Trio of leading artists unveil A Strange Reality at Warrington gallery

Echo/Still – Paul Mellor

Three experienced artists have collaborated to create an impressive exhibition which explores A Strange Reality at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

The exhibition, featuring more than 30 canvases including several large scale works, launched on Saturday with an informal talk by the artists – John Elcock, Josie Jenkins and Paul Mellor – and runs until Saturday 16 September.

A Strange Reality sees each of these leading artists express a distinct and individual style, while sharing a common interest in exploring the exciting possibilities of paint and the enduring importance of the landscape tradition.

The paintings on display examine the sublime, memory, recollection and ambiguity, and include references to art history, cinema, urban decay and isolated landscapes.

Scrap 6 – Josie Jenkins

Speaking on behalf of the artists, Josie said: “There are concurrent themes running through the work that we selected for the exhibition.

“We are all using a landscape setting but the paintings are in many cases about humanity: human thought, emotion, behaviour and psychology.

“We wanted to show how landscape can be used to explore the strange reality of the world around us.”

An award-winning artist, Josie is originally from the East Riding of Yorkshire but is now based in Liverpool.

Using landscape or outdoor space as a subject matter, Josie depicts the physical evidence of human behaviour.

She is interested in making work which brings about the emotion of wonder, either due to its subject matter or through the construction of the artwork.

Paul Mellor’s work considers themes of isolation, melancholy, history, memory, loss, allegory and mortality, and displays faith in the continuing relevance of painting in a digital age.

A recurring concern of his work is to open a dialogue that seeks to interpret a psychological space that is more representative of a state of mind than any specific place.

The Decoy – John Elcock

John Elcock is a visual artist with an interest in landscape and symbolism. His paintings respond to objects or locations with a unique sense of place, whether expressed in their light, geology, sheer remoteness or birdlife.

It is a response, he argues, that is a continuation of the classical landscape tradition in its attempt to reveal something of the sublime in the world around us.

Roger Jeffery, exhibitions and interpretation officer for Culture Warrington, the charity which runs Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, said: “This is a really engaging display which shows how relevant landscape painting still is.

“The three artists’ use of landscape to explore the human world is intriguing and provides a fascinating context to the striking work exhibited.”

 

Listings information

Exhibition title: A Strange Reality

Dates: Until Saturday 16 September

Times: All day

Admission: Free

Location: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JB

www.warringtonmuseum.co.uk

Fascinating town brewery exhibition also offers support for addiction and misuse

A fascinating exhibition on Warrington’s brewing history also offers support and inspiration for those living with alcohol addiction.

Beer, Breweries and the Band of Hope, on display at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery until Saturday 2 September, provides a fascinating look back at one of the oldest trades in existence – by the Middle Ages every town including Warrington was home to brewers working on a commercial scale.

This display commemorates the 150th anniversary of one of the region’s most prolific breweries, Burtonwood Brewery, as well as focussing on the local Temperance movement which grew in response to the number of breweries in the town.

Craig Sherwood, collections officer for Culture Warrington, the charity which runs the museum, said: “Before the 19th century many believed alcohol was essential to life and wellbeing; it was also safer to drink beer as most town water supplies were heavily polluted – even children would drink the occasional beer.

“But concerns over drunkenness and rowdy behaviour which could develop from excessive drinking led some to advocate abstinence, believing alcohol was responsible for society’s ills and that reform was needed.”

Safe drinking limits are explored, with information available from charities and organisations such as Pathways to Recovery which supports people with alcohol-related problems.

The display also features present day testimonies from people who have struggled with alcohol addiction and are now accessing support through projects such as Warrington Borough Council’s Creative Remedies, a social prescribing scheme which supports people with a variety of needs through activities including art, photography and music.

A documentary on The Recoverists, a group of local musicians and artists who have battled addiction and recovery by coming together to perform, explores the impact of alcohol on musicians.

Craig added: “The Recoverists are promoting the positive impact which musical creativity can have on people who have battled addiction.

“We at Culture Warrington are privileged to present this documentary as part of Beer, Breweries and the Band of Hope and I’d like to say a big thankyou to those who shared their stories for the sake of this display.

“Credit also goes to Pathways and its partners for their support in this project and the amazing services they provide for people in recovery.”

 

Listings information

Exhibition title: Beer, Breweries and the Band of Hope

Dates: Until Saturday 2 September

Times: All day

Admission: Free

Location: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JB

www.warringtonmuseum.co.uk

Artists and photographers invited to enter Warrington’s annual contemporary arts competition

Bex Ilsley’s ‘Your Cities Will Shine Forever’

Artists and photographers are being invited to enter this year’s Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival Open exhibition competitions.

Members of the public living or working within a 50-mile radius of the town can now submit up to three works online before the deadline of Sunday 27 August, with the chance to win a cash prize and a solo exhibition in 2018.

Now in its seventh year, the month-long festival provides an opportunity for people to experience contemporary art, and the 2017 programme promises to be packed full of engaging events including the flagship Art and Photography Open competitions.

Both Open exhibitions will run throughout the festival from Friday 29 September to Saturday 28 October at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery and The Gallery at Bank Quay House; the first prize in both categories is £250 plus a solo exhibition in 2018, while second prize is £100.

Derek Dick, cultural manager for Culture Warrington, the charity which organises WCAF, encouraged amateur and aspiring artists to enter alongside more experienced professionals.

He said: “One of our aims at Culture Warrington is to provide opportunities and support for emerging artists in the region and entering WCAF’s Open competitions can be a great springboard to future success.

“By entering the Art or Photography Open artists can see their work displayed in professional exhibition galleries alongside their peers and it’s an opportunity for us to showcase the wealth of artistic talent in and around Warrington.

“It’s very exciting and encouraging to see the work submitted each year as the entries are always of a high standard.

“This year’s Opens are part of a larger programme of activities and events which will take place over the next twelve months; with support from Arts Council England we will be creating even more opportunities with a series of commissions and town centre events.”

The winner of last year’s Art Open was Bex Ilsley with Your Cities Will Shine Forever, a wall-mounted installation and virtual reality app viewed through a headset. The piece was a self-portrait which also explored the predicament of living between the physical and virtual.

Bex is now enjoying her first solo exhibition, entitled Emotional Processing, at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, her followers include Miley Cyrus and The Flaming Lips, and her works are held in private collections around the world.

Speaking after her win, Bex said: “This type of opportunity is vital for artists at the beginning of their careers and I am beyond grateful because funding and awards are the only way I have to continue practicing at this stage.”

Steve Deer’s ‘The Birds’

Steve Deer, winner of last year’s Photography Open, currently has a collection on display in The Gallery at Bank Quay house.

The fine art photographer, who shoots powerful landscapes with a graphic narrative, was delighted to have won after coming second the previous year.

David Foster, winner of the 2012 Open, said: “Winning literally changed my life – from being a dabbling amateur artist experimenting in a new style of contemporary art to now being a full-time professional artist with sales worldwide, corporate clients and a waiting list for commissions.

“I would encourage any budding artist to enter; the prize of being able to hold your own exhibition is immense and could be life-changing for you too.”

2013 winner Carol Miller added: “Winning the Open planted a seed of belief which has sustained my practice and given me self-assurance in my work; I’ve carried that with me ever since.

“By entering you are demonstrating you have the belief that you’re good enough to stand and be judged beside your peers, and you never know what that can lead to.”

Visit www.warringtonartsfestival.co.uk for more information or to submit an entry before the deadline on Sunday 27 August. Entry forms are also available from Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

Almost 200 memories received for display in dementia friendly facility

Burtonwood Peace Camp, 1982

 

An appeal to the people of Warrington to share their old photos and stories to feature in a new health and wellbeing facility has generated almost 200 responses.

 

Culture Warrington’s archives team has received 193 new pieces to add to their collections, including photographs, newspaper clippings and letters.

Some of the memories will be displayed in Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub – one of the region’s first dementia-friendly facilities – when it opens to the public this winter.

Philip Jeffs, archives and heritage officer at Culture Warrington, said: “The items we have received paint a fantastic picture of the development of west Warrington between the 1860s and 1980s.

“Amongst the images and memories gathered, we have obtained a great set of colour postcards showing ‘Dreamland’ – a minute-model village built outside Mr Monks’ shop and bungalow on Liverpool Road in Great Sankey, now gone, but fondly remembered by generations of local children.

“We’ve also been able to capture memories and photographs of the Burtonwood Peace Camp from 1982 and many shops and cafes in the area, which no longer exist.

“The project has also allowed us to add new details to many of the images of west Warrington already in our collections. This was done through a combination of research in the archives and talking to local people.”

The new hub, which will be run by LiveWire, will provide health and wellbeing facilities for residents living in the area, which has Warrington’s fastest ageing population.

The charity has received a grant from Arts Council England to work with the community to display the memorable pictures and pieces of art throughout the building to assist with navigation.

They’ve trained up a team of volunteers to record peoples’ memories and are appealing for residents to come forward who want to have their memories recorded digitally to add to the museum’s collections.

Philip, added: “It doesn’t matter if they were born in 1932 or 1982 or whether they want to talk about major events like the Second World War or just their memories of their own home whilst they growing up – we want more peoples’ memories.

“Any memories are welcome, but we would love to hear about changes in the area – whether that be the arrival of the Americans during World War Two or the building of new housing estates in the 1970s.”

To get involved, please contact Philip Jeffs, archives and heritage officer at Culture Warrington by writing to him at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Central Library & Museum, Cultural Quarter, Warrington, WA1 1JB, calling 01925 443023 or emailing pjeffs@culturewarrington.org

Artist interview: Bex Ilsley

Emotional Processing – Image: Bex Ilsley

Lydia Prescott talks to artist Bex Ilsley, winner of last year’s Warrington Contemporary Open about her new exhibition. ‘Emotional Processing‘ is on show at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery from 29 July – 28 October 2017.

How did you become interested in digital art? Is digital art your preferred medium to work with?

I started to think about digital art because I was already making it. Using my Instagram account to post pictures of what I was working on at university seemed like a no-brainer – I was enjoying it and I noticed that I wanted to show it off. After upload, the online images of my older paintings and sculptures seemed to become works in their own right, parts of a continuous feed. My posts became more popular, I felt more self-conscious and I saw that reflected in the level of polish and effort I began to put into what I was sharing. Others began to repost my images or re-use them as part of digital collages and memes. I saw how much of a journey away from the original physical object that was and I read a little theory about that, ultimately deciding to put my own body through the same journey of flattening and commodification. I like working in many different ways and wouldn’t necessarily say I prefer to work digitally over anything else. The boring, truthful answer is that is has reach, it’s relevant and it’s useful because it isn’t as expensive to make web-based art as it is to make sculptures.

Your work often explores the difference between physical reality and digital constructs that we experience in modern life, how do you think this difference affects our mental health?

I can only speak for myself, and so of course it’s anecdotal, but I’ve experienced both my happiest days and my worst ones through the maintenance of a virtual ‘persona’ (though I don’t really see the figure as separate to myself). At its best, social media has connected me to unprecedented opportunities – my most successful collaborations and most important connections. The links I made through Instagram have taken me places from The Flaming Lips’ tour bus to Grand Rapids, Michigan for transatlantic collaborative projects. If you tell people through images that you’re a hardworking interesting person, they might just believe you and sometimes magic happens.

Of course, it’s very difficult to maintain that momentum, I established myself as a kind of branded artist, with a certain aesthetic language which couldn’t then grow or change easily. So you stay the same, interest begins to slip, as it always does, and it can feel like a personal failing. I have definitely become preoccupied with this mediated, imitative part of my existence to the detriment of other important aspects of my life.

Coming out of university was hard for me, I’ve been depressed, and needing time to find my feet again felt like slacking in comparison to others I knew who were busy in the studio or travelling the world. I am definitely guilty of comparing myself to these ‘highlight reels’ – my friends’ ‘best selves’ and I have felt inadequate and miserable. I’ve fallen into a trap of thinking far too much about what kind of image I was putting across, even when I knew that semi-ironic mocking self-branding was what I had sought to do in the first place. I told myself that ‘@bexilsley’ was a person who says ‘yes’, so I was doing things I wasn’t even sure I was comfortable with to sustain that appearance. I began to measure my success by my follower count. I have scrolled and scrolled in bouts of total self-loathing. Even knowing what I was participating in, I still let the downsides consume me.

Do you think that attitudes towards our digital image are sustainable alongside our offline lives?

Like anything, heightened connectivity can work for us or against us. It’s important to remember and to teach that this is media, not truth, that there are many types of success. Knowing when you need to disconnect is vital.

Many of your works contain relatively sexualised images of the female form; do you consider yourself to be a feminist? How do you think the concept of gender equality is perceived and represented on social media?

I do consider myself a feminist but I don’t think I’m a very good one in practice. I find it hard to follow my own advice. I can understand why, to some, I don’t necessarily look like much of a feminist when I’m naked on my back wearing hair extensions and false eyelashes. Of course, feminists don’t ‘look like’ any one thing, but I’ve really struggled with how I approach representation because I’m very much aware of where my body stands on a spectrum of bodies, where I benefit from and where I lose out to structures of power, standards of beauty, and so on. I don’t feel qualified to speak on behalf of anyone but myself. I would put myself far down the list of artists who have insightful feminist messages to put across.

That said, it’s an important lens to view any artwork through. So, thinking about self-branding led me to explore ideas along the lines of Ann Hirsch’s assertion that “Whenever you put your body online, in some way you are in conversation with porn”. I felt so looked-at and the way I watched myself inside my own head changed. It became more voyeuristic. What value does the flattened image of my body have to consumers? As an awkward teen who really struggled with body image, I had never dared to see myself as sexually desirable or attractive. I felt this was completely off limits – something for skinny girls, for tanned girls, for girls with nicer hair and better bodies. So, doing that felt like… wobbly irony. Joking-not-joking. It’s definitely problematic to say ‘oh, thank god I can use Photoshop and the guise of Art to feel sexy!’ I can use the unreal, a confident, transcendent vision of myself which wins against all criticism and self-doubt. I’m malleable, I can distort the image instantly, so it doesn’t matter if the goalposts keep moving. It’s not a noble thing to aspire to; to finally fall in line with something that damages people. I don’t mind being problematic sometimes; it tends to open up good debate.

In your artist statement you use the phrase “’performative existence’ or ‘voluntary objecthood’” when describing attitudes and behaviours on social media. How does the virtual world affect our view on reality?

‘Performative existence’ and ‘voluntary objecthood’ are not synonymous with or confined to the limits of the virtual self. I don’t equate the virtual with fakery or the physical with authenticity. It’s blurrier than that – all of it is jumbled somewhere in the middle. I perform ‘Bex’ the entire time I’m alive. Social media is a platform for inauthentic representations of experience, but so is any kind of media. So is ‘dressing for the job you want’. So is small-talk – saying ’fine thanks!’ when really, you kind of want to die. Perception management is everywhere. Adam Curtis would agree that we live in an entirely simulated, simplified world. Perhaps debates about authenticity are useless now.

It’s about living one step removed from myself as I interact, self-consciously watching myself, judging how I’m doing – the voyeur in my head. Even now, responding to these questions, I’m writing as the part of me that wants you to take me seriously as an artist, writing as the part of me that hopes I don’t sound stupid. That feels just as much like performing as posting my best selfie does. I no longer trust in my ability to be authentic. My sense of self is wobbly at best. There’s a sense of being observed, of playing a part, even when I’m alone. Maybe it’s paradoxically more honest to say ‘here’s a mask’, to be upfront about it. This thinking is heightened by maintaining an image on social media but social media is not its sole cause.

Your exhibition at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery is called Emotional Processing, how do you interpret this title?

I find titles hard and I’ve come to accept the fact that every single one I come up with is going to be cheesy and gimmicky, and that’s okay. ‘Emotional Processing’ refers to processing as a computing term, so a nod to what I’ve spoken about here – our lives as data, the mediation of intimacy, vulnerability within a superficial feedback loop. It also refers to the terrible year I’ve had, to depression, to losing sight of myself and feeling helpless, watching my internal responses to trauma and anxiety. My own neurological processes have been trying to make sense of the state of things while my phone stays stuck to my hand, uploading my latest thinly veiled cry for help, spilling my feelings into the ether as data and hoping something inside that realm might save me from myself. Two concurrent emotional processes.

Many of your previous works are in the digital format only, what effects do you hope to create by combining sculpture and digital art in this exhibition?

The objects I’ve chosen to put together are questions more than they are answers. They bring together elements of leisure, exercise and furniture design, which can be a nod to a sort of plastic, playful version of the performed ‘aspirational lifestyle’. I aim to reference commodification, commercial colour palettes, screens and mirrors, self-conscious looking, manufactured body parts – fragmented, perfected, thing-like, isolated from the whole. It’s the body torn up and mangled by all of the above. Alongside that, I use looped video and circles because this search for personhood feels, to me, circular. I have tried to define myself both within and outside these virtual stages and it has never felt like a liberating, linear journey. There is no A to B, no transformation, nothing to be found. I’m wary of the idea of ‘progress’ because ‘progress’ never benefits every person neatly. Maybe it’s something like taking comfort in ideas like eternal return and amor fati – at least that takes the pressure off me while I’m figuring out what it means. The world is very strange; I feel a sense of powerlessness against what seems like a constant tide of lunacy, destruction and fear. So the loop is ‘stuck-ness’ too.

Your sculptures feature several items associated with children including a trampoline and a sand pit, what made you include them in your work?

I think the use of childhood references and some of the playfulness in these new pieces to speak of the temptation of regression and a blurred sense of time and identity on a personal level, as well as a responsibility towards the effect technological progress and reality-simulation may have on future generations. What parts of us are new, and what parts have always been? What’s inevitable and what should we take responsibility for? Which cycles can be broken?

Lord Roberts, Boer War Hero, at Burtonwood?

 

Today’s blog entry is looking at a poster for Burtonwood Dahlia Queen in 1900. Some of you may remember that we looked at the Reverend Mansfield Mitchell’s opinion of the Dahlia Queen festival in 1935 some time ago (when he referred to it as “a degrading spectacle” and an excuse for drunken debauchery) see link http://www.warringtonmuseum.co.uk/blog/burtonwood-dahlia-queen-a-degrading-spectacle/ .

When I first saw this poster in the archives my heart jumped, I had never heard of Lord Roberts visiting Burtonwood, this was a major event, a new piece of history unearthed. But when I read below the headline, things were not quite what they seemed. It turns out that we have an early example of what might now be called “click bait”.

The Lord Roberts in the carnival is a “life-like representation” carried through the streets during the procession, along with likenesses of other important Boer war figures such as General Kitchener or Mr. and Mrs. Kruger.

 

Lord Roberts

 

I will not go into any great detail here about the Second Boer war or South African Campaign, but it is worth noting that in late 1899 and early 1900 the Boers had made massive military victories besieging the British at Ladysmith, Mafeking, and Kimberley. By late February 1900 the relief of Ladysmith and Kimberley had taken place, and on 18th May the famous Relief of Mafeking happened. Celebrations took place all across Britain, and the popular phrase of the time “Mafeking” was coined to mean riotous celebrating.

Obviously by the time of our Dahlia Queen in August, celebrations were still taking place.

The siege of Pretoria, as mentioned on this poster, was actually part of what is sometimes called the First Boer War, and took place in 1880, lasting 102 days.

Overall the events of the day included the crowning of Dahlia Queen, a “grotesque football match” played between lady footballers and people dressed as military characters, a procession of likenesses of Boer War personalities, and a re-enactment of the siege of Pretoria using fireworks to represent the impact of the siege guns.

With our modern attitude to warfare and our awareness of the horrors of war through media, these events might distasteful, 7,582 British soldiers were killed in action or died of wounds, 13,139 died of disease whilst a further 40,000 were wounded, and 28’000 Boer civilians died in concentration camps. It doesn’t really seem like a cause for celebration, and certainly it wouldn’t immediatley suggest dressing up as President Kruger to play football. But attitudes and sensibilities change with time, and of course a victory will always be celebrated.

Whether it seems comical or macabre, 6d for admission sounds a good price to me.

 

If anyone has photograph of this event, or knows more details about it, we would love to know here at the museum. Contact Archives Officer, Philip Jeffs at pjeffs@culturewarrington.org

 

NHS in Warrington – share your memories

Staff at Orthopaedic Department (Warrington Infirmary)

On July 5th 2018 the National Health Service will be 70 years old. Initially instigated by the Beveridge Report in 1942 which argued for a universally accessible health care service that provided the public with social security ‘from cradle to grave’, it was an ambitious idea which aimed to make healthcare available to all based on need rather than the ability to pay. The NHS has changed life in Britain forever. It is one of the largest employers, with approximately 5% of the people employed in Britain working for the NHS. For the first time, it brought hospitals, doctors, opticians and dentists together under an umbrella organisation.

In March 2018, Warrington Museum and Art Gallery will be opening a new and exciting exhibition to celebrate this milestone and we would like to feature the memories and stories of anyone locally who may have worked for the organisation or used this service. As well as recording your memories we would also be interested in having a look at any objects that you might have relating to the life of the NHS. Do you have a pair of NHS glasses or some old uniform?

If you’d like to share your experiences of the NHS in Warrington over the last 70 years with us, you can do so by emailing x-hwhite@culturewarrington.org or Tel: 01925 442015. Alternatively, you might like to post something on our Facebook page or Tweet us! @warringtonmus #WarringtonNHS70.

Borough operating theatre 1950s

Penketh British Legion

 

 

Today’s picture shows Penketh and Great Sankey British Legion.

In 1952 after considering building a branch in the area, but not finding a suitable location, the British legion instead settled upon purchasing “Heatherlea”, a private house on Greystone Road in Penketh and converting it for use. Heatherlea was only a short distance from the temporary hut the Legion were already meeting in at the time, so proved a popular option. They paid the grand sum of £6000 to purchase the site which was recorded as having a billiards room and lounge, and a dining room to be converted into a bar. The bedrooms were to be converted for use as committee rooms.

The branch was officially opened on 15thy September 1952.

Mr. Carroll, Branch Chairman, put out an appeal to locals for “any useful article that would give the place a comfortable atmosphere”.

I haven’t found a lot about Heatherlea before its time as the British Legion, but in a 1905 Trade Directory the occupants are listed as George and Miss Bolton.

The General Strike 1926

 

Today’s picture shows a souvenir programme produced by the Newton Division of the Labour Party, for their May Day Celebrations of 1926.

You may be asking why I have chosen a document showing an event in Earlestown organised by Newton Labour Party when the project I am working on at the moment is all about the West side of Warrington. If you look again at the scan of the programme you will notice that on its reverse is an advertisement for Burtonwood Ales.

The advert is a simple one “Burtonwood Ales, Guaranteed Pure”, followed by a little verse:

“That Burton beer is England’s best

Acclaimed is by the crowd;

And Burtonwood claims kinship there

And has its claim allowed.”

In terms of the advertisement, an interesting little foot note is that a child has drawn and written across it. One of the things they have written is “Burtonwood is the richest & best”, a phrase which isn’t used on this advert. This suggests the slogan was well known to the child. Apparently it was a successful slogan. Perhaps advertising on all manner of local publications, such as this commemorative programme, was paying off?

Aside from this Burtonwood Brewery advert, which is the reason for the item being in our collections, the programme is interesting for the moment in history it commemorates. The country’s first labour government had been elected just two years earlier in 1924.

The Conservative government under Stanley Baldwin had called an election to increase their mandate for major tariff reforms. Unexpectedly, instead of a massively increased mandate, they ended up losing a large number of seats. The result was a hung parliament, with all three parties having a similar number of seats. A vote of no confidence led to Baldwin being ousted and Labour’s Ramsay MacDonald was appointed Prime Minister.

The Labour government only lasted about 9 months, the Liberal party collapsed and much of their vote shifted to the Conservatives, giving them a majority once again. But regardless of its short term, this event did mark a turning point in British politics, a third party in the political field.

All of this happened two years before our document, but it shows the growing influence of this new Labour Party. By 1926 itself, when the flyer was written, we have another major event in British history unfolding, the General Strike.

Final negotiations were taking place between the government and trade unions on the very day of this event. Those negotiations failed and on the 3rd May the General Strike began. The causes of the strike are too complicated to go into here, but it is worth noting that just 3 days after this May Day fayre, between 1.5 and 1.75 million workers were on strike in the UK. The government brought in the army and appointed a militia of special constables to limit the effect that strikers could have on transport and food supplies and to prevent potential riots.

The picture below shows an armoured vehicle used at Warrington during the strike.

 

Unearth the history behind your fascinating finds at special archaeology day

Amateur archaeologists are being invited to share their fascinating finds at two special free events being held at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

The Finds Days, organised in association with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), give members of the public the chance to bring along their archaeological discoveries in the hope of finding out more about their history.

Where possible and appropriate the finds will be identified and recorded on the PAS database – which helps inform research on local and national archaeology being carried out now and in the future – by the PAS finds liaison officer for the area, Vanessa Oakden.

Hannah White, collections assistant for Culture Warrington, the charity which runs Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, said: “This is a great opportunity for the public to bring their treasures along and have them looked over by an expert.

“You never know, we might discover the next Winwick Brooch, a medieval gold brooch found by a metal detector in North Warrington which has since been declared as treasure.

“This precious item is currently on display in the museum’s Cabinet of Curiosities gallery and is part of the Treasure20 Project celebrating 20 years since the commencement of the Treasure Act 1996 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

The Finds Days take place on Saturday 15 July and Saturday 21 October with additional dates scheduled for four Saturdays next year; details will be announced at a later date.

Those interested in coming along are asked to inform Warrington museum staff in advance by calling 01925 442339 or 01925 442015.

Metal finds, flint and pottery of more than 300 years old are welcome and attendees are asked to bring details of the find spot such as a grid reference; guidance on how to do this can be provided.

Listings information

Exhibition title: Finds Days

Dates: Saturday 15 July and Saturday 21 October

Times: 11am-2.30pm

Admission: Free

Location: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JB

www.warringtonmuseum.co.uk