AT the point that Lymm Heritage Centre last closed its doors to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was on the point of receiving its 20,000th visitor.
That elusive milestone will almost certainly be passed when the Centre opens its doors again on Thursday May 20th in line with Step 3 of the government roadmap.
Those doors may have been closed to the public but the volunteer team who run the Centre have been taking the opportunity to carry out a huge amount of development work behind the scenes that take the exhibition space to a whole new level.
At the Digital Kiosk visitors can become the projectionist at the Lymm Cinema and choose from a range of short videos depicting Lymm over the past 150 years as well as exploring over 3,000 documents and photographs on a large touchscreen that brings local history to life.
A new Traditions display celebrates Lymm’s unique combination of village events and customs from the eccentric annual Soul Caking to the ever popular May Queen and also including Rushbearing and Morris Dancing. The exhibit includes some fascinating artefacts, each with its own story to tell like the 1875 Rushbearing Cup that went round the world before finding its way home to Lymm.
The Centre also gives a fascinating insight into the history of Lymm’s Slitting Mill while a diorama model of the building of the Ship Canal allows visitors to operate a tiny steam engine working on the construction.
Visiting families will receive a free twelve-page “Fun Stuff To Do “ booklet that will capture the imagination of children as well as setting them off on a couple of important missions round the Centre.
But of course, the real history is out there in the village. The Time Traveller’s Handbook takes families on an exploration of the village that even has a prize at the end if you can solve all the mysteries on the way round.
For those who can’t get to the Centre then LyDiA, thelymmarchive.co.uk is the perfect way to find out more about Lymm. What did your street look like 100 years ago? Where did people work? How did they enjoy themselves? It’s all there at the touch of a button.
Another casualty of the pandemic has been the education visits so popular with local schools. So the Centre is looking forward to relaunching its “We Love Our Canal” sessions for local schools in the build-up to Transport Day in June. The Centre has also announced that ALL education visits from local schools from now and throughout the next school year will be free of charge. It’s a gesture made possible as a result of the enthusiastic financial support the Centre has received from so many sources.
We all love Lymm and the finished Heritage Centre is now another focus of local pride. Do make sure you call in soon in to experience the Lymm Story. Maybe you would even like to get more involved as a volunteer. There’s a wide range of activities you could be part of. Discover more at lymmhic.co.uk.