Mayor’s Column 8 August 2019

Mayor Mark Dorrington at the Walking Memories project launch

In Frome, the past and present complement each other. Visitors, and many new residents, often say they are attracted to the town by the cultural and social opportunities on offer which have grown over the years.

We also welcome many who come to for employment, may be in high-tech and service companies, or perhaps independent retailers. We continue to work hard to attract businesses to our town and the town council has staff dedicated to assisting them to establish themselves, as well as supporting those very much a part of the business community. You can find out more here.

Alongside all this hustle and bustle, it is easy to forget that as recently as the 1980s Frome was a manufacturing town, employing thousands of people. We had businesses in printing, carpet manufacturing, chemical-plastics and engineering, as well as all the companies supporting our farmers. These businesses followed on from Frome’s position as the country’s most important town in the wool trade in the 17th century.

I was reminded of our industrial past recently when I was pleased to open a new exhibition at Black Swan Arts. ‘Walking Memories’ is delivered via a free app you download onto your smartphone. As you take a walk around Frome, following the map provided, you hear stories told by those who used to work and live there. These oral histories have been gathered over the last 10 years by Home in Frome, a community group that records the unique character of Frome.

I recommend anyone interested in Frome past and present to take the tour and find out more about our fascinating town.