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History in new hands
NORTHWICH’S history has a new custodian who predicts a sparkling future for a town gem.
Andrew Davies has been appointed keeper of social history at the helm of Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse, in London Road.
His first brush with the museum was as a visitor about five years ago, when it was still The Salt Museum.
“I came here because my grandmother-in-law lives in Staleybridge and I had always had an interest in the area with the salt connection so I came to look at the museum then,” he said.
“I really enjoyed looking around - I thought it was a lovely place to visit and maybe work.
“Then lo and behold the job came up and I was delighted to apply for it.”
Andrew, whose last job was manager of an agricultural museum in Hampshire, takes over from former Weaver Hall curator Matt Wheeler, who left in April for a job at The Irish Agricultural Museum in County Wexford.
The dad-of-three has been in post for six weeks and is full of praise for what the museum has to offer.
“I think Northwich is really lucky to have a museum like this,” he said.
“When people go to a town they want to find out what makes it tick, what it’s history and background is, and here it’s all laid out.”
Andrew explained that the museum, housed in Northwich’s old workhouse, was keen to be as interactive as possible, with a number of activities for visitors as well as exhibitions telling the story of the town, and a temporary exhibition gallery with regular changes.
“It’s a living museum,” he said.
His ambition is not just to encourage visitors from outside of the area but to make Weaver Hall Museum a real community asset, with opportunities for researchers, meeting room space and the chance for people to just pop in for a coffee and a look around the gift shop.
“I want it to be a community museum, one of the first places people turn to.
“We want it to be a central part of people’s lives.”