Fylde coast town gets ready to dance this weekend with an historic street production

A Lancashire town’s proud history as one of the county’s most important cotton towns will be celebrated through dance this weekend.

By Phil Cunnington
Friday, 1st October 2021, 12:30 pm

Kirkham was once a crucial hub for the production of Lancashire-spun textiles – most notably producing sailcloth for the Royal Navy.

Although the Fylde coast market town’s last commercial loom operated for the final time in 2003, the town remains synonymous with the cotton industry. It can date its origins back to the days of old hand looms and the era of mass production in mills owned by such famed local families as the Birleys, Langtons, Hornbys and the Shepherds.

And this heritage will be brought to life this Saturday (October 2) thanks to a wonderful dance event celebrating Lancashire’s former cotton workers.

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About Time Dance Company perform Cotton, a special dance show celebrating Lancashire's history as the centre of the cotton industry. The show will be performed in Kirkham town centre this Saturday (October 2)

The About Time Dance Company – which specialise in creating heritage-based artistic pieces – has teamed up with students from Carr Hill High School to present Cotton. The production is described as “a captivating exploration through dance and sound, illuminating processes of cotton production in Lancashire”.

The 30-minute event – intertwined with traditional clog dancing, a mesmerising soundtrack, stunning costumes and intricate choreography – will be performed twice on Saturday in Market Square, Kirkham, at noon and 2pm.

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“The piece explores the roles of women in the cotton mills and is a captivating exploration of life in a Lancashire town through contemporary dance, singing and clog dancing.

“The Cotton production had a 24-date regional tour in 2018 so we are thrilled to be reviving the work for Kirkham and the local people – it’s a very special production not to be missed!”

Cotton is the first event held as part of Fylde Borough Council’s new Heritage, Health and Wellbeing Programme for Kirkham – part of the town’s £10m Kirkham Futures regeneration masterplan.

Funded through Kirkham’s status as one of Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zones (HS HAZ), the programme’s aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of residents through engagement with heritage-based activities.

Also backed by £6.3m funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund (FHSF), the Kirkham Futures masterplan is designed to reinvigorate Kirkham town centre by bringing important buildings back into use, improve streets and open spaces as well as residents’ health and wellbeing.

For more information, and to keep up to date with news on Kirkham’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone, please visit www.kirkhamfutures.org