Latest News

May 2021


1612 map of Cheshire by Michael Drayton, with figures illustrating towns, rivers, and hills (Ref: 118658).


Welcome to our latest edition of the Cheshire Archives and Local Studies e-newsletter.


There is a lot to tell you about including what we are up to for the Chester Heritage Festival, a chance to see us in person with the ‘Magic of Maps’ and a new Learning Disability Heritage project.


Chester Heritage Festival – take a tour!

Many of us rediscovered the joys of walking last year, investigating local paths that we perhaps hadn’t noticed before and exploring nearby spaces with new enthusiasm. What better way to embrace this closer relationship with our local surroundings than with our very own walking tour of Chester. The tour will be released as part of Chester Heritage Festival and take in some of Chester’s most scenic spots, from Grosvenor Park and the Amphitheatre to the River Dee. What makes this tour different is that each stopping point will showcase an extract from our oldest collection of oral history recordings, as well as historic images and items from our archive.

c12488 Postcard of Queen's Park Bridge

 The Chester Archaeology Society’s collection has been newly-digitised as part of the British Library’s Unlocking our Sound Heritage Project (there is a sneak peek of the collection on the North West Sound Heritage blog!) It features interviews with a huge range of Chester residents, talking about their experience of the city over the course of the 20th century. The tour is self-guided, so you can choose which sites you want to visit and in which order – all you need is the free app and a pair of headphones!

There is something very special about taking the time to explore while listening to the spoken memories and recollections of those who trod the same paths many years ago. What has changed, and what has stayed the same? How would you reflect upon your own experience of these locations?

The tour will go live on the Echoes app during the Festival that runs from 18-28 June 2021. You will be able to find the details on Twitter, the Chester Heritage Festival website, or come along and start the walk at the Record Office, we will display full details there!


All our stories: Learning Disability Heritage in Cheshire

Learning small

We are looking forward to working with Snow Angels and their Happy Mondays group on their National Lottery Heritage Fund project. ‘All our Stories’ will use individual stories to reveal learning disability heritage in Cheshire from early records of the Cheshire Prophet, workhouses, and the impact of Mary Dendy creating the first home for permanent care in England at Sandlebridge in Cheshire, up until the present day.

We are already inspired to find out more about Harry Hetherington (pictured above) who after ten years at Sandlebridge ran away and enlisted to fight in the First World War, in 1922 he had found work as an attendant at Belle Vue Zoo in Manchester. There will be opportunities for people to get involved from the learning disability community, families and friends, staff and organisations and local history groups. The project is organising an Open Day at Weaver Hall Museum on Monday, 21 June 2021, at the start of Learning Disability Week. We will be there along with records that can open the door to a new world of stories.

The event will switch online if it is not possible to meet in person. For up to date event details and to book a timed slot please contact

‘Cheshire’s archives: a story shared’ update:Your thoughts and views needed!

email footer

As part of our ‘Cheshire’s archives: a story shared’ project, we’re not just looking at opening up two new history centres, we’re also thinking about how we can make sure that Cheshire’s heritage is accessible to as many different groups of people as possible, whether online or in person.

We’re currently trying to gather people’s thoughts and opinions on the future of what we offer at Cheshire Archives. If you have five or ten minutes to spare, we would love to hear your opinions about what kind of events, online services, and creative programmes you would like to see us offer.

If you are under the age of 25, you can take part in a survey about your experience of using Cheshire Archives, and to let us know what kind of events you would be interested in seeing us host.

If you use our website, we would love to hear your thoughts about how you found it, and what you think it should offer in the future. You can share your thoughts with us.

We are also reviewing the kind of support that we can offer to schools. If you work in education, it would be great to know about what you feel would be helpful for both you and your students. You can complete the teachers survey.

If you’re not under 25, an educator, or a website user, do you know anyone who is? Please pass our request on! Or if you would like to offer your opinions on the future of Cheshire Archive’s services, please get in touch with our Community Engagement Officer Dan at and we would be happy to chat.

Mystery Images – Solved and Unresolved!

Building on the success of our #MysteryImageMonday campaigns on twitter and Instagram, we have created two new Flickr albums to showcase mystery images the public have helped us to solve over the last year, as well as bringing together images which are still puzzling us! The albums are available, so why not take a look and see if there are any you can identify! Get in touch with us via social media or email


c12450 Red Cross Hospital, nurses playing tennis

Here we can see a house with two nurses playing tennis in the foreground on a tennis court. Could this be a First or Second World War image taken at Red Cross Auxillary Hospital, possibly in the Sandbach area? (Ref: c12450).

Map Adventures

The Cheshire Map Adventure text with tithe map in background

For Local History Month this May we are highlighting our fantastic website Cheshire Tithe Maps Online. Each week there has been a #MapAdventures tweet with an interesting or funny section of maps to look at – from Sweet Tooth Lane to Sour Milk Meadow and the explosion of development in Nantwich and Bache over the years.

Nantwich tithe maps through the ages


In partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Libraries we are also running a Map Adventure Competition for all ages, open from 24 May - 6 June 2021. Answer five questions using the Tithe Maps website and be in for a chance to win a book token!

Staff news

We say farewell in June to Jess Minshull who has worked as our Digital Services and Digital Archives Officer for four years, after she first joined us as a Transforming Archives trainee. We will miss her and her skills, lots of our digital content is as good as it is because of her, and we would like to thank her for all her hard work. We wish her all the best with her new role in Liverpool as a digital content author where she will be taking on website and app editing.


There is plenty more on our website to help inspire you! Go to our ‘what we hold’ page to find out more about our collections, reminisce over photographs of Cheshire in years gone by with ‘Cheshire images’ and if you haven’t seen them before there’s a selection of activities to help you Keep Curious!

Please continue to stay safe and we will be back in touch soon!