Watson Hall, 65 Barton Street: Saturday 20 – Sunday 21 May, 10am to 4pm

A major photographic exhibition showcasing Tewkesbury’s heritage buildings will transport visitors back in time, providing an opportunity to reflect on how the town has changed over the years.

Tewkesbury’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) has commissioned Tewkesbury-based photographer Jack Boskett to curate ‘Tewkesbury Then and Now’, an exhibition that will run as part of Tewkesbury’s Big Weekend, enabling visitors to view earlier images of the town and contrast them against a range of contemporary photographs.

The HSHAZ is a partnership between Tewkesbury Borough Council and Historic England to invest £1m in the regeneration of the historic town centre.

Visitors can expect to see a variety of historic photographs of Tewkesbury; with details such as shop fronts, Tewkesbury’s railway, the mop fair and the architectural details of individual buildings.

Accompanying the photographs, a documentary video will be screened in the exhibition hall, showing interviews with local people who are involved with a range of societies in the town and whose work will ensure Tewkesbury continues to be a vibrant and attractive market town for the future.

Master craftspeople will be on hand to demonstrate age-old skills that continue to fascinate us today. An exhibition based on a history project organised by the HSHAZ for pupils at Tewkesbury Church of England Primary School will allow visitors to see how Tewkesbury’s youngest residents are learning to understand and appreciate our priceless townscape.

The HSHAZ has also been working with the primary school on a project to examine the town’s architecture, for which Year 5 pupils have designed a set of Top Trumps-style playing cards based on buildings in Tewkesbury. Throughout the Big Weekend, visitors can collect a map from Watson Hall which will lead them on a heritage trail around the town centre. This trail will take them to a series of buildings – and from each one a corresponding playing card can be collected.

Award-winning photographer Jack Boskett said, “I was over the moon to be asked to put this compilation together for The Big Weekend. I was born and bred in Tewkesbury and this town will always have a special place in my heart, so to have the opportunity to research the history and capture the modern-day scenes was a no-brainer for me. We have gone all out for this, with a professional display including photographs I have taken since the start of my photography career over 13 years ago. There will be something for everyone and I look forward to seeing you there.”

Historic England’s Regional Director, Rebecca Barrett said, “Then and Now promises fascinating insights into the way Tewkesbury has evolved over time, and goes on evolving, including through regeneration. We hope the exhibition will be a real conversation-starter about the way historic town centres have always had to adapt to changing times, creating the unique places we have today.”

Event organiser and HSHAZ Programme Manager, Georgia Smith added, “This exhibition was conceived to promote traditional building methods and how they have been used in Tewkesbury. I hope that after their visit, residents and visitors will notice these features and understand the town’s historic buildings better.”

Category: Environment