A community culture project is aiming to explore Radcliffe's forgotten past though embroidery, applique and quilting techniques.

The "Spirit of a Place: Radcliffe" project will involve a number of workshops will be held next month where people can go and share their memories of the town and be part of the memory map that will be created.

Textile artists Rowan Bridgwood and Coreen Cottam will be holding the "Stitch your Space" workshops and they will be on hand to teach easy to learn embroidery techniques to beginners as the workshops are open to people of all abilities.

Bury Times:

Bury Times:

Rowan at work

Rowan said: “I’m a textile artist specialising in hand embroidery and I’m based in Bury so I usually work on small scale embroidered work so working to such a large scale is a great new experience for me.

“A familiar thread that runs through all my work is exploring personal memory and communal stories to help visualise the lived experience and the Spirit of a Place project is no different.

“The Spirit of a Place originally began last year as an art project exploring Bury’s often forgotten and underappreciated past and it was led principally by photographer Andy Marshall and artist Lee Crocker, and it was commissioned by Bury Council with support from Bury Art Museum.”

Last year, the project focussed specifically on Silver Street in Bury and they developed memory walks, photography tours and a group art exhibition where local artist made work exploring what the spirit of Bury meant to them.

Rowan said that this year they are expanding and focussing on Radcliffe as it has a fascinating industrial and medieval past but a lot of it is hidden by modern infrastructure or lost to time.

The project was created to help tease out these hidden stories and memories and the culture of the town.

She said: “So this time as well as the walks and the photography tours we wanted to bring more of a community aspect to the project because what really gives a town its spirit is its people and the places that are special to them and that led me to develop the Stitch your Space element to Spirit of a Place.”

It it hoped that the project will be completed in the summer and Rowan explained that naturally there’s lot of different elements so there’s more illustrative art works being created and there’s the photography side of things and then there’s the textile project, so they all need to come together so she’s hoping to have the textile project completed around June time.

She added: “I’d love to continue to project, this is my second year being involved with spirit of a place and my first year taking on a more lead role with the textile art project so I definitely would love to take it to different parts of Bury I think there are lots of areas that could do with being championed a little but more than they currently are.”

The finished project and art exhibition is hoped to be displayed at Bury Art Museum and also is hoped to be exhibited in Radcliffe itself.

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Rowan said: “The library where the majority of it will have been created so it could be exhibited there or in the newer aspects of the town in partnership with the regeneration’s projects going on at the moment.

“I think it would be really lovely to have the quilt on show that represents the older historical part of Radcliffe with the new regenerated Radcliffe as well.”

The workshops are open to everyone from complete beginners to experienced makers we want to make it a really welcoming, fun and creative environment where people can envision lots of interesting conversations about the town and can all record their memories and stories of the town together.

They will be held at Radcliffe Library on Wednesdays next month on May 4, 11, 18 and 25 from 10am to 12pm.

Places are free, and materials and refreshments will be provided.

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There is also a postal element to the project as well so to make it as accessible as possible.

They have created kits to send out which includes an individual element of the textile map for people to stitch at home so it comes with instructions and a needle and thread so people can participate at home and then send their finished piece back to them which will then be included on the finished map.

If people would like to get involved with that, they can email their address and how many kits they’d like to rowanbridgwood.art@gmail.com and they will be sent out to them.