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Signal to Launch Exciting New Heritage Project Exploring and Celebrating Barrow Market’s History

Barrow’s Indoor Market in 1971 (photo Jack Kelette) and Barrow outdoor market in 1960

[B]ARROW-based charity Signal Film and Media has announced the official launch of its exciting new Heritage Lottery-funded project MARKET TALES on Wednesday 18th October from 6pm to 7.30pm here at Signal Film and Media.

Market Tales will run from October 2017 to April 2018 and people are invited to join us for the launch and to find out more at this free event.  It will be an opportunity for people to get involved in the pre-Christmas programme of events including archive research sessions, oral history training, storytelling and sound workshops, planned visits to other north-western markets and the opening of a temporary market stall in Barrow Market. The evening will include drinks, snacks and a talk from local historian Bill Myers about what’s currently known of the market’s history.

Through the exciting programme of research and creative activities we then hope to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to our community as a site of grassroots enterprise, a social hotspot and a melting pot of people of all ages and cultures.

Project Manager Julia Parks says: “So far we only know the basics – Barrow Market opened in 1864 and was relocated to its current site in 1971. Some stalls have been held by the same families for generations. Loads of Barrovians still remember riding on the hand-painted fairground carousel or going to Ernie’s to get a bag of sweets. We want to explore the scents, sounds and stories of the market now and down the years, to trace its history and discover what it means to people now by sharing memories, images and artifacts to celebrate its impact.”

The Signal crew and specialist tutors will work closely with volunteers, local people and stallholders in the first half of the programme to research, record, uncover and explore the role of Barrow’s Market in the town, building up an in-depth picture of the market’s little known social history. After Christmas the second half of the programme will be a series of hands-on workshops with artists, writers and historians to interpret those findings and histories through sound, live theatre and filmmaking as well as an online blog and a final printed publication. Signal Film and Media is excited to collaborate with The Ashton Theatre Group to deliver an exciting finale performance to be held in the market in Easter 2018.

Paul Smith, Market Supervisor at Barrow’s Market who has worked at the location for many years, says: “I’m looking forward to bringing the market’s history back to the community and showing how it’s changed over the years,”

Are you interested in volunteering for this project? Are you interested in learning new digital skills? Are you interested in meeting new people? Do you have stories to share from your experiences of living near, working or visiting the market? If so, please contact [email protected] for further information about signing up as a volunteer and taking part in these amazing FREE opportunities.

For further information about the project contact Julia Parks, Project Manager [email protected], or telephone 01229 838592.

For further information about other projects at Signal Film and Media please visit our website www.signalfilmandmedia.co.uk

The photographs in this article have been kindly supplied by the Barrow Central Library Local Archive and Studies Centre.

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