Family History Stars In Artistic Celebration Of Kirkham’s Past

April 13, 2021

From Roman centurions, war heroes to textile mills, matchstick men and even a much-loved cobbler’s shop – Kirkham’s Heritage Treasure Trail certainly had it all!

Throughout Easter residents and local businesses were encouraged to celebrate the Fylde coast town’s proud history by creating pieces of heritage-inspired window art.

And Kirkham folk of all ages proved what an artistic bunch they are by creating some striking displays.

The winning entry was created by Adele and Peter Walsh whose wonderful creation not only featured many famous local landmarks – such as St Michael’s Church, the Wynde Milne windmill and the old flax mills – but a personal ode to their own family’s history.

Adele’s grandfather Thomas Ross worked as a cobbler in the early part of the last century, and his former shop on Station Road, Wesham, is lovingly included in the artwork.

Receiving the first prize of a luxury hamper, courtesy Morrisons supermarket, Peter said: “Myself and Adele had a lot of fun creating our window installation as a journey through

Kirkham’s industrial heritage. It was really nice to be able to create something that charted both the history of the town and our own family. We've loved taking part.”

The Heritage Treasure Trail is part of Kirkham Treasures – an interactive heritage programme set-up to commemorate the town’s history through the art, words and stories of local people.

Adele said: “Kirkham Treasures is a wonderful project that encourages the community to get together and celebrate the town’s history. We’ve really enjoyed walking around town looking at all the artwork that has been created. It’s lovely to see such community spirit – especially in these difficult times.”

Kirkham’s former Roman garrison, the town’s history as important textile hub, its role in both World Wars and LS Lowry’s famous painting of the town’s Church Street were among the many images to feature in Treasure Trail.

Artist Alex Blakey, who is now working on a series of community projects as part of Kirkham Treasures, was impressed by local people’s enthusiasm and creativity.

Alex said: “It’s been brilliant. So many different aspects of Kirkham’s history were covered – from the Romans, to the flax mills, Lowry’s painting to scenes from the modern day. And what has been especially nice is people have included their own family history and personal stories in their artwork – as we saw with Adele and Peter’s wonderful piece.”

Barbara Parkinson, Morrisons (Kirkham) Community Champion, added: “Morrisons is proud to have supported Kirkham’s Heritage Treasure Trail and we loved seeing all the artwork in local shops and in people’s windows throughout Easter.

“We were thrilled to present a luxury hamper to Adele and Peter – their artwork was wonderful – together with Morrisons’ vouchers for second and third places and Easter Eggs for everyone who entered. Well done everyone who took part – you really did Kirkham proud!”  

Kirkham Treasures has been created by the town’s Cultural Consortium, which was launched to deliver engaging community projects as part of Kirkham’s successful bid for High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) status.

Funded by Historic England, Fylde Borough Council and Kirkham Town Council, the £3.5m four-year HS HAZ programme is designed to revive the high street, restore local historic character, improve health and well-being and develop a new cultural vision for the town.

For more information on all the projects visit www.kirkhamtreasures.co.uk

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