A SPECIAL project celebrating Warrington’s proud wire heritage, which was put on hold because of the Covid-19 outbreak last year is getting back under way – and local people are being invited to get involved.
Warrington Borough Council is re-launching culture and heritage project “The Wire Factory” which celebrates the legacy left by the wire industry, which dominated Warrington’s employment structure for more than 100 years in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Focusing on collecting oral histories and engaging a vast range of new audiences, the project aims to spark renewed interest in Warrington’s industrial past.
The council secured a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £45,300 to deliver the project, and is now moving ahead with plans to hold a special exhibition in the autumn.
In February last year volunteers began collecting stories from people who have personal or family history connections with the town’s wire industries, past and present. This was put on hold the following month because of the pandemic.
Now, the council is again looking for more people to come forward with connections to the wire industries, either with stories to tell, or photos or items to share.
Any documents or photos that people would rather hold onto can, with the owners’ permission, be scanned at the museum at a later date.
The council’ s cabinet member responsible for culture, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin (pictured) , said: “I’m delighted that this important heritage project, which will provide such a fascinating insight into Warrington’s wire history, is getting back under way, safely.
“Before the project was put on hold, we were gathering some wonderful stories from local people, painting a vivid picture of how the wire industry helped make Warrington the town it is today.
“I’m looking forward to this project getting back under way, so we can continue to collect these stories and present them to people from across Warrington and beyond. If you’ve not yet got involved and would like to contribute, please get in touch.”
The team is particularly looking for people with interesting stories who would be willing to be interviewed by the project volunteers. They have undergone special training with the Oral History Society to enable them to conduct interviews remotely (by phone or Zoom) so that interviews can be done from the safety of your own home.
When restrictions are lifted, it is hoped that some face-to-face interviews will be able to take place, while following social distancing guidance.
If you would like to be involved in the project in any way, or have interesting stories or memorabilia, get in touch by emailing email@example.com
For more information about the project, please visit warrington.gov.uk/wirestories