Barnsley of the 1960s reconstructed in CG

Cutting-edge technology and local people’s memories produce vivid, virtual Eldon Street as part of ambitious regeneration project. 

The virtual street can be seen in a YouTube video posted by Barnsley Museum. The street plus nearby places of interest, such as the old bus station, open-air market and Victorian Arcade, were all painstakingly reconstructed by Martin Moss of Dextra Visual, using techniques usually employed in video games.

CG recreation of Eldon Street in Barnsley in the 1960s  

Yet getting details right required help from the wider community. Moss worked from historical photographs provided by Barnsley Archives and the Tasker Trust. Members of Barnsley U3A also played a key role by sharing their memories of the street and providing feedback on the project. 

The result is a model that’s as accurate as possible – and vividly alive. The street has been recreated in full colour, with animated people and vehicles plus a soundtrack of contemporary pop songs. See the 1960s model of Eldon Street, Barnsley, on YouTube. 

Crucially, this is not just about looking backwards into the past; the project is tied into the street’s future. 

The video had been created as part of the Eldon Street High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), a four-year partnership between Barnsley Council and Historic England that is providing investment to refurbish buildings and a cultural programme to explore and celebrate local history. 

In coming months, further digital resources will include a new website for the Teenage Wildlife project, with teenage memories of Eldon Street from the 1950s through to today. 

Jon Finch, Head of Culture and Visitor Economy, says: ‘Eldon Street is a very special place with a fascinating history. We are delighted that we have been able to bring back buildings, businesses, and experiences in such an immersive way and hope that it will bring back some heart-warming memories. The Eldon Street HAZ project is breathing life into an important historic street, which is the Gateway to Barnsley Town Centre.’ 

Tegwen Roberts, Heritage Action Zone Officer, says: ‘It has been a real treat to work on such an exciting project, particularly on a street that is so well loved and has such an interesting past. The reconstruction is stunning and will connect with people, bringing to life archive images and local memories with precision and accuracy. The whole project will have a huge positive impact on Eldon Street connecting the historical part of the town with the exciting new developments in the town centre.’

An in-person event to  launch the video will be held at the town hall in Barnsley in the early evening on 23 May.

Other towns and cities are also working on imaginative regeneration projects. We recently reported on the completion of a test track for Coventry’s new Very Light Rail system. 

Image from the 1960s model of Eldon Street courtesy of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.


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