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.
After a three-week sleep, Lyme’s grand mansion will re-open to the public on Friday 22 November – decorated for a traditional Christmas.
This year, the team at Lyme have been delving into the estate’s past to uncover stories of Christmases gone by celebrated through the centuries by the Legh family, their servants and tenants. Their searches have taken them from the Tudor era through to the final golden years of the house in the early twentieth century with quoted excerpts from the memoirs of Phyllis Legh Sandeman, former resident at the hall helping to paint a picture of how Christmas was celebrated at Lyme.
As visitors pass through the different rooms, they will see Lyme in many guises – from a 17th century Christmas wedding celebration, to an Edwardian ballroom, to a pantry piled with food for the holiday celebration.
In the dining hall, guests will discover a range of Christmas dishes through the ages, from delicate sweet treats to an imposing boars head centrepiece.
Regency Christmas at Lyme Park, Cheshire
Red ribbons, garlands and fabric are used to reflect the dark wood panelling and red carpeting around much of the house’s interiors. Many of the decorations are handmade by Lyme’s staff and volunteers, in much the same way that they would have been crafted by the family and servants in previous centuries. This year, reflecting Lyme’s 2019 theme of 'Books and Stories’, decorations have been made using old books, and recycled Christmas cards.
Outside of the house, the Timber Yard will feature a collection of community trees, decorated by local primary schools and organisations across Disley and the surrounding area.
Deborah Maxwell, Lyme’s General Manager, said, “At Lyme, Christmas has always been a time for traditions. Many of our visitors come here every year for family gatherings, walks and to enjoy Lyme in winter. We’ll be looking forward to welcoming Father Christmas, who’ll be meeting families and children throughout December, and of course our popular afternoon teas will be taking on a festive twist.”
An Afternoon Audience with Father Christmas’ runs 10-12 and 17-19 December
Due to popularity this year, extra dates have been added for Lyme’s Father Christmas events. ‘An Afternoon Audience with Father Christmas’, which runs 10-12 and 17-19 December, will also feature a craft activity where children can create an edible gift for family or friends. Accompanying adults will also be able to treat themselves to a hot drink and a festive cake and mince pie.
Visitors admiring the festive Christmas decorations at Knole, Kent
Festive afternoon teas will include a selection of sweet treats and sandwiches made from local produce, and are available to book by calling 01663 761400.
Heritage Centre, Roe Street, Macclesfield SK11 6UT
Recorded Information: 01625 423535
Enquiries: 07534 920495
Tickets • can be purchased on the door, subject to demand
• can be booked in advance at cinemac.org.uk
• can be purchased in advance at the box office in the half-hour before any performance
Giftcards • can be purchased online at cinemac.org.uk
• can be purchased from the box office in the half-hour before any performance
Cinebar Our auditorium Bar is open 30mins before screenings (subject to the film being shown, and at live by satellite events). Tea, coffee, prosecco, wine, beer and spirits are available and may be taken into the auditorium.
Cinemac Meal Deal The Cinemac Meal Deal with Fina Bar & Grill starts on Tuesday 2nd of April!
For just £14 enjoy a delicious Italian meal and a trip to Cinemac!
Meal Deal vouchers are available to purchase from the Cinemac Box Office or Fina.
You can take advantage of this amazing offer by visiting Fina after one of our early evening shows or before our evening performances.
As numbers are limited, please ensure that you call Fina before you visit to reserve your table.
Fina’s phone number is: 01625 618744
The Meal Deal with Fina is now ongoing!
Please note that the meal deal is only valid for film tickets and it does not include live events.
Formed in 1981, the Russian State Ballet of Siberia has quickly established itself as one of Russia’s leading ballet companies and has built an international reputation for delivering performances of outstanding quality and unusual depth..
The State Ballet returns to Buxton Opera House this January accompanied by the Russian State Ballet Orchestra.
Every child’s favourite fairy tale, the classic story of love and innocence, mystery and magic set to Tchaikovsky’s sublime score. Stunning choreography, sumptuous costumes and wonderful sets form the fantasy world in which the Lilac Fairy struggles against the evil Carabosse.
This most famous of fantasy ballets for all the family begins as night falls on Christmas Eve. As snowflakes fall outside, the warm glow of the open fire sends flickering shadows across the boughs of the Christmas tree and all the presents beneath. When midnight strikes we are swept away to a fairy-tale world where nothing is quite as it seems.
The greatest romantic ballet of all time is brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s haunting and unforgettable score. From the impressive splendour of the Palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all.
Tickets are priced at £35-£44 and discounts are available. To book, call our Box Office on 01298 72190 or buy online.
Wilmslow Guild Players
Wilmslow Guild Players are an amateur theatre group formed in 1926 at the Wilmslow Guild, an independent adult education centre. Location: Wilmslow Guild, 1 Bourne Street