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Lost Journeys of the Furness Railway: Gone but not forgotten

This July marked the end of our creative heritage project, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.  The Lost Journeys exhibition attracted 100s of visitors and featured stories, animations, films, oral history recordings and photography by local participants – sharing and celebrating the importance of the old train lines of the Furness area through creative media. A visitor said:

“It’s so interesting and beautifully presented, thanks to all the researchers and creative team for capturing this lost history. It brought back vivid memories. My Grandfather and great-grandfathers were both Furness Railway men”

The ground floor space at 104 Abbey Road hosted a collection of archive images courtesy of Cumbrian Railway Association; including rare glimpse of ‘Lost’ stations such as Island Road “Shipyard” Station, the Broughton to Coniston Branch, and Lindal-in-Furness. Also featured was a gallery of experimental photos using Furness Railway memorabilia in portrait photography, modelled by local teenagers, Thea Jones, Cameron Coles and Sally Cole.

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The purpose built installation room at 102 Abbey Rd hosted oral history recordings with local residents and vintage memorabilia on loan from Furness Railway collectors. Visitors could seat themselves on the reproduction Furness Railway bench and enjoyed still and moving images projected onto walls throughout the space.

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Experimental photos were developed during community Photography workshops, including work by Geraldine Scott, who used archive images of the lost stations to create a ‘Then and Now’ digital story which we displayed in the installation room. She said;

“Although I know that the merging of images is sort of a bit of cliché, in this context I thought it was an interesting and probably the most appropriate way to show the changes to the stations over time. I’ve been really inspired by this project, particularly by the historical aspect and the impact of it on people and the landscape. I was astounded to find the number of train stations here that had gone. Some I had never even knew existed. I was curious as to where they had been, what was left, and what they look like now. It’s because these stations used to be so important. People would come and go there everyday and they would have been a big part of their lives. I had loads of fun trekking around Furness taking photos, climbing up walls, over fences, trying to get the shot today that they were taken from, trying to match them up. “

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If you missed the exhibition please check out the project blog where you can view much of the film, photography and stories gathered during the project: