Salterforth heritage project finishes with a party

The village of Salterforth was buzzing with community spirit on Friday when a heritage map was unveiled to hundreds of proud locals.

Led by Salterforth Primary School, the £43,000 lottery funded project entitled “Putting Salterforth on the Heritage Map” has seen pupils craft a ceramic map, create a trail with plaques and make sound recordings.

The Salterforth heritage map.

The Salterforth heritage map.

Up to two years of pupil’s work has gone into researching how quarrying, transportation, industry and farming has helped shape the village and the lives of those who live and have lived there.

However, it was as far back as 2010 when the idea was first explored during the school’s centenary celebrations, and a bid for funding was submitted soon after.

Headteacher Helena Dunsdon hailed the finished project as “fantastic”. She said: “From concept to finish, it’s actually been five and a half years. It has been hard work but we’ve done it in bitesize chunks.

“We did interviewing skills first, we’ve had a lot of the locals in who have talked to the children, we did a lot of cartography, then we did the ceramics, then we went back to interviewing so they were involved in aspects all the way through.

“There have been some little gems of scary stories, gory stories like the ghost in The Anchor and the face in the wall.

“They have even been privileged to go in to see the stalactites in The Anchor and have also been privy to the Inghamite Chapel as well so they have had special invites to go and see places where a lot of the villagers haven’t.

“There is a real sense of achievement. There’s parts of the work that are going to go to the North West Sound Archive, we’ve got a fabulous leaflet that will hopefully be around for a good number of years, there’s a website, so I think there’s longevity in it and depth to it.”

The centrepiece of the project, the ceramic map and 14 plaque heritage trail achieved by working with artist Vivien Booth, were unveiled by lifelong Salterforth resident Muriel Pollard and trustee of the Galloway’s Society Bob Mills.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, there was a balloon release and fun and games which included judging in a Salterforth Bake Off competition, face painting, maypole dancing, a bouncy castle, interactive stalls and heritage exhibitions.

Project leader Rachael Brennan said: “I think a lot of the children who live in the village have really took it on board and they have kept the energy levels up because they have been so interested in it.

“We’ve had pupils that have left school come down to the field all desperate to see because they worked on it as well in years gone.

“I think that is because we did it from the slant of stories, it was all about storytelling, from people’s personal experience of their heritage in the village. It was personal rather than factual.

“We also had the Galloway’s Society for the Blind who have been involved helping us to make a tactile map. They’re linked to the artist, so that was an experience in itself, learning all about visual impairment.

“It has definitely been worthwhile. I think you can feel it in air.”

Muriel (87), who followed in her father Edward King’s footsteps to be school caretaker for many years, said: “It’s been a lovely day, I’ve been treated like royalty.

“I’ve emptied the house with photos for it. The project has brought back a lot of memories and I’m amazed with what they have done.”