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.

Nantwich Museum Extends Range of History Booklets

New additions to the Nantwich Museum range of historical booklets

The range of booklets launched in March detailing various aspects of local history has been extended through the addition of four new titles: “The Canal at Nantwich,” Joseph Priestley, “Discoverer of Oxygen,” “Reverend Joseph Partridge on the Great Siege of Nantwich” and “John Weld Platt on the Siege of Nantwich.” The booklets have been prepared by Nantwich Museum’s volunteer Research Group in order to bring to the widest possible audience various aspects of the town’s rich history.

The abstracts from Partridge’s and Weld’s books are particularly timely appearing as the “Nantwich Besieged” exhibition opens on 21 July. The exhibition is accompanied by a Battlefield Walk and other walks and a series of talks considering various people and events of the time. Full details can be found on the museum’s website.

The booklets can be purchased from the museum shop at £2.95 each the entire proceeds going to support museum funds.

Nantwich Museum at the 2016 Societies Spectacular event

Nantwich Museum at the Societies Spectacular event organised by Nantwich Town Council

The museum was pleased to participate in the 2016 Societies Spectacular event organised by Nantwich Town Council. It provided the ideal opportunity to promote the museum to the community and network with other local organisations. Despite rain at times considerable interest was shown in what the museum has to offer.

As well as promoting the museum in general information was distributed concerning becoming a Member of the Museum Trust, voluteering opportunities to help in the running of the museum, the opportunities for leaving a legacy in support of the museum and community services such as Children’s Workshops and the Dementia Friendship Group. It was also an opportunity to promote the major summer exhibition “Nantwich Besieged” which opens on 21 July 2016 and its accompanying activities including a Battlefield Walk and talks on a number of topics relating to life in the locality during the time of the Civil War.

Bright Warm Welcome at Nantwich Museum

The newly lit shop display at Nantwich Museum
The newly lit shop display at Nantwich Museum

Regular visitors to Nantwich Museum will have been immediately impressed by the new enhanced lighting in the foyer. LED lights have now been installed throughout the museum greatly enhancing the display of artefacts and exhibitions so improving the visitor experience.

The project, which included upgrading the shop display lighting and heating system, also aimed to reduce energy use making for all important reductions in museum running costs. It was just one part of the museum’s ongoing efforts to achieve a greener museum with all the savings that entails.

Museum Manager, Denise Courcoux, who oversaw the installation observed that: “Such is the success of the project that we now have better lighting which is more economical to run and, most importantly, achieves a significant reduction in ultra violet light compared with the old halogen lighting which helps to preserve our valuable artefacts.” She welcomed the improved visitor experience afforded by the upgrades and especially the prospect of economies offered by the more efficient technology.

The project was made possible through generous grants from Nantwich Town Council, Cheshire East Council and WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund.

Richard Smith, WREN’s grant manager for Cheshire, says: “It’s wonderful to see something we have funded finally open and ready to make such a difference to all visitors to the museum. WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and this is a great example of what can be achieved.”

Afternoon Tea in the Garden

Afternoon Tea in the Garden

The onset of steady rain could do nothing to dampen the success of the recent “Afternoon Tea in the Garden” event generously hosted by Deana and Gerald Emerton at Glebe House in Acton.

The true British spirit prevailed and remained undaunted in the face of the June weather as visitors enjoyed walks in the splendid and most beautiful garden and grounds, a raffle, plant and ‘bring and buy’ stalls as well as the opportunity to view part of the acclaimed collection of coaches which would have brought back memories for many of us. The tea, which had to be taken indoors, involved an amazing spread of home cooked food a great credit to all who contributed.

Our thanks are due to Deana and Gerald, members of the Inner Wheel, and all the museum volunteers who helped to make the event such a success. In all a massive £1215.00 was raised for museum funds.

Saying Good-Bye to Denise

Saying goodbye to Denise Courcoux

In June we were all sorry to say goodbye to Denise Courcoux our Museum Manager (Maternity Cover) during the last year. She made a major contribution to the museum during that time but we were pleased that she secured a post in Liverpool helping with the administration of ‘The Jam’ exhibition  running in the Cunard Building until 25 September.

At the recent Annual General Meeting of the museum Trust Denise was presented with a copy of ‘Nantwich – I Flew the Nest ‘ the artwork recently donated to the museum by the artist Jon Measures. A full size alupanel print of the artwork followed.

History booklet series launch

Museum booklets

A new series of booklets investigating aspects of local history is to be launched on Saturday 5 March to coincide with the first in our series of Spring Talks. The booklets have been created by Nantwich Museum’s volunteer Research Group, and the first four titles cover a broad range of topics:

A Day at the Races – Nantwich Racecourse by Keith Lawrence

Mapping and Listing Nantwich by Keith Lawrence

The Story of Nantwich Brine by Graham Dodd

Reverend Andrew Fuller Chater by Graham Dodd

The range of titles will continue to grow, and will form a valuable record of the Research Group’s ongoing work. Booklets are available to purchase in Nantwich Museum shop at £2.95 each.

Museum Recalls Battle

Over 600 people visited Nantwich Museum on Saturday 23 January during the recent Holly Holy Day commemoration of the seventeenth century Battle of Nantwich. As well as having the opportunity to view the permanent exhibitions they were able to enjoy town tours, a musketry demonstration by members of the Sealed Knot, a concert with dancing by period music group Forlorne Hope and various activities for children.

Forlorne Hope musicians. Photograph by Paul Topham.
Forlorne Hope musicians. Photograph by Paul Topham.

“A View to a Battle”, the latest exhibition in the Your Space Gallery, was also open and is now entering its final week closing on Saturday 6 February. It recalls the time of the Battle of Nantwich outlining what life in the town was like in the seventeenth century and through art with particular attention to various stained glass windows especially those from this locality. Visitors to the exhibition still have the opportunity to elect to be a Royalist or Parliamentarian.

Interest in the English Civil War does not end here and the museum’s Research Group is busy preparing for “Nantwich Besieged 1642-1646”, a major summer exhibition concerned with the local events of the Civil War and exploring further what life was like within the garrisoned town. The siege was ultimately lifted by the Battle of Nantwich. As usual the exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events beginning on Friday 29 July with a Talk & Walk centred on the site of the battle led by Julian Humphrys of the Battlefields Trust – booking details will be published on the website nearer the time.