Archive for December, 2015

Mellor Archaeological Trust

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The Trust was formed in 2000 following the discovery in 1998 of an Iron Age ditch in the garden of The Old Vicarage next to Mellor Church.  Excavations continued to 2009 and have been described as the largest excavation for a generation of a hillfort in North West England “with results as important as those at Beeston Castle”.

Museum of Wigan Life

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Discover the people and places of Wigan Borough both past and present at the Museum of Wigan Life.  Holding over 30,000 objects relating to life in Wigan Borough, past and present, the museum’s collections include fine art, archaeology, social history, natural history, coins, decorative art and industrial history.

Rochdale Pioneers Museum

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum exists to preserve the original store of the Rochdale Pioneers and to generate an understanding of the ideals and principles of the co-operative movement.

National Waterways Museum

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port unlocks the wonders of our waterways.  With its delightful waterside setting, flotillas of historic boats and fascinating displays housed in fine Victorian buildings, the museum is a great day out whatever the weather.

Wordsworth Trust

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The Wordsworth Trust brings art and literature alive for tens of thousands of people every year.  As well as Dove Cottage and its neighbouring historic buildings, the Trust looks after an important collection of works by Wordsworth and other writers and artists of the period.  At the heart of their collection are manuscripts that Wordsworth’s descendants gave to the Trust in 1935.

Knowsley Galleries and Prescot Museum

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Knowsley has two contemporary art galleries which are housed within libraries in Huyton and  Kirkby, in addition to Prescot Museum which focuses on the local history of the area including the important clock and watch making industry.

The Atkinson Arts Centre

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful new home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and history, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport town centre.  It offers an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts alike, with a full day and night time offer.

Lancashire County Council Museums Services

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Lancashire County Council’s Museums Services’ venues examine Lancashire life, its history and heritage. Their venues include Clitheroe Castle Museum, Gawthorpe Hall, Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Judges’ Lodgings, Lancaster Castle, the Museum of Lancashire, Queens Street Mill Textile Museum, and Lancashire Conservation Studios.

Ribchester Roman Museum

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The idea of a museum in Ribchester was conceived by Margaret Greenall, originally from Warrington and a member of the famous brewing family, in the early years of the 20th century. Her objective was to stem the flow of artefacts out of the village that had occurred ever since Ribchester was first recognised as a site of special historic interest. Ribchester Museum of Roman Antiquities was thus opened under Miss Greenall’s direction in 1915.

Greater Manchester Police Museum

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The Museum was founded in 1981. Funded by Greater Manchester Police, it not only collects and preserves archive material and objects relating to the history of policing in the Greater Manchester area, but acts as an important resource for community engagement, where visitors can talk to staff and volunteers about policing.

Manchester Museum and Art Galleries Group

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The Manchester Museum and Art Galleries group – incorporating Manchester Art Gallery, Platt Hall, the conservation studios at Queens Park, the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum – is an innovative and uniquely Mancunian partnership. All part of the University of Manchester, all organisations share funding, staff and expertise, and through collaboration, make something greater than its individual parts.

Salford Museums and Galleries

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Salford has a proud cultural and creative heritage. The city’s range of museums and galleries combine the old with the new to provide opportunities for visitors, local people and families to take part.

Towneley Hall

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

From the Priest’s Hole to the attic Towneley Hall is fascinating with period rooms covering several centuries of life at the hall.  The hall was the family home of the Towneley’s for nearly five centuries, today their stories are brought to life by our company of re-enactors who uncover their dramas, triumphs and tragedies.

Astley Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Chorley

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Astley Hall is a museum and art gallery housed within a Grade I listed historic house. The Hall is set within the beautiful surroundings of Astley Park which include historic woodland, a lake, a fully renovated Victorian walled garden alongside clean and modern facilities for visitors to enjoy.

Bolton Museums

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Ranging from Egyptian mummies to local history and wildlife, Bolton’s collection has something for everyone.  The Bolton Museum group represents the Central Library and all branch libraries, Bolton Museum and Archives, the Aquarium, Smithills Hall and the Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum.

People’s History Museum

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The People’s History Museum in Manchester is the national museum of democracy.  It aims to engage, inspire and inform diverse audiences by showing that ‘there have always been ideas worth fighting for’.

Museum of Science and Industry

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The Museum of Science and Industry is devoted to inspiring visitors through ideas that change the world, from the Industrial Revolution, to today, and beyond.

Imperial War Museum North

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

IWM is unique in its coverage of conflicts, especially those involving Britain and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present day. We seek to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and ‘wartime experience’.

NEWS: Help for Regional Museums to Acquire Contemporary Art

Sunday, December 13th, 2015


This article was originally published by Arts Professional and is shared here for our members information. 

One major work by a leading British artist will be purchased each year for a UK museum or gallery through a new scheme launched by the Contemporary Art Society (CAS). The ‘Great Works’ initiative aims to address the lack of works by contemporary British artists in regional collections and “balance the London bias”.

CAS said: “Outside Tate, the British Council, Arts Council and Government Art Collections, there are very few or no works by many leading British-based artists such as Sarah Lucas, Mark Wallinger, Rachel Whiteread and Wolfgang Tillmans. It is increasingly clear that as the market rises exponentially, museums across the country are struggling to collect the work of living artists of established international reputation.”

The Sfumato Foundation has agreed to support the acquisition of one work a year, although the amount of money being put forward has not been disclosed. CAS told AP: “Details of the budget are commercially sensitive, but will depend on the works being bought.”

The 70 CAS member museums – 62 of which are based outside of London – are invited to apply for the award. CAS said: “The successful applicant will make the case for the acquisition of work by an artist with a substantial connection to the museum’s existing collections, city or region.” The Society will then work with the organisation to identify an appropriate piece to acquire.

The scheme is about ‘placemaking’, CAS said: “Up and down the country museum collections help to define cities… Great works make for destination museums, and contemporary art in particular connects people to the culture of their own time.”

The deadline for applications is the end of February 2016 and the acquired work will go on public display at the winning museum in 2016/17.

 For a link to the original article published on Arts Professional, Click Here

MEMBER EXHIBITIONS: The Vikings are Coming! Jorvik Heroes Exhibition at the Man Museum

Thursday, December 10th, 2015



For their latest exhibition offering, the Manx National Heritage continues its partnership with the York Archaeological Trust in their exciting Viking exhibition Heroes, which tells the stories of eight ‘celebrities’ of the Viking world.

Delving into the world of Viking myth to uncover the superpowers of the gods such as Thor and Odin through story and play in an interactive area, the exhibition tells the story of numerous other Viking legends including Eric Bloodaxe, King Knut the Great, Harald Bluetooth and Leif the Lucky, and some famous Viking women including Aud the Deep-minded.

Visitors can explore how these Viking ‘Heroes’ were celebrated and commemorated through the stories and myths that surround them by looking at archaeology, sagas, stone carvings and burials of the Viking Age. The exhibition will also feature a Viking Age skeleton displaying the battle injuries of a warrior, replica commemoration stones.

King Orry

The exhibition’s main feature is the story of Godred Crovan, also known as King Orry, who made three attempts to capture the Isle of Man and bring it under his rule. When he finally did, Godred went on to reign for 16 years. A wise and powerful ruler, he extended his power beyond the Island, subduing Dublin and the east coast of Ireland, and so dominating the Irish Sea.


SURVEY: Haptic and Tactile Museum Experience, Virtual Object Handling

Thursday, December 10th, 2015



Museum artefacts are usually displayed behind glass often too fragile, small, heavy or valuable to allow the public to handle physically making most museum artefacts for display only.

With the increasing rarity that museum objects or a replica object can be touched or held within the museum setting, Manchester Museum and technology partner TAD Systems Ltd embarked on an investigation into the use of Haptic technology and Digital Touch replicas to help find alterative interactive methods to use with their collections.

An ongoing project which recently receiving a further two years funding to continue their investigation, as part of the project, the museum are integrating an Egyptian Cat sarcophagus from the Museum’s collection into Haptics to produce a digital touch replicas which will deliver information to the visitor when touched.

Looking at how new 3D technologies and resources can improve the quality of our visually impaired visitors experience at museums and art galleries, the project is further exploring the possibilities of visitor interaction with objects that would never be accessible through a museums handling table. To find out more about museum visitors tactile experiences, the team have devised an online survey to help them gather information which you can take part in using the link below:


More information can be found at the project site –

For those interested in finding out more about the project’s background, a blog detailing the early development of its technology can be accessed HERE, or you can contact Sam Sportun at Manchester Museum by email –


NEWS: Lancashire Council passes plans to cut 92% of arts budget and close five museums

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015


This article was originally published on National Museum Directors Councils’ Newsletter: 

Lancashire Council has passed radical plans to close five of the 11 museums in its control and retain five others only on condition that they are self-sustaining through admissions takings. The Council had previously intended to earmark £1.2m for culture in 2015-16, increasing by 100k the following year.  The revised budget brings all cultural spending down to just £98k, a 92% reduction.  It also plans to halve its libraries from 74 to 34, saving £7m.  The Council has already announced cost cutting of £152m over its whole budget for the next three years.  Leader of Lancashire Council Jennifer Mein described the decisions as ‘heartbreaking’ but said “by 2017-18, we will only just have enough money to pay for our statutory services.  At the same time, the government has made clear that it will make further substantial cuts to council budgets over the coming years.”  There will now be a 12 week public consultation on the closures, which will include considering alternative models such as community run museums.

John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Museums at ACE, said that the Arts Council is in conversation with Lancashire Council, particularly as some of the collections in the museums earmarked for closure are Designated.  HLF has invested substantially in two museums likely to close: £919,400 in the Museum of Lancashire and £720,000 in Helmshore Mills Textile Museum.  It could potentially reclaim the money if Lancashire goes ahead with its plans.  A local petition has been launched to save the textile museums.

The news has also been covered by several other publications and media platforms, including Museums Journal, Museums Journal, Rossendale Free Press,, BBC.