Museum hosts special events as part of national heritage festival

Warrington Museum & Art Gallery is hosting two special events over the coming weeks as part of a nationwide heritage festival.

Heritage Open Days sees a variety of societies and organisations welcome the public to its historic buildings and venues, and Warrington has organised a variety of events to mark the occasion.

The museum’s first event, a fascinating talk on Warrington Herstories, takes place this Thursday, 6 September, and expands on the exhibition of the same name.

2018 marks the centenary of the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which gave some women the right to vote; in this talk Philip Jeffs, archives and heritage office, and collections assistant Hannah White will look at the lives of some of Warrington’s most remarkable women.

Hannah explained how research for a previous exhibition on the suffrage movement provided inspiration for Warrington Herstories.

She said: “One thing we noticed while researching the exhibition was that in the usual sources of information, women were rarely present.

“With this in mind, we thought we would even out the scales and in effect open up these hidden histories so the extraordinary lives of Warrington’s women could be enjoyed by others.”

Thanks to a grant from the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, the following Thursday, 13 September, a talk by university professor Caroline Dakers will focus on another key figure in Warrington’s history – Sir Luke Fildes.

Today the name ‘Woodland House’ in Holland Park, London is associated with celebrities such as Robbie Williams and Michael Winner but few know the house was originally commissioned by the successful Warrington artist.

Caroline Dakers, professor of cultural history at Central Saint Martins in London, will describe this luxurious London home and compare it to others in the Holland Park area.

She will also discuss its use as an artist’s studio and a family home, using private photographs from the collections of Fildes’ descendants.

Both events start at 2.30pm and are free, but booking is required.

Another highlight in this year’s heritage festival diary is the open day of The Museum of Freemasonry – the only registered charity of its kind north of Birmingham –providing a look at rare and interesting objects including a small collection of Masonic items from the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

Elsewhere in Warrington town centre the Museum of Policing in Cheshire is holding an open day, Halliwell Jones Stadium is celebrating the heritage of Warrington Wolves, and Cairo Street Chapel, the earliest dissenting chapel in Warrington, will be opening its doors.

Listings information

Exhibition title: Warrington Herstories Talk

Dates: Thursday 6 September

Times: 2.30pm

Admission: Free (booking required)

Location: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JB


Exhibition title: Fildes and his House in London: a Talk by Professor Caroline Dakers

Dates: Thursday 13 September

Times: 2.30pm

Admission: Free (booking required)

Location: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JB