Since opening two years ago, The Old Rock Factory has been a venue for all types of artists, creatives and anyone wanting to ‘get into’ the arts scene in the Blackpool area. Over the years there has been a network of creatives established that work together, helping each other refine a style, theme, product range or even a business. The Old Rock Factory is located on Deansgate, behind Abindgdon Street, between Bright House and CLC Bookshops which gives it a useful location in the heart of Blackpool’s creative district.
At the heart of the factory is Robin Ross with the screen-printing studio based on the first floor. When you walk in it is almost a scene from a film with vibrant paint patches on the floors and walls, screen-printing equipment, paper sporting various designs and usually one or two arty types discussing something topical. It’s become a real hang-out for anyone those looking for some friends! Past ‘Waterloo’, the appropriately named toilet, there is another door that leads you to the top floor which is home to further creative businesses.
At the foot of the staircase you will see a vibrant orange door. Beyond this even more colours of the rainbow mingle with wool, books, buttons and anything crafty. It can only be Aunty Social HQ. This is a community group that specialises in bringing people together though the simple pleasure of crafts. From Knittaz with Attitude and jewellery-making from old board games to teaching new skills, Aunty is there to lend a hand. This is achieved at the top of The Old Rock Factory.
Next door you will find Linzi Cason, a photographer who has based her office at The Old Rock Factory within the last six months. As a freelance she doesn’t need a studio so when the space became available she saw it as an opportunity to collaborate with other artists in the building. Over the last month or so Linzi and Robin have teamed up to offer the people of Blackpool and beyond a photography and screen-print workshop. Realising that there was nothing of the sort available in the area, Linzi jumped at the idea of starting up something new.
This concludes the tour of The Old Rock Factory. If the people inside do not inspire the creative within then maybe the graffiti artwork on the walls outside will!