Hundreds visit Lancaster factory for history project

Visitors to the Behind The Wall open day learn about some of the printing processes whilst on a tour. Picture by Darren Andrews.
Visitors to the Behind The Wall open day learn about some of the printing processes whilst on a tour. Picture by Darren Andrews.

More than 200 people went Behind The Wall during an open day at a Lancaster factory with a fascinating history.

Almost exactly a year since the Standfast & Barracks site in Caton Road was devastated by flooding, it opened its doors for public tours around what is one of the country’s premier fabric printing works.

The tours, which showed visitors the processes that turn raw cloth into stunning designer fabric, were part of a free event organised by Mirador, a Lancaster-based arts and heritage company who have instigated the Behind The Wall project.

Behind The Wall aims to reveal the heritage of the Standfast & Barracks site which was built as a Carriage and Wagon Works in 1865 and was a barracks for a very short period during World War One before being converted into an internment camp.

Over more than 90 years, it has employed thousands of people in the business of fabric printing. Alongside the tours was a display of work in progress by top national and local artists who Mirador have commissioned to reflect the site’s history.

Renowned textile artist, Michael Brennand Wood’s Ghosts In The Machine is already complete and now in situ on the walls of the factory. Michael joined some of the tours to explain how his work was inspired by the site.Another artist, Adam Clarke, who has a worldwide 
reputation for his Minecraft projects, demonstrated how he will encourage young people to bring their own fabric printing factories to life via computers.

The display also featured contributions from textile artist Caroline Bartlett; photographer Darren Andrews; wearable art designer Katie Duxbury and Rossendale-based artists, Bonkers Clutterbucks.

Information on the site’s First World War history was on display and Peter Donnelly, Curator of the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum, chatted to visitors. Behind The Wall culminates next spring with a major exhibition at Lancaster City Museum from March 4-May 1.