Furness railway heritage celebrated in photography, animation, and film

SHARE THIS STORY
20 June 2016 12:37PM

A NEW exhibition celebrating the region's historic rail network opens this month.

Furness Railway heritage is the focus of the free display, open at Cooke’s Studios, in Abbey Road, Barrow, on Friday and Saturday, between 1pm and 6pm on both days.

After months of research and community workshops, Lost Journeys of the Furness Railway will be displayed through photography, animation, and film.

The exhibition is the culmination of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and coordinated by Signal Film and Media.

Local volunteers came on board to explore the important role that the Furness Railway played in Barrow's thriving industrial past and find out how it is remembered today.

There was once hundreds of miles of track in Barrow and numerous train stations along the Furness line that no longer exist.

 Barrow Island station c.1882

Barrow Island station c.1882

Local residents in Barrow and the surrounding areas took part in a photography course during February and March, and participants had a taster in digital photography and analogue photography, along with production techniques.

Participant Leanne Parr said: “During the project we visited the quiet village of Broughton to retrace the line of one of the lost stations. "Standing at the junction of Market Street and the footpath it was difficult to imagine heavy freight trains whistling through here during the 1800s.”

 Coniston Branch line

Coniston Branch line

The work on display will be split across two spaces at Cooke’s Studios: the ground floor event space will host a gallery of the original works inspired by the Furness Railway, along with archive photography courtesy of the Cumbrian Railway Archive; and 102 Abbey Road’s derelict ground floor space will house a special installation room, featuring memorabilia from Furness Railway.

Volunteer and curator Phil Northcott said: “This installation hopefully suggests a bygone age, drawing on first-hand memories and experiences. But also plays with ideas of perceived memory and the deliberate misinterpretation of nostalgia."

 Barrow Island c.1882

Barrow Island c.1882

Screenings of two short films made by Signal during the project will be shown in the 60-seat cinema room; The Lost Station is a short animation made by Year 5 pupils at Barrow Island Primary School, and tells the story of Island Road station. Pupils put their oral history training into practice by interviewing and recording residents memories of how the train line featured in their lives in the days when it was the primary mode of transport and when industry was thriving. The class learnt stop motion animation under the guidance of artist Sheryl Jenkins, as well as a field trip to Grange over Sands to collect photos and sound effects.

 Filming for Offline

Filming for Offline

Offline is a story about a grandfather's effort to find common ground with his 13-year old granddaughter, Lana, played by newcomer Emma Halpin.

Actor Colin Waite, who resides in Cockermouth, plays Granddad, a steam train enthusiast and expert in Furness Railway history. After an accident leaves Lana guilt ridden, she finally starts to take an interest.

 Colin Waite as Granddad

Colin Waite as Granddad

Project manager Rebecca Allen-Cavanagh said: "I’m really chuffed with how the project has come to together after so much hard work and dedication from our volunteers.

"The whole exhibition is based on the rich heritage of Barrow and the Furness Peninusula and we hope that the work on display will evoke a sense of pride in the community. As well as interesting pieces of memorabilia and archive material on display, there is also an educational element to the exhibition that we hope everyone will enjoy.”

Following the opening weekend, the exhibition will continue from June 27 to July 8, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 1pm to 6pm, and then appointment to view from 11 July to 22 July.

For more information visit signalfilmandmedia.co.uk

Comment on this article

Generate a new code
Comments not OK? Click here to let us know