We are thrilled to announce that we have been offered National Heritage Lottery Fund funding for ‘Seeing the North with Sankey’ a two-year heritage project which will conserve and connect people across Barrow and Cumbria to the Sankey Photographic Collection. 

THE SANKEYS were a father and son duo who documented life in Barrow and Cumbria over 80 years, capturing the landscape, cultural changes, individuals, industry & tourism (plus much more). The postcards they created from their photography were posted all over the world. 

We have been working closely with the Sankey family since 2016 and are delighted to start our incredible programme of activities. We will be announcing the full programme of events in due course. 

If you are interested in getting involved in workshops, sharing your stories or volunteering please register your Interest (below) or get in touch with Julia on / 01229 838592


Due to the Covid-19 outbreak we have currently postponed all our Sankey workshops. We are however still working on the project from home and we are inviting people to get involved with transcribing postcards, catalogues and postcard albums from the collection. Help us turn this unique collection into a fascinating legacy for future. 
If you are interested if getting involved please send Julia an email at 

Please note that all of our Sankey workshops have currently been postponed until further notice due to Covid-19. 



The Archive 

  • Relocate the Sankey Photographic Archive to Cumbria Archives in Carlisle for secure permanent and safe storage. 
  • Restore, conserve, digitise and catalogue 15,000 glass plate and acetate negatives and 20 postcard books. 
  • Create a dedicated online website and database of the collection which links with Cumbria Archives. 
  • Create online database of 1500 Sankey Postcards

Volunteers and participants 

  • Recruit volunteers to support research/interpretation, conservation through training, activities, field-trips and workshops. 
  • Work with volunteers to develop online interpretation of the collection, exhibition content and oral history interviews. 
  • Run two participatory artist-led projects and workshops for people of all ages in response to the archive. 

Young people

  • Deliver an interactive heritage programme around the Sankey Postcards for local primary and secondary schools, local universities and organisations that work with young people
  • Create Sankey Teaching Resource pack for schools

Exhibitions and final work

  • Sharing and celebration of heritage through public talks, visits and film screenings.
  • Five public exhibitions with interactive education programme at Cookes Studio, Barrow Dock Museum, Furness/WestCoast Railway. 
  • Provide two Sankey Kiosk featuring Sankey images in Barrow Dock Museum and Barrow Local Study Centre. 
  • Create a self-guiding walking app with oral history recordings
  • Create a publication which contextualises the Sankey’s work into wider photographic history. 
  • Produce a Behind the Scenes documentary of the project 

Sankey Postcard Project

Between October 2018 and March 2019 we ran a series of workshops and talks as part of our development stage for the Sankey Project. If you are interested in finding out more about the work we have done previously please visit our Sankey Project Page below. 

Our project is kindly funded by the following...