Heritage Open Days in west Cheshire Libraries

There are lots of activities and exhibitions available at your local libraries this September as part of Heritage Open Days, all free! Libraries in Northwich, Winsford and Chester will be offering a range of local history and heritage activities, events, talks and exhibitions between 13-22 September 2019 and everyone is welcome to take part.

Heritage Open Days 2019 celebrates 25 years showcasing local heritage and culture across the UK, this year with the theme of ‘People Power’. Themed events will focus on highlighting historic and contemporary communities, groups and individuals who have affected positive change; buildings saved, greenspaces created, friendships forged, campaigns fought and voices heard.

Celebrating People Power in Northwich, there will be an exhibition on the life of local entrepreneur and industrialist, Sir John Brunner, as well as events ranging from a Peterloo bicentenary talk; local history book launch; and tours of the historic library. In Winsford, there will be the opportunity to learn about the history of terracotta buildings by fashioning your own brick, plus a screening from the British Film Archive; while in Chester, events will vary from tours of the Storyhouse library in the newly restored Art Deco cinema to local history activities in the city’s community libraries.

You can find out more about the Heritage Open Days on their website, or for the full list of events in Cheshire West & Chester Libraries, please see below.

Northwich Library

For more details, please contact Northwich Library directly.
  • Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 September
    People Power! Historical Exhibition
    Throughout the weekend there will be a range of books, items and photographs on display in Northwich Library, including specially loaned items from Weaver Hall Museum commemorating the John Brunner Centenary, as a pioneer of Northwich’s industry and social development. There will also be a display of photographs of ICI and Northwich landmarks from the 1930s, taken by H. Emmett, an employee of ICI Winnington Works. And don’t forget to add your own “People Power Local Hero” to our interactive board!
  • Thursday 19 September, 10am-5pm
    Britain on Film: Protest! Film Screening

    Visit Northwich Library during the day to view a special screening from the Britain on Film Archive, using historic archival footage to showcase the varied and fascinating history of public protest in the UK. Featuring footage all the way from a 1910 suffragette demonstration to striking coal miners in the Rhondda Valley, this is a fascinating new view of Britain’s history – perfect viewing before our Peterloo Centenary talk the same evening!
  • Thursday 19 September, 2pm-4pm
    Who Do You Think You Are, Northwich? Drop-in Ancestry & Local History sessions

    Exploring your family tree? Trying to track down your house history? Or just curious about Northwich’s past through the generations? Call in between 2-4pm and library staff will be on hand to help with any local history queries you have, from tithe maps to newspaper records to family history!
  • Thursday 19 September, 6pm-6.45pm
    People Power! Peterloo Bicentenary Talk by local historian, Owen Powell

    When 60,000 people attended a peaceful meeting at St Peter’s Fields in Manchester on 16 August 1819, it was with a hope that they could secure the vote and gain a say in the laws that affected their lives. However, their attendance put them on a collision course with the vested interest of an establishment who were prepared to use extreme force to maintain the status quo. Join this fascinating talk by Owen Powell, Cheshire Historian, to discover the story of the Peterloo Massacre and how it played a part in shaping our democracy. 
  • Friday 20 September, 4pm-5.30pm
    “A-Z of Northwich & Around” Book Launch & Signing

    Amberley Publishing and Northwich Library are proud to host the official book launch of “A-Z of Northwich & Around”, written by local authors Adrian Bridge and Dawn Preece. Bringing together famous Northwich sons and daughters, including singer/songwriter Gary Barlow, athlete Paula Radcliffe, architect John Douglas, industrialist and politician Sir John Brunner, and the film star Ann Todd, “A-Z of Northwich” also takes the reader to a wide range of notable locations across the local area. While some of the names and places featured will be familiar, others which will reveal a hitherto unknown aspect of the town’s rich heritage. Dawn and Adrian will be giving a talk featuring sneak-peeks and extracts from the book, followed by a chance to buy your own signed copy, so come along to what promises to be a fantastic, fun and fascinating afternoon! 
  • Friday 20 (3pm/6pm) & Saturday 21 September (11am/12pm)
    Heritage Tours of Northwich Library
    Find out the fascinating and ever-changing history of Northwich Library on one of our special public tours, led by library staff. Covering the history of the building since it’s opening in 1909 up to present day, the tours are approx. 30 minutes long, with the chance to ask questions and view the People Power! exhibit after.
  • Saturday 21 September, 9.30am-12.30pm
    People Power! Family Crafts & Pop-Up Library

    Come along throughout the morning for some family friendly craft activities and a chance to be an old-fashioned librarian with our children’s pretend library!

Winsford Library

For more details, please contact Winsford Library directly.
  • Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 September
    People Power! Historical Exhibition

    Throughout the weekend there will be a range of books, items and photographs on display in Winsford Library, for members of the public to browse and learn more about the history of the town and those individuals who led the way forward. Don’t forget to add your own “People Power Local Hero” to our board!
  • Friday 20 September, 10am-4pm
    Britain on Film: Protest! Film Screening

    Visit Winsford Library during the day to view a special screening from the Britain on Film Archive, using historic archival footage to showcase the varied and fascinating history of public protest in the UK. Featuring footage all the way from a 1910 suffragette demonstration to striking coal miners in the Rhondda Valley, this is a fascinating new view of Britain’s history.
  • Friday 20 September, 2pm-4pm
    Who Do You Think You Are, Winsford? Drop-in Ancestry & Local History sessions

    Exploring your family tree? Trying to track down your house history? Or just curious about Winsford’s past through the generations? Call in between 2-4pm and library staff will be on hand to help with any local history queries you have, from tithe maps to newspaper records to family history!
  • Saturday 21 September, 10.30am-12.30pm
    Design & Make Your Own Terracotta Brick!

    The Northwich & Winsford area is famous for its historical connection with terracotta, and now families can learn more with an air-dried clay workshop for children of all ages, to design and create their own terracotta brick to take home. There will be lots of inspiration and ideas on offer from displayed photos of local historic buildings in Winsford to help you design something spectacular!

Storyhouse Library (Chester)

  • Monday 16 September / Wednesday 18 September / Friday 20 September, 10am
    Tours of Storyhouse

    An opportunity to tour Chester's multi award winning cultural centre based on the art deco Odeon cinema built in 1936. Now restored, renovated and extended into theatre, cinema, library, restaurant and community spaces. Each tour is led by volunteers who have a keen interest in the history and stories behind the building. To book, please visit the Storyhouse website. 

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