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Culture Warrington Announces New Fund In Memory Of Warrington Star

Culture Warrington Announces New Fund In Memory Of Warrington StarCulture Warrington is proud to announce a brand new seed fund to support the next generation of female artists.

Creative young women across the area are set to receive a helping hand in forging out successful careers in the arts, thanks to the legacy of a true star of stage and screen.

The Barbara Law Legacy Fund has been created in memory of the Warrington singer who died earlier this year.

Barbara was born in Howley in 1935 and began her glittering career as a singer when she joined Eric Pepperell's band at the tender age of 14.

She became a regular performer at The Parr Hall, and soon her reputation began to spread across the North West and beyond.

Being part of the golden age of entertainment, Barbara shared the stage with some of the biggest names in showbiz, including Sir Tom Jones, Sir Ken Dodd, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Tommy Cooper and the legendary Morecambe and Wise.

Barbara was a regular performer on countless BBC broadcasts and was named TV Personality of the Year by Tyne Tees Viewers in 1961.

Her reputation continued to grow on a local and national scale and in 1965, she represented Great Britain in the Nord Ring Song Festival.

Despite receiving national and international recognition, Warrington always held a special place in Barbara's heart, and Parr Hall remained a favourite venue of hers until the very end.

Barbara's son, Scott Reed, said: "My mum travelled the world - numerous times. She sang all over the world. She performed in Las Vegas, the Middle East, all over Europe.

"When she was ill, we were chatting and I asked if she could be anywhere in the world, where would she be, and what would she be doing. She said she would be singing at Parr Hall.

"It just shows how you can go full circle: she started off in Parr Hall, and that's where she said she wanted to be at the end. I think it just meant so much because it was her hometown - she always felt loved by people in Warrington."

Knowing just how much Parr Hall meant to the singer, Barbara's family decided that any donations at her funeral would be given to Culture Warrington, the charity that oversees the running of Pyramid & Parr Hall, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, and Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival.

This money will be used to support emerging local talent, particularly young women seeking a career in the arts.

Scott said: "I think it's fantastic. It's a brilliant idea and I know she would have been really thrilled. It's great that she can leave some sort of legacy."

Martina Murphy, cultural manager at Culture Warrington, is honoured to pay tribute to Barbara's life and work, and hopes her memory will inspire the next generation of female artists in Warrington.

She said: "Barbara's name is one that will go down in Warrington history. Just like the legendary Sir Ken Dodd, Barbara's career is part of the fabric of Parr Hall, so we're extremely proud to be able to carry on her legacy through our work. We hope our plans will be a fitting tribute to her inspirational life and career, as well as providing a helping hand to aspiring artists across the area."

Inspiring the next generation of artists is very much at the heart of Culture Warrington's objectives, and is set to be a key feature in the 2018 Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival.

Now, The Barbara Law Fund will help Culture Warrington with this task by giving young women in Warrington the financial and professional support they need to follow in Barbara's footsteps and forge a successful career in the world of art and entertainment.

Andrea Morley, Culture Warrington's fundraising and sponsorship officer, is always delighted to receive donations of any size, but was particularly touched by this generous gift and the impact it will have.

She said: "The community is very much at the heart of everything we do, and we are proud to host a range of programmes, activities and events that improve health and wellbeing, support education and increase social interactions, whilst preserving Warrington's rich cultural heritage.

"Warrington Museum & Art Gallery and Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival regularly bring world-class artists to town, giving residents the opportunity to see their latest work for free, in addition to hosting a range of free activities and workshops for people of all ages. However, these do come at a cost, so receiving support such as the generous donation from Barbara's family really is a lifeline to our work. We would like to say a huge thank you to Barbara and her family and friends for their generosity and support."

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