Trade Secrets engaged local people and traders in a celebration of the history of the High Street, using a range of platforms to share their stories and reach a wider audience. Memories and experiences then created an exhibition for schools, a unique trail for summer visitors/residents, an outreach programme for older people, a collection of memory story cards and a digital archive.
The exhibition and trail consisted of a series of boxes and video clips which were opened individually by participants. Artists were invited to go beyond the facts about what each shop used to be to create boxes which reflected personal stories and layers of memory in each space. Each box opened in a totally different way, triggering a sound device and/or video clips revealing a replica of a shop interior, or telling the story of what used to be there.
The trail took place in operating retail premises in the High Street in Colerain, Portstewart and Portrush. The Boxes were then brought to older people in care settings. We worked in partnership with the Causeway Museum Service to utilise existing research about the High Street, collect material and support local retailers to become heritage ambassadors.
Trade Secrets was a Big Telly Theatre Company project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
For more information, contact Big Telly Theatre Company:
c/o Flowerfield Arts Centre
185 Coleraine Road
Portstewart BT55 7HU