Banking those memories

Launch of Lancashire Not Forgotten dementia project at Moor Park Library.  Tony sharkey and Ruth Cook give a talk.
Launch of Lancashire Not Forgotten dementia project at Moor Park Library. Tony sharkey and Ruth Cook give a talk.
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Sharing memories of their home town is set to help dementia sufferers thanks to a £49,000 Lottery grant.

Lancashire Not Forgotten was launched at Moor Park Library in Bispham and will see heritage collections used to capture and preserve the memories of those living with dementia, remembering how they lived, worked and played decades ago.

Launch of Lancashire Not Forgotten dementia project at Moor Park Library.  Celebrating are L-R Christine Bradshaw from Bispham Gala, Gill Dowling from Empowerment, library team leader Jane Berry, head of libraries Elaine Midgley and arts and heritage apprentice Ruth Cook.

Launch of Lancashire Not Forgotten dementia project at Moor Park Library. Celebrating are L-R Christine Bradshaw from Bispham Gala, Gill Dowling from Empowerment, library team leader Jane Berry, head of libraries Elaine Midgley and arts and heritage apprentice Ruth Cook.

The grant will fund a county-wide project including library, museum and archives services from Blackpool Council, Lancashire County Council (LCC) and Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Activities, archives and artefacts will stimulate discussion and tease out facts and impressions.

Life stories will be conserved in a shared digital archive and each area will produce a bespoke legacy linked to their events programme.

Blackpool will create a tableau to evoke the fun of the Illuminations and the town’s gala days.

Launch of Lancashire Not Forgotten dementia project at Moor Park Library.  Pictured is Tony Sharkey from Blackpool Librarywith Janet Pendlebury from Bispham Gala.

Launch of Lancashire Not Forgotten dementia project at Moor Park Library. Pictured is Tony Sharkey from Blackpool Librarywith Janet Pendlebury from Bispham Gala.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Lancashire Not Forgotten will give a voice to those living with dementia as they gift their personal stories to future generations.

“Their recollections will come together in a unique archive of what it meant to live, work and enjoy leisure time in twentieth century Lancashire.

“This is such good news. We are grateful to Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting this initiative and we look forward to working with colleagues in neighbouring authorities.”

Art will underpin heritage as creative experiences, backed by historical data including old film footage, recordings and newspaper articles, unlock the past and stimulate engagement.

Much of the material will also come from the recollections of people taking part in the project.

There are currently more than 10,000 people in Lancashire who have been diagnosed with dementia, but it is estimated the actual number of people with the condition is much higher.

County Coun Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services at LCC, said: “The Lancashire Not Forgotten project includes everyday life, work and play, as well as the local heritage connecting the present to the past.

“Memories could be revived through access to local heritage collections, including those kept at Burnley Library and at Lancashire Archives in Preston.

“By using contemporary newspapers, books, pamphlets and photographs, the project will develop a creative heritage record, as well as an oral archive which will be a lasting legacy of their memories and experiences.

“Staff and volunteers will help people with dementia and their carers to find relevant information, services and resources to use.”