"Stone" Thornton Heritage Project
Stone is an exciting new collaboration between South Square Centre and Thornton Antiquarian Society, who are working together to create an accessible archive of local history material, develop education resources for schools and run heritage events and activities for local people. It has been made possible with funding from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It has been an exciting two years establishing heritage within South Square Centre and adding to the programme of contemporary arts the centre is known for. As the project comes to an end, we are busy working with Thornton Antiquarian Society making sure that their archive can be used by local people. The extensive collection of Thornton Antiquarian Society archive material has now been re-boxed, catalogued and stored in an archive room at South Square.

It’s a fascinating collection with photographs, maps, research, personal histories and much more – all about Thornton and the local area. The archive will continue to be run by volunteers from TAS who will assist with individual enquiries about local history and open up the archive room on an appointment basis for local people to look at materials of interest. There are also plans to hold open events to coincide with the art gallery preview evenings.

Art and Heritage Come Together in Local Schools
Artist and photographer, Simon Warner is working alongside the project's freelance education officer, Charlotte Derry to develop teaching materials for local schools. Charlotte is delivering heritage discovery sessions with the children and Simon will be using his skills to run workshops to create images for a new heritage trail that can be used by local schools to discover more about the history of the Thornton area.

Work with Keelham Primary School has already begun and the children have been introduced to some of the many materials lodged in the archive using old maps, photographs and artefacts to find out more about the Keelham area. Local people have also played their part by contributing their memories of times past helping to bring history alive for the children. The education work will continue until the end of the summer term with sessions also taking place at Thornton Primary School. The heritage trail will be supported by a range of other materials about local history that teachers can use to support their lessons.

For images of the education sessions at Keehlam Primary School click here.

Developing the Archive
Volunteers continue to develop the archive in a number of ways. Cataloguing is well underway and by the end of the project, the aim is to have a catalogue of all the material held both as a paper reference copy and electronically. This should make it much easier to find information about the history of Thornton for anyone involved in education or research work.

Some of the material in the archive is fragile which is why a number of volunteers are learning how to make and store digital images of photographs and other delicate items. Our volunteers have been working with volunteers from an extensive digital archive, Pennine Horizons in Hebden Bridge, sharing their expertise and skills. Keeping digital copies has another advantage. You may have photographs of interest to other people but which you want to keep. If that's the case we can now scan your image and return the original to you. Get in touch and find out more.

Work is also about to start on collecting stories from local people. A number of people will shortly be interviewed about their work in local quarries and coal mines. But we also want to capture other stories of interest about Thornton. So if you have a story to tell, do get in touch.

For images of the volunteer training workshops click here.

Thornton is on the Map!
Click here for images of the show.

Get Involved!
The Stone heritage project is for everyone in Thornton and the surrounding area so please do get involved. You can do this in a number of ways. We will be collecting stories for the archive next year and want to hear from anyone with an interesting story to tell. Watch out for details of drop-in days when you can find out more about the archive and the material it holds. Come along to the next exhibition and discover more about the place where you live. Or do something different - become a project volunteer. Learn new skills, meet new people and help to develop the Thornton Archive.

The project is being managed by Lorraine Greenald and this webpage will be updated as the project progresses so watch out for news about how you can get involved and any events that are planned. You can also contact us on the project email address antiquarians@southsquarecentre.co.uk

Photograph courtesy of Thornton Antiquarian Society.

South Square, Thornton, Bradford, BD13 3LD
Email: info@southsquarecentre.co.uk | Telephone: +44 (0)1274 834 747
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