Thursday, July 15, 2021

Add your memories and artwork to West Lancashire’s new virtual museum and gallery


  • New project forms part of 'Once Upon a Town' heritage project
  • Virtual museum and gallery will showcase residents' creativity.
  • Poetry, photos, stories and artworks are some of the ways to get involved

An exciting new virtual museum and gallery is being created to encapsulate the past, present and future of Ormskirk, and we need your creativity to make it come to life.

As part of Ormskirk's Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) programme 'Once Upon a Town', West Lancashire residents are being asked to help create 'The Clock Tower' - a virtual museum and gallery, created to celebrate Ormskirk’s heritage and tell the tale of West Lancashire’s journey through the pandemic.

This exciting project is being delivered with lead partner Positive Placemakers Community Interest Company (CIC) and is nearing completion. Now we are asking residents to harness their creative and artistic flair by contributing to three specific areas of the project:

'The Attic' which focuses on Ormskirk's past, 'The Tower Room' focusing on the pandemic covering the whole of West Lancashire and 'The Grand Hall', an installation looking at Ormskirk 100 years from now.

The website is now live and residents are being asked to submit interesting facts, stories and memories about the historic market town. The organisers are also looking for people to contribute with representations of their experience of the pandemic which has affected so many of the Borough's residents over the past 18 months.

Councillor David Evans, portfolio holder for Planning, said ''The virtual museum and gallery is a really exciting initiative. It will become a valuable resource for both schools and the community and can help showcase Ormskirk's wonderful heritage.

"This is a great opportunity to really make history come alive and preserve it for future generations. We have all been living through unprecedented times – let's share our stories and memories and present a true picture of how we came together to support each other through the pandemic.'' 

Sharing memories and creating artworks and poems are just a few of the ways people can get involved. Children may want to design historical costumes for gingerbread men or create diorama that will feature in the exhibition. Hints and tips on how to create a submission are available on the website.

We know how inventive the people of the Borough can be and we can’t wait to showcase their creativity for all to enjoy.

Visitors to Ormskirk can already enjoy the Time Tardis - a town centre installation showcasing historical scenes (the red telephone box next to the Clock Tower), inspired by Ormskirk’s heritage.   It has been created by Artist Andrew Shaw and Julie James Turner, working alongside a group of people who were significantly affected by the early lock down.

Full details of all the projects and how you can get involved can be found at

This project is part of Ormskirk's High Street Heritage Action Zone initiative  (HS HAZ), a four-year regeneration programme funded by Historic England and local authorities designed to help revive and revitalise historic high streets.  The virtual museum and gallery is also supported by Arts Council England funding.



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Notes to Editors


Also available to view in the virtual museum and gallery will be:

  • 'Capturing a Moment in Time: Covid 2020. Finding the sunshine in a period of uncertainty'This work is a collaborative mixed-media mural recording the responses and experiences of those living with or who are affected by cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mural was produced by a Lancashire Adult Learning arts-based health and wellbeing project to support Macmillan information and support service users from West Lancashire. (This work will also be available to view in the Chapel)


  • 'Head Space'. An installation by West Lancashire College students inspired by their individual journeys through the pandemic


  • 'The Hug Gallery'. Another chance for residents to contribute. The isolation and loss of physical contact with friends and family has been marked in 2020/21. Being able to hug those we love has been momentous -  send in photos of your hugs and see them become part of an installation.


  • The One Hundred Years From Now project. The result of a partnership with WLBC, OCP, The Chapel, Positive Place Makers CIC, Edge Hill University, West Lancashire College and Ormskirk Cultural Consortium. During lock down several zoom workshops have taken place with individuals, schools and groups to create artwork for both Ormskirk Town Centre and the Museum and Gallery to start to populate the virtual space.(Parts of this project will also be showcased in Ormskirk Town Centre over the summer)


Elements of some of these projects are available to view in The Chapel. For details and opening times please visit

About Ormskirk High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ)
High Street Heritage Action Zones (HS HAZ) are 4-year regeneration programmes funded by Historic England and local authorities designed to help revive and revitalise historic high streets.  Ormskirk is one of only 68 high streets in England that have been granted this funding to give its high street new lease of life. West Lancashire Borough Council is working closely with Historic England and partners to develop and deliver a number of schemes that will unlock the potential of our high streets across England, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery and breathe new life into it for future generations.

About Historic England

Historic England are the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. It protects and champions and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. Historic England cares passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists Historic England shares a passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.

About Ormskirk Cultural Consortium
This newly formed organisation has the role of developing a cultural vision for the future. If you are interested in becoming a member, have an interest in heritage, culture or the arts and can commit time and take on some responsibility please contact