“Ouch!” Wednesday evening Online Talks programme

A series of Wednesday evening Online Talks has been announced by Nantwich Museum, supporting the new exhibition, “Ouch! A slightly horrible history of health and disease in Nantwich,” which runs in the Millennium Gallery at the Museum until Saturday 23 October.

The online talks, which start in September, feature subject experts and have been selected to be of interest to a wide audience. They begin with an action-packed talk on the role of apothecaries, followed by a talk on early medicine and surgery (with the speaker in full period attire). Tales from Chester Asylum, the impact of cholera, local patent medicine manufacturing, John Gerard (Nantwich-born herbalist), and 17th century midwifery complete the full programme which is outlined below.

Nantwich Apothecary Shop by Les Pickford
Nantwich Apothecary Shop by Les Pickford

8 September 2021. “Pills, potions ad poisons: an apothecary’s tale” by Nicholas Wood, Fabio Parmeggiani and Helen Cooke. This talk explores the history of apothecaries, introduces 17th century Nantwich apothecary Raphe Walley and includes some exciting chemistry demonstrations!

Renaissance medicine

15 September 2021. “Renaissance and early modern medicine” by Nick Coles. This talk, given in period attire, explores changes in medical and surgical practice between 1500-1700. This was a period of evolution in medical beliefs and a time when new radical ideas were beginning to emerge. These will be explored by the speaker, who will present in a Tudor physician’s costume! Medical implements and tools of the trade will be examined and we’ll learn about their impact on surgery.

22 September 2021. “Tales from Chester Asylum” by Claire Chatterton. This considers the first hundred years of the asylum and looks at the lives of its staff and patients (some being from Nantwich) who lived and worked within its walls.

29 September 2021. “When cholera hit Nantwich” by Keith Lawrence. This talk explores the causes of cholera, its impact on Nantwich residents including personal stories, the aftermath and steps taken to prevent future outbreaks of the disease.

6 October 2021. “Made in the Old Medicine House: a century of patent medicine manufacture in an unlikely setting” by Valerie White. This looks at the medicinal remedies available to those who couldn’t afford a doctor.

13 October 2021. “John Gerard, English herbalist” by Graham Dodd. This explores the work and impact of Nantwich-born John Gerard, an eminent Tudor surgeon, gardener and author.

20 October 2021. “Having a baby in Nantwich during the mid- to late seventeenth century” by Sara Read and Janette Allotey.

The talks can be booked at the Museum shop or online here. The cost is £5 per talk with all proceeds supporting the work of the Museum. Participants are invited to join the talks from 6.50 pm for a 7.00 pm start. Full instructions for joining will be provided when booking.

Entry to the “Ouch!” exhibition, which includes a special section with activities for children, is free and can be seen at the Museum, which has now returned to its full opening hours, Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 am – 4.30 pm.

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