The ‘heart has been brought back into the village of Farington’ as a new history trail has been launched this week.
The popularity of the Mill Street Garden project, which was developed in 2012 to commemorate 150 years since the start of the Lancashire cotton famine, has lead to exciting new features being created around the village.
The Mill Street History Trail takes people from the garden, down Mill Street past the houses which were built for mill workers, round to Centurion Way where Farington House used to be, and up towards Farington Lodge on Stanifield Lane.
Information boards along the way talk people through the relevance of each area in relation to the cotton industry in Farington, and also include maps of the route.
Historian Joan Langford teamed up with Coun Mike Otter to make the idea a reality, and she’s delighted with the outcome.
“It’s two years since the garden was completed, and the response to that has been amazing,” she said. “People are really interested in the history of Farington so this trail is a natural progression of that.
“The mill brought Farington into existence really, and I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to include pictures as well as words on the boards, to give people a real sense of what it was like here all those years ago.
“I hope lots of people go for a walk and look at the boards, and tell their friends about it!”
Joan and Coun Otter put the photos and words together for the project, which was funded by the Lancashire Environmental Fund, the Central My Neighbourhood Forum at South Ribble Council, and Lancashire County Council.
Coun Otter said: “I’m very pleased the opening has gone so well, and that’s thanks to everyone who has been involved.
“Now I’d encourage everyone to take a look at it for themselves. It’s brought the heart back into the village.”
A number of special guests were invited to unveil each of the boards yesterday (Wednesday), including the mayor of South Ribble, Coun Graham Walton.
He said: “A lot of work has gone into this, and it’s a respectful way of commemorating the history of Farington.”
Farington Parish Council chairman, Roy Clarke, gave an opening speech at the start of the walk in the Mill Street Garden.
He said: “The 12 foot replica of a weaving shuttle and multi-coloured bobbins within this relaxing garden area is the start to the Mill Street History Trail.
“At the sound of the steam whistle, mill workers in the 1800s would take the walk to work which we are about to replicate here in 2014.
“Farington Parish Council is indebted to Joan Langford for hours of historical research, and the determination of Mike Otter in overseeing this project from conception to fulfilment, with the enthusiasm and support from local residents of Mill Street and Farington.”