Soldiers and civilians - covering over 1,000 years of Cheshire history will be bringing the National Waterways Museum to life at the Warriors and Washerwomen Living History Fair on 20 and 21 July.
This colourful weekend will see the museum taken over by re-enactors from many different periods giving a living, walking and talking exhibition of the history of Cheshire. The event first took place at the Ellesmere Port museum last year and the successful weekend ensured that it became a fixture of the museum’s calendar.
Visitors are invited to take a walk around the site and 'meet the ancestors', including a Viking family, Medieval Pilgrims, English Civil War Soldiers, 18th Century Redcoats and a host of others from across time. American Civil War soldiers will also be present to teach you about the North-West’s fascinating links to that conflict.
The always atmospheric Porters Row cottages will be the setting for an extensive World War II section – with the Home Guard in residence and a very hands-on interactive display of children’s toys and games from the 1930s, 40s and 50s that all the family can have a go at and maybe even show the youngsters how children entertained themselves in the era before video games were even thought of.
Museum general manager John Inch said: “We had a great weekend last year and we’re looking forward to welcoming even more re-enactors for this year’s event. It is one of my favourite events of the museum calendar with colourful costumes and even the possibility of the odd crackle of musket fire around the historic Port buildings.”
The museum is particularly looking to welcome visitors who have memories of the Porters Row cottages before they became part of the museum – and also any general canal memories.
The 20th Century Voices team will be on hand to record and archive these memories as part of a project to preserve canal memories. 20th Century Voices is a major oral history project to capture people’s personal stories and memories of the canals and rivers and record them for posterity in the national waterway archive. We're appealing for people to come forward and share their recollections of the waterways, which will then be archived to keep the story of the waterways alive for generations to come.
Demonstrations, drill displays and other shows of old-time skills will be taking place around the museum’s seven acres during both days – visitors should listen out for announcements or just follow their ears (and sometimes even their noses) to make sure they don’t miss anything because there is sure to be something for everyone.
In addition to the historical re-enactors, all the usual museum exhibitions will be open and boat trips will be running. The museum is open from 10am to 5pm on both days and normal entrance charges apply.