SASHA FINDS A PIECE OF TOWN'S HISTORY
being exercised near the
Fairfax Bridge over the River Weaver in Nantwich, after a flood, Sasha, a rescue
dog belonging to the
Shepherd family, unearthed a fragment of
decayed wood (right). Close inspection revealed that the crescent-shaped
wood had a tapered blade and a hole in the centre and was clearly man
The dog’s minder, Dave Shepherd (pictured with Sasha)was alert to the
origins of the find and in discussion with local historian, Andrew Lamberton, soon ascertained the fragment was part of a rake once
used to remove salt from the pans in which brine was being
The rake head was probably liberated as the flooding
river washed away the remains of a former wich or salt-making house.
The salt-making industry was at its height during Tudor times so the
rake head could be more than 500 years old.
The rake head was transferred to the Museum where it
will be conserved to eventually be displayed as part of the story of
salt-making in the town.
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",
joins a range of booklets which look at the town's history.
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 Street, costs
with all profits going to support the Museum.
A SPECIAL OFFER . . . Become a Friend of the Museum and pay
no renewal fee until April 2022. 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.
The following events are temporarily
cancelled during pandemic
WHAT THEY WILL BE READING
THE Museum's Book Group, now in its 22nd year, provides an opportunity for
members to read books chosen by the group, and discuss their merits
and the impact they have had on them as readers. Meetings are held
at the Museum at 7.30pm on Tuesdays, between September and June. Not
at the moment, of course.
An annual subscription of £15 is payable as a donation in aid of
COFFEE mornings are held in the Millennium Gallery on the last Friday of each month
(except bank holiday weekends) in aid of museum funds.
Enjoy a hot drink and a
slice of homemade cake while catching up with friends old and new.
There is no charge, but donations to keep the Museum going are
appreciated. The events have raised £2,493.01 in the
past two years.
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
CONTACT THE MUSEUM on
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01270 627104; website:
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 normally open from
10.30am to 4.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Admission is free. The museum
is a registered charity.
DUTTON PRIZE AWARDED TO MUSEUM TRUSTEE
MUSEUM Trustee Dr Graham Dodd
was presented with the prestigious Dutton Prize at the
Museum's Annual Dinner.
The Dutton Prize includes a medal endowed by medal-maker Ron Dutton
in memory of his parents Alderman and Mrs Dutton. It features an
image of the church 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.
Graham is a former Vice Chair of the Management Board of the
Museum. He is active locally as Vice Chair of Nantwich Historical
Society, a founder member of the Nantwich Camera Club and other
In making the
presentation (left), the Chair of the Museum Board, Nick Dyer, said that Graham
was an expert on the history of Nantwich salt production, the local
canal system and many other aspects of local history.
that when a Chinese television unit turned up at the museum seeking an
expert to talk about Nantwich brine and salt, Graham was the
obvious choice and he is now probably famous throughout China
without knowing it.
also appeared on the BBC's North West Tonight programme recounting
the murder in 1572 of Roger Crockett the licensee of The Crown.
After the presentation, Graham gave a talk on his “Heritage
Journey” describing his introduction to industrial archaeology at
Bath University and subsequent developing interest in the subject as
he discovered examples around the country including the Potteries
and Coalbrookdale in Shropshire.
This was reinforced
when he moved to Nantwich and became interested in the salt industry
and its local heritage. Graham is well known throughout the area
where he gives talks to local groups and societies.
MARKING THE MUSEUM'S 40th ANNIVERSARY
Guests at the 40th anniversary reception
are: Nick Dyer (former Chairman of the Museum Board of Trustees), Cllr Pam
Kirkham (now Mayor of Nantwich), Kieran Mullan (Crewe and
Nantwich MP), Cllr Carole Thomas (formerly Mayor's Consort), Cllr Arthur Moran (formerly Mayor of Nantwich), Andrew Lamberton (Museum
Volunteer) and Kate Dobson (Museum Manager).
THE Museum is marking its 40th anniversary this year.
At a reception for the
anniversary, the then Mayor of Nantwich,
Cllr Arthur Moran, reflected on the "little gem" which is Nantwich
Museum. He thanked the Museum for helping to make Nantwich
such a vibrant market town and assured it of the continued support
of the Town Council.
Nick Dyer, Chair of the Museum Board of
Trustees, welcomed guests and observed how far the organisation had
come in 40 years.
He paid tribute to Cheshire East Council and Nantwich Town Council for their support of the independent
charitable trust without which its continued existence would be in
Museum volunteer, historian
Andrew Lamberton, gave an illustrated talk about the second edition
of the book "The Lost Houses of Nantwich".
Museum Manager, Kate
Dobson, cited current projects which highlighted the Museum as
vibrant community hub. She noted the need to respond to the
requirements of the community.
PAGE UPDATED NOVEMBER 28
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CHRISTMAS AT THE MUSEUM
to further Covid-19 restrictions, the Museum plans to reopen on
Thursday, December 3, resuming its earlier arrangement of
Thursday to Saturday openings, 10.30am to 4.30pm.
Because visitor numbers are restricted, the Museum
requests that people ring in advance to book their visit.
The Museum will close for Christmas and the New Year
at 4.30pm on Thursday, December 24 and reopen at 10.30am on Saturday,
THE museum shop will be open offering a wide range of goods
including Christmas cards, other greeting cards, games, toys,
souvenirs, craft work including jewellery, books, etc. The extensive
range of books cover various aspects of the town’s history with two
new titles available this year.
Local History Snippets from Nantwich
by Helen Cooke is a collection of items featured in the popular
Facebook posts developed this year during the Museum’s enforced
closure. The book, priced at £10.95, provides bite-size chunks of
information on a wide range of topics including local history,
stories, old photographs, paintings and images from the Museum
collection, some of which are only rarely seen.
Lost Halls in Cheshire
by Andrew Lamberton costs £15 and looks at over 70 Cheshire country
houses and mansions that no longer exist, ranging from the late 14th
century to Victorian times. Some were replaced by new houses, others
destroyed by fire or vandalism, while some did not recover from
military occupation during the Second World War. Although the main
properties may be lost, evidence can sometimes be found of
outbuildings such as lodges and private chapels.
Shop items can be ordered by telephone
on 01270 627104 or by emailing the Museum at
Payment can be made by telephone, when collection times can be
items can be purchased online by visiting
https://www.nantwichmuseum.org.uk/shop/ including books and
booklets detailing local history, some of which are downloadable.
CHRISTMAS is also an ideal time to become
a Friend of the Museum with no renewal required until April
2022. Friends support the work of the Museum and, subject to
Covid-19 restrictions, membership includes e-mail newsletters, the
Journal, discounts on talks and events, invitations to exclusive
Member events and a voice at the Annual General Meeting. Individual
membership costs £20 and for families it is £30. Further
details are available from the Museum and it is possible to join
online via the Museum website,
MUSEUM IS CLOSED IN THE LATEST
FOLLOWING the latest announcement from the UK
Government, the Museum will be closed
until Wednesday, December 3.
The staff and volunteers will be
working from home again and will be answering the museum's usual
contact links: see the details in the first column of this page.
Work will continue on the digital
education project, and places are still available on the online
webinar with books and pamphlets being available through the online
EXHIBITON GOES ONLINE AT MUSEUM
ALTHOUGH the Museum is once again closed because of
the nationwide lockdown, the Digital Museum featured on the website
continues to flourish.
"Nantwich at Play" was a temporary
exhibition staged in the Millennium Gallery of the Museum in 2015,
and key elements can now be found on the website:
Fun was the keynote of the exhibition
which took as its theme changing social influences to illustrate how
the people of the town spent their leisure time through the ages.
A painting by the Museum’s artist, Les
Pickford, depicting a medieval fair near the parish church,
introduced the exhibition. The panels, drafted by members of the
Museum’s Research Group and designed by its photographer Paul Topham,
include visits to early fairs, excursions by road and rail, a
variety of sports and horse races at the local course as well as
visits to the theatres, cinemas and local zoos.
"Nantwich at Play" is the latest
addition to the Museum website, which now includes several
previously-staged exhibitions developed in-house and some from
There is an opportunity to purchase
copies of local books produced by Museum members, and to download
some of the popular research booklets documenting various aspects of
local history. All of these provide a welcome boost to Museum funds
at a time when other income streams have been curtailed.
The website also provides an opportunity
for people to assist in the running of the Museum by becoming a
member of the Museum Trust or a Volunteer.
Look out for the forthcoming special offer at
The “Donate” button is an ideal way to support
the Museum's service to the community.
ONLINE TALKS FOR AUTUMN
Museum are staging a series of online talks in the Autumn
“Historical Nantwich Online”. They are:
Wednesday, December 2:
"The Great Fire of Nantwich" by Keith Lawrence. On December 10,
1583, fire swept through the town, destroying much of the centre.
Although not an unusual event, it is significant because of the
survival of documents showing the extent of the fire, how a national
collection for "The Relief of Nantwich" was organised and how this
money was distributed to those affected by the fire.
Wednesday, December 9:
“1910 Lloyd George Domesday Survey” by Bill Pearson. The Valuation
Office survey which is described includes detailed maps and
residential data enabling family historians to locate exactly where
their ancestors lived.
Records from this survey of Nantwich will be shown, including
details of properties and residents. Guidance will be given on how
to access the survey.
Wednesday, December 16: “Nantwich
in Tudor Times” by Graham Dodd.
This talk considers various aspects of life in the
town and some of its people. Find out more about what life was like
in Nantwich more than 400 years ago.
lParticipants can join the talks online from 1.50pm
for a prompt start at 2pm. Full instructions for joining will be
provided when booking.
The cost is £5 per talk with all
the work of the Museum, which is a registered charity.
Tickets for the talks can be purchased
through the online shop. The Museum
will need participants' e-mail
address so that a link can be sent to them.
The online address is: https://nantwichmuseum.org.uk/webinars-2020
THE MUSEUM JOINS THE LAB
THE Museum is pleased to announce its selection as one
of the 60 diverse organisations participating in The Lab which is
part of the Digital Heritage Lab providing digital mentoring
The Lab aims to develop, on a bespoke basis, the
individual digital capabilities and capacity of participating
organisations. It is a free programme for small to medium-sized
heritage organisations and is project managed by the Arts Marketing
Association (AMA) in partnership with Arts Fundraising and
Philanthropy, One Further and the Collections Trust and is funded by
The National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the Digital Skills for
The Museum will be
paired with an expert Digital Skills Mentor who will advise it on
digital strategic planning, assess training needs and encourage,
inspire and provide new ideas and approaches.
Visitors will benefit through, for
example, improved displays, interactives, animations and videos.
Museum Manager, Kate Dobson, commented:
"This is a brilliant opportunity to develop our digital skills at a
time when we need to look outside the box for new and exciting ways
to make accessible the important local stories and artefacts that
illustrate the history of the town".
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 has now been 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 mind.”
Visit the Museum’s website:
https://www.facebook.com/nantwichmuseum/; and Twitter
DEVELOPMENTS OF THE MUSEUM DURING PANDEMIC
the closure of the Museum
due to the pandemic some activities continued.
Research Group meets each Friday through online conferencing
enabling members to keep in touch and exchange ideas while other
groups ensure the Museum continues to run smoothly.
A new, improved website has been launched at
www.nantwichmuseum.org.uk including continuously updated stories
of Nantwich Buildings and notable People. For the first time there
is an opportunity to download digital copies of the popular Research
Booklets documenting various aspects of local history.
The website provides an opportunity to assist in the running of the
Museum by becoming a Member of the Museum Trust or a Volunteer,
while the “Donate” button is an ideal way to support its service to
l Nantwich Digital Museum
was launched in March on its Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/nantwichmuseum/ and Twitter
@NantwichMuseum is proving a great success.
TOUR THE TOWN - after the virus
is beaten . . .
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.
Tours leave the Museum at 11am sharp. There are also
Riverside Walks (the River Weaver),
General tours last for
between an hour and a 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
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. It is advised
that you book ahead to avoid disappointment.
To join an
arranged tour, or to set up one for your group,
telephone 01270 627104, e-mail
email@example.com, or call in at the
For more information visit the museum
or call in at the museum.