The FIG Tree is the world’s first International Fair Trade Centre, founded in the world’s first Fair Trade Town, Garstang. Now based at Lancaster Priory, The FIG Tree was awarded a grant of £52,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2015 to explore Lancaster’s role in the slave trade during the 18th century, as well as the area’s involvement in promoting fair trade today. To celebrate the end of the project, an exciting weekend of events will take place on 25th and 26th March 2017, commemorating 210 years since the act was passed to abolish the British Transatlantic slave trade.
As part of the ‘210 Abolition – Lancaster slave trade port to Fairtrade City’ several events will take place in Lancaster including a Regency Banquet and Ball at the Borough; a lecture and chocolate making workshops at The Priory; Quaker worship and a slave trade / Fair Trade Debate at the Friends Meeting House. Full details of upcoming events can be found below.
In addition to the ‘210 Abolition’ weekend, a walk from Pooley Bridge to Grasmere will take place on Saturday 15th April as part of The International Festival Of Fair Trade Walks. This branch of the Fair Trade Way from Garstang to Keswick will retrace the steps of poet William Wordsworth returning to his home at Dove Cottage after visiting his friend and fellow abolitionist Thomas Clarkson at Eusemere Lodge. It will pass by the site that inspired Wordsworth’s most famous work ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ exactly 215 years after Wordsworth came across the “long belt” of daffodils with his sister Dorothy.
The Priory shop now sells FIG Tree Fair Trade gifts and their fabulous bean to bar chocolate alongside the usual Priory gifts. The FIG Tree at The Priory is open from 10am to 3pm most Saturdays serving Fair Trade drinks and selling Bean to Bar chocolate available in six flavours; Milk, Milk & Orange, Dark, Dark & Mint, Almond Milk and Soya. Special cinnamon and orange chocolate is also sold exclusively at The Priory.
FIG Tree chocolate is home made from bean to bar in Garstang, the world’s first Fair Trade Town, using fair trade ingredients where possible and beans purchased directly from the farmer in New Koforidua, Ghana – the first Fair Trade Town in Africa. It is available to buy at The Priory and Single Step Wholefoods, Penny Street, Lancaster.
From now until Friday 31st March
- Fair Trade / slave trade Exhibition in the Thomas Storey Room at The Storey Institute.
Saturday 25th March
- 10:30 – 13:00 Chocolate Workshops at The Priory. Two workshops lasting 1 hour each. Booking essential. Cost £5/head.
- 14:30pm – 15.30pm Quaker Worship at Lancaster Friends Meeting House. Learn about a Quaker Meeting followed by a Meeting for worship. Refreshments afterwards.
- 16:00 – 17:00 Slave trade / Fair Trade debate at Lancaster Friends Meeting House – Motion: “It is simply immoral that people should be allowed to suffer in order to provide us with luxuries such as tea, coffee and sugar at a cheap price”.
- 18:00 Regency Banquet at The Borough, Dalton Square, regency dress encouraged. Tickets £20/person. Contact bruce at email@example.com
- 18:00 -21:30 Regency Ball. Music workshop at The Borough run by local musicians ‘Northern Frisk’
Sunday 26th March
- 10:00 Mothering Sunday Service at The Priory
- 18:30 Evensong at The Priory
- 21:30 The Transatlantic Slave Trade. Looking Back, Looking Around, Looking Forward. Lancaster Priory Lecture by Revd. Chigor Chike, author of “Voices of Slavery”. Cost at the door £5/head.
Saturday 15th April
- 9:00 – 17:00. Fair Trade Way Walk from Pooley Bridge to Grasmere – part of the International Festival of Fair Trade Walks.
Further information on The Fair Trade Way can be found at fairtradeway.org.uk or on The International Festival Of Fair Trade Walks website.