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.
MUSEUM KITCHEN APPEAL PASSES TARGET
THE Museum has been
"overwhelmed" by the generosity of donations to finance a new
kitchen. They have now been able to install
new lights, remove the old fan heater, and install new flooring
and a splashback.
In constant use, the kitchen had fallen into a
very sorry state of repair.
of the Board of Trustees, Nick Dyer, commented: “Capital spends
to maintain the Museum are always a challenge and for some years
the need to replace the ailing kitchen had been regarded as a
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
A SPECIAL OFFER . . . Become a Friend of the Museum and pay
no renewal fee until April 2021. 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.
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
email@example.com 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) , 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.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call in at the
For more information visit the museum
or call in at the museum.
PAGE UPDATED MAY 23
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A RUBBISH EXHIBITION (that's the subject not a comment!)
the continuing enforced closure of Nantwich Museum due to the
Covid-19 pandemic it has not been possible to install the scheduled
"Reincarnated Rubbish - Endangered and Extinct", an inspired
creative recycling artist Val Hunt.
Elements of the exhibition have, however, been made available on the
The artwork employs ingenuity, humour and skill to create a
fascinating and inspiring selection of sculptural pieces which will
appeal to visitors of all ages. Animals including insects, exotic
birds, fish and dinosaurs, all on the edge of, or now, extinct have been
made from a selection of throw-away materials, especially Val’s
favourite medium, drinks can metal.
online exhibition presents some of the animals it was originally
intended to display making a subtle message about recycling and
preservation, raising awareness of why the creatures are endangered
or extinct. Find out why species are disappearing from this planet
at an alarming rate.
The exhibition aims to inspire, inform and encourage
everyone to experience the fun of creative recycling.
Val retrieves everyday things we throw away and
presents them in a new and fascinating dimension. Her work recycles
a diverse selection of rubbish from which she creates innovated
sculptures, wall hangings, hats and jewellery.
It has been shown in exhibitions around the U.K.,
Denmark, Japan, United Emirates, and the U.S.A., and has toured overseas with
the British Council. Val has worked in many permanent collections.
She won the Gold Award for specialist media in the "Craft and
Design" magazine awards in 2014 and was runner-up in 2013.
DEVELOPMENTS OF MUSEUM DURING PANDEMIC
continued closure of Nantwich Museum because of the Covid-19
pandemic some activities continue.
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.
are available immediately at prices of £2.95 and £3.95 with plans to
extend the range. The booklets have provided a welcome boost to
Museum funds which, it is hoped, will be enhanced through their
wider availability online, especially at a time when other income
streams have been curtailed.
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
Also, now featured on the website are online exhibitions based upon
those staged by the Museum in recent years. Visitors to the site can
enjoy “From Nantwich to Oxygen: Joseph Priestley’s Journey of
Discovery” and “Empowerment of Women”.
lIN the meantime, Nantwich Digital Museum launched in March on its Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/nantwichmuseum/ and Twitter
@NantwichMuseum is proving a great success. A programme of local
history stories, pictures and interactive activities form the basis
of daily postings, with a different theme for each day of the week,
including images and interpretation of exhibits from temporary
exhibitions, Buildings and Places, Nantwich People, Quizzes and
Questions, Memory Lane, the Civil War, and Science and Nature.
MARKING THE MUSEUM'S 40th ANNIVERSARY
Guests at the 40th anniversary reception
are: Nick Dyer (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.
As well as
the usual temporary exhibitions, walking tours of the town,
workshops, and more, special events to celebrate the
anniversary were planned but are subject to the coronavirus
pandemic arrangements. These
include a talk on Saturday, June 6, by Gaye Blake-Roberts, Curator
of the Wedgwood Museum, a Community Collection Day and competitions
The celebrations so far included a
reception for stakeholders and other guests in the Millennium
Gallery in March.
The 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 outlined several special events to mark the
anniversary including a 1980s Collection Day, a summer exhibition
aimed at showcasing the work of the Museum, and a special lecture:
"Josiah Wedgwood - Potter, Pioneer and Philanthropist".
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.
nTHE Museum opened in January 1980 in the former Nantwich Free
Library building in Pillory Street with the aim of preserving the
history of the town and its environs. As the collection developed in
the early days, temporary exhibitions were the mainstay including
one, in 1983, concerned with fire insurance emblems from which the
Museum's sun logo was derived.
cheese and dairy exhibition was originally housed in a lean-to
outside the Museum but moved indoors in 1990 at the same time as the Joseph Heler Room (upstairs) was opened as an exhibition / meeting room.
The Millennium Gallery was a major addition in 2000 along with a
secure collection store and general storeroom.
Plans are in hand to re-develop the Museum and its permanent
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.