Volunteer talks about fascinating work in National Volunteers Week​

National Volunteers Week is an annual celebration to thank all the talented people who offer up their time and skills to charities and organisations across the nation, including Warrington Museum & Library. 

From its popular archives service to its fascinating exhibitions on local history, hundreds of hours of research goes on behind the scenes, much of which is undertaken by a fantastic team of 24 volunteers.

One such volunteer is Carol Mayo, who has been working with the Museum & Library team for three and a half years.

Specialising in uncovering the stories of prominent Warrington women, Carol’s discoveries have been central to some of the museum’s most popular exhibitions. 

She said: “I remember starting off by looking at Emmeline Pankhurst’s visit to Warrington in 1905.

“From there, I’ve been looking at numerous women with connections to the town – some women who have been totally forgotten but who were quite famous in their time. 

“My research has unearthed Warrington’s first female doctor, Dr Noble, and also the town’s first female journalist, Mabel Capper.”

In addition to re-discovering Warrington’s forgotten heroines, Carol also uses her talents in other areas of history, including researching the First World War and delving into Parr Hall’s 125-year-old past. 

History graduate Carol said: “Researching Parr Hall has thrown up so many interesting characters; rising stars who appeared there before they were famous.

“There are lots of famous names, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who visited Parr Hall  in October 1921 as the lead speaker at a spiritualist meeting.

“Another notable name was Luella Paikin, an opera singer whose busy tour schedule in the 1920s led her to perform at venues in London, Milan, Paris and, of course, Warrington’s Parr Hall.”

A major part of Carol’s work is her ongoing project to create a database entitled “Warrington Women: An Historical A-Z”. 

This database features ordinary women with notable achievements, in addition to some forgotten famous females. 

Although the database is still a work in progress, information on these remarkable women can be accessed via our website.

Thanks to the dedication of volunteers such as Carol, Warrington Museum & Library is able to revive Warrington’s remarkable past, in addition to helping families find out more about their own histories. 

Carol said: “I think it’s so important to keep going and finding more stories. It makes me proud to think of the work we do and how we can bring history back to life.”

Emma Hutchinson, managing director of Culture Warrington and LiveWire, said: “Preserving Warrington’s past is an integral part of our work at Warrington Museum & Library and it simply wouldn’t be possible without the work of our wonderful volunteers.

“I’d like to thank all of our volunteers for their continuous hard work.”