Time travelling with Sir John Brunner

November has been a month of fun, fun, and more fun!

I started November by meeting a fascinating man whose entire family, since the late 1800’s had worked for Brunner Mond, which became ICI, which became Tata Chemicals in Northwich.

He was kind enough to allow myself and one of my volunteers to record him talking about his and his family’s experiences. I was particularly interested to discover that up until the late 1960s; the whole area around Northwich was woken at 7am by “the works buzzer”! It was fascinating to discover the impact, positive and negative, that the industry around Northwich had on the people who lived there.

Parts of these recordings featured in the pilot schools workshops at Anderton Boat Lift that we have also been running this month. I am fortunate enough to have some wonderful volunteers in my education teams. A number of them have been trained in delivering costumed interpretation and have taken on the characters of 1870’s boaters and even Sir John Brunner! I have been well supported by volunteers from the Anderton and Ellesmere Port teams to run these pilots and have received some very positive and constructive feedback from the teachers and pupils involved. Well done everyone!

The full programme will be offered free of charge (thanks to sponsorship from Tata Chemicals) to 27 schools local to the boat lift and will be rolled out in the spring term. I will be recruiting additional volunteers specifically for this project in January . . . . anyone fancy it??

Meanwhile, I am still anxiously awaiting the decision from Heritage Lottery Fund on our bids at Gloucester Waterways Museum and National Waterways Museum – nail biting stuff!

Last date edited: 27 November 2014

About this blog

Helen Evans is the learning officer for our museums and attractions. She joined the National Waterways Museum (Ellesmere Port) in 2010, following eight years of secondary school teaching. Helen lives in Macclesfield and is a keen long distance runner, competing for Macclesfield Harriers.

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