Museum appeals for Preston (UK) residents’ family war stories for new art project: Caribbean stories sought

A report by Phil Cunnington for The Lancashire Post.

A major art project is under way to commemorate Prestonians’ memories of the Second World War.

The city’s Harris Museum is working with the Imperial War Museum (IWM) to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

A selection of Second World War paintings from the Harris’ collection will go on display from December 5, together with a painting from the IWM.

The paintings reveal many aspects of life during the Second World War, from the roles of women to aerial warfare, and the Harris wants to explore Preston stories too. 

Artist Anthony Padgett on Lytham sands. Anthony is beginning an art project at the Harris Museum to collate Prestonians’ stories of the Second World War

Artist Anthony Padgett is working with the museum to explore Prestonians’ stories and include them in the display. This will include taking a photograph of people at the Harris with a family treasure, such as a photo, medal or something else that helps to tell the family story. This will be done safely in line with all government advice on social distancing requirements.

Lindsey McCormick, Fine Art Curator, said: “ Did you or a member of your family serve in the military? Perhaps your dad was in the Royal Air Force, or your grandma joined the Women’s Land Army? Or maybe you have family memories of what it was like living in Preston during the Second World War? We welcome Second World War stories from all walks of life and we’d love to hear from as many of you as possible.”

To take part, email the Harris at theharris@preston.gov.uk, with Second World War display in the subject heading. Include your name and preferred contact details; the story, including the names of the people in the story and if possible dates and locations; and a description or photo of the family’s object.

Or you can call Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm on 01772 258248

The museum is particularly encourage stories from:

• People of African or Caribbean heritage;

• People of South Asian heritage;

• People who identify as LGBTQ+

• People who have lived experience of Disability;

• People who identify as D/deaf.

Please send your stories by 4pm on Monday, November 2.

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