Chester Decorative & Fine Arts Society

A Member Society of NADFAS

Heritage Volunteers News

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War Memorials: Joint Project with Young Arts
Click here to read more abouit the involvement of Young Arts

Heritage Volunteers from Chester DFAS  have been contributing to the Survey of War Memorials in and around Chester. This is part of a national project managed by Civic Voice which is aiming to complete a full national survey of all war memorials in the country. They started within the walls and surveyed the Cathedral but also memorials in the Town Hall and County Hall as well as pubs and clubs and other churches. They have since branched out into other areas such as Boughton, Saltney, Blacon ,Dodleston and Pulford.

 

 
GROSVENOR  MUSEUM

Work on sewing protective covers for the collection of costumes at the Grosvenor Museum continues, around two thirds of the collection has been completed. Our sewers should continue to be busy for some time, providing stocks of calico material can be obtained (see photos of our “costume ladies” in our Gallery page).

NORTON PRIORY, Runcorn

Update
A grant has recently been awarded from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the cost of refurbishment of the Museum.
Architectural plans are now being drawn up, so a start date for the work is not yet known.
Since finishing the main Norton Priory collection, the volunteers have moved on to cleaning and cataloguing items from the playing fields and Halton Castle.

Heritage Volunteers from Chester and Liverpool DFAS are helping at Norton Priory on a major project to catalogue, photograph and clean the Archaeological Collection from the Priory.

The call for volunteers to help save the collection was sent out last year after a routine inspection found most of the artefacts to be infected with mould. This resulted in the whole collection being moved off site to a warehouse, where a more detailed survey could be made.

 The collection includes medieval tiles, glass, animal bones, masonry and human remains (now being cared for at Liverpool University) which were excavated in the 1970’s

This work also has provided archaeology students from Liverpool and Chester University a rare chance to study the items as the cleaning progresses throughout the groups of objects.

 The Augustinian Abbey founded in the 12th century and closed in the 16th century as part of the dissolution of the monasteries, is regarded as one of the important monastic sites in Cheshire.

CHESTER RECORDS OFFICE

The Volunteers are still meeting twice a month at the Chester Records Office, currently repackaging Wills dating from the 1600's.

However, we now work occasionally with Linda Clark of the Records Office Media Department, sorting cataloguing and slip-covering the many photographs of Cheshire held there. So far, we have sorted over a 1000 photographs, of which some 500 are of Chester.  We are also recording the contents of some of the rare books held at the Office and both of these collections will eventually go onto the Records Office website.

We have recently embarked on repackaging the extensive slide collection, the storage of which had fallen into a state of some disrepair!

LINKS WITH CHESTER CIVIC TRUST 

For some years now we have been Stewarding at the St Mary’s Centre for “The Heritage Open Days” which are run by Chester Civic Trust as part of National Heritage Open days during September.

While the St Mary’s itself is a fine building with a long history is well worth a visit, the volunteers have over the last 3to 4 years hosted an exhibition on Chester DFAS to try not only to promote our society but to show the range projects lectures etc. we are involved in.

We also share the exhibition with Chester History and Heritage who put on a fine display of old photographs of Chester, in 2012 it was Royal visits to Chester.
Kathy Bowen, Heritage Volunteer Coordinator