Play your part in The Ropewalk’s Heritage

By janetuplin |

Volunteers are needed for the next stage of the latest Heritage Lottery funded project at The Ropewalk

Anyone with a connection to Barton’s former ropemaking factory, Hall’s Barton Ropery, or with a love of social history has the opportunity of becoming involved in the next stage of a Heritage Lottery Project at the Ropewalk Museum.

The highlight will be the production of an exhibition about the company which will take centre stage in Gallery One in March and April next year.

For the past few months the Museum’s Heritage Officer, Jonathan Holt, has been sifting through the archives of the Ropewalk which had been either rescued by the buildings owners, Ian and Mark Proudfoot, donated by former employers during an earlier Heritage Lottery Project or rescued from other buildings in the town where they had been stored for safe-keeping.

“We’ve now got to the stage where we are happy to welcome volunteers to help in the task of cataloguing company records, including sales information and information on the material imported for the production of rope as well as correspondence with clients such as letters and telegrams” said Jonathan.

“It is also essential that the archive material is repacked into the correct archival packaging to ensure the heritage of Hall’s Barton Ropery is preserved for future generations,” he went on.

“Volunteers will be able to research working conditions and practices at the company which will form the backbone of the exhibition,” he continued. “They will also be a part of this very exciting opportunity to ensure that the history of The Ropewalk and its workforce is accessible to as many people as possible

The £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has not only enabled The Ropewalk to secure the services of Jonathan for a year but also transform an area of The Ropewalk into a bespoke research area which will afford local historians far better access than enjoyed presently.

“Until now we lacked the necessary facilities to allow visitors or researchers to access our archives but thanks to the HLF this is now possible,” said The Ropewalk’s Managing Director, Liz Bennet.

The Ropewalk, which dates back early 19th century, is one of the very few surviving and the only publically accessible historic building which documents Barton’s significant industrial heritage providing employment for generations of families.

“Even though it closed its doors for the final time in December 1989 The Ropewalk continues to be a powerful symbol of the industrial roots of the town,” Liz went on.

Anyone wanting to help with the project, or wanting more information,  can contact Jonathan by emailing him on jonathan@the-ropewalk.co.uk or calling 01652 660380.

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