The former Spicer’s Bakery at Athlumney Road, Navan, above and left.

Night in Solstice to gather memories of Spicer's Bakery

A storytelling evening where people can share their memories and anecdotes of Spicer's Bakery in Navan will be held in the Solstice Arts Centre on Thursday 29th September.

'The Stories of Spicer's' gathering is being held by Lisa Carroll, a Navan native and spatial planning student in TU Dublin, who is carrying out academic research which will also be included in reports for the Heritage Council for the Collaborative Town Centre Health Check initiative.

“The focus of my research is on the importance of heritage for well-being and most particularly, in communities,” Lisa said.

“The EU has produced a report which promotes the assessment of subjective human values (rather than the objective conservation expert values) for heritage in their towns/ cities. The UK has already implemented measures to deal with this but Ireland has a long way to go to catch up unfortunately.”

Lisa is hoping to gather as many people as possible in one place for the storytelling evening, where they will be encouraged to tell stories about Spicer's Bakery, their memories, anecdotes and the impact that it generally had on their lives.

“I believe the bakery is an important part of our town heritage which, although discussed in detail on the Navan and District Historical Society website, is not being properly honoured as such in Navan.

“The bakery deserves better than to be left to decay and rot, despite a fresh coat of white paint to the side facing the public," she says. "I understand that all the old ovens and fixtures were stripped from the inside and brought to a waste facility at the time that the silos were being demolished.

“I am aiming at bringing life back to Spicer's Bakery, connecting the Navan people through their shared stories and memories and ultimately, to document these for my research. In the early part of next year, I want to create a collection of these stories and memories for public viewing in Navan,” she said.

The Mayor of Navan, Cllr Eddie Fennessy said: "Civic infrastructure, business and employment projects developed by the Spicer family over two centuries, contributed massively to Navan's development as an urban centre.

"From public lighting and water services to the agri-sector, retail and baking industry, their endeavours permeated every aspect of daily life in Navan. New communities built up and thrived in the town during that period and Spicers provided employment to many of the families who made Navan their home. It's their personal history that Lisa would like to record and it's what makes her research really interesting.

"The Spicer's Bakery site will be regenerated over the coming years. It's a protected structure of bricks and mortar but it's very important that we also preserve its personal history and what it meant to the people of Navan. Lisa's project will do that and more. Drop down if you can, it promises to be a very interesting evening," he said.