Maryport Children Explore Seafaring Heritage

Children at a Maryport infants school are working with an award-winning Cumbrian artist to learn about the maritime heritage of their town.

The children at Netherton school start work on September 22 with artist Celia Burbush exploring the trades and traditions that supported Maryport’s seafaring history.

The activity is part of a major project run by the Cockermouth-based charity Kirkgate Arts and Heritage with funding from Arts Council England and Allerdale Council. The project involves people of all ages in Maryport and Cockermouth being inspired by their local heritage and culture while developing their own creative skills.

Maryport Settlement, High Street, is also holding adult workshops and family days across the autumn to give the public a chance to get involved in the creativity project. The aim is also to support the wellbeing of individuals and the resilience of the local communities. A Wednesday evening art session for adults runs for six weeks from 21 September and in October there’ll be an art-filled family day inspired by life at sea, involving a surprise Hallowe’en activity based on a true spooky fisherman’s tale.

‘The Netherton children are looking at all the trades that went into ship-building in Maryport including joiners, brass and iron foundries, and sail makers’, said Celia. ‘Then we are going to do a range of art activities – we can design and make our own boats using different techniques, and use metallic paints and found materials to evoke the various materials used in a boat.

‘We’re looking at navigation, star-gazing and mapmaking, and we can make maps and maybe host a treasure hunt for the rest of the school!’

‘We’re using creativity to research local culture, connecting manufacturing with creativity, the natural world, and artistic achievement.’ said Celia.

‘The adult sessions are all about trying out art techniques, learning new skills, developing self-expression, meeting and sharing ideas with new people,’ Celia added. ‘It’s about looking into the local environment and heritage, including arts and architecture, for inspiration and research starting points.’

Emma Heys, General Manager at Kirkgate, said: ‘The activities are giving us a lot of insight into what local people value about what’s broadly called ‘culture’. It’s not just the National Theatre and Covent Garden Opera House. People at the grass roots have many creative and artistic skills and there a rich cultural heritage in West Cumbria.’

For more information about how you can get involved go to the What’s On page here and use the Join In filter.


 You can download the PDF of News Release here. 


Kirkgate is a charity based in Cockermouth, Cumbria.  It operates an arts and heritage centre as well as working with towns and villages in West Cumbria to encourage a diverse programme of arts, culture and entertainment.  Its vision is to ensure that creative talent is valued, developed and supported with opportunities for all to engage actively with, and enjoy, the arts, local heritage and community life.

The Kirkgate Centre brings the best cultural, theatrical and entertainment events to Cumbria. From the best feature and documentary films to live streaming of top London shows, to local talent, heritage exhibitions, music, theatre, comedy and more, there is something for everyone.

In the historic Kirkgate Quarter of the Gem Town of Cockermouth, sitting on the edge of the Lake District National Park, the Kirkgate Centre is the perfect venue for special occasions, conferences, meetings, courses, exhibitions or private film screenings.

Kirkgate manages Arts Out West which stages performances in community venues from Furness to the Solway, ranging from nationally-recognised theatre companies to international musicians with events that are as much a social occasion as a performance.  It is a member of the National Rural Touring Forum supported by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation.

Follow @kirkgatearts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

For more information:

Emma Heys m: 07919 178284 l: 01900 829966

The Kirkgate Centre, Kirkgate, Cockermouth, CA13 9PJ