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Mayo Arts Service

Investigation into Western Hats Ltd 

Artist: Amanda Rice
Location: Castlebar
Title: Investigation into Western Hats Ltd.
Medium: performance,
Date: April 2014         
Location: Live Tug of War on the Mall on 29th of March
Archive: For the month of April at the Linenhall.            

Active from 1942-1981 Western Hats Ltd. was a significant economic presence and major employer in Castlebar for four decades. Amanda Rice worked closely with the former employees of Western Hats in compiling a body of research on this prominent local company.

As part of FIND she focuses on a fascinating discovery of a photograph of the factory’s all-ladies tug-of-war team which relates to a one-off event that took place in Castlebar in 1958. Through contemporary accounts gathered from participants and eyewitnesses, Rice re-staged the event with the aid of the relatives from the original team on The Mall in Castlebar - the original site of the 1958 event. 

The artist acknowledges with warmest thanks local historians Ernie and Susanna Sweeney, all of the former employees and relatives of Western Hats, St. Josephs Secondary School Transition Years and the Connaught Tug-of-War Clubs for their generous assistance in the realisation of this project.

Artist: Amanda Rice

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