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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  • Chicago 
    Grange Theatre 
    24th Sep 2019 - 28th Sep 2019 

    Curtain Call Productions proudly present: Chicago ....

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  • Artisan Market 
    12th Oct 2019 

    Over 50 of the very finest food, drink, art & craft stall holders, music, entertainment & activities ....

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  • Artisan Market 
    9th Nov 2019 

    Over 50 of the very finest food, drink, art & craft stall holders, music, entertainment & activities ....

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  • Artisan Market - Xmas Special 
    14th Dec 2019 

    Over 50 of the very finest food, drink, art & craft stall holders, music, entertainment & activities ....

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Widnes

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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