Museums and Record Office to reopen with strict measures to keep visitors safe

23 July 2020

Some of Cheshire West and Chester Council's Museums and the Cheshire Archives service will be able to welcome visitors again later this month.

Grosvenor Museum, Lion Salt Works, Weaver Hall and Stretton Mill are working hard to open their doors again over the next two weeks.  The Lion Salt Works will open on 28 July and Grosvenor Museum and Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse will open on 4 August.  The Cheshire Archives and Local Studies service at Cheshire Record Office will reopen with a limited service on Tuesday 28 July.

Stretton Water Mill will announce its opening date when final health and safety arrangements have been checked.

Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Heritage and Greenspaces, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “Our priority in reopening is to ensure the safety of all staff and visitors. We are rigorously following standards and guidance issued Public Health and the Government.  These will include hand sanitiser, one-way systems and floor marking to maintain social distancing. 

“However, we need to be careful and cautious in our approach to reopening facilities, Coronavirus hasn’t gone away.

“Although we have made some changes to how we operate, staff are working hard at all sites to ensure that visitors will have an enjoyable, memorable and safe experience.  We look forward to welcoming visitors again but of course ask, please don’t visit our museums or Record Office if you have any symptoms.”

To support the Council’s involvement with the NHS Test and Trace service, all visitors will be asked for contact details.  Visitors to all the Council’s public buildings are encouraged to wear face coverings.

Whilst everyone becomes familiar with new procedures, a pre-booking system for museums will be in operation. Visitor numbers and opening times will be limited and to guarantee admission, places must be booked in advance.

Telephone booking for the Lion Salt Works will available from Tuesday 28 July, these can be made by ringing the museum on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.  Telephone bookings for The Grosvenor Museum and Weaver Hall and Workhouse can be made from Tuesday 4 August by ringing the museums on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.

More details on openings and how to book are available on the museums website and social media. To keep staff and visitors as safe as possible in the Record Office, the following measures have been put into place.

Access to the searchroom will be strictly by appointment only and numbers are limited to a maximum of four researchers at any one time. Appointments will be for a morning or afternoon session.

Bookings need to be made by telephone or email and can be for up to two weeks in advance.

Access will be limited to original records and local studies publications. There will be no access to microfilm readers or paper catalogues.
Documents must be ordered in advance. If you would like to speak with an Archivist in advance to help assist with this, please contact the service and they will arrange a telephone call.

Social distancing and hygiene measures are in place in the searchroom. Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance. The toilets will be open on a one-in-one-out basis.

Please bring your own paper and pencil and a bank card for any contactless payments.

The copying and research service is available if you don’t wish to travel to the Record Office.

Please sign up to the new, free Archives Card in advance of your appointment and bring ID with you to complete the registration process at the Record Office.  The Archives Card is a personalised card that gives you access to records at nearly 40 archives services across England and Wales.  There will be a member of staff at reception to help you complete the registration process. Sign up for a card online.

Further information on how to book and what to expect when you visit the Record Office can be found at www.cheshirearchives.org.uk and you can follow the Archives service on Twitter: @CheshireRO for updates.

New temporary opening times for the Archives service are:
  • Tuesday, 10am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm
  • Friday, 10am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm
Opening times for the museums are as follows:

Lion Salt Works from 28 July

  • Tuesday to Thursday - 12 noon to 5pm, last admission 4pm

Grosvenor Museum from 4 August

  • Tuesday to Thursday - 10.30am to 1pm, 2pm to 4.30pm, last admission 45 minutes before closure

Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse from 4 August

  • Tuesday and Wednesdays - 10.30am to 1pm, 2pm to 4pm, last admission 30 minutes before closure

Stretton Watermill

  • To be confirmed

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