New Lottery-funded digital trail brings Buckley’s history to life
People visiting Buckley can now learn more about the history of the town through a new digital trail experience
In 2019 the Buckley Society received a National Lottery Heritage Funded grant towards the creation of a digital trail around the town as part of the ‘Explore North East Wales’ tourism initiative to encourage people to explore this fascinating area.
In addition, the project included the production of a 4-sided visitor information point, packed with information about the past history of the town which has now been erected in front of the main shopping precinct in Brunswick Road.
The bilingual Buckley digital trail is now live, highlighting dozens of locations and facts of interest and filled with photos and information about the town as well as fun features.
Support for the initiative has been received from four local primary schools whose pupils have contributed art work, word searches, poems, a selfie frame and images for the project.
Using the app you can discover, for example, how the Buckley Jubilee started, and read a short history of the Royal Buckley Town Band. Links to audio of the band performing are provided as well as film footage of Jubilee processions being led by the band.
The trail includes many areas of the town; it looks at social history, the industrial past, the natural environment and the town’s heritage. Packed with information, it contains before and after images, plus audio and video links enabling you to listen to reminiscences and examples of the old Buckley dialect.
The history of the various coal and clay industries which powered the engine of the town’s prosperity and fashioned the Buckley landscape is described, with many illustrated examples of the type of clay products for which the town was famous.
Courtesy of the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC), features on the Buckley commons and wildlife include superb images of amphibians and reptiles that now inhabit the quarries and ponds at former industrial sites around the town.
In addition to work already completed, a local designer has been commissioned to produce a short animated film containing computer generated images. This will take viewers back in time to see Buckley as it was many decades ago and once complete the film will be linked in to the app to complete the digital trail experience.
An initiative to gather information, images and fashions from the colourful history of the Tivoli Cinema and Nightclub has been hampered by the current period of lockdown but it is hoped to organise a memories day again as soon as circumstances permit and to hold an exhibition of fashions through the eras.
Commenting on the project Society Secretary Paul Davies said; – “Apart from myself, archivist Carol Shone and Society members Kevin Williams and Ray Roberts have spent a lot of time and effort over the last year putting the town trail together, but we believe it has been well worth it. The assistance of Heritage Interpretation Consultant Jo Danson has been invaluable.
The younger generation and residents who have moved to live in Buckley in recent decades have no living memory of the scale of the past industries that are associated with the town. Children from Buckley Schools have been fantastic and we hope the information they have gleaned from the exercise will benefit their local knowledge and instil a sense of pride for the town they live in.’
We are grateful for the support received from the National Lottery Heritage Fund made possible by the generosity of the people who buy lottery tickets. Match funding was provided by Buckley Town Council, Flintshire Museum service – Aura, Flintshire County Council Countryside Services and Tourism Departments for which we are extremely grateful.”
Search for ‘North East Wales’ in the App Store or Google Play, once the app is downloaded, scan the code below then scroll down the list of locations to Buckley. This code can also be located on the news page at www.buckleysociety.org.uk
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