Threads of Kirkham’s Golden History Revealed…

November 11, 2022

Two new artworks revealing Kirkham’s heritage through community wellbeing projects were launched at the special and splendid Heritage Open Day in September celebrating 200 years of the present St Michael’s Church building.

 

The artworks are a textile scroll in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry, and a heritage town walking trail; both were created by local people working with artists. They are on display alongside a series of documentary photographs of Club Day 2022, taken by Darren Andrews.

 

The scroll entitled Kirkham’s Golden Threads reveals Kirkham’s history of textile production. The artwork is the culmination of months of collaborative making and research led by Blackpool born textile artist Danielle Chappell-Aspinwall working with local women. Many of those who worked on the piece did so at Stitch Away Stress classes held at Kirkham Library this year, the group became fascinated with exploring the town’s rise and fall in textile production.

 

The Kirkham’s Golden Threads scroll was conceived to be in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry, so that it could be unrolled and explored by local people who want to learn more about the history of the town’s textile production. Booklets have also been created which chart the extraordinary research and involvement and can be collected and downloaded: https://www.kirkhamfutures.org/ and https://kirkhamtreasures.co.uk/

 

The heritage town trail entitled An A-Z of Kirkham - weather permitting! was developed by Kremena Dimitrova, a designer and illustrator from London, who worked with locals to create the visually stunning folded map. The map is available for free, enabling locals and visitors to explore Kirkham and its heritage on foot and benefit from some of the 5 ways to Wellbeing to connect, be active, take notice, keep learning, and give. The maps and bookmarks can be collected from Kirkham Library, Kirkham Community Centre, Book Bean and Ice Cream shop and St Michael’s Parish Church or downloaded (as above).

 

The unique new heritage artworks were created thanks to funding from Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone in partnership with Fylde Borough Council. The programme is part of the Kirkham Futures Heritage, Health and Wellbeing strand and has come about through the dedication and hard work of the local community working with artists Kremena Dimitrova and Danielle Chappell-Aspinwall from the Phoenix Rising wellbeing team.

 

Sue Flowers, Director of Green Close who has been leading the arts project said:

 

“The people of Kirkham are rightly proud of their local history and traditions. Lots of people have come forward to share their memories, ideas and stories. It has been a real joy to work in the town and to reveal the sense of pride and community that was so badly affected by the Covid 19pandemic.

 

We believe that arts and creativity through heritage can help people process difficult times and by coming together to co-create historic legacies for the community we hope we will help people see a happier, healthier, and more positive future”

 

Sue has started a new creativity and heritage wellbeing programme in the Spire Community Space at St Michael’s Church on Thursdays 1-3pm: Kirkham Community Heritage Explorers which will run weekly until December 2022. For further information:  https://phoenix-rising-wellbeing.co.uk/courses/kirkham-community-heritage-explorers/

 

St Michael’s Parish Church has been holding Bicentenary events throughout the year, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the present church building, and has launched an updated version of the official History of St Michael’s Parish Church, originally written by local history expert, the late Martin Ramsbottom and a special postcard of a LS Lowry drawing of St Michael’s church, Bothof which can be purchased: https://www.stmichaelskirkham.org.uk/home.htm

 

Adrian Long, custodian of the Kirkham in Amounderness Local History and Heritage collection, housed at St Michael’s Church said:

 

“The celebration of the bicentenary of our Grade II* listed building has been a wonderful opportunity to share the history of our building, and to throw its doors open to the people of Kirkham, making use of the redevelopment of the Spire area into a community facility.

 

We are delighted that so many people who are not regular churchgoers have been encouraged to come and enjoy the building and learn about Kirkham’s rich history and heritage, and we look forward to developing the Church as a hub for the whole community”

 

The artworks will remain in the Kirkham in Amounderness Local History and Heritage collection at St Michael’s Church and will be available for viewing and exploration on the Heritage Open Days on the last Saturday mornings of each month and other events.

 

29th October

Heritage Open Day

Wednesday 9th November, 7:30pm

History Lecture: The Story of Kirkham in times of Conflict

Tuesday 22nd November, 7:30pm

A Celebration of Music for St Cecilia’s Day

Saturday 26th November

Heritage Open Day and Advent Fair 11am – 2pm

Saturday 31st December, 9pm

New Year’s Eve Social, Quiz of the Year and Watchnight Service (Service at 11:30pm)

 

If anyone would like to request a viewing they can email Adrian Long, who will happily aim to facilitate this: mr.arlong@gmail.com

 

Photo credit: Darren Andrews

For further information see:

www.phoenix-rising-wellbeing.co.uk

https://www.kirkhamfutures.org/

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