One of our volunteers, Jamie Campbell, has just discovered the love poem pictured
below in our archives. The author is unknown, however based on the style of handwriting and exaggerated sentimentality, it’s thought to date from c.1800-1900.(Note, there is a collection of similar poems called ‘The Congleton Alphabet’). It reads in part…
For ladies fair, tis true Lancashire’s fam’d ,
But Fame Asserts sometimes ought be flam’d:
Congleton’s self the Privilege can boast
Whose every Lady claims a favourite Toast,
Miss N—y W—d an Object of our Praise,
And far too much t’attempt in Humble Lays;
Celestial Shape! In Beauty she may vie,
With Greece’s Hellen, seated now on high!
Lovely leaving do last night for Karen Stratford, the museum’s Education Officer for the past 4½ years. Many volunteers and trustees came to say goodbye to Karen and wish her all the best. The museum’s new Education Officer is Jean Westbrook!
Did you know that following a disastrous flood in 1451, which destroyed a large part of the town including the corn mill, the Corporation petitioned the King for permission to change the course of the River Dane? Find out ’25 Fascinating Facts About Congleton’ in a new booklet on sale at the museum for 60p!
Hi, my name is Becksy. I am a student at Sandbach High School and I have been volunteering at Congleton Museum for just under a month. With my love of history, it has been very interesting to learn in depth about local history and particularly the history of Congleton … something which isn’t taught in schools!
Whilst at the museum, I have been working with Ian (museum chair), looking at a book of Town Oaths which date back to 1841 (see image below). My project involves transcribing the original Oath documents into a computer to ensure that the documents are more accessible to volunteers and visitors alike. At first it was quite difficult trying to understand both the traditional language and handwriting, but after a few pages, the words began to become familiar. It has been great to have the opportunity to handle and gain some experience of using primary sources.
My first month at the museum has been great! Excuse the cliché – but here you really do learn something every visit!
On 6th June the museum hosted a talk on the Staffordshire Hoard. Museum volunteer Dorothy Robinson attended the talk, and she has submitted this report. We hope that everyone enjoyed the evening as much as Dorothy!
“The recent talk organised by the museum was so popular that it had to be moved to the Meeting Room of the library. It was to an audience of over 60 people that Mr. Stephen Dean, the Staffordshire County Archaeologist gave a most inspiring and informative talk on the Staffordshire Hoard. He was very enthusiastic and interesting on the significance of this find of medieval artefacts. The slides he showed, together with his descriptions of the objects will have inspired many members of the audience to visit the Stoke-on-Trent Museum to see the articles for themselves.”
Many thanks to CVSCE for inviting us to take part in their Volunteer’s Gala Night at Astra Zeneca on Wednesday 12th June! Over 200 volunteers and representatives from the local volunteer community attended the event, including 5 volunteers from the museum! Pictured at the event are Bill Pegley and Dorothy Robinson (seated), Janet Stevens, Mike Whitehurst and Linda Ward (standing L-R). “We had a fantastic night,” said Linda. “I felt so privileged to be asked to go. The entertainment was outstanding, the food was good and the whole atmosphere was great!”
Museum volunteer, Sam Vinsun, relaxes with a cup of tea in her new Congleton Museum mug!
“The mugs are a real team effort,” commented museum shop manager, Diane Ritherdon. “The illustrations were produced by museum volunteer Jessica Coatesworth, while local businessman Tom Mellor handled the manufacturing side.” The mugs are priced at £3.50 and currently come in 2 designs – a pictorial one as shown another which features a copy of an old map. “Both are selling well in the shop,” said Diane, “and it is hoped to have more designs printed in the future.”
Pop in to the museum and get your mug while supplies last!
The museum has some rare books and manuscripts in its research library. A team of volunteers has been trained to support visitors in their search for people, places and publications. The library will be staffed from 1200 to 1600 on Tuesdays,Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Other times/days can be arranged by prior appointment.
Access to the library during these times is free to Friends of the Museum. Other visitors will have the first half hour free then a charge will be made. If anyone wishes a member of the research team to undertake research on their behalf, please enquire as to cost.
My name is Sam, and I am a relatively new volunteer to Congleton Museum.
What most people don’t realise is just how many objects we have crammed into this small area. I spend my time at the museum updating the collection archives, which is an endless task. However, I have found out a lot about Congleton in a short space of time!
Recently, I came across some accounts payslips from the Eaton Hall Estate, dating from the early 19th century. Until now, I must admit I didn’t even know Eaton Hall existed. Being curious, I did some digging and found out some things. Here are just a few of the intriguing bits…
- Gibbs Crawfurd Antrobus had a pet monkey named ‘Jacko’, who was buried in the kitchen garden. A small headstone was erected in his memory.
- Eaton Hall was the first place in the area to have an air raid siren installed.
- The lawns were cut by a large mower pulled by a Shire horse. Nothing unusual there, however, when the tennis courts were cut, the Shire horse had to wear leather boots to prevent horsey damage!
- When the family went away, the staff would meet in the house for tea and biscuits. Makes you wonder what else they got up to!
- One head gardener had a pet robin called Herbert!
Sadly, the main hall was demolished in 1980, however aspects of its history are stored in the museum’s archives, including a photo album of containing some interior photographs.
You can find out more about Eaton Hall, as well as other notable Congleton properties, in a series of new booklets by Lyndon Murgatroyd extracted from his book ‘Who lived in a House Like This?’ These are now available from the museum shop.