What's On
 Nantwich Museum

 

Main gallery stages two exhibitions for the price of one (free, that is!)

 

THE NANTWICH MAN WHO DISCOVERED OXYGEN

AN exhibition to celebrate the International Year of the Periodic Table in the Millennium Gallery runs until October 26.

   Developed with support from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the exhibition "From Nantwich to Oxygen: Joseph Priestley's Journey of Discovery" focuses on the life of this famous scientist, theologian and teacher who lived and worked for a time in Nantwich.

   The exhibition forms part of 2019's International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements celebrations.

   Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen. He was a dissenting minister in Nantwich, where he established a school in which he taught a variety of subjects including science or "Natural Philosophy" as it was known at the time. His pupils were introduced to scientific equipment and experiments and historians have suggested that Priestley’s scientific teachings in Nantwich constituted the first ever science lessons.

    During his time in Nantwich, he wrote an English Grammar, and he is still recognised as a major figure in the study of English by today’s teachers and students of linguistics. He made significant contributions in the fields of religion and political philosophy emerging as an important, though controversial, international figure and man of the Enlightenment.

    Soon after Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774, the Periodic Table, a display of chemical elements arranged according to their properties, came into being and today includes 118 elements.

   The Museum's Craft Group has embroidered a copy of the Table, which will form a

unique feature of the exhibition. The role and importance of oxygen, the 23rd element to be discovered, is a key component of the exhibition, which will feature an element trail, drop in workshops for families, a Periodic Table-themed coffee morning, and a half-day series of talks. >>

 

o Image: Joseph Priestley's School at Nantwich, by Les Pickford

 

MUSEUM'S COLLECTION GOES ON SHOW

"TREASURES from the Museum Collection”, an exhibition in the Millennium Gallery  will run until Saturday, October 26.

    It provides an opportunity to view rarely-seen images and maps of Nantwich and St Mary’s Church drawn from the Museum collection. These include an architect's drawing of the church and the first pages of the 1539 and 1572 church Register. Images of lost buildings from a number of local villages can also be seen.

   The exhibition is completed with five 1875 Ordnance Survey maps of the town.

   Running alongside “From Nantwich to Oxygen: Joseph Priestley’s Journey of Discovery”, entry to the exhibition is free.


<< Amongst other artefacts, visitors have the opportunity to see a copy of the first edition of Priestley's book The Rudiments of English Grammar printed in 1761 and based upon lessons given in his Nantwich School. Also of particular interest are two sermons written in Priestley's shorthand and preached by him in 1767.

   Many activities available every day include an Element Trail, Word Searches, Top Trumps, a Selfie Competition and observing a working photosynthesis experiment.

   Entry to the exhibition is free, but a small charge will be made for some of the special events.

     

Priestley's Element, family drop-in workshops, will be held on Saturday, September 28, at 10.30am and 3.30pm. Presented by members of the Royal Society of Chemistry, it is suitable for all ages. Free admission.

   Investigate chemical elements with real-life chemists and take home a Joseph Priestley element  -  oxygen.

 

lFour short talks, entitled "Joseph Priestley in his Element" will be held on Saturday, October 5, from 1.30pm to 4pm. They are:

   "Joseph Priestley's Time in Nantwich" by Helen Cooke of the Museum's Research Group.

   "Wedgwood, Bentley and Priestley - a unique alliance", by Gaye Blake-Roberts, Curator of the Wedgwood Museum, Stoke-on-Trent.

   "Joseph Priestley in Birmingham and the Lunar Society", by Cameron Arthur, Senior Enabler, Soho House Museum, Birmigham.

   "Out of Thin Air: From Oxygen to the Periodic Table of the Elements", by Fabio Parmeggiani, Research Associate, University of Manchester.

   Tickets cost £6 (Museum Members £5) and are available from the Museum.

Cheshire Civil War Centre opens at Museum

THE new Cheshire Civil War Centre gallery has opened at the Museum, just before the Millennium Gallery. 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 term as Mayor of Nantwich.  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 (pictured left) 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.

CIVIL WAR COURSE . . .

A HISTORY of the Civil Wars will feature in a course starting in October.

   "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.

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.

 

. . . AND NANTWICH HISTORY

"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. 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.

 

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. 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.

   lThe September Coffee Morning will have a Periodic Table theme. It will take place on Friday, September 27, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

 

FAMILY AREA INSTALLED

 

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.

   Donations of games would be appreciated.

  

 

 

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/

 

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. Tours leave the Museum at 11am sharp.

  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 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. 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 education@nantwichmuseum.org.uk, or call in at the museum. For more information visit the museum website or call in at the museum.

 

Thursday, October 10:  A Welsh Row Tour.

Saturday, October 12: A Town Tour

Saturday, October 19: A Riverside Tour  

 

 

WHAT THEY WILL BE READING

THE Museum's Book Group's, 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.

   September 17: "Normal People" by Sally Rooney.

   October 22: "Wolf Moon" by Julio Llamazares

   December 3: "On Chapel Sands" by Laura Cumming      

   January 21: "The Glass Room" by Simon Mawer.

   February 11: "Spring" by Ali Smith.

   April 21: "Resistance" by Owen Sheers.

   May 12: "Gentleman Jack" by Angela Stei Dele.

   June 16: "Becoming" by Michelle Obama.

l An annual subscription of £15 is payable as a donation in aid of Museum funds.   For further information contact the Museum (see below, left)

 

"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 among 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.

 

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.

 

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.

   Commenting on the award, the Chairman of the Museum Board, Nick Dyer 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. 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.

 

 

 

 

PAGE UPDATED SEPTEMBER 18

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