Fairtrade pioneer receives a warm welcome at centre

Garstang Town Crier Hilary McGrath, Rebecca Mason development officer from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Mayor of Garstang Chris Ryan, Fred White and The FIG Tree's Director, Bruce Crowther
Garstang Town Crier Hilary McGrath, Rebecca Mason development officer from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Mayor of Garstang Chris Ryan, Fred White and The FIG Tree's Director, Bruce Crowther

Dressed as Fairtrade pioneer Thomas Clarkson, Fred White rode into Garstang to make a special delivery to The FIG Tree, International Fair Trade Visitor Centre.

Mr White, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire - the birthplace of Clarkson - made the journey to celebrate the opening of a slave trade and Quaker interactive display at the venue in High Street.

He presented a replica chest and a slave ship model to Garstang’s Mayor Chris Ryan, The FIG Tree’s Director Bruce Crowther, and the town crier, who were all dressed in period costume.

The Mayor officially officially opened the new display which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The display will include the chest and the model slave ship; both used by Clarkson as visual aids to demonstrate the immorality of the British Atlantic slave trade.

Clarkson was at the forefront of the slave trade abolition over 200 years ago and for many could be considered a pioneer of the ‘fair trade’ concept.

Sara Hilton, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “The Fair trade movement and its connections to the slave trade and Quakerism is an internationally important story.

“However little is currently known about these local connections and this volunteer-led project will help raise awareness of fair trade issues as well as encouraging people to learn about local anti-slavery campaigns and Quaker heritage.”