A TWICE-postponed project is finally going ahead in April and May at Grassington Town Hall.

The multi-media Heritage Lottery funded ‘Presenting the Past Exhibition’ is the culmination of four years’ research and planning by members of the Upper Wharfedale Arts and Literature Society (UWALS).

It will showcase an astonishing collection of photographs of early twentieth century Upper Wharfedale, digitally refreshed from the original glass plates first commissioned by Percy Inman of Kettlewell over one hundred years ago.

Originally planned for 2020, the project was twice de-railed by Covid, but UWALS is excited to be able to promote the free-to-all double-weekend event in April and May.

As part of the project, images have been the focus for a wide range of activities designed to involve as many members of the community as possible. These included historical research, the recording of oral histories, the creation and publication of an anthology of creative writing, the development of both original and traditional music and the exploration of modern photographic techniques applied to the same subjects as the original images.

Visitors to the event will be able to listen to recordings of oral history collected from local residents, attend a ‘live’ reading of some of the original poetry and prose published as Present in the Past, enjoy a documentary film (created by independent filmmaker Graham Kay) and experience a ‘live’ performance of some of the traditional and original music.

The writing and musical elements of the project will be more comprehensively showcased at a separate Evening of Words and Music on June 10th.

Prompted by the re-discovery of the archive of hundreds of glass photographic plates, kindly loaned to the society by the Roberts family of Kettlewell, UWALS was awarded a Heritage Lottery Find grant in 2018 to develop the various strands of the Presenting the Past project.

Presenting the Past celebrates the enduring resilience, creativity and community spirit of the people of Upper Wharfedale.