Led by Peter Aston, ‘Discovering Your Congleton’, the museum’s first walk of 2014, took place last Sunday. Keith Heron attended the walk and said: ‘For two hours we were entertained and informed with a walk that followed the growth of Congleton after the Norman Conquest. We discovered how the river led to trade and later drove the silk and cotton mills. The direction the town had developed both religiously and commercially was also highlighted. It was very enjoyable with lots of questions being answered, and was complemented by a refreshing cream tea. Why not join us on the April walk? (Photo supplied by Mr Heron)
One of our volunteers has discovered a letter in the museum archives dated 9th April 1933. Written by a builder to his solicitor with regard to the new West Heath Housing Estate, the letter puts the ‘total cost of building 20 houses and completing all roads and sewers’ at £7,000. The proposed sale price for each house is £390. A plan attached to the letter shows what subsequently became Blythe Avenue (see illustration).
Nameless no more! After today’s naming ceremony, we can now reveal our carved bear is called Charles. The bear’s creator, Master Carver Jennifer Gater, selected the successful entry and presented a small carved bear to the winner, 10-year-old Liam Williams. Jennifer chose the name to honour her apprentice-master, Malcom Gibbons, a direct descendant of 17th century Royal Carver, Grinling Gibbons. She said, “I chose the name Charles because it was King Charles II who gave Grinling Gibbons his opportunity to carve as an officially appointed and recognised master to the Crown.” The museum is proud to have such a beautifully carved bear greeting our visitors. We hope it’s the first of many works in a long and successful career for Jennifer. (Pictured: Liam with ‘Charles’)
We will be holding a naming ceremony for our newest resident bear on Friday 21st February at 12.30. Since early January, the unnamed wooden bear has been welcoming visitors and collecting donations at the museum’s reception. Master Carver Jennifer Gater has selected the successful entry and she will present a small carving of a running bear to the winner.
Proceeds of the bucket collections from the previous Congleton Carnival are to be divided between several charities in the town. The museum has been successful in applying for a grant to support the purchase of our carved bear and donation box. The cheque for this will be presented at a 70s Nite at the Bulls Head on February 22nd. The museum will be represented by volunteers Graham and Linda Hulse. Tickets £5 each from the Visitor Information Centre (Tourist Office). Why not go along and have a groovy night out? Please see poster for more details.
Congleton Museum is proud to present Peter Boon’s new booklet: ‘History of Agriculture in Congleton and District’. This thorough work begins by giving a general history of the development of agriculture before focusing on Congleton’s specific development. The booklet describes how 80 small ‘self-sufficient’ Burgages of the 17th century evolved into a thriving dairy industry. The booklet concludes with the author’s personal recollection about the drastic changes in Congleton’s agriculture during WWII. This work provides a detailed and enlightening account of one our town’s dominant industries though history. Available from the museum shop for £2.50.
Back to work for Jim, Bill, Aggie and Ada – our first Evacuee Experience in 2014 !
Congleton Museum wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! Please note, the museum will be closed for maintenance from Saturday 21st December through Wednesday 1st January. We’ll reopen on 2nd January!!!
Smiles on the faces of Aggie, Jim and Ada – the heating is fixed in the church!!!!!
We ran an Evacuee Experience for 32 pupils from Excalibur School yesterday. Look out for the pictures of us in the Chronicle!
Congleton Museum would like to thank everyone who donated items to our stand at the Christmas Lights Switch On last Friday (22nd November).
We would also like to thank all the volunteers and trustees who braved the cold to run the stall. Special thanks go to Diane Ritherdon for organising the stall and Bill Pegley for running the Shove-Ha’penny game throughout the night. We raised a welcome £142 for the museum after expenses!
Museum volunteer, Jamie Campbell, is pictured encouraging passers-by to try their luck on the tombola.