Latest News

August 2021

Our news, updates and events can be delivered straight to your inbox if you subscribe to our new look e-newsletter - subscribing and unsubscribing is easier than ever using Cheshire West and Chester council's gov delivery service. You can expect to hear from us every other month, and if you think our news would interest your friends, community or group please ask them to subscribe using this link.

New Opening Hours

The searchroom is now open an extra day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, open earlier - from 9am, and we can get documents out for you on the day. Booking and pre-ordering are still best done in advance though! Measures are still in place to reassure customers and colleagues – as one happy customer tweeted ‘I felt safe in the searchroom!’. You'll find all the information you need to plan your next on our 'Visiting' page.

Record Office Repair Shop!

Angela and Rachel popped up at Chester Market where visitors were treated to live demos of the meticulous work that they do to preserve archives for the future. Despite a power cut that meant for a while there was more conversation than conservation going on, they welcomed around fifty visitors over a busy day. This pilot event was a way of testing how visitors to our proposed new centres in Chester and Crewe might enjoy seeing the skills and expertise at work every day behind the scenes at the archives. And we think they might … a gardener came across our live demonstration (while looking for a sandwich) and said that it was fascinating to see the conservators’ craft up close and visually very relaxing!

 repair shop


Memories of Browns of Chester


We are popping up again at Chester Market on Friday, 20th August this time to find out what Browns of Chester means to you. We will be there with images, objects and records celebrating 230 years of trading at the famous store on Foregate Street, along with Museums and the University of Chester. To complete the story we hope you will share your objects, images and memories with us – come along to see us between 12 and 7pm – how would you like Browns to be remembered? You can read the press release for more details of what's happening on the day.



'All our stories'

We joined a wonderful open day at Weaver Hall all about learning disability heritage in Cheshire, learning a lot from the project as the team start to work with support groups exploring how to tell heritage stories for people with very different needs. We introduced visitors to a couple of the first residents of the Sandlebridge Home using Mary Dendy’s personal album. ‘All our stories’ is hoping to hold a second Open Day in Chester in September – please do get in touch with if you would like to know more.

all our stories


Taste of History - Join us for lunch!

For Heritage Open Days ‘Edible England’ themed festival in 2021, Cheshire Archives are throwing open their virtual doors and inviting you to taste and smell our Cheshire culinary heritage. Theatre Chef Leo Burtin, who has been working on his pioneering 'Eat the Archives' project, will introduce you to some of the cooks, cookbook compilers, ingredients and flavours to be found in our collections.Cook your meal in advance using our recipe card and kit, or cook along with Leo on the day, and enjoy a shared tasting experience while hearing about the stories behind the dishes. This free event will be hosted on Zoom on Saturday 11 September at 12 noon in time for a 1 o’clock lunch – full details on booking site.



Final call for schools and teachers

A class of curious six and seven year olds in Audlem had their first experience of exploring unique archive evidence in a virtual classroom in the company of archivist Caroline and this 1583 report of the Great Fire in Nantwich. It was a great opportunity to pilot a very different kind of school visit – if this kind of session would appeal to your Cheshire school – let us know in our Teacher Survey before it closes!

nantwich fire


We have a Cheshire Map Adventure winner!

Congratulations to Claire Moores who won our competition and is the lucky recipient of a £20 book voucher. Claire says ‘I’ve always found the Tithe Maps website extremely useful for researching the landscape of Cheshire or helping me decipher what I’m looking at whilst I’m out on a walk’. Claire talks about local and family history to groups in Cheshire, and throughout the UK on Zoom, find out more on her Cheshire Historyscapes website.

map winner


A new kind of Work Experience

We were disappointed when we couldn’t run our usual summer work experience programme for schools last year, but this July, equipped with a lot more experience of working from home ourselves, decided to offer work experience ‘from home’. Students didn’t get to visit the record office in person, but they were still able to work on a variety of projects. We were really impressed with their hard work and enthusiasm and were pleased with the positive feedback that they gave us at the end.Noah, Lily, Sophie, and Emma helped the Local Studies team add descriptive detail to images digitised from the Ken Evans collection, picking out their favourites and thinking of questions to ask the photographer for a future blog post.They indexed historic patient case notes on our Parkside Asylum Zooniverse project, Emma and Sophie helped to create time-stamped indexes for some of our oral history recordings, and Lily and Noah both wrote blog posts. Of course all had the complete working from home experience with Teams meetings, and met up with Dan Edmonds, our Community Engagement Officer to discuss their ideas and thoughts on our Cheshire’s archives: a story shared project. Read more about Noahs week here.