“Drawn from the Weaver” exhibition opens at Nantwich Museum

Weir Nantwich by Pauline Leaver
Weir Nantwich by Pauline Leaver

Drawn from the Weaver – an exhibition by local artists Pamela Field, Pauline Leaver and Celia Rowlands is part of a visual exploration of the River Weaver from its source to entry into the Manchester Ship Canal running in the Your Space Gallery at Nantwich Museum from Wednesday 12 July to Saturday 9 September.

The main interest of Pamela Field is mutability, especially the erosion of seemingly solid or permanent features – the way rivers move earth which was once stone or trees to create fresh landscapes and opportunities for growth. It is the exposed tree roots along the Weaver’s banks which became the main focus for her work in the exhibition.

Roots 1 by Pamela Field
Roots 1 by Pamela Field

Pauline Leaver comments “on our visits to the Weaver I became interested in patterns made by the flow of water, and the effects of human intervention such as locks, weirs, sluices and bridges. In some of the pictures, I have been unable to resist the temptation of digital intervention. In others, I accepted that nature knows best and have displayed the original photograph.

Celia Rowlands work was inspired by the reflection in the water which she sought to reproduce in her oil paintings. Her smaller water colours and prints were inspired by looking at Google maps of the river winding through the countryside.

Pamela Field has worked as a designer/artist since leaving Hornsey College of Art [now Middlesex University] in 1971. Pauline Leaver and Celia Rowlands did Foundation courses at Northwich before gaining degrees at Camberwell in 1993, and Manchester in 1995, respectively. Since then the friends have taken time from their individual artistic pursuits to work together.

Drawn from the Weaver

Entry to the museum and exhibition is free and many of the paintings are available for sale.

For further information contact the Museum on enquiries@nantwichmuseum.org.uk or telephone 01270 627104

Nantwich Museum Announces Summer Programme

Welsh Row Bridge Photo by Paul Topham

Nantwich Museum has announced the programme of events accompanying its major summer exhibition “River Weaver – a meander through time” which opens on Wednesday 12 July 2017 charting the story of how the river has shaped local history.

There are two themed events. On Saturday 22 July 2017 “What’s in the Water?” is a series of talks considering the river as a source of water, its quality and sewage treatment today. On Saturday 5 August 2017 “Wildlife and Aliens” considers the wildlife of the river including alien species. Both meetings run from 10.45am to 2.30pm with a break for lunch (not included). Tickets cost £5.00 (Museum Members £4.00) for the morning and afternoon sessions and £3.50 (Museum Members £2.50) for a single session (morning or afternoon).

On Thursday 31 August 2017 museum artist, Les Pickford, will give a talk at 3.00pm, “When Turner Came to Town” describing the visit of artist J M W Turner to Nantwich in 1801. Tickets cost £3.50 (Museum Members £2.50).

Interactive Science for all is the aim of the FREE Family Fun Day on Saturday 29 July 2017. Drop-in anytime between 10.30am and 3.30pm to investigate the quality of the River Weaver water. Participants will take samples of the river water to be analysed back at the museum. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Large groups are requested to contact the museum in advance. The event is run in collaboration with Keele University Sustainability Hub supported by The Ogden Trust.

Guided Riverside Walks taking about 1½ hours will be available on Saturday 15 July, Thursday 3 August and Saturday 12 August 2017. Meet at the museum at 10.30am. The cost is £3.00 per person.

The ever-popular summer Children’s Workshops will be themed on the river. Drop-in between 11.00am and 3.00pm Wednesday 9 and 23 and Thursday 10 and 24 August 2017. The cost is £2.00 per child who must be accompanied. Large groups are requested to book in advance.

Drawn from the Weaver”, an exhibition running concurrently in the museum’s Your Space gallery is part of a visual exploration by local artists Pamela Field, Pauline Leaver and Celia Rowlands of the River Weaver from its source to entry into the Manchester Ship Canal.

Entry to the museum and both exhibitions is free.

For further information contact: Nantwich Museum on enquiries@nantwichmuseum.org.uk or telephone 01270 627104.

Skoolzfest 17 Artwork at Nantwich Museum

New Beginnings from Acton CE Primary Academy
New Beginnings from Acton CE Primary Academy

The artistic talents of local school children are displayed at Nantwich Museum in the fifth exhibition in the series of Skoolzfest’s. This year’s Skoolzfest 17 exhibition in the Millennium Gallery runs until Saturday 8th July 2017 taking the theme of ‘New Beginnings’. Admission to the museum and exhibition is free.

The exhibition features artwork from schools of the Nantwich Education Partnership. Describing itself as a ‘family’ it has worked collectively over the last ten years to improve the learning experience for children in the area.

The annual Fete and Skoolzfest will be held in Nantwich on Saturday, 1st July 2017. It is a collaboration between the Nantwich Education Partnership and St Mary’s Church working with the local community.

New Beginnings from Audlem St James Primary School
New Beginnings from Audlem St James Primary School

Skoolzfest celebrates the achievements and abilities of all the local children. There will be a covered stage in the Town Square for a wide range of musical performances including the Big Sing when a large number of children from different primary schools form a community choir. Other primary school singing and orchestral performances will fill the morning, whilst the afternoon sees the now traditional Battle of the Bands, when performers from the secondary schools take the stage in an X factor style competition. Last year the standard was so high that several performers were hired for other gigs!

For further information contact us by email at enquiries@nantwichmuseum.org.uk or telephone 01270 627104.

Roman Treasures of Cheshire at Nantwich Museum

The Roman Treasures of Cheshire display at Nantwich Museum

An exhibition of two Roman hoards discovered in Cheshire has opened at Nantwich Museum and will run until Saturday 8 July. The coins and jewellery were buried for safe keeping nearly 2000 years ago but their owners never returned for them.

The Malpas Hoard consists of 35 coins struck before the conquest of Britain and possibly associated with the capture of Caratacus, leader of the Catuvallani tribe.

The Knutsford Hoard involves 103 coins, three brooches and two finger rings ranging in date from 32 BC to AD 200.

The hoards provide evidence of the way of life of local people in the early Roman period with possible links to the Cheshire salt fields and coastal trading centres.

The hoards were discovered by metal detectorists and have been on display at the British Museum. Congleton Museum and Liverpool Museum jointly purchased the hoards thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. After display in Nantwich they will return to Congleton Museum.

Admission to the museum and exhibition is free.

Forlorn Fragments exhibition opens

Forlorn fragments

Forlorn Fragments, an art exhibition by Marguerite Turner, focusses on heritage remains in the UK and abroad and runs in the Your Space Gallery at Nantwich Museum until Saturday 6th May 2017.  For Marguerite the attraction of historic ruins is their wonderful stonework, intriguing angles and the way light falls, as well as their associations with the past. The castles, churches and prehistoric stones were all erected with a deep belief in their endurance, and their current ruined forms are a testimony to mans confidence in the order of things; their present state a reminder of hubris.

Marguerite has had a life long interest in ruins. As a child she was taken by her father to visit ruined castles which engendered in her a great love of historic sites. Having been trained in art, with Michael Craig-Martin one of her tutors, she has continued to sketch and paint whenever time allowed.

Admission to the museum and exhibition is free, and the artwork is available to buy.

Museum Commemorates the Battle of Nantwich

Barbara and Janet on Holly Holy Day

Holly Holy Day, which celebrates the lifting of the 1643/44 siege through the Battle of Nantwich on 25 January 1644, was commemorated in the town on 28 January. It was a busy day for the museum, and we welcomed over 600 visitors.  They were able to take advantage of tours of the town, learn about muskets from members of the Sealed Knot and enjoy music from the time provided by local group Forlorne Hope.

As well as learning about the Civil War from the permanent display a temporary exhibition explained the events leading to the battle whilst the recently constructed large scale model of the battlefield was also on display together with a matchlock musket loaned by the Grosvenor Museum in Chester. The display was arranged by the museum’s Civil War Centre which is now offering later in the year an evening class led by Chairman, Dr Keith Lawrence and will be ideal for those wishing to learn more about the seventeenth century conflict.

The volunteer team did sterling work welcoming visitors and helping with their queries. Particular mention should be made of Barbara and Janet (pictured) who dressed for the occasion and braved the elements standing outside to invite visitors to join us.

The Road to the Battle of Nantwich exhibition, which examines the English Civil War and its commemoration, is at the museum until 25th February 2017.

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.

Battle of Nantwich

There is a display in Nantwich Museum’s main gallery about the Battle of Nantwich includes the letter from Sir Thomas Fairfax, the leader of more than 2,500 Parliamentarian soldiers, to General Monroe after the battle telling what he had done with some prisoners.

Parliamentarians in the English Civil War and endured a six-week siege by the Royalist forces.

After the siege was lifted, in January 1644, the local people marked the event in subsequent years by wearing sprigs of holly in their hats or on their clothing.

Holly Holy Day

HHD-musketry

Musketry demonstration led by members of the Sealed Knot

The annual commemoration on January 25 became known as Holly Holy Day. The practice faded out after a time, but was revived in 1972 following the introduction of a wreath-laying ceremony to mark those who died in the battle and the siege. It followed an initiative by the late Percy Corry, a local historian. Now, on the Saturday nearest to January 25th, wreaths are laid in memory of those who died and the battle is re-enacted by the Sealed Knot Society on Mill Island. The first re-enactment of the battle took place in 1973 on Barony Park but is now held on Mill Island in the centre of Nantwich.

The commemoration is organised by the town’s Holly Holy Day Society. The committee members include the Museum’s Community Development Manager, Kate Dobson.

Every year the Museum takes part in the town’s commemoration of the battle and was pleased to welcome members of the Sealed Knot and John Dixon from Black Wolf Wargaming to the Museum at this year’s event.