Museum explores Cheshire's musical heritage

9:10am Sunday 2nd February 2014

By Gina Bebbington

AN AFTERNOON of music and heritage will be held at a Northwich museum as it shares The Piper’s Tale with visitors.

Weaver Hall Museum, in London Road, will explore the role of the English bagpiper through history and folklore with the chance for visitors to hear music played on the instruments and have a try themselves.

The museum’s education officer Tom Hughes also undertakes the same role for the Bagpipe Society in his spare time. “Many people think that the bagpipes are just a Scottish instrument,” said Tom.

“But they were widespread across Europe in many shapes and sizes, and historically Cheshire was well known for bagpipes.

“There are more medieval bagpipe carvings in churches around Cheshire than in the whole of Scotland for instance, and in the mid-18th century bagpipe tunes from this area were amongst the fashionable tunes heard in London.

“Today there is quite a revival in piping in this area and this is what we’re hoping to give people a taste of. ”

The museum’s current exhibition explores the picturesque village of Great Budworth where, in the church, a stone carving of a bagpiper can be seen.

Another historical bagpiper from the area was John Lancaster who, in 1402, was trying to rouse the locals at Winnington into rebellion against King Henry IV by saying that while he had been travelling and playing he had seen the deposed King Richard II alive and well at Berwick-on-Tweed castle.

The Bagpipe Society has loaned eight sets of beginners pipes for people to try during this event and Tom will offer help and advice to anyone interested in the instrument.

The event runs from 2-5pm and admission to the workshop is free.

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