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Inventions, Ideas & Imaginative Outings

Inventions, Ideas & Imaginative Outings

See some of the world’s best digital works of art as a V&A touring exhibition makes its first stop in Chester, and immerse yourself in Sven Werner’s audiovisual dreamscape at its global premiere at Storyhouse. See Susie MacMurray’s captivating new textile installation, ‘Gathering’, at Tatton Park, and travel back to the days of the industrial revolution at Ellesmere Port on patrol with a night watchman. Read on for more fascinating ways to investigate how our world works.

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  1. Chance and Control: Art in the Age of Computers

    Chester

    Chester Visual Arts is bringing the Victoria and Albert Museum’s hit retrospective of digital art to Chester’s Old Library for its first showing outside London.

    Embark on this cleverly curated journey through the themes of ‘chance and control’ in the creation of digital art. 

    You’ll discover how computers have been used to make prints, drawings, paintings, photographs and digital artworks for more than 50 years, whether employing coding technology to distance themselves from the artistic process or to revel in algorithmic series, while for some it has helped pose the question: can creativity be measured or controlled?

    The often-surprising results provide a mesmerising collection to view, dominated by beautifully framed 2-D works on paper, with pieces by the pioneering artists of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as today’s cutting-edge practitioners. 

    Contact Details:

    The Old Library, Northgate Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2EF

    Website

    Web Site

  2. Poulson Arc Dream Radio

    Chester

    A mysterious little radio booth will appear on the Juliet Balcony of Chester’s Storyhouse arts centre this spring. Step inside the digital dreamscape and you’ll find yourself inhabiting someone else’s memories.

    ‘Poulsen Arc Dream Radio’, the latest immersive audio-visual installation by Sven Werner, came about after the composer, film-maker and artist spent weeks in conversation with Cheshire non-natives who have made the city their home. Witness how Werner has collected spoken histories and translated them into poetic narratives that begin with the artist’s interpretation of a room far away, where an individual began the journey that eventually brought them to Chester. Interwoven with Graeme Miller’s atmospheric soundscapes, the booth will also have an audio connection allowing live communication with current residents.

    There’s only space for one visitor, so expect an intimate experience; typical of the unmissable digital art commissions made by Storyhouse, Chester’s ground-breaking library, theatre, cinema, and community hub

    Contact Details:

    Storyhouse Theatre, Hunter Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2AR

    Tel:

    01244 409113

    Website

    Web Site

  3. Night Watchman Walkabout Theatre

    Ellesmere Port

    Venture out with the Night Watchman around the red-brick warehouses, deep locks and mirror canals at the once-bustling basins of Ellesmere Port, now preserved by the National Waterways Museum.

    This place really comes to life when dusk falls and its guardian does his rounds, looking out for suspicious characters and calling the hours until sunrise. The protagonist of this one-man walkabout theatre performance will raise his lantern to  illuminate the tale of a night in 1908, when an alleged murder took place, following an altercation between a boatman and a labourer over a gallon of stout.

    Not only will you recreate that fateful night with your trusty guide, you can even decide the outcome in this interactive experience. Later, warm up after the combined chill of night air and murderous intent with a curry at the Waterside Café.

    Contact Details:

    National Waterways Museum, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 4FW

    Tel:

    0151 355 5017

    Website

    Web Site

  4. The Silk Museum

    Macclesfield

    From cocoon to loom, find out how this old market town shot to global manufacturing fame at the Silk Museum and neighbouring Paradise Mill.

    Macclesfield once hummed with the sound of silk looms, music to the ears of the mill owners that prospered here in the 19th century. 

    Admire Europe’s largest-known collection of Jacquard silk handlooms and learn the secrets of these unique textile machines on a tour with an expert – their workings are thought to have been the crucible for computer programming. Pore over the remarkable collection of more than 1,000 pattern books, see stunning costumes made of the finest silk, and study an outstanding collection of Ancient Egyptian artefacts, including Tutankhamun’s ring, gathered by the daughter of one of the town’s leading families.

    Macclesfield is still a place where fabric-making flourishes – at the Makers’ Place get expert insights from today’s craftspeople and pick up a truly special souvenir.

    Contact Details:

    The Old Art School, Park Lane, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6TJ

    Tel:

    01625 612045

    Website

    Web Site

  5. Tatton Park

    Knutsford

    Cheshire’s grand 18th-century country estate is home to an agricultural attraction like no other, where state-of-the-art audio-visual exhibitions animate old barns and bring museum-piece machinery to life.

    Mansion from the Italian Gardens at Tatton Park
    Japanese Gardens at Tatton Park
    The Drawing Room inside the Tatton Park  Mansion
    Deer in the Parkland of Tatton Park
    Mansion from the Italian Gardens at Tatton Park
    Japanese Gardens at Tatton Park
    The Drawing Room inside the Tatton Park  Mansion
    Deer in the Parkland of Tatton Park

    There’s plenty to see at Tatton Park this year. 

    Join characters from Tatton Farm’s past to hear field-to-fork tales, and learn about the production of our food – from grain threshing to milking – from the industrial revolution to the present day. Are you brave enough to enter the slaughterhouse?

    In this old stone building, darkened walls become the backdrop for a butcher’s tale: the dramatised story of a pig’s journey from birth to mansion-house table, sensitively told by a Victorian kitchen boy and farmer. Meanwhile, in the neoclassical mansion, see international textile artist Susie MacMurray’s new work ‘Gathering’, a specially created piece inspired by the current Tatton Ball exhibition about an opulent costume party held by the Egertons of Tatton Park in 1897.

    The crimson silk references the velvet dress the Countess wore to the party and also explores both the vulnerability and resilience of humanity.

    Contact Details:

    Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6QN

    Tel:

    01625 374400

    Website

    Web Site

  6. Anderton Boat Lift

    Northwich

    Here at the Anderton Boat Lift you can see narrowboats tackle the staggering 50-foot drop between the Trent & Mersey Canal and Weaver Navigation.

    Anderton Boat Lift - A fun day out for the family
    Stunning views of Anderton Boat Lift and the canal side
    All aboard for a trip up Anderton Boat Lift
    Grab lunch or a drink and a snack at the onsite cafe at Anderton Boat Lift
    Anderton Boat Lift - An extraordinary feat of engineering
    Anderton Boat Lift - A fun day out for the family
    Stunning views of Anderton Boat Lift and the canal side
    All aboard for a trip up Anderton Boat Lift
    Grab lunch or a drink and a snack at the onsite cafe at Anderton Boat Lift
    Anderton Boat Lift - An extraordinary feat of engineering

    Marvel at the miraculous feat of Victorian engineering they call the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’. No wonder it won Visit England’s 2018 Large Visitor Attraction Of The Year - Take a 30-minute boat ride up or down the lift to get the inside track on its workings. If you’ve got a head for heights, try Walking The Lift; venture out along the aqueduct to see the former control room and machine deck, then climb to the very top of this impressive structure for wonderful panoramic views. Little ones will love the new Let’s Play outdoor area, complete with a mock-up of Anderton’s bridge, control house and mooring area, and, inside the Visitor Centre, a lift-themed craft area where young imaginations can fly. Check out, too, the fascinating exhibition about this unique spectacle.

     

    Contact Details:

    Lift Lane, Anderton, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6FW

    Tel:

    01606 786777

    Website

    Web Site

  7. Lion Salt Works

    Northwich

    If you thought salt was just to sprinkle on your chips, prepare to be amazed.

    If you thought salt was just to sprinkle on your chips, prepare to be amazed. Did you know that salt is needed to produce soap, paper, fuel, PVC, glass, textiles and much, much more. 

    The Cheshire salt plain has been crucial for the supply of brine which is evaporated in open pans to make the salt used across the industries of the North West. 

    The secrets of salt are brilliantly told at the Lion Salt Works which is one of the last open-pan sites in the world and holds the same scheduled status as Hadrian’s Wall and Stonehenge.

    The tour takes you through an intriguing warren of stove, boiler and pan houses renovated to reveal how salt was extracted from the underground brine lakes and transformed into a coveted commodity.

    Immerse yourself in the high-tech wizardry of Salt Pan 3, which recreates the steamy and dangerous conditions where bare-chested men toiled over great pans of the boiling brine.

    Stand at the bar in the old Red Lion pub, where the workers were once served refreshing pints of beer with a replenishing pinch of salt.

    Spot the worker’s boots encrusted with salt crystals and the sardine tins that, curiously, wages were paid in.  

    Sometimes, salty footprints appear magically out of the original floorboards – are they the footprints of the workers of the past? 

    Step out on the towpath of the Trent & Mersey Canal, where salt was once hauled to Liverpool’s Salt Dock to be transported across the five continents of the world. 

    The galleries have a range of interactive models, screens, dressing up and activities to make the visit enjoyable for all interests.

    There is an active programme of special exhibitions and events. See website for more information.

    Lion Salt Works is fully accessible.

    The Lion Salt Works has a café serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and cakes and caters for special dietary requirements.  There is a pub next door for those looking for hot food.

    The on-site play area keeps the playful amused and the butterfly garden is an oasis of natural calm with its national buddleia collection.

    Combine your visit with trip to Weaver Hall Museum and immerse yourself in the Poverty and Prosperity of mid-Cheshire.

    The Lion Salt Works sits be the canal, an easy bike ride from Anderton Boat Lift, and is a short drive from Arley Hall and Jodrell Bank.

    Contact Details:

    Ollershaw Lane, Marston, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6ES

    Tel:

    01606 275066

    Website

    Web Site

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Chance and Control: Art in the Age of Computers (53.19105,-2.89212)Poulson Arc Dream Radio (53.19196,-2.89215)0.09
Poulson Arc Dream Radio (53.19196,-2.89215)Night Watchman Walkabout Theatre (53.28815,-2.89265)9.64
Night Watchman Walkabout Theatre (53.28815,-2.89265)The Silk Museum (53.25754,-2.12736)45.96
The Silk Museum (53.25754,-2.12736)Tatton Park (53.33615,-2.38866)17.52
Tatton Park (53.33615,-2.38866)Anderton Boat Lift (53.2745,-2.52763)10.36
Anderton Boat Lift (53.2745,-2.52763)Lion Salt Works (53.2752,-2.49549)1.93
Total Distance *85.48 miles
Estimated Journey Time2.75 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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