Book Signing

Sue Church

As part of the Christmas 2016 celebrations at the museum which included a carol concert by the Wistaston Singers and the first ever Craftmas a book signing took place featuring the new book by Sue Church “Nantwich Tales – Stories of the town and its people”.

Book signing at Nantwich museum

Despite not claiming to be a comprehensive history the meticulous research around a myriad of the town’s past people and events paints a vivid picture of days gone by. As Sue notes in her introduction the book tells the story of “ordinary” people who were anything but ordinary with tales of murder and madness, accidents and fecklessness as well as tales of courage and generosity.

nantwich-tales

If you’ve not yet got a copy of this fascinating book, they are for sale in the museum shop.

Visit to John Rylands Library

Members of Nantwich museum's research group inside the John Rylands library

As part of a project looking at the history of St Mary’s Parish Church members of the museum’s Research Group recently visited the John Rylands Library in Manchester where many historical church documents are held.

A selection of documents were reviewed including a prayer book and psalter complete with medieval music lines in which was recorded in handwriting the early eighteenth century births to the Ellenthorpe family.

A further find was a ‘New’ map of Cheshire dated 1786.

Tales of the River – call for information

Tales of the river

The Museum Research Group is busy assembling information for a major exhibition focusing on the River Weaver and its tributaries in the Nantwich area.

The group would appreciate any reminiscences and photographs relating to the river. As well as the associated salt making industry, the local tanning industry would have required a supply of water. Nantwich Mill operated in one guise or another for centuries drawing its power from the Weaver. Does anyone have recollections or photographs of its various uses; it was used as a billiard hall for a time, or of its ultimate demise? Fishing is a popular local pastime and there must be many stories to be told.

Our photograph records a recent field trip by members of the Research Group following the headwaters of the river to its source by the Peckforton Hills.

Anyone with information is requested to contact the Museum.

Dutton Prize Awarded at Nantwich Museum

Barrie Astbury centre with Robert Stones President left and Nick Dyer Chair right

Museum Friends and Volunteers recently enjoyed the Fourth Members Dinner held at Residence restaurant in Nantwich.

President of the museum, Robert Stones, presented the Walter and Ada Dutton Prize to Barrie Astbury, a Trustee of the museum and a stalwart supporter of its activities for many years. Barrie is associated with all aspects of life at the museum in particular its Education and Town Tours both of which help to fulfil the function of a community museum and support it financially. He has also been involved in numerous activities around the town.

The Dutton Prize, which includes a magnificent medal, was endowed by medal-maker Ron Dutton in memory of his parents Alderman and Mrs Dutton. Each year the museum Board is able to nominate for the prize unsung heroes regarded as making an extraordinary contribution to the life of the town.

David Maidment gave the after dinner talk entitled “From High Vis Jacket to Bowler Hat” outlining his career on the railways which included managing the Royal Train in this region. As well as making a major contribution to railway safety world wide taking it from a reactive to proactive culture his travels brought him face to face with the plight of the street children so often congregating at railway stations. This led to creation of “The Railway Children” charity which has helped thousands of children worldwide to be given back their childhood.

Volunteering at Nantwich Museum

Nantwich Museum Sign

Nantwich Museum is on the look out for new volunteers. Over 50 volunteers currently help with all aspects of the museum’s activities including front of house services and the shop, administration of the collection, historical research, education including work with school groups, leading town tours, fundraising etc. – all essential for the smooth running of the museum.

Many hands make light work. If you can afford a little time and are interested in joining the team please contact the Museum to discuss the opportunities.

Nantwich Museum says ‘Thank You’

Nantwich Museum says thank you

Nantwich Museum says ‘thank you’ to all those who so generously contributed to its recent flag day in the town. A total of £123.72 was collected in support of the Museum Trust. The museum is a registered charity serving the whole community. Admission is free and the money collected is vital in helping to keep the museum alive. Running costs are about £1000 a week, with only a proportion of the income provided by local councils. The balance must be found through donations and fund raising activities such as the flag day, the museum shop, town tours and educational activities.

During the flagday an Information Point in the Square provided details of museum activities and an opportunity to support its work by becoming a member of the Friends of Nantwich Museum.

The Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am – 4.30pm and there is access for the disabled.

360 Year Old Journal Displayed at Nantwich Museum

Thomas Malbon journal in Nnatwich museum

Visitors to Nantwich Museum have a rare opportunity to view a 360 year old journal of events in and around the town during the English Civil War.

The author was Thomas Malbon, a lawyer and sometime Registrar and Churchwarden, who lived in Welsh Row. The 49-page journal records events between the years 1642-1648 in handwriting identical to that found in the Parish Register, Registrar’s records and other official papers of the time. It is signed: “Thomas Malbon oweth (i.e. owneth) this book” and provides a careful consecutive narrative of the war as seen by someone living in a Parliamentary garrison town.

Through time the journal was preserved amongst the Cowper manuscript collection in the library of Reginald Cholmondeley of Condover Hall. It was recently located by the museum’s Research Group in the Cheshire Record Office which kindly loaned it for display during the ‘Nantwich Besieged’ exhibition.

The acclaimed exhibition tells the story of life in and around the town during the time of the war and has been hailed for its scholarship which seems to have accurately captured the times. Other notable features of the exhibition include a mural depicting the scene in the town as the siege at the end of 1643 became inevitable, a narrative featuring four fictitious characters commenting on their experiences at the time and a model illustrating the Battle of Nantwich which relieved the siege on 25 January 1644.

There is something for everyone with a variety of activities available during the exhibition including colouring, handwriting and dressing up for children whilst a series of talks consider various aspects of the time including coin hoards, the life of Sir William Brereton and stained glass.

Admission is free and the exhibition ends on Saturday 17th September 2016.

Battlefield Walk

Battlefield Walk
A sharp wind blew for the Battlefield Walk led by Julian Humphrys of the Battlefields Trust which was reminiscent of the January day in 1644 when the Battle of Nantwich took place. The walk began in the churchyard at Acton where Julian introduced the background to the conflict before moving down to the battlefield itself. Participants were able to appreciate the advance of the Parliamentarian troops across the fields towards Nantwich where they were intercepted by the Royalists who almost took the day.

The walk concluded with a visit to Acton Church for tea and magnificent cakes and a surprise invitation to climb the tower and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside including the battlefield. Our thanks are due to Mr and Mrs Percival at the church for their generous hospitality.

The day concluded at the Museum with a more wide ranging talk by Julian Humphrys on the Civil War conflict and the Battle of Nantwich.