A cel­e­bra­tion of our her­itage

Rossendale Free Press - - News - FREE PRESS RE­PORTER freep­ress­news@men­media.co.uk @RossFreePress

ASTUNNING ta­pes­try has cre­ated a cel­e­bra­tion of a river and left a last­ing legacy of a town’s her­itage.

Each of the four pieces weaves to­gether the story of the River Ir­well with the his­tory of the Bacup area.

Com­mu­nity artist Ruth Evans held a se­ries of work­shops en­abling lo­cal peo­ple to cre­ate art work which she then com­bined into the pan­els.

The ta­pes­try, com­mis­sioned as part of the Her­itage Lot­tery-funded Town­scape Her­itage Ini­tia­tive (THI), was first avail­able for pub­lic view­ing as part of Rossendale Art Trail at Globe Stu­dios in Toll Bar Mill, Stack­steads.

Ruth ex­plained: “I started work on the ta­pes­try be­fore last Christ­mas and held work­shops through­out.

“It has been a re­ally suc­cess­ful project and I could have car­ried it on for longer.

“There are bits of his­tory, so­cial and per­sonal, lo­cal char­ac­ters and it is fun. It is a cel­e­bra­tion.”

The ta­pes­try will be on show at an open day at the A, B and D Cen­tre in Bacup on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 27.

Rossendale coun­cil se­cured £2m of re­gen­er­a­tion money for Bacup through the Town­scape Her­itage Ini­tia­tive in 2014. Town cen­tre shopfronts were ren­o­vated, and pub­lic realm work is sched­uled to be com­pleted by the end of Novem­ber.

THI project man­ager Mhorag Saxon said the fin­ished ta­pes­try has sur­passed every­one’s ex­pec­ta­tions.

She added: “Ruth has done an amaz­ing job.

“We will be dis­play­ing dif­fer­ent sec­tions in lo­cal places and we have had an of­fer to dis­play the ta­pes­try in its en­tirety at The Whi­taker in Rawten­stall.

“Wher­ever it is dis­played, it will al­ways be avail­able to be put on show in the Bacup area.”

The colour­ful, three­d­i­men­sional tex­tile in­cludes the Bri­tan­nia Co­conut Dancers, tur- bines on the moors, danc­ing jam butties, gravy wrestlers and a beau­ti­ful tree cre­ated by Bri­tan­nia Pri­mary School pupils.

Each sec­tion tells a dif­fer­ent story, from Weir, Bacup and Bri­tan­nia, Stack­steads and then the fi­nal piece is Rossendale’s iconic ter­raced hous­ing.

Coun Jackie Oakes, Rossendale coun­cil’s act­ing chair­man of the THI board, said: “The ta­pes­try is a fab­u­lous re­flec­tion of the his­tory of the ar­eas and the con­tri­bu­tions of so many lo­cal peo­ple are fan­tas­tic.”

To en­quire about dis­play­ing the ta­pes­try con­tact Mhorag by email on Mhor­agSaxon@rossendalebc.gov.uk.

Pic­tures by Cather­ine Smyth

●● The Ir­well Ta­pes­try which has left a last­ing legacy of Bacup’s her­itage work

●● Bacup Town­scape Her­itage Ini­tia­tive Project Man­ager Mhorag Saxon with the Ir­well Ta­pes­try

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