Kirkham’s new Artisan Market was hailed a massive success on the day a series of new artworks celebrating the town’s history were unveiled.
Torrential rain did not dampen the spirits of stallholders and shoppers as Lancashire Artisan Traders opened their first monthly market on Kirkham’s historic Market Square.
Stalls boasting handmade gifts, fresh produce, craft gin, speciality cheese and sauces, pet foods, books and delicious pies and cakes drew large crowds throughout the day.
Joining the traders on Market Square was Kirkham Cultural Consortium who unveiled a series of interactive art installations around town as part of Kirkham’s status as one of Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zones (HS HAZ).
The Artisan Market will return every second Saturday of the month and next takes place in Kirkham on Saturday August 14th.
Alongside the market, Kirkham’s new historic artwork trail proved very popular. For the past six months Kirkham’s Cultural Consortium has worked with artist Alex Blakey to create Kirkham Treasures – a series of community engagement projects – that have led to the design of a number of interactive art installations.
These included The Talking Wall which is made up of a series of images from Kirkham’s past that are linked to audio recordings of local people talking about a specific memory of Kirkham.
A series of Peep-Hole Boxes, each showing a different part of Kirkham’s story, have also been installed alongside The Passage of Time, a series of glasswork art created by the students of Carr Hill High School. While Kirkham Grammar School students created Kirkham Through Time – a map celebrating locations and stories of Kirkham’s past.
Helen Juste, Kirkham Cultural Consortium’s Cultural Producer, said: “It was a brilliant day and wonderful to see so many local people come out and enjoy the art installations.
“It was the culmination of six months hard work by the local community, schools and artist Alex Blakey. The artwork created is truly interactive – none more so than the Talking Wall – and so it was great to see local people visiting it to hear stories about the town’s heritage.
“There is still plenty of time to take part in the Kirkham Quest, which is a really fun way to learn more about Kirkham and its wonderful history.”
The Consortium, which is made up of local residents and business people, was set up by Fylde Borough Council as part of Kirkham’s £10m regeneration masterplan to help develop a new cultural vision for the town.
The council is working closely with Historic England, Kirkham Town Council and partners to develop and deliver a number of schemes that will transform and restore disused and dilapidated buildings with new uses, help improve health and well-being restore local historic character and improve public realm.
Saturday marked the successful end of the Cultural Consortium’s six-month HS HAZ pilot project. Now, thanks to a new £80,000 Historic England grant, the Consortium’s work can be widened to create far more creative opportunities over the next three years.
For more information about the Kirkham Treasures project please visit kirkhamtreasures.co.uk
If you are interested in joining Kirkham Cultural Consortium, or if you are an artist who would like to join an artist collective which could see your work displayed and sold locally, contact firstname.lastname@example.org