THE Friends of Weaver Hall Museum have celebrated their 20th anniversary.

The group, which was constituted in February 1999 by Winsford Salt Mine manager Murray Jones, has helped to successfully change the identity of the museum.

Formerly the Salt Museum, it has transformed into the Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse, telling the story of Northwich.

Former council leader and now Friends chairman Nora Dolphin led the tributes during the celebratory evening on Thursday, February 7.

She said: "Tonight we have had a superb evening celebrating 20 years of our own history.

“Recalling how the museum re-branded itself from The Salt Museum to Weaver Hall and the donation of seats from the old Regal cinema into the museum Regalette, allowing us to establish the successful Friends Film Club now run by Hazel Cook and Elna Harrison.

“Thanks must also go to Mary Curry as membership secretary for sustaining our healthy membership and organising our successful evening talks.

“The icing on the cake this evening was the visit from the mayor of Northwich and the entertaining Elizabeth Morris.

“The Friends look forward to many years of supporting the museum.”

Notes of congratulations were also received from Cheshire West and Chester Council cabinet member Cllr Louise Gittins, former curator Matt Wheeler, and previous chairman Jenny Tyson.

Entertainment came from storyteller Elizabeth Morris, before Katherine West wrapped up proceedings.

Town mayor Cllr Alison Gerrard was on hand to cut a cake – depicting the museum – to mark the anniversary.

Cllr Gerrard said: "Northwich is very fortunate to have such a wonderful museum with its dedicated staff and Friends group.

“I recommend all those that live in Northwich and those who visit our lovely town to take a look around the museum. It is the best place to learn about our rich history and the people and industries the town is built on.

“I thank the Friends for supporting Weaver Hall for the last 20 years and wish them well for the future.”

Cllr Helen Weltman, who is a member of the Friends and whose ward the museum sits in, said: “I am so pleased I attended this lovely event.

“I am very proud of the efforts put in by the Friends and other volunteers in the community to make our local Northwich Museum a success.

"Volunteers are our unsung heroes in the community.”