Elizabeth Gaskell’s Knutsford – Trades and Businesses 1810-1865
Preview night on 4th June was a great success with many guests present, including representatives from local organisations, councillors and the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire David Brigg. John Lees a descendant of Titus Lees who ran a business and ironmongers/tinsmith shop on King Street where BOA hairdressers now is, was also present.
During the evening a sundial and plaque was unveiled in memory to Bert Grange who worked tirelessly for the Centre over many years. Celia Grange, Bert’s brother John and two of her grandchildren were present. Canapes and wine were provided courtesy of Loch Fyne.
The new exhibition features a series of panels giving an insight to early trades and businesses in the town from the Gaskell era. Each panel contrasts an image from the Centre’s archives as it was in 1810-1865 with a modern day picture of the shop or business as it is now together with fascinating anecdotes about how it was in Elizabeth Gaskell’s time. Some fourteen panels have been created each dedicated to a particular shop or business in Knutsford.
Listening to visitors comments they are clearly impressed with the display. Also on view are many artefacts from the archives including Gidman mineral water bottles, a pewter bowl from the Royal George, an early trade directory and Caldwell’s seed measures. Running along side this is an early British Pathe movie news clip of Gaskell’s Knutsford as it was in the early 1930’s. It is a good exhibition, well conceived, and a credit to Val Bryant, Diane Birkett and the Volunteers who put it all together.
The Exhibition runs from now until August and is well worth a visit. The exhibition room recently improved, is now fully fitted with museum quality display panels all around. For more information contact Knutsford Heritage Centre, 90a King Street, Knutsford, tel 01565 651 681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.