What's On at Nantwich Museum
The Cheshire Civil War Centre
gallery is based in Museum
THE Cheshire Civil War Centre gallery, set
in the Museum, tells
how Nantwich played its part,
and how its people were affected by the
conflict and the hardships and sufferings
they endured. It also explains the
strategic importance of the town.
In late 1643, Nantwich was
the only town in Cheshire still held by the
Parliamentarians. The defeat of Royalist
forces at Nantwich thwarted King Charles's
plan to create a field army in the northwest
based on regiments returning from Ireland
and so altered the course of the conflict.
The display features interpretation panels
developed by the Museum's Research Group,
which enjoys a wide range of expertise
including art, design and model making, all
supplemented by artefacts of the time and
A the opening ceremony of the centre, the
of the Museum Board, Nick
Dyer, observed how the display helps to
bring the Civil War to life and enable the
community to understand its past. He hoped
it would be of
interest to specialists,
local residents and visitors.
In development since 2015
under the direction of Dr Keith Lawrence,
the centre was conceived as an educational
resource focussed on the war in this
Dr Lawrence explained
how much of what we think we know about the
Civil War is innacurate
because it is based on
seventeenth century tales, which have become
accepted as fact over the years.
He stressed: "The
centre is trying to paint an accurate
picture by peeling apart the conventional
stories, which are mostly propaganda".
He acknowledged all
those who had helped create the centre,
including the National Civil War Centre,
Newark and Grosvenor Museum, Chester as well
as Colin Bisset and Brenda Rampling of The
Sealed Knot, whose attendance in period
costume added a touch of colour to the
The centra was
opened by the then Nantwich Town Mayor,
Councillor David Marren, who said:
“Although the Civil War
produced a military dictator in the form of
Cromwell and ultimately led to the
restoration of the Stuart monarchy, it did
create the foundation for a new kind of
monarchy which was quite different from the
'absolute' monarchies which dominated the
rest of Europe.
EXHIBITION FEATURES VARIETY OF
MEDIA AND ART FORMS
“NEORENAISSENCE”, an exhibition by local artist Mark
Sheeky, is on display in the
Millennium Gallery until
Saturday, March 5.
Reflecting the links between different media
and art forms, Mark’s eclectic output spans painting, sculpture,
video, music, writing and performance art. The exhibition includes
the work of other artists and poets to create cross-collaborations.
explores some of these collaborations and includes oil paintings
which have links with other art forms.
“The High Flying Swift” is accompanied by an ethereal soundtrack,
whilst “The Ever-Loving Fragments That Forever Remain” depicts
fragments of a face on a chessboard, with a poem by Nantwich poet
Mark comments: “In this exhibition I'm
showing a mix of oil paintings with different themes and feelings,
and have included poems, sculpture, music, and video too. My focus
in visual art is to represent an emotion augmented by a concept.
People compare my work to surrealism and I have always painted in
that way with my own ideas, thoughts, feelings, but I don't consider
myself a surrealist or adhere to a particularly surrealist
philosophy. The unconscious will always be an important tool for
Entry to exhibition is free and the artwork is
available to purchase.
THE 2022 programme of exhibitions in the Millennium Gallery will be:
March 9 to May 7: "At the Ballet" by Alex Jabore.
May 11 to July 16: "Idiosyncrasies" by Outline Art.
July 20 to September 24: "Nantwich Sport", a Museum
September 28 to November 26: "Reincarnated Rubbish" by
FORMER COUNCILLOR WINS DUTTON MEDAL
DR Keith Lawrence, a former Stapeley Parish Councillor, was
announced as the winner of the prestigious Dutton Prize at the
Museum's Annual General Meeting of members.
The prize includes a medal endowed by medal-maker Ron Dutton in
memory of his parents Alderman and Mrs Dutton and features an image
of St Mary's Parish Church as a symbol of the town and its
community. Since 1990, the Museum Board has nominated unsung heroes
for the prize - people regarded as making an extraordinary
contribution to the life of the town.
was twice a Stapeley Parish Councillor. On the first occasion, as
Chairman, he represented the local parish councils on the Nantwich
Local Area Partnership and executive committee of Cheshire
Association of Local Councils. For several years he worked with the
Nantwich Food Festival with responsibility for co-ordinating the
Currently, he is a managing Trustee of the Wybunbury United
Charities, and for the last 12 years has been an Oxfam volunteer
developing the music sales in conjunction with his wife, Joyce.
At the Museum he has contributed to the development of
exhibitions about the Civil War in this locality, Turnpike Roads
around Nantwich, the 1851 Board of Health Map and associated Cholera
epidemic, and yearly exhibitions coinciding with Holly Holy Day,
also representing the Museum on the Holly Holy Day Organising
He is an active member of the Museum's Research Group, working with
it to develop a new permanent exhibition on the Civil War in
Cheshire, and is currently Chairman of the Cheshire Civil War Centre
at the Museum.
During the last five years, and working with a number of authors and
editors, he has developed a series of booklets on the history of
Nantwich. The range is now approaching 100.
Keith has also run courses at the Museum on the English Civil War in
Cheshire and still writes articles and lectures on a wide range of
MUSEUM'S EXCITING FUTURE
AFTER 40 years of serving the community by recording
the rich history of the town and its locality, the Museum is laying
ambitious plans to update its Main Gallery.
The four key elements in the design of
the new gallery are:
The story of Nantwich brine and the making of the
high-quality salt for which the town was known and which was valued
by the Romans
The changing face of the town
Events which shaped the town including the Great
Fire of 1583
Nantwich’s various trades and industries.
Modern displays are envisaged, employing
material from the Museum’s Collection with new technology enhancing
interpretations in part through the medium of oral histories.
Museum Manager, Kate Dobson, commented:
“A lot of the groundwork for the re-development has already been
covered, and the first phase of work with a design agency is already
in hand. What was already a major challenge was made much more
difficult by the pandemic and especially the question of finance,
but that is being addressed with the practicality of the project in
TOO MANY INN IMAGES FOR BOOK
THE Crown Hotel is the subject of a
booklet launched by the Museum and available in the Museum Shop.
"The Crown - a brief history of this historic inn"
- was written by Andrew Lamberton and Bill Pearson who produced the
"Nantwich Pubs" book (164 pages for
But they found during their research that they had far more material
about The Crown than would fit into a book covering all the town's
Photographs and other material in the booklet were given to the
Museum by the inn's owner, Bill Schofield, whose father, William
Schofield, bought The Crown in 1962 when it was in a perilous state.
booklet, which is also available from The Crown Hotel in High
with all profits going to support the Museum.
A SPECIAL OFFER . . .
a Friend of the Museum and pay no renewal fee until April 2023. Help
to support the work of the Museum. Membership includes
e-mail newsletters, a copy of the Journal, discounts on talks and
events, invitations to exclusive member events and an opportunity to
vote at the AGM. Individual membership £20, families £30.
Further details are available from the Museum and it is possible to
join online via the Museum website,
CONTACT THE MUSEUM on
email@example.com or telephone 01270 627104;
www.nantwichmuseum.org.uk. Or visit
https://twitter.com/NantwichMuseum. Or call in to the
museum in Pillory Street (CW5 5BQ) - opposite the
The museum is open from 10.30am
to 4.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Admission is free.
The museum is an independent charity
which costs around £1,200 a week to run.
About half of the funding comes from grants awarded by
Cheshire East Borough Council and Nantwich Town Council. The
remainder is raised through other grants, donations and fund-raising
Nantwich Museum Trust Ltd is a Registered Charity,
EXHIBITION MARKS LGBT HISTORY
THE Museum will be hosting an
exhibition, "From Prejudice to Pride"
from February 1 to 26. It is in
partnership with a Crewe-based
charity, Body Positive, and The
Railway Hotel, Nantwich (near to
Nantwich railway station). Historic
documents, people's stories,
photographs and memorabilia will be
On Friday, February 18,
at 7pm, there will also be an on-line
talk, "Pride in the Provinces: an LGBT History of Cheshire" by
professional historian, writer and
lecturer, Gill Rossini. She is the
author of the book "Same Sex Love
1700 - 1957. A History and Research
Tickets at £5 can be
bought from the Museum shop or from
WALKING TOURS RESUME
A group of walkers at the Wilbraham Almshouses in Welsh Row
Image: Nantwich Museum
THE Museum has announced a new programme of its
highly popular guided walks. Options include a Riverside
Walk, Nantwich Town Tour, Welsh Row Tour and a Lake and
The Riverside Walk introduces visitors to the river, its wildlife
and history. The riverside area is home to the saline spring which
feeds the outdoor Brine Pool, and on which Nantwich's prosperity
has largely been founded.
walks are scheduled for April 9, May 7, June 11, and July 9.
Nantwich has one of the highest concentrations of Georgian and Tudor
buildings in England. These will be seen in both the Nantwich Town
Tours which run on February 19, March 9, April 23 and May 11, and
the Welsh Row Tours on February 23, March 26, April 6 and May 21.
All the above walks commence at Nantwich Museum at 11am.
Woodland Tours are scheduled for April 12, May 14, June 18 and
July 23. Nantwich Lake car park is the meeting point for the Lake and
Woodland Walks which commence at 11am.
All walks last approximately 90 minutes. Costs are just £5 (£4 for
Museum Members). Numbers are currently limited to 12 people and pre-booking is
strongly advised either in person at the Museum Shop, or by phoning
01270 627104or emailing the Museum. at
Groups of six or more people are welcome to book their own walking
tours on chosen topics.
THE Museum has welcomed Dr Trevor Evans, a former
chemical engineer, as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees who are
responsible for running
During his career he managed
professional bodies in the UK and Australia where, he commented
“The interface between volunteer and staff inputs was a key factor”,
and noted “one of the key roles of any charity in UK law is to
inspire the volunteer”.
Dr Evans has a keen interest in
local and architectural history. On retirement he enrolled in
Liverpool University’s History Department, where he was awarded an
MA (with Distinction) in Slavery Studies, while at the same time
taking up a position as a Visiting Professor at University College,
London, in Chemical Engineering.
This enabled consideration of the
interface between history and technology in connection with both
sugar slavery and the First World War munitions industry.
Dr Evans commented “I hope that my
skill set may be relevant to helping the Museum thrive and prosper”.
MUSEUM CLOSURES ENABLE
THE enforced closure of the Museum to the public
during the Covid-19 pandemic enabled several housekeeping tasks to take place which are difficult
under normal circumstances. The office has been re-located upstairs
in anticipation of a major re-organisation of the permanent
displays, while the installation of filters on the skylight has
facilitated more subdued lighting in the main gallery to avoid
damaging valuable artefacts.
Regular income streams, including
education activities with schools, town tours and outreach
activities, through which the Museum generates much of its income,
were all severely curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, although
the online shop and a series of successful webinars offset some
of the losses.
The social media activities of Nantwich
Digital Museum on Facebook and Twitter also played a
significant part in keeping the Museum active.
UPDATED FEBRUARY 11
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