Heritage Open Days: Making Macclesfield

The Silk Museum, Park Lane, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6TJ

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This September, the Silk Museum on Park Lane, will be participating in Heritage Open Days, England’s largest festival of history and culture.

The national event is an opportunity to try new experiences in some of our historic and cultural places. This year’s theme is Astounding Inventions and Macclesfield will be putting the deck chair in the spotlight.

John Thomas Moore invented the deck chair and took out a patent for adjustable folding chairs in 1886 manufacturing them in Macclesfield from 1887.

There were two models of deck chair. The Waverley model was described as the best lawn tennis chair while the Hygienic was a rocking chair 'valuable for those with sluggish and constipated bowels. Its action is perfect massage without the toilsome labour.

The Silk Museum is planning a FREE Making Macclesfield self-guided walking tour around the town on Saturday September 10. Visitors will be able to dip in and out of visits during the day. The sites include The Silk Museum on Park Lane, St Michael’s Church in Market Place, Granelli’s Ice cream on Newton Street and Christ Church on Bridge Street. Visitors will be able to call in to each of the historic venues and see why they are special and try out something new. They will all be identified by a deck chair outside.

The Silk Museum will be hosting a variety of free activities. Join artist Simon Woolham for a one-day, drop-in workshop exploring cultures of place through drawing.  Help build a large installation from rubbings taken from the textures of the museum building and objects. Come prepared to get messy in this inspiring participatory event.

For the first time, the museum will also be revealing its oral histories project. You’ll be able to hear some of the new stories we have been collecting from people in the town and beyond about our silk heritage.  You can also sign up to contribute your story/family history to the oral history project.

Visitors will be able to pick up a specially designed post card at the Silk Museum and other venues. The postcard has been designed by artist Ruth Lear and features a deck chair for people to colour in as they wish.

Macclesfield Town Council has contributed nearly £2k to the Heritage Open Days, which are brought to you by the National Trust, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and run by thousands of local organisations and volunteers. Heritage Open Days gives everyone free access to experiences and events across England. This year HOD’s will honour the English inventions and innovations we can’t live without.

Mayor of Macclesfield, Cllr Fiona Wilson, says: “We’re delighted to support Heritage Open Days and celebrate the invention of the deck chair. Be sure to look out for the iconic seats around Macclesfield town centre on September 10. This is a great way to explore the town and discover something new in our historic places.”

Emma Anderson Director of the Silk Museum says: “Heritage Open Days are a great way to reveal local histories. Here in Macclesfield and specifically at the Silk Museum we have a world of stories to tell about silk and how it shaped the place we live in today, from the buildings and distinct architecture to the jobs people had. Come along and find out more through one of our fantastic events.”

Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said, “In supporting the festival this year, our players are helping bring communities together to share the stories of the people, places, and spaces important to them. We’re particularly looking forward to what we can learn from the country’s inventors and innovators, past and present.”

The event will be on Saturday September 10.

For further information visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk and www.macclesfieldmuseums.co.uk

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Opening Times

Season (10 Sept 2022)



Contact Us

Tel: 01625 612045

Tel: 01625 612045

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