A celebration of our heritage
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.
●● 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