Chinese TV Documentary

In August a film crew from China Movie Channel CCTV6 visited the museum to film sequences for use in a forthcoming World Film Report focussing on salt. Although the principal interest was in our key artefacts – the Roman paddle, salt pan and salt ship – the Director was also very interested in the local cheese industry, bearing in mind that Cheshire cheese should be made using Cheshire salt and that salt made in Nantwich was favoured for use in the dairy.

Nantwich Museum's Vice Chair, Graham Dodd, is interviewed for CCTV6
Nantwich Museum’s Vice Chair, Graham Dodd, is interviewed for CCTV6

Story Sacks

Former administrator Vicky Edwards, along with our very talented craft group have devised a collection of story sacks for our young visitors and their families to use.

What is a story sack?

A Story Sack is a large cloth bag containing a children’s book/nursery rhyme and various supporting materials, such as role play characters, puzzles, activity suggestions, etc.

The Nantwich Museum story sacks contain stories/rhymes that can be related to the history of Nantwich.

By using the book and supporting materials together you can help to stimulate language and create an enjoyable and memorable reading experience for you and your child, as well as developing your child’s understanding of the history of our wonderful town.

At the moment we have four sacks for you to enjoy:

  • London’s Burning
  • The Grand Old Duke of York
  • Hickory Dickory Dock
  • The Elves and the Shoemaker

 

One of our story sacks
One of our story sacks

Your Space

The Museum recently took the decision to rename our Community Gallery Your Space.

Your Space is for local people, community groups and organisations to display, promote and stage their own exhibitions.

We know that locally there is great talent and interesting stories to tell and we want to provide you with the space to do this.

Guidelines for exhibiting and a proposal form can be found below.

Exhibition Guidelines

Exhibition Proposal Form

Support for Museum Dementia Friendship Group

On Monday 6th July staff, volunteers and visitors attending the Museum’s Dementia Friendship Group were joined by Tim Ashcroft from Thanks for the Memory along with Gill Jones and Jackie Stubbs, representing the Kiltearn Medical Practice Patient Board. Tim Ashcroft recently organised a second Big Band Concert at Cranage Hall where music through the decades was played to encourage reminiscence. Money raised has been distributed between the Museum and the Alzheimer’s Society and we have received £450. Gill Jones and Jackie Stubbs organised a raffle as part of National Dementia Awareness Week and very kindly have donated over £100 to the group.

The Museum’s Dementia Friendship Group does not receive funding and so these generous donations will enable the group, which has been going from strength to strength, to continue to develop. We hope to bring in an artist to work with the group and to also purchase additional musical instruments as well as other resources to enhance our sessions.

The group is open to anyone in the community who is living with dementia, their partners, carers or friends to attend. The group which meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month is becoming increasingly popular so please ring on 01270 627104 if you would like to find out more.

Tim Ashcroft (Thanks for the Memories), Kate Dobson (Museum Manager), Jackie Stubbs & Gill Jones (Kiltearn Medical Practice).
Tim Ashcroft (Thanks for the Memories), Kate Dobson (Museum Manager), Jackie Stubbs & Gill Jones (Kiltearn Medical Practice).

Salt Sunday

Salt Sunday is a celebration of the natural resource of salt in Cheshire and how it strengthens links between communities and salt-related industries. This year activities were combined with the Family Day at Reaseheath College to show how salt and agriculture are related.

In the Salt Sunday tent there were presentations from Lion Salt Works, Nantwich Museum, Cogent Skills, Link up, Ineos, Mission in the Economy ICF and more.

The Museum's Salt stand at the event
The Museum’s Salt stand at the event

 

Alisa and John Booth performing the Blessing of the Brine for the first time
Alisa and John Booth performing the Blessing of the Brine for the first time

 

Up until the early eighteenth century on Ascension Day the inhabitants of Nantwich would decorate the Old Biot brine spring. Dressed in their gala clothes they would spend the day dancing, feasting and making merry around the spring. The celebrations included singing the hymn of thanksgiving ‘Blessing the Brine.’

Hear Alisa and John Booth performing the ‘Blessing of the Brine’ at https://youtu.be/upocyh0_FoA

 

 

For more information about Salt Sunday email: info@saltoftheearthnetwork.net.

Thanks for the Memory Concert

We are incredibly pleased to be supported for the second time by Tim Ashcroft and the superb Dave Egerton Big Band as they host THANKS FOR THE MEMORY BIG BAND CONCERT with 50 years of Music and Songs from the 1920’s to 1970’s on Sunday May 10th, 2pm – 5pm. With support from Vera Lynn, hosted by Cranage Hall Hotel & Conference Centre, Byley Lane, Cranage, Crewe, Cheshire, CW4 8EW and sponsored by Oakmere Wealth Management, this will be an afternoon of great entertainment. Sit back and be taken down memory lane to the Swing era, from Glen Miller to the Beatles; Fred Astaire to Vera Lynn to Van Morrison; Frank Sinatra to The Temptations… and much much more.

All proceeds are going equally to Nantwich Dementia Friends Group and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Tickets are £6 each FOLLOW THIS LINK TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW

We hope the concert will bring back precious memories for those living with dementia and memory loss and their families and take them all back in time through music to those yester-years.
More information is available online or call the information line: 01606 551122, or email: ticket.sales@thanksforthememory.org.uk

 

The band at last years concert
The band at last years concert

 

The audience at last years concert
The audience at last years concert

More information about the Museum’s Dementia Friendship Group can be discovered here.

Tragic Events Recalled

Tragic events in sixteenth century Nantwich were recently recalled when Russ Crockett and his wife Janet from Utah, USA visited the town. Russ had discovered that he was a direct descendent of Roger Crockett the licensee of the The Crown inn who was murdered in an affray in the town in 1572. Roger’s widow, Bridgett, experienced a second tragedy when, in 1583, The Crown was destroyed by fire along with much of the town centre. By then her son Robert was licensee of the inn.

When Russ and his wife arrived at the museum, local historian and museum volunteer Andrew Lamberton was able to furnish much background on the two events from displays and information held by the museum. Andrew also took Russ and Janet on a guided tour of the town. On arriving at Wood Street, where Roger had been murdered, the group stood for a while in the rain reflecting on the history of the place.

Roger was murdered as he sought to increase his property portfolio in the town, a strategy which brought him into conflict with the local establishment. No one was convicted of the crime whilst the local legal structure for dealing with such events left something to be desired.

Russ Crockett and local historian Andrew Lamberton
Russ Crockett and local historian Andrew Lamberton
Russ and Janet Crockett
Russ and Janet Crockett
The portrait of eminent local historian James Hall looks down on them. Hall wrote ‘A History of the Town and Parish of Nantwich’ which was published in 1883.
Wood St
In Wood Street where the affray took place.

World War One Project

In March 2014, the Museum secured a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund for £3,800. This was to research, develop and stage an exhibition and events which focused specifically on the impact of World War One on the historic market town of Nantwich.

A dedicated team of volunteers carried out visits to Dunham Massey and Imperial War Museum North to develop ideas for the museum’s exhibition which opened in July. Using information and objects from the Museum’s collection, members of the public were also invited to bring in photographs, objects and share stories to ensure that the exhibition remained true to its commitment to examine how the war affected those left at home.

We were very grateful to individuals, Chester Record Office and Malbank High School for supplying us with items. This included images and school log books which offered a fascinating insight into life at the time. For example, headmaster of Nantwich and Acton Grammar School Alfred Powell, left for war almost as soon as it was declared. He sent a letter to the Nantwich pupils indicating that the war would last for longer than expected. It is difficult to imagine teachers leaving to take up military posts. Building work at the school also ceased during the war years.

Members of the public also kindly loaned medals, embroidered silk cards sent during the war, National Registration Certificates and shared their stories with us.

The exhibition highlighted how from 100 years on we can see how Nantwich responded as war broke out in 1914.Local and national newspapers, reminiscences, photographs and artefacts incorporated into the exhibition identified the sudden realisation of impending war by an unprepared market town and followed the emergence of a community gearing up to support the war.

Talks and event were held throughout the project including: prominent local historian Mark Potts examining the costs to the families of Nantwich with a focus on 1914/15, Bill Pearson, lecturer at Reaseheath talking about food production at the time, Professor Karen Hunt from Keele University on women and food, David Morgan delving into the Belgian refugees who came to Nantwich and last but not least local teachers Mary Hennessey-Jones and Eira Cottrell providing a wonderful insight into art and war.

More details about the research carried out can be found in a pamphlet specially produced as part of the project and can be obtained from the Museum shop.

Keep scrolling down to have a look at more of the interesting things we got up to as part of this project.

IMG_2595
An archivist visited the Museum to meet with volunteers. We were able to loan objects and incorporated images provided by the Record Office in the display.

 

SME001000912
We even contacted a museum in Belgium to find out more about the destruction which led to the evacuation of so many people to England including Nantwich. Most returned before the end of the war, but we know of at least one person who married and settled in the town.

The exhibition explored themes of recruitment, Belgian refugees, convalescent homes, army contracts and community efforts.

Nurses Uniform ex Paul Topham

 

The grant also enabled us produce low- tech interactives including puzzles and a wardrobe of dressing up clothes.

 

 

 

 

 

P1050626
Pear Tree Primary’s school choir joined us for the opening of the exhibition.
IMG_2743
Singers from Pear Tree Primary School
Open night #9
Volunteers taking a closer look at the exhibition. Recruitment criteria altered as the war progressed. Newspaper articles highlight increased efforts to encourage men to join up and a recruitment office run by the ‘formidable’ Mrs. Wyld opened on Churchyardside.
IMG_2866
Pupils from Wistaston Primary taking part in a World War One workshop. They explored the main themes of our project through drama and creative activities.

Events included World War One and Bees (also to link in with the town’s annual Food and Drink Festival) and a special day where we were joined by members of Cheshire Pals 4th Battalion.

IMG_2784
Finding out about bees, making candles and learning about World War One
Members of the Cheshire Pals outside the Museum
Members of the Cheshire Pals outside the Museum. Anyone passing by would have seen our sandbagged entrance complete with Lewis gun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope that people will continue to find out about the impact that war had on the market town by reading our pamphlet. Display boards are also available to borrow.

Our exhibition brought in visitors from near and far. These are a couple of the comments that were left:

‘This was an extremely sobering experience bringing back memories of my grandfather talking of the war – the horses and tanks. It reminds me of why he was reticent to talk about it. Thank you this was a well thought through exhibition.’

‘What a lovely exhibition to commemorate our local warriors.’

‘Very interesting exhibition, makes me realise the impact the war had on communities.’

‘A very nice museum and WW1 exhibition. We particularly enjoyed the small local stories and clever little details such as the Council minutes and china souvenirs.’

‘Wonderful, educational and interesting. For a small town to have a very rich history it is amazing. Thank you!

We would like to thank everyone who was involved in this project and the Heritage Lottery Fund for their grant.

HLFHI_2747