Knutsford was featured on a recent BBC2 Great Rail Journey programme featuring Michael Portillo in January 2016.Knutsford Heritage Centre worked with Boundless TV on the research for this programme during 2015. For the programme Michael Portillo visited Heathwaite House where Elizabeth Gaskell the town’s famous authoresslived as a child, the Unitarian Chapel where she is buried, and the Gaskell Tower built in 1907 by Richard Harding Watt in her memory. Diane Stenson accompanied Michael Portillo who chatted with him about Elizabeth Gaskell’s mostfamous novel ‘Cranford’, the inspiration which she drew from the many buildings and features of the town.
The picture here shows Diane Stenson, Michael Portillo and Val Bryant (Trustee) in front of the Gaskell Tower.
A rail tour through the homelands of England
A few months ago the Heritage Centre was approached by Marketing Cheshire, whose PR agency were working on a press trip for a leading travel writer called Sarah Barrell.
Sarah had been commissioned by The Daily Telegraph to write a feature on the new “Amazing Women by Rail” trail. Sarah was also covering Cheshire as a great destination for food and exploring.
They were looking for a Gaskell themed tour on Bank Holiday Monday 28th May pm for Sarah, her 12 year old daughter and Katie Simon their PR lady from Traveltappers.
We duly obliged and Caroline Sherwin, our Tours Team Leader, kindly volunteered to take the party on a guided tour, whilst we kept the shop and galleries open a little longer too in the afternoon.
We are now pleased to report that Sarah Barrell’s article appeared in The Sunday Telegraph on 8th July 2018, and is reproduced at the link below.
We’ve been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service…
KNUTSFORD Heritage Centre Manager Val Bryant is ‘still on Cloud 999’ after a royal accolade for our Centre. We have won a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which was created in 2002 to recognise excellence in voluntary activities by community groups.
The award will be formally presented to Val later this summer, and Centre Administrator Jan McCappin and Centre Archivist Vivien Hainsworth attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in early June for groups which are to receive the award.
Our team at the Heritage Centre earned the admiration of the Committee which assessed the Award Nominees.
“I am so thrilled to hear that we have won this award,” said Val, who is also a Centre Trustee. It’s a great achievement for the Centre and for the people of Knutsford, and I am still on Cloud 999 at the news. The timing of this award is particularly pertinent, coming as it does in National Volunteers’ Week, when we have an opportunity to celebrate with our wonderful volunteers.
The award shows how important the work we do at the Heritage Centre is for the town and our wider audience. It is the biggest award we have ever been granted, and it will help greatly to raise our profile.”
The Queens Award for Voluntary Service team told the Heritage Centre: “This award was created by the Queen in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, recognising excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community. It is an MBE for volunteer groups.
“The work your group does for the community was very much admired by the independent assessment committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE. This award represents a tremendous achievement for your organisation. We hope that everyone involved, and particularly your volunteers, feel immensely proud of the recognition that this award represents.”
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We’ve just taken delivery of these fabulous limited-edition mugs , which you can buy in our shop, as a souvenir of your visit to our Marvellous Days Out exhibition.
THE ORAL HISTORY OF KNUTSFORD
A major new project by the Knutsford Heritage Centre is on hold currently, waiting for a volunteer to lead it.
Oral history is the recording of people’s memories, experiences and opinions.
A living history of everyone’s unique life experiences
An opportunity for those people who have been ‘hidden from history’ to have their voice heard
A rare chance to talk about and record history face-to-face
A source of new insights and perspectives that may challenge our view of the past
The Knutsford Heritage Centre believes that oral history is of great social importance and plans to create a permanent archive of personal recollections relating to the town’s past.