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

Time running out to see work of ‘one to watch’ young painter shortlisted for major art prize

There are now just three weeks left to see the work of young painter Louise Giovanelli, who was recently shortlisted for a major national art prize, at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

The 24-year-old, who was described as ‘one to watch’ by leading online art gallery Saatchi Art, was recently announced as one of 12 artists in the running to win the 2017 Contemporary British Painting Prize.

One of the pieces she entered in the competition, Mould II, is currently on display at the Warrington gallery as part of her newest body of work, A Throw to the Side, which was inspired by the gallery’s collection.

Louise admitted she was surprised but overjoyed to discover she had been shortlisted.

“I’m just really pleased,” she said.  “All the other artists are really good; they’re all older and more experienced so I’m just grateful to have made it this far.”

A Throw to the Side is a completely new collection of haunting yet beautiful work which explores the sensorial possibilities of paint.

“I like to consider the figure and object,” she added.  “I’m really interested in art history and talking about where our visual tradition comes from.

“Over the last couple of years I’ve been visiting galleries around the world, taking snapshots of different elements of paintings, reinterpreting and reimagining them in new pieces.”

Louise has done the same with Warrington Museum & Art Gallery’s collection by creating alternative narratives to existing work; in this way painting is used as a camera, drawing attention to details that would otherwise be left overlooked or unexplored.

Her starting point was the work of John Warrington Wood, a sculptor of mythological and biblical subjects who was born in the town but later moved to Rome to work.  His statues of Raphael and Michelangelo stand at the entrance to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

Giovanelli has reflected upon and considered the artist’s work held within Warrington and the art gallery itself, as well as his wider reach and legacy and how these can be connected to her recent investigations into the relationships between painting, sculpture and architecture.

Louise Giovanelli’s ‘Mould II’

Three of Giovanelli’s paintings which were entered for the 2017 Contemporary British Painting Prize will be featured in a special exhibition in August – when the winner will be announced – at The Stables Gallery in London along with the other shortlisted artists’ work.

If she wins, Louise will be awarded a solo exhibition at The Herrick Gallery in London, a critical essay on her practice by art critic and curator Nicholas Usherwood and a £2,000 purchase prize of her winning work which will then enter The Priseman Seabrook Collection of 21st Century British Painting.

As one of the country’s most promising young painters, Louise’s work has attracted huge interest since she studied fine art at Manchester School of Art, for which she was awarded a first degree.

A Throw to the Side is her third solo exhibition, with previous displays at Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool and Touchstones Rochdale.

She is currently working with The International 3 Gallery in Salford and her work is in high demand, with pieces having just been featured in a dual show at Liverpool’s Crown Building Studios and in a month-long residency at The Griffin Gallery in London which runs until the end of June.

Louise has already been the recipient of a number of prizes including The Leonard James Fine Art Prize, The Manchester Academy of Fine Art Award and The Ken Billany Painting Prize, and in 2015 she was awarded second place in the Saatchi Art Showdown online art competition.

Her work is held in private collections in the UK, USA, Canada, China, Germany, Slovakia and Italy.

Derek Dick, outreach and engagement manager for Culture Warrington, the charity which runs Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, said: “We’re really proud to be featuring work by Louise Giovanelli, especially as she’s now been shortlisted for a top competition like the Contemporary British Painting Prize.

“She has a really keen eye for subtleties and nuances which others might overlook, and the fact that the new work featured in A Throw to the Side was inspired by exhibits from our collection makes it a really unique display.

“Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival is returning this autumn and I hope Louise’s work and achievements inspire other artists to enter the Open Art competition.

“Here at Culture Warrington one of our aims is to support and provide opportunities for emerging artists within the region; Louise’s exhibition is proof of that commitment.”

Members of the public are invited to join Louise Giovanelli at a special exhibition closing event at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery on Thursday 13 July from 6-8pm.

Listings information

Exhibition title: Louise Giovanelli – A Throw to the Side

Dates: Until Saturday 15 July

Times: All day

Admission: Free

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

Penketh and Sankey Boys Club and Youth Centre, Honiton Way

 

Today’s picture shows the official opening of Penketh Youth Centre on Honiton Way in 1966, or to give it its full title of the time “Penketh and Sankey Boys Club and Youth Centre”. In the picture we can see Sir Alfred Owen unveiling the commemorative plaque, next to him are Dr. J.W. Chamberlain Chairman of the Boys’ Club and the Venerable H.E. Evans, Archdeacon of Warrington. Also shown in the picture are the Rev. McKibbin of St Mary’s Great Sankey and Mr. Forster club Secretary and Treasurer.

The article accompanying this picture states that the club had formerly met in “a 300 year old building used by 140 members” but that with the new building they already had 200 children registered. It goes on to add that there would be capacity for up to 400 and that the new club would for the first time allow girls.

Features of the new purpose-built youth centre included a coffee bar, stage, lecture room, TV room, craft room, changing rooms, and showers. One unusual feature added was a glass walled office for the club leader, allowing him to see what was happening throughout the club without leaving his desk.

Sir Alfred Owen, who officially opened the club, stated in his speech that he was glad to see the building being opened with a religious dedication, stating that “Religion provides an anchor in a boy’s life. It is important in building up a boy’s character”, he added that in his opinion no youth club could be run properly without a religious grounding.

Sir Alfred Owen (1908 – 1975) was a Managing director of Rubery Owen, which by the time of this photograph in the late 1960s comprised of around 66 UK companies and 18 overseas, including Electro Hydraulics Ltd of Warrington, which eventually became Rubery Owen Conveyancer Ltd.

This Warrington connection and his work as a Church of England Lay Preacher explain why he was chosen to open the Youth club at Penketh.

 

If you have any memories of the Youth club you would be willing to share with the museum, please contact Philip Jeffs via pjeffs@culturewarrington.org

Penketh Wesleyan Day School

 

Today’s blog entry will be looking at Penketh Wesleyan Day School. The image above shows children and teachers at the school around 1900.

There isn’t space here to go into the origins of Methodism in the village in any detail, but briefly speaking, the first Methodists appear to have developed in the early 1800s and to have met in the cottages of George Percival and William Gandy. By 1818 a plot of land had been bought on the corner of Stocks lane and Warrington road and the next year a small chapel was opened. This chapel served the Methodists of Penketh until 1860, when it was found to be infested with dry rot. The church was already in substantial debt and so it was decided to sell off the building and plot and to build a new meeting place on what is now Chapel road (but was then known as Red Lion Lane). The cost of the new building was supported by various local dignitaries including the Penketh family of Cabinet making fame, the Garnetts.

One year later, in 1861, the Day School was opened consisting of one room of un-plastered brick and a small schoolmaster’s house. The school and chapel were both enlarged in subsequent years.

The flyer shown below is an advertisement for the recently opened Penketh Wesleyan Day School.

 

 

Issued in 1863 this advertisement is asking for new pupils for the school. It tells parents that the school teaches all usual subjects, including reading, writing, and arithmetic. But that it also offers sewing and knitting taught by a committee of local ladies and regular Bible lessons.

The flyer states that children must be punctual and regular in their attendance, and that “nothing prevents a child’s progress more than being kept at home a few weeks or even a few days”. Remember that Penketh was still a rural community in 1863 and it was common for children to be kept out of school during harvest to work on local farms.

The fees are listed as three pence or four pence a week, with additional siblings at half price. The reason for two different fees is not given.

Perhaps most interesting of all is the statement that “the moral character of this village, in the future, depends upon the efforts put forth in the training and education of the present children”. The idea that ‘the children are our future’ is quite forward thinking in an age of child labour and grinding poverty, where children were often seen as a commodity from a very young age.

 

One further item I wanted to share with your today is the lecture “On Evolution and Some of the Objections to Darwinism” given in 1892. Alongside the children’s schooling which I have talked about,  Penketh Wesleyan school also offered a range of adult education through its “Mutual Improvement Association”. Part of this association’s activities was a series of regular lectures, one of which was the above talk on Darwinism given by John Dignum and later printed in Warrington for sale.

 

 

Dignum gave an lecture disputing Darwin’s claims regarding evolution. He concludes his lecture at Penketh with Ten ways in which Darwin’s theory is “utterly inadmissible”. Some of his hypotheses are scientific or mathematical in nature, such as point 10: that he considers the earth to have not been in existence long enough for the many variations of species to have developed, or point 4: that the chances of the evolution of the human eye into its current form from the point of not existing are so infinitesimally small that they cannot be considered even vaguely likely.

Other points are more religious in nature, such as point 1: “It is a bungling, discreditable theory, representing the divine Creator as not knowing what He was about; with no purpose or design in His handiwork; but having called into being a number of primordial germs, He leaves them to evolve in a blind, hap-hazard fashion, utterly unintentional as to the issue.”

Where you stand on a matter of religion and science was then and is now a matter for your own beliefs, but it is fascinating to see that such a level of debate was taking place in a village like Penketh in 1892 and that discussing important matters of the day was seen as “mutually improving”.

 

The photograph and documents we have looked at here give a brief glimpse of a community putting great importance on education. A community who believed that well educated people were good for society. Something I’m sure most people in Warrington still feel today.

Warrington Borough’s Charter of Incorporation, 1847

 

To commemorate 170 years since Warrington gaining borough status, the town’s Borough Charter is now on display here at the Museum. This is a rare chance to see a hugely important document from the town’s history.

As the images in this blog entry will show, the charter is not only worth seeing for its importance as a grant of rights to us as citizens, it is also worth seeing as a work of art in its own right, with beautifully illustrated borders, fine calligraphy, and a detailed and substantial wax seal.

It is not easy to explain all the ins and outs of what a town charter means, of how it changed Warrington’s society in a brief blog like this, but I will give a few facts to help explain it.

 

Before the creation of the Borough Council the day-to-day running of the town was left to the Lord of the Manor and his steward and was administered through the manorial court. By the early 19th Century the rapid growth of the town and its increasing industrialisation and crowded living conditions made it necessary to have a more organised approach to things such as policing, sewerage, and housing. With this in mind, in 1813 a committee of Police Commissioners was set up. Whilst called “police commissioners”, these men actually organised most of what a modern day council would arrange and raised rates to fund their work.

Whilst a step forward from all power resting with the Lord of the Manor, the new commissioners were still limited to the wealthy and they were still not elected. Any man who had an estate worth over £1000 or property worth £50 a year could be a Commissioner.

The names of the commissioners will be familiar to you as constituting the great and good of the town, names such as Blackburne (the old lord of the Manor), Legh, Lilford, Lyon, Patten, Rylands, Gaskell, and Crosfield.

By the 1840’s many new boroughs had been created across the country, and the idea was raised that Warrington too should be incorporated. Supporters stated that it would be a matter of civic pride leading Warrington finally into the modern age, and that it would create elected and thus accountable governance of the town. Opponents stated that setting up a council would create a greater cost on rate payers and encourage greater corruption as paid officials would be likely to work for their own gain rather than the good of the town.

Crowded public meetings were held at which ferocious debate took place, but ultimately it was for the Police Commissioners to decide whether to relinquish their power in favour of a new council or not. In January of 1846 they voted on the issue, 58 in favour, 34 against.

Now, the eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that our Borough Charter is dated 1847, not 1846, this is because a month later opponents to the idea girded more support and a second vote was held, this time 142 votes for and 83 against. The argument continued throughout the year, but finally an agreement was come to and on 3rd April 1847 Queen Victoria officially issued a Royal Charter granting Warrington Borough status.

The Royal Charter of Incorporation allowed for the appointment of one Mayor, nine Aldermen, and 27 Councillors. The town was to be made into 5 wards, the North West, North East, South West, South East and Latchford. Each ward was to have six councillors except for Latchford, which had only three. Probably the most important thing in the whole charter to us today is that these councillors had to be elected by burgesses of the town.

A glance at the lists of Warrington’s first councillors shows that the vast majority were the same men as had been lead Commissioners under the old system, but at least the process of voting was now established.

A last thing to bear in mind is just how few people had the right to vote in 1847. Following the Great Reform Act of 1832 the vote was expanded so that about 5.8% of people in the UK had the vote in National elections. The percentage of Warrington people who were made burgesses (allowed by the new charter to vote in local elections) was similar.

With only the wealthiest 5% of Warrington’s citizens having the vote (and this 5% being made up entirely of men), the elections were at this point hardly democratic by modern standards, but they were an enormous step forward, and their impact on the shape of the town’s future was immense. For the first time people had a say in how their town was run and how their rates were spent, they had a police force and local court that was answerable to the public and not to a tiny number of wealthy citizens. The charter enshrined those rights in law for the Warringtonians of 1847 and for their descendants today.

 

Now that we have looked at just what the charter meant and why it is so important to us as Warringtonians, we can look at the artistry of the item.

 

 

To the top of the charter we have the royal coat of arms supported by the lion and unicorn, the lion representing England and the Unicorn Scotland. The two were brought together by the accession of King James I of England and VII of Scotland, who of course could claim symbols from both royal families.

Ancient tales told of a mythological fight between the lion and the unicorn, and with the often strained relationship between England and Scotland people began to refer to these symbols as fighting over the crown, rather than guarding it.

In mythology the unicorn is portrayed as wild and untameable, and this drawing certainly shows that, with its staring eyes and bared teeth. On the other hand the lion is meant to be powerful and ferocious, but the lion here looks rather like a stuffed toy with his curly hair and fluffy whiskers.

 

                                  

 

Either side of the arms we have Justice and Britannia, Justice with her standard symbols of the scales and blindfold and Britannia with her spear and shield (incidentally the spear has now been replaced by a trident in most depictions, to echo the Nation’s maritime prowess. In the 1840s the trident was not used, but if you look behind Britannia you will see a tall ship and at her feet a horn of plenty, showing between them the wealth that Britain’s naval power has brought).

Throughout the decorative border of the charter you can see various symbols of Britain, oak leaves, shamrocks, thistles, leeks, and roses, along with various horns of plenty, symbolising the productivity and wealth of the nation.

Finally, and most importantly to any good Victorian, we have the likeness of Queen Victoria herself in the top corner. She is shown Seated in a throne bearing the royal orb and sceptre and wearing a crown, just in case there is any confusion over who she is. Whilst we are uused to seeing Queen Victoria later in life, this image is a reminder that at the time of Warrington’s incorporation her reign was still relatively new and she was still a young monarch. Britain was a dynamic and rapidly changing country witnessing progresses in every field of life. Warrington was embracing this brave new world by setting up a council and finally dealing with some of the myriad of problems plaguing the town, problems like an almost non-existent sewerage system, no running water, crowded slums, little policing or fire service, and no street lighting to name but a few.

 

 

I couldn’t sign off this blog entry without one last note, it is worth coming to see the Borough Charter if for no other reason than to see the ferocious lion, guardian of Britain, dancing a little jig and smiling a gummy, toothless smile. He seems to have won his fight with the unicorn, but still looks a little bit less than ferocious. I don’t know whether this lion would make it into our predators exhibition on at the museum at the moment.

 

 

Fascinating free talk to give insight on Victorian Warrington

Bridge Street in 1897

Culture Warrington is teaming up with Warrington Civic Society for its second public talk of the year, and this time the topic is A Virtual Tour of Victorian Warrington.

This fascinating talk, to be held at Friars Green Independent Methodist Church on Cairo Street on Tuesday 20 June at 7pm, is free and open to all.

Janice Hayes, heritage manager for Culture Warrington, will be taking visitors on a virtual tour around Victorian Warrington as part of celebrations to mark the 170th anniversary of Queen Victoria granting Warrington’s Borough Charter.

The rarely seen original document is now on display at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery as part of a wider programme of events organised by Culture Warrington to celebrate a historic year in the charity’s calendar, which also includes the 140th anniversary of the opening of the art gallery and the 160th anniversary of the opening of the museum and central library building.

Janice Hayes, heritage manager for Culture Warrington, with the town’s rarely seen Borough Charter

Janice said: “I’ll be drawing links between the vision of our Victorian founders for the borough and the museum with the 21st Century vision of Warrington as a city where culture and heritage will play a major role.

“The rare opportunity to see Warrington’s Borough Charter on display at the museum is the starting point of my talk, which will take people on a tour of Victorian Warrington through a wealth of images from our collections, with a focus on the town’s surviving Victorian heritage.”

A Virtual Tour of Victorian Warrington will also touch on the history of a number of important buildings around the town which feature in Janice’s recently published book Warrington in 50 Buildings.

For more information visit Warrington Civic Society’s Facebook page or email warrington.civsoc@gmail.com

Burtonwood Dahlia Queen, A Degrading Spectacle!

Monica Chenery, Dahlia Queen 1935, with her retinue

Today’s blog focuses around an article written by the Reverend Alfred Mansfield Mitchell of St. Michael’s Church Burtonwood. It was published in a local paper in September 1935.

The Reverend Mitchell was St Michael’s longest serving incumbent and a much loved vicar, by the date of this article he had already been in post for over 40 years.

Whilst most of us may see Rose Queens, May Queens and the likes as a quaint and innocent reminder of times gone by, this was not an opinion shared by the Rev. Mitchell. Copied below is an extract from his comments made to various local papers that year and published in the Parish magazine:

“The number of Queens is growing rapidly he said. Every year witnesses an increase in the number of claimants to thrones and sceptres. Presently it is not unlikely ‘Queeneries’ will have to be provided in the form of houses of retreat for the treatment of young girls whose brains have been turned or stunted by coronation ceremonies

One Queen in the multitude of Queens we have not yet heard of is ‘the Butcher Queen’. Why not have one and the coronation could most appropriately be held in an abattoir or slaughter house?”

He goes on to raise a further complaint with the festival stating that:

“It is misnamed when called the Dahlia Queen. It has much more sympathy with beer than with flowers. Poor Dahlia it is nowhere. Why wantonly misname things? If a spade is a spade, call it a spade. If beer is beer call it beer nothing less nothing more.

Drinks, noise, fighting form an unholy trinity on August Monday in what should be, would be, a quiet village if the riff-raff of all the country round were not invited to visit and desecrate its fields and lanes with nerve-wracking noises, drinking orgies, and street quarrels.”

The Dahlia Queen was heavily sponsored and patronised by Burtonwood Brewery through the brewery’s owners the Forshaw family. As might be guessed from his writings above, the Rev. Mitchell was a strong supporter of the Band of Hope (an organisation which encouraged tee-totalism and taught children the dangers dangers of the “evil drink”).

Perhaps with the differing opinions of the Forshaw family and the Rev. Mitchell it was inevitable that an event like the Dahlia Queen would become a battle ground for public opinion.

If this blog entry has piqued your interest there will a display at the Museum from 8th July to 2nd September looking at Burtonwood Brewery and the Band of Hope. Burtonwood Brewery is celebrating its 150th Anniversary and has played an important part in the town’s history, but no story of alchohol in the town would be complete without a look at the temperance movement which was so strong in Warrington. Part of this movement was the Band of Hope, who campaigned against the dangers of alcohol, and offered youngsters a wide range of activities aimed at keeping them away from the drinking culture of the day.

If you have any photographs of the Dahlia Queen at Burtonwood we would love to add a copy to the museum’s collections for future generations to see. Contact Philip Jeffs at pjeffs@culturewarrington.org

Young painter with new Warrington exhibition is shortlisted for major art prize

Mould II, Louise Giovanelli, 2017, oil on canvas

Mould II, Louise Giovanelli, 2017, oil on canvas

A young painter who recently unveiled a solo exhibition at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery has been shortlisted for a major national art prize.

Louise Giovanelli, 24, who was described as ‘one to watch’ by leading online art gallery Saatchi Art, has been announced as one of 12 artists in the running to win the 2017 Contemporary British Painting Prize.

One of the pieces she entered in the competition, Mould II, can now be seen at the Warrington gallery as part of her new body of work, A Throw to the Side, which was inspired by the gallery’s collection.

Louise admitted she was surprised but overjoyed to discover she had been shortlisted.

“I’m just really pleased,” she said. “All the other artists are really good; they’re all older and more experienced so I’m just grateful to have made it this far.”

Three of Giovanelli’s paintings will be featured in a special exhibition in August, at London’s The Stables Gallery along with the other shortlisted artists’ work, when the winner will be announced.

If she wins, Louise will be awarded a solo exhibition at The Herrick Gallery in London, a critical essay on her practice by art critic and curator Nicholas Usherwood and a £2,000 purchase prize of her winning work which will then enter The Priseman Seabrook Collection of 21st Century British Painting.

As one of the country’s most promising young painters, Louise’s work has attracted huge interest since she studied fine art at Manchester School of Art, for which she was awarded a first degree.

A Throw to the Side is a completely new collection of haunting yet beautiful work which explores the sensorial possibilities of paint.

“I like to consider the figure and object,” she added. “I’m really interested in art history and talking about where our visual tradition comes from.

“Over the last couple of years I’ve been visiting galleries around the world, taking snapshots of different elements of paintings, reinterpreting and reimagining them in new pieces.”

Louise has done the same with Warrington Museum & Art Gallery’s collection by creating alternative narratives to existing work; in this way painting is used as a camera, drawing attention to details that would otherwise be left overlooked or unexplored.

Her starting point was the work of John Warrington Wood, a sculptor of mythological and biblical subjects who was born in the town but later moved to Rome to work. His statues of Raphael and Michelangelo stand at the entrance to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

Giovanelli has reflected upon and considered not only the pieces of his held within Warrington and the art gallery itself, but his wider reach and legacy and how these can be connected to her recent investigations into the relationships between painting, sculpture and architecture.

A Throw to the Side is Louise’s third solo exhibition, with previous displays at Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool and Touchstones Rochdale.

She is currently working with The International 3 Gallery in Salford and her work is in great demand, with a month-long residency at The Griffin Gallery in London later this year and a dual show at Liverpool’s Crown Building Studios in June.

Louise has already been the recipient of a number of prizes including The Leonard James Fine Art Prize, The Manchester Academy of Fine Art Award and The Ken Billany Painting Prize, and in 2015 she was awarded second place in the Saatchi Art Showdown online art competition.

Her work is held in private collections in the UK, USA, Canada, China, Germany, Slovakia and Italy.

Derek Dick, outreach and engagement manager for Culture Warrington, the charity which runs Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, said: “We’re really proud to be featuring work by Louise Giovanelli, especially as she’s now been shortlisted for a top competition like the Contemporary British Painting Prize.

“She has a really keen eye for subtleties and nuances which others might overlook, and the fact that the new work featured in A Throw to the Side was inspired by exhibits from our collection makes it a really unique display.

Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival is returning this autumn and I hope Louise’s work and achievements inspire other artists to enter the Open Art competition.

“Here at Culture Warrington one of our aims is to support and provide opportunities for emerging artists within the region; Louise’s exhibition is proof of that commitment.”

Scrap Heap Challenge

 

Looking at today’s photograph you may think I’ve gone mad. It is, as it appears to be, a scrap heap.

 

 

So, why am I posting pictures of rusty spare parts? Well, all we know about this picture is that it was taken at Burtonwood and appears to date from sometime around the 1960s.

With Burtonwood being home to more than its fair share of unusual vehicles over the years, thanks to the American Base, it struck me that there might just be something interesting amongst the scrap parts piled up in this picture. It’s tempting to think that somebody would have had a good reason for photographing a scrap heap, so is there a treasure hiding in this picture?

I know there must be transport enthusiasts out there reading our blog, so my challenge to you is this: can you convincingly identify any of the parts shown in this scrap heap?

Whether we are talking old farm machinery or American plane parts it would be great to know.

As “scrap heap spotting” is not a hobby I am aware of I’m thinking there must be something unusual in there. Still, the picture does have a certain artistic, angular quality to it, so perhaps I am wrong and it was just a still life picture taken by a budding artistic photographer.

You can contact me at pjeffs@culturewarrington.org or you can leave a message on our facebook page where a link to this article will be found http://www.warringtonmuseum.co.uk/latest-news/

 

 

 

 

Sankey Land Boat Race, August 1981

 

Today’s blog entry is short and sweet. Usually I would tell you a little bit about an image or document in our collections and then ask you to tell us anything you know about it.

This time I know nothing about the event mentioned other than what is written on the poster. So I am completely reliant upon you out there to tell me about the event. What was a ‘Dry Land Boat Race’? Who took part? What was the event in aid of? And why is there an Australian theme?

 

 

I also have to ask if any of you know what “GB4 SVP” stands for? It seems like it should be obvious, but I can’t bring to mind anything that fits (if it’s something rude then best to leave me in the dark).

The poster forms part of our extensive ephemera collection, some of which goes back hundreds of years and some of which, like this poster, is very recent. We are still collecting all the time and always on the look-out for an item which will tell future generations something about daily life in Warrington.

The key thing with any item of ephemera is to know its context, which is where I’m struggling with this one. But, being so comparatively recent an event, hopefully lots of you out there went along and can tell me about it.

Does anybody have a photograph of the event? I would love to see what the competitors looked like. Help us to fill another gap in the Museum’s knowledge by getting in touch and sharing what you know.

You can contact me at pjeffs@culturewarrington.org or you can leave a message on our facebook page where a link to this article will be found https://www.facebook.com/WarringtonMuseum/