What's On
 Nantwich Museum

 

Cheshire Civil War Centre opens at Museum

THE new Cheshire Civil War Centre gallery has been opened at the Museum.     Just before the Millennium Gallery as visitors explore the Museum, this used to be the Your Space Gallery, which has now been relocated upstairs at the Museum.

   The Civil War Centre was opened by Cllr David Marren as one of the events towards the end of his time as Mayor of Nantwich.

   At the opening event he 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.

   "The exhibition tells how Nantwich played its part, and how its people were affected by the conflict and the hardships and sufferings they endured but also explains the strategic importance of the town."

   Cllr Marren added: "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 and therefore in some small way we can claim credit for a constitutional monarchy and the supremacy of Parliament."

   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 informative replicas.

   The Chairman of the Museum Board of Management, Nick Dyer, observed that the new 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 locality.

   Speaking at the opening, Keith Lawrence explained how much of what we think we know about the Civil War is inaccurate, because it is based on seventeenth century tales which have become accepted as fact over the years.

   He stressed: "The new 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 occasion.

   Entry to the museum and the new centre is free.

 

o Image: The Battle near to Acton Parish Church, painted by Les Pickford.

TEXTILE AND ART GROUP STAGING EXHIBITION

"CASTLES and Roses", an exhibition by textile and art group Threadmill is running in the Millennium Gallery until Saturday, August 3. The exhibition was inspired by the busy life around the Shropshire Union Canal that runs past the town.

   From the time of the Industrial Revolution, the canal was busy with transport with the holds of the boats full of products and leaving little space for the families.

   To make the small living areas more homely and more colourful a tradition grew up among the boatwomen of decorating the narrowboats and household implements with various designs including castles and roses. Today, the canals are used for leisure but we can still see boats decorated in the unique style of the canal folk art.

   Threadmill members have taken inspiration, investigating the art and crafts, the landscape, flora and fauna and the people and animals that worked and lived along the canal banks and surrounding countryside. Its work incorporates art techniques from traditional stitching, printing, painting, patchwork, felting and the experimental to exploit the colour and texture suggested by the title of the exhibition.

   Entry to the museum and exhibition is free and much of the artwork is available for sale including a selection of cards available from the Museum shop.

o Image: Artwork by Lynn Atkinson.

 

AUTUMN LOCAL HISTORY COURSES

TWO history courses will be taking place in the Museum in the autumn

   "The Civil Wars in Cheshire" re-runs last year's successful course, beginning at 7pm on Wednesday, October 16, and ending on Wednesday, November 13. The programme covers:

Week 1: The War arrives in Cheshire - 1642. 
Week 2:
The lead-up to the Siege of Nantwich - the campaign of the "Irish Royalist

   Army - 1643.
Week 3:
The Barthomley Massacre – a review, December 1643.

Week 4: The Siege and Battle of Nantwich - January 1643/1644.     

Week 5: The Siege of Chester and Brereton's search for support.

   The evening sessions run from 7pm to 9pm. The cost is £50, which includes course materials and refreshments.

 

"ASPECTS of the History of Nantwich" is a new course beginning at 2pm on Wednesday, November 6 and  running over six weeks until Wednesday, December 11. The programme covers:

Week 1: Roads and the development of Nantwich.

Week 2: Nantwich Railways.

Week 3: Story of Nantwich Brine and Salt.

Week 4: The Lost Churches and Chapels of Nantwich

Week 5: The Canal at Nantwich.

Week 6: Agriculture and Cheshire Cheese.

   The afternoon sessions run from 2pm to 3.30pm. The cost for the course is £25 (Museum Members £20) or £5 (Museum Members £4) per talk.

   Numbers for each course are limited so early booking is recommended.

 

"LOST HOUSES" BOOK TO BE REPRINTED

"Lost Houses in Nantwich", a book by local authors Andrew Lamberton and the late Robin Gray is set to return to the Museum in the autumn.

    Originally published in 2005, the book has become a local classic, a "must have" for all those interested in local history and the houses that have been lost in the town and its immediate locality.

    Nantwich Museum Development Officer, Elliot Goodger commented: "We regularly receive enquiries for the book in the museum shop and are eager to feature it again amongst our portfolio of local books".

    In their introduction to the first edition, the authors observed how the rapid development of the town resulted in the loss of many houses and their aim was to document the buildings while still in living memory. They defined the houses as:  "those that are no longer with us or have changed so dramatically in appearance as to be virtually unrecognisable from the original".

  The book, which will cost £15, features maps, is fully illustrated and also includes a number of public buildings. The original text has been revised and more images added from the Museum collection, some of which are in colour.

 

COFFEE MORNINGS

COFFEE mornings are held in the Millennium Gallery on the last Friday of each month (except bank holiday weekends) in aid of museum funds.

 

DEMENTIA FRIENDS

THE Museum hosts a Dementia Friendship Group which meets at 2pm on the first and third Monday of every month. It is open to anyone living with dementia, their carer, family and friends. No charge is made to attend the meetings. For more details visit www.nantwichmuseum.org.uk/dementia-friendship-group/

 

SPECIAL OFFER FOR WOULD-BE FRIENDS

THERE is a special offer for anyone wishing to support the museum by becoming a Friend - with no subscription renewal required until April 2020.

    Membership includes e-mail newsletters, discounts on talks and events, invitations to exclusive member events and an opportunity to vote at the AGM.

    Individual membership costs £20 and Families £30. Application forms are available from the museum or can be downloaded from the museum website.

l  As an independent charitable trust run by its members and a small staff, the museum is financed by donations, sponsorship, commercial activities such as the shop and various grants.

 

CONTACT THE MUSEUM on enquiries@nantwichmuseum.org.uk or telephone 01270 627104.

Website: www.nantwichmuseum.org.uk. Or visit https://www.facebook.com/nantwich.museumoffical/ or https://twitter.com/NantwichMuseum. Or call in to the museum in Pillory Street (CW5 5BQ) - opposite the pillory.

   The museum is open from 10.30am to 4.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Admission is free. The museum is a registered charity.

 

TOUR THE TOWN

GUIDED walks in Nantwich are led by volunteers from the museum, either as a general tour for members of the public, or an exclusive one tailored to meet the requirements of a group.

   The Museum offers a town tour and a tour of Welsh Row each month.

   They last for between an hour an half and two hours and can feature Tudor  Nantwich, Victorian Nantwich, the Battle of Nantwich, and the Civil War. Or they can have a specific theme such as industry in the local area to suit a group.

   The tours cost £4 per person (£3 Museum members) for a minimum of six people. Larger groups or parties of individuals may be split into smaller parties so that participants can hear the leader of the tour and see any relevant object easily.

   To join an arranged tour, or to set up one for your group, telephone 01270 627104, e-mail education@nantwichmuseum.org.uk, or call in at the museum. For more information visit the museum website or call in at the museum. 

   Tours leave the Museum at 11am.  

Thursday, July 18:  Welsh Row tour

Saturday, July 20:  Town tour

 

PAGE UPDATED JULY 14

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ARTIST'S EYE VIEW OF TOWN

“A STUDY of Nantwich”, an exhibition by local artist Christian Turner has opened in the Your Space Gallery (now upstairs in the Joseph Heler Room) and will run until Saturday, July 27.

   Christian was born in Reading, and moved to Cheshire in 2006, at the age of 13. Having been diagnosed with autism from an early age, it was apparent he was most content when doing something creative.

   After completing

A-levels, including one in Art, at Sandbach School, he became a self-employed artist. Since then he has displayed his work across Cheshire, sold internationally, and even held a position for three years as artist in residence at Cheshire Arts for Health, a local charity.

   His artistic eye was drawn to picturesque Nantwich and he has since painted several pictures of the town, a number of which are displayed in the exhibition.

   Entry to the exhibition is free and all the paintings are available for sale.

o Image: Christian's painting of Nantwich Town Square.

 

APPEAL AT MUSEUM

THANKS to a donation from Museum Development North West, a Family Friendly Area has been installed next to the Millennium Gallery at the Museum.

   A smart table is equipped with four stools, each packed with games that visitors can play with their family and friends.

   The Museum's Elliot Goodger pointed out "There is something for everyone, including ludo, draughts, chess, dominoes, Connect 4 and The Newe and Most Pleasant Game of the Goose - to name but a few."

   Elliot highlighted the value of such facilities in increasing the attractiveness of the museum to families and friends of all ages, making for a memorable interactive visit. He also invited donations of any spare board games to enhance the facility.

   Entry to the museum and Family Friendly Area is free.

 

TOO MANY INN IMAGES FOR BOOK

THE Crown Hotel is the subject of a new booklet launched by the Museum and available in the Museum Shop.

   The new booklet, "The Crown - a brief history of this historic inn", joins a range of booklets which look at the town's history.

   It is written by Andrew Lamberton and Bill Pearson who produced the "Nantwich Pubs" book (164 pages for £11.95). 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 pubs.

   The Crown, one of three Grade I listed buildings in Nantwich, is one of the town's oldest pubs. The booklet covers the history of the pub before the Great Fire of Nantwich in 1584 and the rebuilding afterwards.

   There is also a long list of famous guests at the hotel including Prince Charles who later became Charles II. And three famous Formula One racing driver stayed at the hotel while racing at Oulton Park.

   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.

   The booklet is available in the Museum's shop as well as from The Crown Hotel in High Street. It costs £2.95 with all profits going to support Nantwich Museum.

 

EXHIBITIONS IN 2019

THE Museum's programme of exhibitions in 2019 features a wide range of art and historical subjects.

   On show in the Millennium Gallery will be:

   "Treasures of the Museum" by Nantwich Museum. August 7 to October 12.

   "2019 Nantwich Camera Club Photographic Exhibition". October 16 to January 4

   Exhibitions in the Your Space gallery will include an exhibition about former resident of the town Joseph Priestley to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table, a tabular arrangement of the chemical elements.  This will run from Wednesday, August 14 to Saturday, October 26.

 Entrance to the museum and exhibitions is free but small charges are made for some special events.

 

DUTTON PRIZE AWARDED

LIZ Parkin, well known for her work with the local RedShift Radio, is the recipient of this year's Walter and Ada Dutton Prize.

   It was presented to her at the sixth Museum Members and Volunteers dinner at Residence Restaurant, Nantwich, by the Chair of the Museum Board, Nick Dyer .   Commenting on the award, Nick recounted "the many aspects of town life to which Liz has contributed." These included the Nantwich Show, the Holly Holy Day event, organisation of the Big Day Out, VE Day Celebrations, and the Doggy Day Out. "The list goes on," he said. Of particular note was the work done by Liz to promote charities and businesses through broadcast, networking and social media.

   The Dutton Prize, which includes a medal, was endowed by medal-maker Ron Dutton in memory of his parents Alderman and Mrs Dutton. The medal features an image of St Mary's Church, Nantwich, as a symbol of the town and its community. Each year since 1990 the Museum Board has nominated for the prize unsung heroes regarded as making an extraordinary contribution to the life of the town.

   The evening concluded with a talk by Rodney Cottrell outlining the national and local work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution with particular reference to the success of the boat Audlem Lass which so far this year had carried, in aid of RNLI funds, more than 5,000 passengers and 400 dogs on its service between Audlem and Overwater Marina on the Shropshire Union Canal.

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