The Harris has been building its oral history archive through the Memory Maker project. Recent areas of work have included asking people about their memories of the Harris, and the work of artist and film maker, Anna Raczynski, has explored people's connections to the iconic Preston Bus Station.
Exploring Oral History
Jayne Cavallo: Harris Memories
John Siddall: Harris Memories
I was on the top floor, this will be and there was a witness to this. She worked here as well. Her name was Deborah Walklate. She worked here with me and she came up in the lift and I was on the top floor here. And the gallery was empty at the time. And I came to the main entrance and I looked across and a man came out with a lovely brown jacket and walked towards the lift. Deborah just came out of the lift to speak to me. And the bell went in the lift. So I said to Deborah, come back. See to it that he doesn’t come back. She went to the lift. The man had gone in the lift. And when we got there, he wasn’t there.
Terry Quinn: Harris Memories
One particular painting that I always like is In the Golden Olden Time by Atkinson Grimshaw. I do have a particular reason also for the John Atkinson Grimshaw and that particular painting was published in a particular magazine. And I sent it to the guys here. And they printed it out and put it under the painting – it was there for about a year. There’s been a hole underneath it for 15 years. That’s my hole. They took it down, but I know it was there because my hole is there in the wall.
Neil Proctor: Harris Memories
(My favourite part of the building) is the steps, because they are worn, and that’s because of the years and years of – who knows – untold amounts of people, incalculable amounts of people who’ve walked up and down those steps. So you can see that’s 125 years worth of wear and tear. But not one person makes an impact because, you know, what we wear with our shoes is negligible, but over time it’s eroded them.
Howard Robinson: Harris Memories
I do have a favourite piece of art. It’s called, A Flower at Stall Lisbon, and it’s painted by Anne Redpath. And I’ve seen other paintings by the Anne Redpath – we don’t have any others here, but I personally consider this her best.
So when I started here way back in 1990 it was on exhibit in one of the galleries – I just took to the painting because I just thought – it just pleased. But I just thought it was just a splash of colour. And I thought, Flower Stall at Lisbon, abstract painting.
You know, it’s really good, but there’s more of a story to it. It took me about eight or nine years and just completely by chance, I spotted a form within the painting. And if you look at it right in the right way, the form in the painting is of a lady stood behind the stall wearing a bonnet.
Ann Thompson: Harris Memories
So as soon as I was six, he being a self educated man and loving the Harris, he brought me to join the children’s library. The first Saturday morning, he walked me in and turned left and said, These are the Gates of Paradise. And I said, What’s paradise, daddy? And he said, Paradise is a wonderful place where everyone is happy all the time and they have everything they ever wanted. And then we walked a bit further, turn left again into the children’s library. And I turned and said, Now I am in paradise because there were books everywhere.
Gail Newsham: Harris Memories
I remember coming as a kid and I remember the stag. There’s a stag thing or something upstairs and an old canoe that dibbed about in the River Ribble. I remember those vividly and the pendulum. I was always fascinated by the pendulum. And when I was a kid, there used to be portraits of people going up the stairs and there was just a big one of this chap. I don’t know who it was. But I always remember that his eyes were following you. And you kept looking at it and he was looking at you wherever, you were. I remember those kind of things.
Hilary Maddiss: Harris Memories
So this is pre-Google days and Siri and all those people. You’d no real reference to look at and I just by chance came into here on the way home from Lytham. And as soon as I walked in there, I got the smell. And this smell was so captivating. I thought I’m going to follow that smell and I followed that smell until it took me to the Reference Library.
Pat Fogg: Harris Memories
I don’t really remember much about the Harris. We used to come every week on a Friday, like I say, to change the library books. I can’t really remember a great deal about it other than my mum taking me constantly to see Pauline in the Yellow Dress because there was some connection between Mr Gunn who painted it and my Auntie Patti. Well, what the connection was, whether they were just friends or distant relatives, I don’t know. But I can remember Mum taking me to see Pauline quite regularly.