Fall In Love With Town’s Heritage On Most Romantic Weekend Of The Year

February 7, 2022

Romance will certainly be in the air at a special series of events celebrating Kirkham folk’s love for their hometown.

‘Kirkham With Love’ is a new interactive heritage project launched as part of the town’s status as one of Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones (HS HAZ).

The project’s mission is to gather love stories from local residents to help create an interactive exhibition celebrating the places and people which make the historic Fylde market town so special.

Where did you fall in love? Who did you fall in love with? What treasured buildings and places have a special place in your heart?

And a series of entertaining events will bring the project to life in Kirkham town centre.

On Saturday February 12th Kirkham’s monthly Artisan Market returns to Market Square boasting many stalls selling the finest locally produced goods.

Alongside the stalls will be the ‘Kirkham With Love’ tent from where storyteller Izzie Major, who has taken on the character ‘The Bride of Kirkham’ will perform a special story all about Kirkham’s history.

Izzie has (pictured above) a number of pop-up events in the last few weeks gathering local people’s stories about the town. She is weaving these together to produce an ‘extraordinary tale’ of love and heritage.

Izzie will perform three times on the day – at 11am, 1pm and 2.30pm – at the Fish Stones on Market Square. Joining Izzie will be Kirkham Ukulele group.

Elsewhere, the Kirkham Singers community choir will be performing a special ‘A Celebration of Love’ concert at the United Reformed Church at 3pm.

As part of the project a new art installation is being created in the heart of the town on Poulton Street. Inspired by Kirkham’s 11 former mills, the installation includes the weaving of coloured ribbons on the town’s railings to celebrate Kirkham’s heritage, the high street and the lives interwoven with the town.

Kirkham Cultural Consortium members creating an installation at Ash Tree surgery

Local residents are being asked to help create this new community artwork by collecting a wooden heart from the ‘Kirkham With Love’ tent on Market Square on February 12, or from a number of participating shops in the town.

They can write or paint the heart with a dedication to a friend or a loved one and then hang it on the railings of the old Charity Girls School (the former Lloyds/TSB on Poulton Street).

The hearts are free, but anyone who would like to make a donation can with all proceeds going to the Kirkham Club Day fund.

To help gather local love stories and number of brightly coloured post boxes have been situated around the town centre. Simply write your story about the people and places you love and pop it in the box. Stories can also be emailed to kirkhamstorytellers@gmail.com

Izzie said: “Local people have been so welcoming and generous with their personal stories and sharing their knowledge of the history of the town.

“The events on February 12 are all about spreading joy and connection through arts, music and storytelling. After such a difficult couple of years for so many people we really hope people will feel lifted and inspired to participate in the interactive artwork.

“We are celebrating love in all its forms, whether that be love for your friend, your town, your partner, your family, your community and your heritage.”

Historic England funding of £1.8m – a key part of Kirkham’s £10m regeneration masterplan – is being used to help give the high street a new lease of life by re-energising historic buildings and creating a new Cultural Programme celebrating the town’s heritage, led by Kirkham’s Cultural Consortium.

The £80,000 HS HAZ Cultural Programme is an important part of Kirkham’s four-year Kirkham Futures regeneration masterplan. Together with funding from Historic England, Fylde Council and Kirkham Town Council, the masterplan is backed by multi-million-pound funding from the Government’s Future High Street Fund (FHSF).

This will fund major improvements to Kirkham’s town centre streets, open spaces and shopfronts as well as re-energising historic high street buildings and creating new community facilities.

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

And if you are interested in joining Kirkham’s Cultural Consortium to help shape the cultural vision for the town email helen.juste@positiveplacemakers.org.uk

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