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Janice celebrates 40 years of charting the town’s history

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ONE of Warrington’s best-known ambassadors is celebrating 40 years of working at the town’s museum.
Janice Hayes started her career at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery in August 1977 as a museum education officer, following earlier roles teaching history and English in secondary schools.
Since then, she has undertaken almost every role in the museum, from curating exhibitions to expanding the photographic collections and working with the archives.
Along the way she has acquired a wealth of knowledge, which has enabled her to publish a series of successful books about Warrington’s history – her latest book, “Warrington at Work”, is due for publication next month.
Janice has been at the forefront of many firsts in Warrington culture, including the development of a number of history groups across the town for individual communities to find out about their past; bringing more than a £1 million pounds in funding for the museum to refurbish its existing galleries and develop new ones; and being involved in Warrington’s Walking Day film.
She helped to make Warrington’s Rugby League World Cup bid very different to many other towns.
Because of her unique knowledge and passion for Warrington, the event was a celebration of the town’s culture and heritage as much as its proud rugby league legacy.
As part of the Rugby League World Cup celebrations, she organised a ceremony for the repatriation of a Maori head at the museum to its homeland – ensuring the celebration was moving and meaningful for all.
She has also brought depth and knowledge to some of Warrington’s biggest events and projects, including the celebrations for the Jubilee Year, World War One commemorations and the cultural input into the new Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hood.
Emma Hutchinson, managing director of Culture Warrington, said: “Janice has given her heart and soul to many projects which have really put Warrington on the map.
“She has so much pride for her home town and channels this into her work at the museum.
“I’m sure all of her colleagues who have got to know her over the last 40 years would agree that she’s a pleasure to work with.
“I’d like to thank Janice for her dedication and contribution over the years. She’s made a huge difference to town and its museum.”
Although Janice took flexible retirement in 2016, she’s still working for Culture Warrington, who run the museum, in the role of heritage manager.
Over the next few years, she will lead her biggest project to date – the development of a multi-million pound heritage facility in the existing museum and library building.
Janice said: “It’s been a privilege to have the opportunity to explore the fantastic collections in Warrington’s museum and to serve as only the eighth head of service in its history.
“I’m really looking forward to being part of a series of celebrations for the 140th anniversary of the art gallery and for the 170th anniversary of the creation of the museum and library in 2018.”

Janice received a teddy bear as a gift from Culture Warrington – she has collected teddies since she was three!

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  1. “Over the next few years, she will lead her biggest project to date – the development of a multi-million pound heritage facility in the existing museum and library building.”

    If this “heritage facility” goes ahead as per the architects drawings shown at the Culture Warrington meeting, Ms Hayes will go down in Warrington’s history for her part in the destruction of our towns heritage.

    • Could not agree more SHA. At best a conservatory or at worst a greenhouse stuck (there is no more apt verb) on the side of one of the few remaining heritage buildings left in the town does not amount to a fitting architectural improvement. It represents gross insensitivity and indifference to the building to which it will be attached (sullied perhaps more fitting description) and emphasises the yawning gap between the generally accepted description of Culture/Heritage and that espoused by those who purport to represent us.

  2. Just to reassure both commentators that all the work I have been involved with at the Museum has respected the building’s heritage and architecture. The sketch referred to was one initial concept long since rejected.

      • I’m not reassured and I won’t be until the final plans are made public. The ‘glass slug’ to the exterior of the building may have been ‘one initial concept long since rejected’ but what’s to say further ‘concepts’ are any better?
        The recent carbuncle of a car park erected in the town centre and the further planned ‘regeneration’ works, which CABE refused to support but our town council approved, are proof enough to me that any kind of ugly c*** could be allowed to be built in this town.
        Re the library & museum,- at the Culture Warrington meeting plans were shown in which the beautiful Victorian interior of the library was ‘stuffed’ with space age style glass / metal structures. Have these vile plans been rejected Janice?
        It was not so long ago that heritage funding was given for the restoration of the interior / beautiful ceiling in the library. There will be one hell of a scandal if heritage funding is now given to destroy it!

        • Perhaps we should ask for proposed final scheme drawings for the Library and Museum to be published on-line so that a public discussion can take place, before any formal decision is made.

  3. POSITRON. Perhaps the formal decision has already been made?
    I suspect that the Culture Warrington meeting, held in the museum, to which only selected persons were allowed to attend may have been (without the attendees knowledge) Culture Warrington’s idea of a ‘public consultation’.
    As well as the proposed final scheme drawings for the Library and Museum, perhaps we should ask for a copy of their bid to Historic England for funding. This should include proof of public consultation with a positive response from the public – which up to now I don’t believe they have.

    • If there are drawings, later than the glass slug abomination, they should be made available to the public and local media. Not kept under wraps and only available to selected persons. Culture Warrington should be above the smoke and mirrors, mushroom management style of governance which is the hallmark of WBC, nothwithstanding CW is over populated with ex WBC people.

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