Threads of Kirkham’s Golden History to be Revealed

September 20, 2022

Two new artworks celebrating Kirkham’s heritage will go on display at St Michael’s Church Heritage Open Day on Saturday 24 September 9.30am-2.30pm.

 

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 will go 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.

 

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 will be 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 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 19 pandemic.

 

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”

 

The exhibition has been timed to coincide with the culmination of the St Michael’s Parish Church Bicentenary events, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the present church building, and with the launch of the updated and version of the official History of St Michael’s Parish Church, originally written by local history expert, the late Martin Ramsbottom.

The week will also see a history lecture on St Michael’s Day, Thursday 29th September at 7:30pm, detailing the history of the Christian presence in Kirkham, which dates back to the year 680AD.

 

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”

 

In addition to the Heritage Open Days held on the last Saturday of each month, a new creativity and heritage wellbeing programme will start in St Michael’s Church on Thursdays1-3pm: Kirkham Community Heritage Explorers will commence on 22 September and run weekly until December 2022.

 

 

For further information see:

www.phoenix-rising-wellbeing.co.uk

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