Historic Winckley square in Preston is going back to its roots

Winckley Square
Winckley Square
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Supporters of one of Preston’s most historic squares are appealing for help to reclaim its hidden history.

The Friends of Winckley Square, a Georgian square and gardens off Fishergate, want to hear from anyone with memories of the square or knowledge of its past.

They are also seeking volunteers to help record memories of life there. The square has been home over the years to mill owners, solicitors, suffragettes and clerics.

It was also home to schools including Winckley Square Convent School and Preston’s Catholic College.

Patricia Harrison, chairman of the Friends, would particularly like to hear from past pupils and anyone who had their wedding photographs taken in the gardens.

The Friends hope to feature reports about “Women of Winckley Square” in their newsletters this year to mark the centenary of women gaining the vote.

Patricia said: “The history of the Square has mostly been about the lives of rich men, We would also like the history of women recording. If you have lived, worked or been educated in the square we would like to hear from you.”

Meanwhile project officer Louise Mor is spearheading work to ensure a range of activities take place in the Square, including a pop up theatre show.

Louise said: “Over the next couple of months we are going to be recording people’s memories of Winckley Square. We want to ask people to come and tell us their stories.”

Training will be provided for research volunteers, with five events planned between now and April. Would be researchers do not have to attend all events. The first, on Tuesday February 27, runs from 6.15-7.45pm and is about oral history recording techniques. To book a place contact Louise.Mor@groundwork.org.uk

Other workshops will range from an introduction to using historical resources and research methodology, to using the Lancashire Archives, census records, newspapers and online resources.

• The popular Inside Out exhibition featuring the interiors of eight houses on Winckley Square has now transferred from the city’s Harris Museum to St Wilfrid’s Church, Chapel Street.

• The next guided tour of the Square is on February 18 at 2pm. Meet in the centre of the gardens.