New art exhibition tells the fascinating history of Northwich's iconic buildings

28 June 2021

Local artist Ron Stephens has come together with Cheshire West and Chester Council to create an exhibition of paintings and prints of heritage buildings in Northwich and beyond. 

Many of the buildings featured have a fascinating story to tell. These histories along with historic photos, that have been preserved for future generations to enjoy, are displayed alongside the paintings at the Weaver Hall Museum, until Saturday 25 September.

One of the buildings featured in the exhibition is 21-23 High Street, which now houses the Salty Dog pub. The building dates back to 1921 and originally housed two separate tenants. No 21 was the first Northwich location of Marks & Spencer until the 1930s and No 23 was occupied by Hunters the Teamen Ltd, until around 1939. It was only when estate agents Meller Braggins moved in that the two shops were knocked through to form one unit. The offices above have had many different tenants over the years and at one point before WW2 was the Register Office for the town. If you look closely at the front of the building you will see green carved monsters keeping evil spirits at bay and also four carved timber figures.

Leader of the Council, Louise Gittins said: “The is a wonderful celebration of Northwich’s past depicted in art form. Ron has managed to capture the beauty and elegance of many of our historic buildings, from the black and white timber-framed to the art deco charm of The Plaza. 
“I’d urge everyone to visit the exhibition to find out more about the buildings that give Northwich its unique character.”

Ron Stephens became interested in art during secondary school going on to study graphic design at Leeds and Manchester. After a gap of 30 years, a visit to Visual Arts Cheshire (VAC) gallery prompted him to take up painting again and in 2016 his love of interesting buildings inspired him to create a series of ‘line and wash’ paintings.

Some of the buildings featured in the exhibition have benefitted from the Townscape Heritage Initiative. Through this scheme, which uses funds granted by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cheshire West and Chester Council aims to enhance the quality and visual appearance of the buildings in High Street and Witton Street, focusing on improvements to the traditional timber-framed buildings.

The paintings are currently on display at the Weaver Hall Museum, London Road, Northwich until Saturday 25 September 2021. Admission charges apply to the main museum although entry to this temporary exhibition is free of charge. The museum currently has limited opening hours so you are advised to visit the website to check when it is open - advanced booking is required. 

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