Celebrate Kirkham’s Historic Treasures On Special Day For The Town

July 7, 2021

Kirkham’s historic past will be celebrated with a series of fantastic new art installations being unveiled on a special day for the Fylde market town.

Saturday July 10th will not only see a new Artisan Market arrive in Market Square and the annual funfair in full flow on Memorial Park, but a celebratory moment in the town’s status as one of Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zones (HS HAZ).

For the past six months Kirkham’s Cultural Consortium has worked with artist Alex Blakely to create Kirkham Treasures – a series of community engagement projects – that have led to the design of a number of interactive art installations.

These will be unveiled on July 10th and include:

  • The Talking Wall which is made up of a series of images from Kirkham’s past that come to life as viewers scan a special QR code next to each picture. These codes are linked to audio recordings of local people talking about a specific memory of Kirkham
  • Passage of Time – a series of glasswork art created by the students of Carr Hill High School
  • Kirkham Through Time is a map created by students from Kirkham Grammar School revealing many locations and stories of Kirkham’s historic past
  • ‘Peep Hole Boxes’ are situated around town and allow viewers to delve inside a particular period in history.

Take up the challenge of the Kirkham Quest, learn about Kirkham’s history while interacting with the artwork, enter your answers into a special prize draw to win vouchers worth overall £150, to spend in local shops.

Entry forms, Kirkham bespoke shopping bags and copies of the ‘Kirkham Through Time’ map will be handed out on the day from the Kirkham Treasures stand on Market Square (between 9am and 3pm).

The day marks the successful end of the Cultural Consortium’s six-month HS HAZ pilot project. Now, thanks to a new £80,000 Historic England grant, the Consortium’s work can be widened to create far more creative opportunities over the next three years.

Cultural Producer Helen Juste

Helen Juste, Kirkham Cultural Consortium’s Cultural Producer, said: “Saturday July 10th is the culmination of six months hard work by the Cultural Consortium which is made up of representatives from local business and passionate local residents all keen to see Kirkham flourish.  

“It has been great to see the community really get on board and celebrate the town’s wonderful heritage. Artist Alex Blakley has facilitated an activity programme to provide everyone with the opportunity to get involved and this has resulted in the creation of some amazing interactive artworks.

“We’ve had a fantastic response to the workshops and everyone who has engaged has had a great time, enjoyed learning about local heritage and contributed to the creation of the town centre artworks.

“The community has been truly central to their creation so it would be brilliant to see as many people as possible there on the day.”

The HS HAZ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, aims to make high streets more attractive, engaging, and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.

The £80,000 grant awarded to Kirkham will enable the town’s Cultural Consortium to deliver:

  • A programme of creative art-based commissions – each inspired by Kirkham’s richly diverse heritage
  • The creation of an interactive heritage trail focusing on listed buildings and historic local stories
  • A series of town centre murals that will animate and illuminate Kirkham’s industrial past
  • The development of an annual heritage event, with imaginative displays, which will provide visitors with the opportunity to travel back in time, while sampling delicious local food and drink
  • The set-up of a shop, situated on Poulton Street, which will become the base for ‘Artists in Residence’ – showcasing artwork created by both artists and individuals who take part in a series of activities

It is hoped the programme of events and initiatives will not only inspire local creativity but improve health and wellbeing through increased community and social engagement.

Full details can be found by visiting www.kirkhamtreasures.co.uk

If you are interested in developing a new event for Kirkham, maybe even a festival, joining the Kirkham Cultural Consortium, or if you are an artist who would like to join an artist collective which could see your work displayed and sold locally, contact helen.juste@positiveplacemakers.org.uk

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