App Reveals Hidden & Forgotten Stories of Bangor City Centre
Walking Jewish History is a bilingual app created as part of a new project to share the history of Jews in the city of Bangor, from medieval times to the present day. Although very little extant traces of their presence survive, Jewish immigrants to Bangor had a significant impact on the civic, cultural, political and economic life of the city, and it is this hidden history the app aims to uncover.
For example, you can follow the story of the Wartski family, who set up their first jewelers shop on Bangor High Street in 1895. To this day, Wartski’s remains a family run firm and it has a Department Store in St.James’ Street in London and an outlet in New York, dealing in fine jewellery, gold boxes, silver and works of art by Carl Fabergé. Clients over the years have included Jacqueline Onassis, Hollywood stars and the Royal Family. It even featured in a story by Ian Fleming – another well known customer. The original shop is now long gone – replaced by a dentist surgery – but the story lives on through this fantastic app!
There are many points of interest on the trail, which are displayed in order of location with the nearest at the top. Users can tap on a map icon to bring up the trail map at any time, and they are encouraged to follow the trail in any order they choose. The app is crammed with amazing stories and wonderful historical photos of times gone by. Some of the location photos have been made interactive, so the user can slide their finger across the photo to compare present-day with the past. The project has also held an exhibition and printed a trail map.
Project leader Professor Nathan Abrams would like to thank Gareth Roberts of Menter Fachwen for his invaluable assistance on this project, Andy Goodman, Hazel Robbins and Soo Vinnicombe at Bangor University. A big thanks also to Dafydd Guto Ifan and Gwyneth Parry for keeping an eye on Gareth! This work is supported by the Bangor University ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, and you can read press coverage of the project here: