Pimped-up pumpkins, ghoulish tales and all manner of ghostly goings on are in store as Kirkham gets ready for a spooktacular Halloween.

The Fylde town’s Cultural Consortium is hosting a series of events to celebrate the most haunting time of the year.

They include inviting creative minds of all ages to design their very own heritage-inspired pumpkin which will feature in a special display in the town centre during the half-term break.

Pumpkin designs can be inspired by any part of Kirkham’s rich history dating back to Roman times, textile mills, the war years, Club Days as well as celebrating the town’s sporting successes or even one of the town’s former nightspots.

And the Cultural Consortium is also hosting a “virtual campfire” event for people to share their ghostly experiences from the comfort of their own home.

Have you seen a ghost or do you live in a haunted house? Have ghostly goings-on or phantom folktales about Kirkham been passed down through your family?

If so, gather around the virtual campfire on Tuesday October 26, at 7pm – together with North West-based artists Liz Chapman and Dustin Lyon – and share your spooky stories.

The artists are hoping to use these stories within an exciting art installation at the heart of Kirkham later on in the year.

The events are all part of activities created by the Consortium’s Kirkham Treasures project which was formed as part of Kirkham’s status as one of Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones (HS HAZ).

Helen Juste, Kirkham Cultural Consortium’s Cultural Producer, said: “Halloween is one of those times of year that appeals to all ages. From youngsters trick or treating and carving pumpkins to those who love frightening their friends and family with a good ghost story!

“Kirkham is a really historic town with plenty of folklore and tales from the past. We wanted to tap into that and create some events that everyone could take part in.

“All the pumpkins designed and created will feature in a special display in the town centre while the virtual campfire event will give people the chance to come together and share some ghost stories which will, in turn, help inspire an exciting art installation at the heart of Kirkham later on in the year.”

Pumpkins – which can either be carved or painted – can be delivered to the former TSB Bank, 52A Poulton Street (next to Serendipity House) on Saturday October 23 or Wednesday October 27, between 1pm and 4pm.

You can also share a photograph of your creation to the Kirkham Treasures Facebook page or email it to submissions@kirkhamtreasures.co.uk for a chance to win a high street shopping voucher worth up to £50.

A fun pumpkin design and create event will be held in Market Square, Kirkham, on Saturday October 23 – between 1pm and 4pm – when artists Andy Shaw and Sharon Kelly will be on hand to give handy hints and tips about how to create a Halloween masterpiece!

This virtual campfire event – hosted via Zoom – is aimed at an older audience, but families are more than welcome to join. To book your free ticket to listen or share a story: https://shadowytalesstrangestories.eventbrite.co.uk

The HS HAZ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, aims to make high streets more attractive, engaging, and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.

The £80,000 grant awarded to Kirkham will enable the town’s Cultural Consortium to deliver:

  • A programme of creative art-based commissions – each inspired by Kirkham’s richly diverse heritage
  • The creation of an interactive heritage trail focusing on listed buildings and historic local stories
  • A series of town centre murals that will animate and illuminate Kirkham’s industrial past
  • The development of an annual heritage event, with imaginative displays, which will provide visitors with the opportunity to travel back in time, while sampling delicious local food and drink
  • Create a base for ‘Artists in Residence’ – showcasing artwork created by both artists and individuals who take part in a series of activities.

It is hoped the programme of events and initiatives will not only inspire local creativity but improve health and wellbeing through increased community and social engagement. Full details can be found by visiting www.kirkhamtreasures.co.uk

And if you are interested in joining Kirkham’s Cultural Consortium and help shape the cultural vision for the town email helen.juste@positiveplacemakers.org.uk


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