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Ideas for a day out in or around Macclesfield.
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A special exhibition celebrating Macclesfield’s own Marianne Brocklehurst and her collections will open at The Old Sunday School on 30 October. MBs’ Trip Up the Nile focuses on the diary and watercolours of Marianne’s trip to Egypt in 1873-74 and highlights the treasures she brought back to the town. Marianne was the daughter of silk manufacturer John Brocklehurst, and along with her companion Mary Booth, her nephew Alfred and servant George they made an epic voyage up the Nile.
The exhibition focuses on these fascinating characters. Marianne Brocklehurst and Mary Booth (collectively known as the MBs) shared their Cheshire home together in Wincle; they were travelling companions and are buried side by side in the churchyard there. When they sailed the Nile, they renamed their boat ‘Bagstones’ after the home they built at Wincle. Marianne recorded their adventures with talent and wit in her diary and filled sketchbooks with pen and ink drawings and delicate watercolours of the sights they saw.
Alfred’s main objective was to “bag a crocodile”, but he was quite happy to shoot at anything that moved! George was the practical one of the party, picking up the language, dressing in local costume and dancing along to the drumming and singing of their crew! They also travelled alongside writer Amelia Edwards, who went on to form the Egyptian Exploration Fund; Marianne and Mary set up a local branch at Macclesfield.
The star piece of the exhibition will be the mummy case of ‘Shebmut’, which Marianne smuggled back to Cheshire after burying the actual mummy it held on the banks of the Nile!
The exhibition coincides with another at The Atkinson in Southport, Adventures in Egypt, which features the collections of female explorer, Anne Goodison of Bootle, who met Marianne on her travels. Macclesfield Museums have loaned some Brocklehurst items to The Atkinson for their display, including some of Marianne’s watercolours.
The Egyptian collection’s permanent home is at West Park Museum, but the MBs’ Trip Up the Nile exhibition will be the first time the collection has been brought together and directly interpreted with Marianne’s words and pictures, really bringing to life the character of this fascinating woman.
Cheshire Villages Great War Society is hosting an exhibition of WWI history and memorabilia.
For a location map, please click here.
On display will be details of the 48 men who died in the Great War, along with information on another eighty servicemen who survived. Researchers will be available to answer questions about the displays.
Full details: http://macclesfieldreflects.org.uk/2017/11/11/2017-prestbury-event/
A WWI research help desk will be provided by the Macclesfield Group of the Family History Society of Cheshire.
If you have any information, documents, photos or other artefacts relating to a local person who was involved in the Great War – soldier, sailor, nurse, land girl, etc – please bring it along to share.
Organisers are particularly interested in tracing the small tankards (shown above) which were presented to Prestbury men who served in the Great War. On Wednesday 14th January 1920, over 100 small silver tankards were presented to men from Prestbury, Butley and Upton who had served in the Great War and had returned, and to the relatives of those who lost their lives. Only three tankards, belonging to Harry Gibson and brothers William and John Thomson, have been traced so far, and these will be on display. If you have one of these tankards, or a photograph of one, please bring it to the exhibition, or phone Harry Carlisle on 01625 428331, so the details can be recorded.
If you like pre-Christmas celebrations with fun, music and all the razzmatazz, or if you prefer something more peaceful, Little Moreton Hall has the answer, Tudor-style.
For the first time, the timber-framed mansion near Congleton will be open five-days-a-week during most of December for a Yuletide Festival.
At weekends, jesters, musicians, singers and a storyteller will bring life and humour to the hall, which will be ‘dressed for Christmas’ with seasonal decorations and a Tudor feast laid out on its massive ‘board’ table.
During weekdays, visitors will see some Tudor-style cooking, be able to sample some items of Tudor food, and explore in detail the way Yuletide was celebrated in the sixteenth century.
Rebecca Alexander, Little Moreton Hall’s Visitor Operations Manager, said: “Our weekend celebrations on the run-up to Christmas have always been a big draw, but until two years ago Saturdays and Sundays were our only open days in December. Last year, we experimented by opening on Fridays too, so that people who wanted to see the hall’s decorations and the Tudor feast in a quieter atmosphere could do just that. Visitors really enjoyed the experience and spent a lot of time chatting to our staff and volunteers."
"It was so successful that this year we decided to extend those ‘quieter’ days to Wednesdays and Thursdays as well. We think we are now catering for everyone. Some may like to try the weekday and the weekend experience. We can certainly assure everyone of a warm welcome, at least as far as hospitality is concerned. Temperatures are a different matter. Whichever day you choose to come; wrap up in some warm clothes!”
Little Moreton Hall is currently closed. It will open for Yuletide from 29 November to 17 December (Wed-Sun). Opening hours are 11am-4pm.
For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/littlemoretonhall or call 01260 272018.
Visitors are being invited to help plant 2,400 bulbs in a border next to Quarry Bank’s historic glasshouse.
Acting Head Gardener Ann Gaughan (pictured above) said it would be a great opportunity for the public to put their green fingers to good use on November 30.
“The vinery border really came into its own this summer and this planting will make sure it gets a good start in spring,” she said. “It will be lovely for people to plant the bulbs and then come back to see them bloom in April and May.”
The border runs parallel to the glasshouse, which reopened in Quarry Bank’s upper garden in February after more than a year of restoration. Herbaceous plants grew in it over the summer, but the public will be planting types of tulips including white triumphator and maja.
On the volunteering days visitors will be provided with a trowel and kneeling mat and will be able to plant as many or as few bulbs as they would like.
“It can be quite a therapeutic job in the garden,” said Ann. “It’s also satisfying because you can imagine what a good show you are going to get in spring.”
In recent years the gardens at Quarry Bank have been transformed thanks to generous donors and funders including the Heritage Lottery Fund.
They’re now looking better than ever and Ann said the glasshouse would offset the spring planting beautifully. “It looks stunning when the sun hits the glasshouse with the border in full bloom,” she said.
To help with the planting visit between 10.30am and noon or 2pm to 3.30pm on November 30.
The Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek, will be hosting the sixth annual Staffordshire Contemporary Artists & Designers Fair on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd December from 10am until 4pm. Entry is free.
The popular two day event hosts a wide variety of inspirational creative work by professional artists, designers and makers alongside Foundation Degree students from Leek School of Art, part of Buxton and Leek College.
The fair will showcase painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass, jewellery, woodwork and more from around the region.
More than 20 professional artist will attend the event. Artists include Helen Hallows who is a participant in the current series of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2017 and creates wonderful original mixed media artwork inspired by nature and landscape. Also at the event are recent graduates of Leek School of Art Sarah Taylor , Val Leeming & Cathey Yardley who have recently opened the fantastic Gallery Twenty (a collective of nine Staffordshire Moorlands artists, designers and makers) in Getliffes Yard, Leek with their ceramics, textiles and glass work.
Suzanne Mellor, event organisor said: “Both artists and visitors are bound to have a fantastic time at this year’s fair. It will be a wonderful opportunity for shoppers to find beautiful things for themselves and their homes as well as being the perfect place to get started on some Christmas shopping. It’s a key date for anyone interested in discovering individual and unique artworks!”
The event is in conjunction with the Foxlowe Arts Centre situated in the centre of Leek which has a welcoming café serving home-made food and cakes. You can even order a glass of wine as you relax and admire your purchases!
The 2017 Macclesfield Open Art Exhibition is to be held at The Silk Museum from Saturday 9 December until Saturday 20 January 2018 and artists are invited to enter up to two pieces in this prestigious annual show, in any two- or three-dimensional medium.
Last year's exhibition was the biggest, and by general agreement, the best yet, with 225 works by 148 artists exhibited.
Although initially intended to showcase local talent, the exhibition now attracts many entries from much further afield, including Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and last year, even one from Australia! The majority of entries still come from artists in and around Macclesfield.
This year the total prize money and number of awards have been increased again, thanks to continuing sponsorship from Macclesfield Museums, Macclesfield Town Council and Mail Boxes Etc.
There will be six awards: the Macclesfield Open Award of £300, two Judges' Awards of £100 each, a £100 Silk Museum Award, and a £100 award chosen and donated by Mail Boxes Etc. There is also Visitors' Choice category, voted for by visitors to the exhibition; this £100 prize is awarded once the votes have been counted at the close of the exhibition.
Handing-in days at The Silk Museum are Friday 17 and Saturday 18 November, between 10.30am and 3.00pm.
Entry forms and guidelines are now available from libraries, Visitor Information Centres and museums in the area, and available to download from the Macclesfield Open Art website www.maccopen.org.uk and Macclesfield Museums' website www.macclesfieldmuseums.co.uk/5th
Make a Needle Felted Robin with Jo Gardiner, The Old Sunday School
Saturday 9 December, 10.30am-1.30pm
Create a beautiful felted robin tree hanging using the craft of 3D needle felting. All skills level welcome, but unsuitable for children.
£30 per person, all equipment provided including a needle felting kit to take home.
To book contact Jo, email@example.com
The festive season is once again under threat and your mission - should you choose to accept – is to enter the depths of the fortress like Contact Theatre and embark on an immersive theatrical adventure to end the Siege of Christmas.
Following last year’s sell-out production, Contact and Slung Low have joined forces once again to present this high-octane, energetic and family friendly promenade piece, The Siege of Christmas, running from Wednesday 13 – Wednesday 20 December 2017.
Armed with individual sets of headphones from which instructions and clues are delivered, the action kicks off from the theatre’s main entrance. Join your hosts who will lead the way on this frenetic and fun—filled festive assignment throughout the building’s many spaces, transformed into a winter wonderland. Fusing team work with tinsel, this interactive and innovative, fast-paced Christmas show will delight thrill seekers of all ages and highlight the great work Contact continues to produce with its Young Company – for many of whom this marks their first professional engagement.
So what are you waiting for – book your tickets, don your trainers, grab your headphones and get searching – for militant mince pieces, rapping wrapping paper and other unexpected seasonal surprises await you. And Christmas won’t be Christmas until the Siege has ended...
The Siege of Christmas has been devised by the award-winning Contact Young Company and Leeds-based theatre company Slung Low, who recently produced the epic Flood as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017.
Alan Lane, Director at Slung Low says: “We were overwhelmed by the audience response to The Siege of Christmas and the chance to revisit it and work again with the excellent Contact Young Company is one we’re really excited about.”
The Siege of Christmas takes place from Wednesday 13 – Wednesday 20 December 2017 at 11am, 2pm and 6pm. Tickets are on sale now priced £13, £7 concessions and £5 for under-10s in person at the box office, by phone on 0161 274 0600 and securely online at Contactmcr.com. Group booking offers are available and performances have been scheduled for schools and other groups.
Want to give your presents some added sparkle and originality?
Come along to our shopping bonanza and we’ll help you bling up your Christmas wrapping with amazing bows and boxes.
Either bring a present to wrap or maybe buy something in our fantastic gift shop or Makers' Place?
You could even treat yourself to something special while you’re here!
We’ll be open late, until 6.30pm, so it’s an ideal chance to fit in some extra shopping – you won’t find the unique things we sell on the high street!
Free, donations welcome