Portraits of the Past

Gawthorpe 2013-14

With a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund we’ve helped the local community explore and record Gawthorpe Hall through oral history, photography and the creative arts, in a project called Portraits of the Past.

Gawthorpe Hall is much loved by the Padiham and Burnley community who surround it. The historic property also hosted Catherine Bertola’s contribution to our Contemporary Heritage series, entitled Flicker.   We’ve shared photographs of Gawthorpe to develop an online archive, collected oral histories and engaged with schools and the local community, through drop in events and activity days at the Hall and Padiham Library; Family History Learning sessions; an event looking at historical costumes; a film on mining heritage; discussion events and a celebration event for everyone who had contributed to the project.

The result is a publication called Portraits of the Past – A People’s History of Gawthorpe Hall which was made widely available to the community as well as lodged in archives, libraries and museums.  The publication can only show a snapshot of the memories and images collected and so the complete oral histories are stored within the North West Sound Archive and the image archive will be available online for the foreseeable future.

You can download a PDF of the book here.