2020 marks the 35th anniversary of Barrow Civic and Local History Society. When it was founded in 1985 the town centre was changing rapidly and the society pledged to preserve as much of the town’s Victorian heritage as possible.The society still maintains its original aim to promote pride in Barrow’s heritage and takes an active interest in what is currently happening in the town.
The AGM at the end of January was well attended and the Committee was re-elected as a whole. The guest speaker was Neil Honeyman whose illustrated talk gave an insight into the lives of the Bronte family and concentrated on the events that shaped their lives. It is a remarkable story and the speaker’s photographs of the vast open spaces around Haworth gave the audience a clear understanding of how the landscape inspired the writing of the Bronte sisters.
The guest speaker at the end of February was Geoff Holme. The title of his talk was “Public Transport in Barrow-in-Furness : Trams and Buses.” After spending years of research, Geoff has become an expert in the history of public transport in the town and has put together an extensive photographic collection. His photos of the steam trams reflected life in Barrow at the end of the 19th Century, with views of the fine buildings lining Duke Street and Abbey Road. Geoff’s talk traced the story from the steam trams to the electric trams and then to the buses with their familiar colours of blue and cream. Everyone enjoyed this nostalgic reminder of a bygone age.
Since the opening of the new Alfred Barrow Health Centre in November 2019, an information board has been placed in the entrance to the building. Barrow Civic and Local History Society sponsored the board in memory of Alice Leach, who was a founding member and Chairperson/Secretary of the society until 2014. The board outlines the story of Barrow Village, which had its origins on the site of Alfred Barrow School where Alice Leach taught for many years.
The programme of meetings came to an abrupt halt during March because of the Covid 19 lockdown restrictions. The Committee has recently decided to postpone the meetings for the rest of this year and we hope to resume in 2021 once the situation improves.