Shopkeepers have become the stars of an exhibition celebrating life on an Accrington street.

Regular customer Rebekah Tatlow, 26, chose the project to thank the independent traders on Warner Street, who she says always go the extra mile.

The display of 19 portraits will run in a pop-up shop – The Arcade Gallery – in the arcade on Warner Street until Saturday, April 9.

Photography student Rebekah said: “I would go to Accrington to visit my grandparents, and really liked Warner Street and particularly the shopkeepers, who are really friendly and always make their customers feel welcome.

“Customers come from outside Accrington especially to go to Warner Street – there is one lady who has travelled to Warner Street every Thursday for the past 15 years because she likes it so much.

“I wanted to do something to thank them for being nice to their customers and to give something back.”

Among those featured are Ann Pearn of Annie’s cafe in the neighbouring arcade, Trevor McLoughlin, Viktorija Kutikova and Liron Auslin of Divine Cafe and Anne Starkie, Avis Carter and Lesley Edwards of the Warner Street Practice.

Rebekah is currently in her third year studying photography at the University Centre of Blackburn College, and has made portraiture her passion, saying that it is an opportunity to learn about people’s lives and make them a part of history.

A make-up artist by trade, she said that she hopes the portraits become an archive for the street, enabling future generations to look at the photos and learn what life was like in 2011.

She said: “Times are changing so much and shops on Warner Street might not be around in the future, so it’s important to have a record of them.”

Councillor Paul Barton said: “This is a really exciting idea and Rebekah is to be heartily congratulated for her efforts. It is very important to promote this area of Accrington.”