Table Manners - event handout leaflet

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Introducing our Table Guests . . . ❶ WILLIAM HANKINSON | 1829-1907 | RUNCORN & DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY William first followed his woodworking father’s footsteps, making soap boxes for the local industry. In 1871 he began working with his neighbour as a mineral water manufacturer, Hankinson & Lowry. By 1873 Lowry had gone, Hankinson continued with his son, Henry. One census records him as an ‘aerated water manufacturer’. ❷ CAROLINE SUTTON TIMMIS | 1837-1902 | RUNCORN TOWN HALL Caroline lived with her family in Salford, where her father was Assistant Governor of the New Bailey Prison. She married Thomas, six years her senior at the age of 24 and moved to the Allerton area. A philanthropic family, they supported the building of many religious, educational and health establishments in Widnes. ❸ MARY SHAW | 1841-1913 | RUNCORN FAMILY HISTORY GROUP Born in the Isle of Man, Mary first work was as a domestic servant in Liverpool, where she met and married William Shaw. They moved to Runcorn in 1875 to start missionary work with seamen and boat workers. She had 13 children. In their home Mary nursed the sick and ran a soup kitchen during the icy months. WORKING THROUGH THE FIRST WORLD WAR . . . ❹ ANNE JANE PROCTOR | 1847-1941 | HALTON LIBRARIES Anne first worked as a school teacher in Widnes. In 1885 she became the first librarian of the Widnes Free Library, which opened behind the Town Hall in 1887. She pushed for an ‘Open Access’ system, where library users could browse bookshelves themselves: a revolutionary idea, the committee declared it a success. ❺ HENRY PAWSEY | DATES UNKNOWN | NORTON PRIORY MUSEUM As chauffeur for ten years to Sir Richard Brooke, 8th Baronet of Norton Priory, Henry would have enjoyed a relatively good life. The Brookes treated their staff well, giving relatively well furnished accommodation and parties for them on special occasions. Henry worked for them from 1910 until they left the area in 1920. WORKING THROUGH BOTH WARS . . . ❻ ALF SALT | 1886-1951 | THE WIDS RUFC Alf Salt is credited with the founding of the Widnes Rugby Union Football Club in the 1930s. Educated in Widnes and Southampton, he joined the Territorials Hampshire Regiment and in 1918 he was awarded the Military Cross. Returning to teach in Widnes in 1920, his pupils nicknamed him ‘sniffer’, a habit resulting from being gassed in the trenches during the war.

❼ JOSEPH MERCER | 1888-UNKNOWN | WIDNES HISTORICAL SOCIETY The son of builder, Joseph lived with his family in Hough Green and was educated in Liverpool and Derbyshire. In 1914 at the outbreak of war he joined the Liverpool PALS and after training he saw service in Egypt, Palestine and finally France in 1918 where he was wounded and returned home. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1918 for keeping cool under heavy fire and setting a fine example to his men. ❽ TED BASNETT | 1891 -1968 | PRESTON BROOK & DISTRICT HISTORY GROUP Ted was born in Runcorn and worked as a warehouseman and horse driver on the canal at Norton. He enlisted in 1914 and won the Military Medal in 1916. Following severe trench fever he returned home and worked as a water engineer for Runcorn RDC. He was a founder member of the Halton British Legion. ❾ WILLIAM TYLER | 1898-1972 | CATALYST MUSEUM William’s career began at the age of 14 as a baker. By 16 he had enlisted with the Cheshire Regiment and at 19 he was awarded the Military Medal. Demobilised, he worked at ICI as a ‘rigger’ and in the Works Fire Brigade and First Aid team. In 1943 he became the company Safety Officer, controlling work safety measures. He was one of 56 people who had their portrait painted for ICI Portraits of an Industry. ❿ JOHN ‘JACK’ GERRARD | 1899-1989 | ST MARIES HERITAGE GROUP John’s father was Widnes Chief Fire Officer, the family lived near St Maries Church. John was called up in 1917 and trained as a navigator, arriving in France just as the war ended. He worked in Widnes Town Hall Treasurers Office all his working life and in 1924 he began to play the organ at St Maries Church. In 1966 he was awarded the Bene Merenti medal from Pope Paul VI for his services to the Church. WORKING THROUGH THE SECOND WORLD WAR . . . ⓫KEN THOMAS | 1911-1984 | DARESBURY DISTRICT HERITAGE GROUP Ken was born in Manchester and became a skilled painter & decorator. Serving in WWII he caught malaria and from then on found life very difficult. When his wife died he spent time in an asylum, then took a life of a travelling decorator. He spent his last years living under a fishing umbrella on the canal bank in Moore. ⓬JOHN LAW | 1943-2007 | SANKEY CANAL RESTORATION SOCIETY John was born and lived in West Bank all his life. Described as a colourful character with a big beard, tatty clothes and an unkempt appearance – it’s also said he had a heart of gold. He could be seen most days collecting scrap, walking people’s dogs and operating the Sankey Canal lock gate, a role he took to with relish.

About Table Manners Sitting at a table is something most of us do quite regularly, as an act of solitude or joining with others to eat, to meet, to converse and share. Through our working lives we encounter tables at interviews, in meetings, as working spaces and storage places. At home a table becomes a more relaxed gathering space, a place to eat, to share the stories of the day, discuss worries and maybe even debate life over. For this event each Partner group has presented a ‘guest’, known to them through their research; some familiar, some less well known.

Table Manners A Halton Heritage Partnership Working Lives Event for Heritage Open Days

We’ve set a grand dinner table out in the Civic Suite, using the best china and silverware from the Town Hall collection. Each place setting has images and objects that help you to find out more about each guest, and their name card tells more too. Visitors are invited to look around the grandly set table and read the information here before we begin to discuss:     

How have tables shaped our business and personal lives? Have table manners changed over time, are they important? Would our guests have all been comfortable at such a grand table? What would the guests have talked about if they had met? Would you set the table differently, or invite different guests?

About Halton Heritage Partnership | 2015-2016 The partnership brings Halton’s community heritage groups together with Halton's four public collections to extend and enhance our online museum and create a shared Heritage Strategy for Halton. All partners will add new records, interleaving personal with public through new oral narratives, objects, images and documents, focussed on our theme of WORKING LIVES.

Contact us & find out more   

Created by Jeni McConnell Runcorn Town Hall 10th September 2015

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