A new £32,000 project charting the life of an inventor who paved the way for the industrial textile revolution is to officially open soon.
Stanhill Village was the home of James Hargreaves, who invented one of the most famous and innovative spinning machines, the Spinning Jenny in 1764.
Residents in the village are celebrating Hargreaves and his invention by creating a heritage trail through and around the village.
The trail will be formally opened on Saturday, July 9, and dignitaries including the Mayor of Hyndburn Tim O’Kane have been invited along with descendants of James Hargreaves who still live in the village.
The jewel in the crown is a working replica of the Spinning Jenny, built to the original design by a local resident in only 200 yards away from where Hargreaves built the original.
The project also tells the story of famous local people such as William Bury Westall, the Victorian novelist who lived at Stanhill Hall, and William ‘Parsley’ Peel the famous calico print pioneer and sponsor of Hargreaves.
It also tells the tale of the former Prisoner of War camp at Knuzden and the general social and industrial history of the area.
Richard Hooper, from the Stanhill Village Residents Association and co-ordinator of the project, said the heritage trail had been a long time coming.
He said: “It’s quite a historical moment, it’s the actual, original Spinning Jenny machine that we’ve repaired next to the cottage where it was actually invented.
“It’s taken us two years to get the funding and a year to get the trail going. Using £32,300 of Heritage Lottery funding and other funds raised within the local community, presentation boards have been installed along the trail.
“The boards are linked to a custom made website which visitors can access via their smart phones or from their computers in the comfort of their own homes.”
The official opening ceremony will include an introduction by the project co-ordinators Richard Hooper and Andy Barnes, before a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the trail to the public, followed by a short tour of the trail.
Over the next year a programme of community events – workshops, talks and demonstrations will begin to involve local residents and visitors alike in experiencing and contributing to the unique history of Stanhill Village.