Interview: Laura Brennan talks about Blackpool Treasure Trove

Laura Brennan, the newly appointed Project Assistant for Blackpool’s Treasure Trove project, talks to Clancy Mason about her new role, Blackpools historic and diverse collections and how these will shape the series of artist led community-researched Pop Up Museums that will form Blackpool’s Treasure Trove.

CM: What is Blackpool’s Treasure Trove?
LB: Blackpool’s Treasure Trove is an exciting two year project supported by Heritage Lottery Funding, Blackpool Council and Blackpool Volunteers Centre to create Pop Up Museums based on our entertainment history from the 1950s to the present day in Blackpool. We will be working with the local community and fantastic artists to explore our incredible collections of entertainment ephemera which they will reinterpret to make a serious of Pop-Up museums which will appear around Blackpool.

CM: Who is it aimed at and how can people get involved?
LB: Anyone who has an interest in Blackpool’s entertainment history! We are holding two taster events on Monday 20 January and Monday 3 February in the Brunswick Room at Central Library from 10.30am-12.30pm where people can delve into our collections, talk to Tony Sharkey, an incredible local history librarian, and start to think creatively about how we can present these amazing artifacts to other people in Blackpool.

CM: What excites you about the project?
LB: The collections! Those that haven’t yet had the opportunity to have a look at what we have in Blackpool’s collections are in for a treat! From the Cyril Critchlow Collection to the Illuminations Collection we have a wealth of ephemera which includes photographs, posters, drawings and so much more! It is incredibly exciting for me to get a sense of what was important to Blackpool people in days past, and trace the fashions of the decades which Blackpool has never failed to keep up with.

Also being able to interpret these collections in a way which reflects our interests now is something I’m very much looking forward to. The artists will work with the groups over the course of the project to create pop up museums which will showcase our collections in unusual and innovative ways.  These will ‘pop-up’ around Blackpool so locals and visitors alike can get a better understanding of our entertainment history.

CM: So you’re new in post, what attracted you to this role?
LB: I love Blackpool! We have so much here to be proud of that is sometimes forgotten. I want people to remember why Blackpool is such an amazing place to live, and why so many people have and continue to holiday here.

I have a creative background studying Fine Art at Cumbria Institute and a passion for community engagement and I have experience of delivering workshops and art projects with community groups. I am also a complete bookworm! So the prospect of rummaging through our incredible archives definitely got my geeky heart beating.

You can get involved by attending Blackpool’s Treasure Trove Taster Events:
Monday 20 January and Monday 3 February at The Brunswick Room, Central Library 10.30am-12.30pm

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