What's On

  • 200,000 reasons to make a visit 
    Warrington Museum & Art Gallery 

    Natural sciences, antiquities, social history, decorative arts and an extensive local photographic archive ....

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  • Set in Beautiful Parkland  
    Castle Park Arts Centre 

    Visit the historic town of Frodsham and enjoy three galleries, craft units, coffee shop ....

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  • God Bless Us, Every One - Dickens` A Christmas carol 
    Barnton Memorial Hall 
    15th Dec 2018 

    These performers will bring the season of goodwill to you in and get you in the spirit of Christmas ...

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  • Christmas Musical Extravaganza 
    Arley Hall & Gardens 
    18th Dec 2018 

    Fancy supporting a leading disability charity to continue their pioneering work ...

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  • Car Boot Sale 
    Blakemere Village 
    28th Oct 2018 

    Car Boot Sale ....

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  • Pantomime - Dick Whittington 
    Grange Theatre 
    17th Dec 2018 - 1st Jan 2019 

    Following on from another successful season at The Grange Theatre ....

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Widnes

Virgin Voyager heads North

A Perfect Place to Visit

Widnes is mentioned as early as 1200, the name meaning wide promontory. It lies on the north bank of the River Mersey and prior to reorganisation in 1974 was in Lancashire.

The industrial revolution had its beginnings in Widnes between 1714 and 1830 and the birth of the chemical industry was between 1830 and 1865. It was once one of the most heavily polluted towns in the country and if you fell in the Mersey you were take immediately to hospital for treatment!  Today the chemical industry has changed and parts of the river are even developed for wildlife preservation.

The making of Sankey Brook navigable for coal barges from St Helens to Sankey Bridges was particularly significant. The Sankey Navigation Canal arrived in Widnes in 1833. The canal and the railway terminated at Spike Island.  The name is probably derived from the word for the cheap boarding houses that had sprung up in the area.

A new dock was built with sidings enabling easy transfer of coal from railway to sailing flats. By 1855, Spike Island was the centre of the new chemical industry.  Spike Island is now a waterside park with anchorage for fishing boats and a heritage trail.

The Catalyst Museum is the museum of the chemical industry and was opened in 1989.  Science comes alive through a host of interactive exhibits and hands-on displays.

Widnes station has a plaque recalling that while waiting for a train, Paul Simon wrote the words of the song ‘Homeward bound, I wish I was’ – an understandable sentiment in the old Widnes!

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