For the first time in 70 years, Dr Elizabeth Roberts has revisited the Barrow primary school she attended as a child for our Walking In Others Footsteps project.
Elizabeth had a very special reason for returning to Barrow Island Primary School – to share memories of the town’s people from yesteryear which she captured in her groundbreaking archive.
Elizabeth, who was born in Barrow, recorded the archive during the 1970s and 1980s and the memories became a unique record of working class life in Barrow, Lancaster and Preston from 1890 to 1970.
The archive is currently being digitised by the Regional Heritage Centre at Lancaster University and many of the transcripts are now available at: https://www.regional-heritage-centre.org
To celebrate the widening of access to the archive, commissioned Steve Fairclough to take part in Walking In Others Footsteps.
Steve has been working in Barrow, Lancaster and Preston, capturing stories from local people inspired by the archive and delivering sessions in schools.
So when he had a visit to Barrow Island Primary lined up, Elizabeth asked if she could accompany him and during the session there, they played audio sections of the original archive recordings and answered the children’s questions.
“I very much enjoyed going back to my old primary school which I remembered very well from the front but when I stepped inside, I was amazed and impressed by all the changes. I didn’t recognise the place,” Elizabeth said.
On spotting the awards plaques along the wall, Elizabeth did recognise winners from 1947 and 1948 because one of them used to be her best friend.
During their visit, Steve took photographs and collected memorabilia to create a history file which he eventually plans to deposit at the Regional Heritage Centre.