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Barnstorming Project Launches in Lancaster

Barton Road Centre as it looks today.jpeg

Barnstorming Project
The history of the Barton Road Centre is the focus of a new heritage project
Louise Bryning PR

From Cow Shed to Community will investigate the history and development of Barton Road Community Centre, an 18th-century building which many people pass every day without realising its fascinating past.

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will involve interviewing people on film about their memories of the building from when it was a barn to its time as a school kitchen and its life as a community centre.

Once completed, the 20 films will be screened later this year and be available on the community centre’s website. It will be available to local schools and churches and be sent to the North West Film Archive for inclusion in their collection.

Lancaster-based film-maker, Janine Bebbington is leading the project and is appealing for people with memories of the building to contact her or attend a drop-in session at the community centre on February 15 from 10.30am–1pm.

“I would like to find people who traditionally may have been unheard in the community such as the  people who came to youth groups in the 1980s to the staff who worked in the building when it was a school kitchen from the 1950s–1970s,” Janine said.

Until the Sixties, there were other farm outbuildings on the Barton Road site which were converted into changing rooms for Greaves Secondary School and anyone who remembers using that facility is welcome to share their memories too.

Janine already has several interviewees lined up including a niece of Sam Thompson, the well-known local photographer who captured images of Lancaster and further afield from the 1890s–1940s. He lived in the farmhouse opposite the barn.

“We hope that this project will inspire people to continue finding out about where they live and  take a more active interest in what is happening at Barton Road Centre now,” said Janine.

“They could go from being the history tellers to the history makers for a similar project in 30 years’ time.”

Anyone with memories of the Barton Road building should attend the February 15 drop-in, ring 01524 65622 or visit