Stockport’s Cotton Mills and the lives of the people who worked in them will be the focus of a weekend of events at Vernon Mill Art Studios

Vernon Mills Remembers will take place on floor 3 of the historic industrial building on Mersey Street, Stockport on Friday 8, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 March, as part of Stockport’s Town of Culture tenure.

The remains of the cotton industry were left on floors three and four of Vernon Mill in 2000 when Vernon Mill Art Studios artists’ community began to divide up the once huge, open floor into smaller, rooms to be used by individual artists. More and more artists took up residence with the beginnings of a vibrant new community evolving for the life of the Mill. It is this community which now presents Vernon Mill Remembers.

Artists have responded to the stories of the mill in individual ways. It has been enlightening to see how each one has revealed personal insights into the stories of the past whilst working in a variety of media. We are proud to display our work as part of our open studios event on each of the three days of our town of culture celebrations.

Councillor Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Sport at Stockport Council, said: “Stockport has such a rich history but it’s often the lives of ordinary people that are forgotten about when we learn about our past from history books. Through the arts, this event will help remember and memorialise our incredible industrial past and the people who worked to make the region so important to the industrial revolution in this country.”

Many people in the Stockport community will contribute to the extra special events planned for each of the three days.

In addition to the open studios on Friday, 8 March at 6.30 pm, local musicians The Weavers will perform music to tell stories of people of the past, presented to us now in the mill where many of the stories took place, promising to bring the past to life during a memorable and evocative evening. The choir from St Thomas’ C of E Primary School has been rehearsing choruses to accompany the Weavers and will also perform some of their assembly songs.

In addition to the open studios on Saturday, 9 March, at 7pm Droylsden Little Theatre will perform a specially commissioned, exciting new play entitled ‘Stitches in Time’. It is described as a collection of stories from Stockport and the mill’s history, spun together in a single thread, during which a dozen tales, illustrated through mentalism and theatrical séance magic, will bring the past to life in eerie and thrilling ways.

On Sunday, 10 March the artists’ open studios will take pride of place from 11am to 4pm. Follow the art trail leading to the various studios, enjoy talking to the artists to discover how their work was made, take a selfie in a specially created Lowry-esque photo booth or observe the wonderful artwork and written work of children from Vernon Park Primary school, who have spent this term learning about our heritage.


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