Virtual reality tour of Bradford’s industrial heritage

TECHNOLOGY from today is being used to showcase Bradford’s industrial heritage – and promote the town’s creative future.

The Avon Works project is inviting people to use the latest virtual reality software to take a step back in time and experience the history of the Avon Rubber Factory and the Iron Duke.

The project will launch at an event on April 22 to mark the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Avon Rubber factory.

Margaret Shipley, of Southleigh, used to work at Avon Rubber and has been part of the project since spotting a volunteer appeal in the Wiltshire Times in the run up to the unveiling of the Iron Duke.

Mrs Shipley said:

“My husband Andrew and I met at the factory when we both worked there. We became involved with the project 14 months ago after reading an article in the Wiltshire Times. Since then we have been looking up the old pictures at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham and providing pupils at the college in Trowbridge with the images so they can turn them into a virtual model of the factory, which people will be able to explore. This project is bringing the past, the present and the future all together. A lot of younger people in the town may not know anything about the factory so this will be an interesting and informative event for everyone.”

Design, music, games and virtual reality will all feature under one roof at the Avon Works celebration, giving local professionals the chance to share their hard work and research into the factory’s history.

“It is amazing what has been done for the project. We have the virtual reality, and then there is also music which has been made out of sounds you would hear around the factory. It is really impressive,” added Mrs Shipley.

Films featuring former factory staff, as well as performances of poetry written about Avon Rubber by young people, and a video on the Iron Duke’s restoration will also be shown at St Margaret’s Hall.

The project is being promoted by the Bradford on Avon Community Area Network (BoACAN) with funding for the project coming from Wiltshire Council Area Board and Bradford on Avon Town Council.

The Avon Works project celebration will be taking place at St Margaret’s Hall, Bradford on Avon, from 7pm on April 22.

This is Wiltshire

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