7:30 pmSalvation Army Hall, Roe Street, Macclesfield
Meetings are held at the Salvation Army Hall, Roe Street, Macclesfield, beginning at 7.30pm.
Non members are very welcome.
2019 22nd January
Using Quarter Sessions Administrative Records for Family History a talk by Claire Moores.
Macclesfield: A Women's Town a talk by Allan Stevenson.
The talk is based on his heritage walk around Macclesfield, highlighting nuggets of Macclesfield history alongside stories of the contribution women have made to the town.
What to do with 323 post cards a talk by Julie Bagnall.
The background to the story of the cards that were in an Edwardian album left by two sisters. Bella married a Macclesfield man and had close connections with his family after her marriage.
What did he die of? a talk by Sylvia Dillon.
The FHSC website a talk by Alan Bennett the webmaster.
A visit to Quarry Bank Mill, Styal.
Quarry Bank Mill, Styal a talk by Shan Bristow
A forgotten Congleton suffragette a talk by Olivia Smedley.
The subject is Elizabeth Wolstenholme-Elmy (1833 – 1918).
AGM & Display of WWII memorabilia with short talks by members.
Not Forgotten a talk by Geoff Archer
How, why, for whom, and by whom, were local war memorials produced.
Quarries, mines & the Macclesfield Canal a talk by David Kitching. The construction of the canal allowed industries to reach existing markets more easily and also encouraged expansion to new markets.
Macclesfield Silk Museum, Old Park Lane, Macclesfield
Launch of New Display of Macclesfield’s Ancient Egyptian Treasures at The Silk Museum
16 February 2019 - 2020
A ring belonging to Tutankhamun, a statuette of Queen Tiye - one of the most important queens in Egyptian history, and the mummy case of a significant female temple worker called Shebmut, are just some of the stars in a new display that sheds new light on Macclesfield’s own Marianne Brocklehurst and her remarkable collections.
This new display at The Silk Museum will be officially opened by Cllr Lesley Smetham, The Worshipful the Mayor of Cheshire East, at 11.30am on 16th February 2019 and runs until 2020.
The new display explores the connection between Macclesfield’s silk industry and Marianne Brocklehurst’s Egyptian collections. John Varney, Chair of The Silk Heritage Trust, said, ‘We are thrilled that the new research carried out by the museum’s curatorial team, has shown that many objects are even more significant than we thought; and this new display puts many more objects on show so that local people can enjoy more of this important heritage for the town’.
Marianne was the daughter of silk manufacturer John Brocklehurst, Macclesfield’s first MP. Her family’s wealth and social standing provided the resources for Marianne to travel extensively in Europe and the Middle East. In 1873-74 Marianne, along with her companion Mary Booth, her nephew Alfred and servant George, made an epic voyage up the Nile. Throughout this trip Marianne kept a personal diary illustrated with lively watercolours that captures life on the Nile through the eyes of this remarkable Victorian woman.
Marianne Brocklehurst and Mary Booth were life-time companions and were generally referred to as The MBs. They were unconventional women for their time – as a couple they seem to have been uncompromising and determined in their life and work. They collected various objects on their travels around Egypt, but they seem to have had a particular interest in items with a connection to Ancient Egyptian women. On their first trip, they collected the mummy case of a female temple worker, a scarab commemorating the marriage of a non-royal woman to the king, and the scarab of a king’s daughter. Perhaps it was intentional that the MBs, two unusually independent Victorian women, collected so many objects that bear the names, titles and likenesses of unusually independent Ancient Egyptian women.
A Family Open Day takes place at The Silk Museum on 16th February 2019
11am Welcome & Speeches John Varney, Chair, Silk Heritage Trust and Cllr Lesley Smetham, The Worshipful the Mayor of Cheshire East 11.30am onwards: Come and see the unique diary and notebooks that Marianne Brocklehurst made of her incredible adventures
Learn more about the Tutankhamun Ring and other amazing treasures in the collections
Mummification and Mask-making: Free Family Activities in the School Room
New Makers’ Place Meet the brilliant craftspeople making unique handmade gifts + demonstrations and craft activities All day: New Silk Shop Exquisite silk products – perfect for gifts for all occasions PLUS Egyptian inspired jewellery and souvenirs Coffee and Cake, The Jacquard Café generously supplied by the Friends of Macclesfield Silk Heritage with thanks to Bollington Co-op The Silk Museum admission is now Give What You Can. All donations welcome to support our work.
Grateful thanks to Cheshire East Council for very generously supporting the new displays and the Friends of Macclesfield Silk Heritage
Little Moreton Hall, Newcastle Rd, Congleton CW12 4SD
Contemporary art installation inspired by indoor Tudor tennis secrets
A new contemporary art installation, by artist Hilary Jack, is set to launch on the weekend of the country’s most celebrated event for tennis lovers, Wimbledon. But visitors to Little Moreton Hall in Congleton will notice a lack of grass courts and an unfamiliar setting for the much-loved game.
The newly commissioned art work titled Gathering takes its inspiration from the discovery of a handful of Tudor tennis balls found during restoration work in the historic Long Gallery at the 16th century property.
For the installation, Hilary Jack has collected over a thousand used tennis balls, gathered from Wimbledon and other tennis clubs all over the country. Working with film, Hilary has highlighted the topography of the Long Gallery while revealing the historic use of the space. To accompany the audio-visual installation, the Tudor tennis balls will also be on display for the first time in years.
The Long Gallery was built in the 17th century as a demonstration of wealth by the ambitious Moreton family. Long galleries were popular in this era as spaces for sociability and exercise as well as reflecting the status of the family. Since the 1970s, five Tudor tennis balls have been discovered behind the Tudor panelling in the gallery as conservation work and maintenance has been taken place in the room and revealed clues about how it was used. It was these unique finds from a time gone by that have inspired Gathering.
Hilary says: “I’ve visited Little Moreton Hall many times and have always been interested in how the environment has affected the appearance and architecture of the building over time. On a recent visit, I overheard one of the guides explaining that the discovery of some Tudor tennis balls behind wood panels had confirmed the suspicion that a form of tennis had been played in the Long Gallery. As an artist I’m interested in the politics of place and I often work with found objects, so this triggered the idea for Gathering. I hope that when visitors encounter the artwork it will elicit a response and prompt further enquiry into the history of Little Moreton Hall and the people who lived there.”
Hilary works across media in research-based projects, often working with found objects in sculptural installations and public interventions. Hilary has worked with many heritage galleries, and historic sites on large scale commissions and exhibitions. Her research-based practice has an activist element, focussing on the politics of place while drawing out social and historic elements of a specific site. Hilary has exhibited across the UK and Internationally. Her work is in a number of private and public collections including recent acquisitions for Manchester Art Gallery and The Government Art Collection. Hilary is currently exhibiting No Borders, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park as part of Open Air 2019.
Catherine Newbery, Contemporary Arts Programme Manager for the North at the National Trust says: “Hilary Jack is an interesting and established artist who has visited Little Moreton Hall many times, so when we received her proposal for the Long Gallery we were all really excited to find out more. Little Moreton Hall is a beautiful building and art works and commissions like this help us bring the people who lived here to life and help our audiences make connections to their own lives. As we are launching the commission around the Wimbledon tennis tournament I’m looking forward to the atmosphere the art work creates.”
Little Moreton Hall is a remarkable survivor from the Tudor era. It is a timber-framed moated manor house that sits just south of Congleton. Free guided tours are available for visitors to learn the history of the Hall and its inhabitants, and Tudor gentlewomen bring the Hall to life with demonstrations and activities.
One of Manchester’s greatest mills which stood at the very cusp of the Industrial Revolution is delving deeper into the working conditions of those who lived and worked at Quarry Bank in a new exhibition, ‘A Healthy Profit.’ Opening this month at the National Trust attraction, the exhibition delves into the realities of mill life and the physical, mental and emotional toil that kept the wheels of this industrial powerhouse turning.
At Quarry Bank, mill owner Samuel Greg hired Peter Holland as the first known physician to work in a factory. This was partly motivated by genuine concern for the poor and partly by the mill owners’ religious beliefs as Unitarians. However, a healthy workforce was also a productive workforce, ensuring healthier profits.
In this new exhibition, visitors can journey through different parts of the body, including the brain, eyes, ears, lungs, and skeleton to uncover how long, hard days in the mill affected the workers. Historical medical equipment including glass eyes and medical chests complete with powders and potions, as well as leech jars, inhalers and ear trumpets from the Thackray Medical Museum and Manchester Medical Museum will be on display. For the very first time, visitors can also see original documents from the mill archives accounting for accidents, injuries and even causes of death at Quarry Bank.
Exploring the connections between people, place and health both past and present, the exhibition also considers how the body is impacted today. The effects of pollution, screen time, earphones and diet, as well as the significance of the environment and outdoor spaces feature in the exhibition.
The mill in autumn at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire
Suzanne Kellett, Programming Manager at Quarry Bank says, ‘We’re excited to be launching this new exhibition exploring the historical pressures the human body was put through, whilst drawing parallels with our lives today. Our visitors will discover more about what working life was really like for the men, women and children of Quarry Bank and we’re encouraging them to reflect on their own wellbeing as well. There are lots of interactive elements for families which bring the subject to life and we’re looking forward to seeing what they learn along the way.”
The National Trust has worked closely with the University of Manchester on new academic research looking into how the toil of mill work affected the body. The research has uncovered stories of what life was really like for those at Quarry Bank and how the mill’s healthy profit wasn’t necessarily driven by a healthy workforce. These findings have helped shape the new exhibition opening this autumn.
Families visiting the exhibition will find plenty of interactive features including a giant brain revealing more about its different functions with a chance to put their concentration to the test and see how they compare to a mill worker. Visitors can also have a go at mee-mawing - a form of speech invented by the mill workers using exaggerated movements to allow lip reading over the clatter and bustle of the noisy machines.
Throughout October half term there will be themed activities and science experiments getting families closer to what it was like to live and work at Quarry Bank.
Inside the mill, visitors can see the historic machinery thunder into action and feel the floors shake beneath their feet. Guided tours of the Apprentice House and workers cottage also show where the men, women and children who worked at Quarry Bank lived, ate and slept after toiling for twelve hours a day in the mill.