Articulate is lucky enough to be supporting five Young Starts this year, including aspiring writer Courtney Fizpatrick, who is adding flavour and colour to our socials in the months to come. One of her first stories to share is about The Barras 100 celebrations of which we were part in 2021.
“My experience at the Barras 100th year anniversary exhibition is one that I’ll never forget.”
“It sounds daft to imagine that a few days at a local market surrounded by everyday people like you and me could have such an impact. You could boil it down to snapshots of strangers and recollections of memories older than I. Fleeting exchanges in a blip of the crowd's day, and unlikely to be remembered in the grand scheme of things. But then you’d be missing the point. What is a memory shared if not the most precious kind of story, and aren’t stories the most important thing of them all? The one constant since the dawn of time, a primal urge to share our experiences and in turn, who we really are.
The stories made and shared at The Barras market are at the very core of what the community is and what it should stand for. It’s a pillar of rich history that deserves to be celebrated and that’s what the exhibition was all about. People didn’t just come to see the wonderful work on display but to add to it. The excitement was palpable as friends and family darted from picture to picture, recalling tales and reaching for names past and present, spotting familiar faces and reminiscing of a time where the hours spent at the market were just as important as what you were there to buy. In a time of quick clicks and online shopping, we are rapidly losing the importance of human connection and a personal touch.
It would be a lie to claim that the market, like many, hadn’t suffered. At a quick glance The Barras is but a shadow of what it once was but if you take the time to really look and listen, you’ll quickly realise what I did. That the soul of The Barras is just as bright as it was 100 years ago and it would be a crime to let it diminish. The global pandemic has brought undeniable hardships but if we were to strive to find a sliver of a silver lining, the isolation has reminded so many of the need of community. That is why, through The Barras 100 project and so much more, The Friends of The Pipe Factory and the amazing local organisations that took part are dedicated to not only its preservation, but revival.
More and more young traders are joining the fray and making their mark amongst the stall holders and customers who have kept The Barras going for a hundred years. I implore you, take a step into the past while you help build towards the future. Whether you have goods to sell or money to spend, slow down and take a walk through the market. Learn its history with the addition of the heritage exhibition, share in its stories and in turn, add to your own. For what are we if not a collection of stories and our connection to one and another?
And of course, grab a few bargains while you’re at it!”
By Courtney Fitzpatrick, Articulate's Socials Assistant