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Rugby legend set to attend hugely successful Wire Works exhibition closing weekend event

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WIRE rugby legend Mike Nicholas MBE will be one of the special guests attending the Wire Works exhibition celebrating the history of Warrington’s wire industry.

Warrington’s Wire Works exhibition has so far attracted more than 1,000 visitors since opening last month – and the exhibition will come to an end this weekend with some very special guests from Warrington Wolves (‘The Wire’) past and present.

The exhibition will close its doors on Saturday 20 November – and to celebrate the culmination of a hugely successful project, some surprise Rugby League stars from the Wolves will be popping in from 11am to 12noon.

They will be joined by the former Welsh Prop, who played for ‘The Wire’ in the successful team of the 1970s, who also worked as a loom operator at Thomas Locker & Co. Mike features in one of the exhibition’s special ‘wire stories’ videos.

The special guests will be available to sign autographs for visitors. Staff and volunteers at the exhibition will ensure this is carried out in a safe, COVID-secure way.

It’s the perfect way to end the Heritage Lottery Fund-supported exhibition, which has told the fascinating story of one of Warrington’s most significant industries through an interactive blend of heritage and art, including sculpture, film, dance, poetry, and real-life accounts of what it was like to work in a wire factory in Warrington.

And to thank lottery players, without whom the Wire Works project wouldn’t have been possible, a special raffle will be drawn on Saturday 20 November at 4pm – with prizes including a signed Warrington Wolves shirt, a family ticket (two adults, two children) to a Rugby League World Cup 2021 game at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, along with the opportunity to take home the specially created model of Lady Gaga wearing a dress made using Warrington wire, which has been a real highlight of the exhibition.

It’s free to enter the draw – just pop along to the exhibition at the old Co-Op Bank, near Vintage Viola, in Golden Square at any time from Wednesday 17 November. Present one of the staff or volunteers with a lottery ticket or proof of purchasing an online ticket for one of the draws between 13 and 20 November, and they will take a contact number and give you a raffle ticket.

And it’s not too late to share your own wire stories and memories – the team is still looking to collect stories as they know that there are many more people with memories, photos and artefacts to share.

If you have been unable to visit in person, you can email heritageprojects@warrington.gov.uk to tell us your stories, or to let us know that you have something to share – we can arrange for any items to be collected at a future date.

Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member responsible for culture, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “The Wire Works has been a massive success – and there’s a very special final weekend in store, with this visit from Rugby League players from ‘The Wire’. It’s a fitting way to end the exhibition, which has celebrated how the wire industry has helped make Warrington the place it is, and which still resonates in our town today.

“It has been wonderful to see so many people come down and visit the exhibition over the past month and learn more about the legacy left by the wire industry. The final Saturday is set to be an unforgettable occasion – so if you haven’t visited the exhibition yet, it’s the perfect time to pop in. If you’ve already visited, why not come again?

“Meanwhile, if you do have any stories to share, I’d encourage that you do so, either by dropping into the exhibition or by emailing the exhibition team. Having first-hand memories from local people who have personal or family history connections with the town’s wire industries, past and present, is what makes this exhibition so special.”

Pop in and see us between 10am and 5pm from Wednesday to Saturday, or 11am-4pm on Sundays.

For more information on the project, visit warrington.gov.uk/wirestories

Mike Nicholas

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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