Looking ahead to 2022

The society will celebrate its 37th anniversary this year and we are hoping that meetings will go ahead as planned, especially as it is almost two years since our last meeting was held in February 2020. Everyone who is interested in local history is most welcome to come along to our meetings.

We start the year with our AGM on Friday 21st January at 2pm at the Trinity Centre, Abbey Road. After the short business meeting, our guest speaker, Geoff Holme, will give his illustrated talk “Railway Heritage and Me.” We are very pleased that Geoff has agreed to speak again at one of our meetings, as he is an expert in all aspects of public transport, particularly railways.

During the lockdowns of the past two years, there have been some significant anniversaries in the town’s history.

2021 marked the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Furness Railway when it chose Barrow as its terminus in 1846. The village of Barrow was to be transformed into one of the fastest growing Victorian towns. One of our founding members, Alice Leach, spent many years researching the history of Barrow Village and you can now read her work here on our website.

2021 marked the 150th anniversary of the Barrow Iron Shipbuilding Company, which would develop into what we now call BAE Systems. It has changed its name and ownership many times but its shipbuilding and engineering excellence is recognised worldwide. The Dock Museum in Barrow has a wonderful display of memorabilia as well as the photographic archive of the ships and submarines built since 1871.

2022 will see the significant anniversaries of some of Barrow’s most iconic buildings.

In 2022 it will be 150 years since James Ramsden gifted the Ramsden Hall building to the town.These were the first public bathing facilities and were presented on 21st May, 1872 on the same day as the Ramsden Statue was unveiled. Above the doorway of Ramsden Hall is the inscription in stonework :” PRESENTED TO THE TOWN BY JAMES RAMSDEN ESQ., FIRST MAYOR”. A carving of a Ram’s Head, signifying James Ramsden, can also be seen in the stonework.

Barrow Public Library in Ramsden Square was completed and opened to the public in 1922. It is a beautiful building and has been totally refurbished during the past two years. There will a chance to learn about the history of the library services in Barrow on Friday 25th March, when the archivist Susan Benson is giving a talk at the Archives Office.

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