To celebrate Visit Wales’s Year of the Sea, Cadw have a new digital experience allowing app users to re-live one of the worst storms in Welsh history. Through digital storytelling, coastal visitors gain an insight into the struggles faced by all at sea and on the coast on that fateful day. Overnight, the storm wrought devastation across Wales, causing serious repercussions for many Welsh coastal communities.

Monkie created all of the app content which details everything from the storm’s catastrophic shipwrecks to its shocking coastal ruins, providing users with ‘on-the-spot’ reports of what happened that fateful night.

There are reports from 13 different locations across the country, including Holyhead, Aberystwyth, Aberporth, New Quay, Cwm y Eglwys, Porthgain, Little Haven, Tenby, Rhyl, Barry Island and three separate locations in Moelfre. Each location represents a different tragedy or heroic story, including that of the now-famous Royal Charter – a vessel which was destroyed off the coast of Anglesey.

The app’s ‘live’ reports are delivered by a Victorian news anchor, Joseph Potter, via ‘Potter’s Electric News Telectroscope Service’ – a steampunk-styled take on a local newspaper of the time, ‘Potters Electric News’. Using the latest iBeacon technology, app users are notified of new report content on arrival which which is unlocked and made available on their mobile device. The reports are delivered using animated video, audio stories and augmented reality. At Moelfre, visitors point their devices out to sea and witness the last moments of the Royal Charter as it is destroyed by the storm with the loss of 450 lives. At Cwm y Eglwys, they see the church destroyed by a huge wave. And at New Quay, the wrecks of 11 ships around the bay can be identified along with the destroyed Pepperpot lighthouse.

Newly commissioned drone footage was used at both Little Haven and Barry island to show wreck sites not accessible from the coastline, giving a unique insight into the effects of the storm.

Designed to encourage users to visit multiple sites around the coast of Wales, consumers are increasing by the day and the report locations are enjoying the extra visitors during their fact-finding trail.

Lord Elis-Thomas, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, said: “This innovative digital experience is yet another example of how Cadw is successfully using cutting-edge technology to make Welsh heritage easier to access, digest and enjoy.”

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