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Discover | Explore | Learn

May - August 2018

Exhibitions Events Performances Participation 1

At a Glance Exhibitions

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Reading Art Ambiguous Implements Magnus Quaife: While England Mourns Lore and the living archive


Caroline Achaintre: Wimper Herstory: Women Artists from the Collection of Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo


Ancient Egypt: Life along the River Nile


From Herbs to Hospitals: Health and Wellbeing in Rochdale


Fashion: Dress and Accessories from the Museum Collection


Film and Cinema

Touchstones Rochdale

Rochdale’s Collections The Rhythm of Rochdale Talks, Tours & Special Events

Touchstones_ Rochdale

Wakes Day Reading – Catherine Czerkawska Reading Art - Storytelling & Tours From Herbs to Hospitals: Well-being Event

Touchstones Rochdale

Talks: Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery Family Fun Day Gong Bath Workshops


Egyptian Treasure Box Decorative Gift Boxes Formal Calligraphy Nourishing Herbal Body Bar


Performances Me and My Bee Gypsy Queen The Man on The Moor Elmpenny's Museum Regular Activities Mindfulness & Wellbeing Touchstones Writing Group Knitty Gritty Homework Club Make Art! Summer Saturday Sessions Lunchtime Meditation Meditations by Midnight Family History Drop-in Tiny Touchstones Summer Fun Workshops Get Involved! Visitor Information


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Welcome Welcome to our exhibitions and events guide, listing everything happening at Touchstones Rochdale, and by our teams across the borough over the next 4 months. We hope you will enjoy visiting, participating and engaging with our ever-growing offer.

Hello! As the more observant of you might have noticed, the photo of the good-looking feller that used to grace this page has been replaced. Tom Besford was offered an opportunity to good to refuse with English Folk Expo and has rather kindly left me with this fantastic opportunity to pick up the reins. I am delighted to join the Arts and Heritage Service at such an exciting time. At the risk of sounding picky, I’m far too sceptical to take the first thing that comes along – I think I’ve got a good eye and its clear that I’m backing a winner. Rochdale boasts a wealth of heritages and the welcome stubborn nonconformism to make interesting things happen – and with the energy of the team here, we will. And before you start questioning the new boy’s judgement of the Rochdale character, I think I’m qualified. I pretty much started my cultural career here, far longer ago than I care to remember, working for Skylight Circus. I may even have taught some of you to juggle. I’ve been away for a while but am elated to be back and in the meantime, a lot's changed. Touchstones Rochdale wasn’t even open when I left. If you’ve not been for a while, come in and have a look. You’ll be surprised and I hope intrigued. Check out our programme for families, take a fresh look at the exhibitions and try the best cup of coffee I’ve yet found in town. Come and let us know what you think, tell us what you’d like to see and do.

We look forward to hearing from you! Charlie Rowley Head of Culture


Exhibitions Reading Art Opens 14 April | Gallery Two A celebration of artworks featuring books and readers from throughout history, for the delight of art lovers and bibliophiles. As every book tells a story, every book in art is part of an intriguing, engaging, and relatable image. Books are depicted as indicators of intellect in portraits, as symbols of piety in religious paintings, as subjects in still lifes, and as the raw material for contemporary installations. Reading Art spotlights a variety of artworks from local northern collections creating a gorgeous, inspiring homage to both the written word and to its pivotal role in the visual world. As a family friendly exhibition, come and read in our book corner and sample under 5’s interactives. Co-curated by Rebecca Morrill, Commissioning Editor (Art), Phaidon Press to coincide with the publication of the new book: Reading Art: Art for Book Lovers Image: Ludwig Deutsch, An Arab Schoolmaster. Photo: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service

Ambiguous Implements 21 April – 30 June | Gallery One Bringing together 18 practitioners from the fields of design, jewellery, ceramics, metalwork and sculpture Ambiguous Implements presents a collection of contemporary works that playfully reconsider the familiar objects of our day-to-day domestic life. Re-thinking the tools we use for eating, grooming, cooking and cleaning, the exhibiting artists have employed and subverted traditional craft techniques, reframed existing tools in new sculptural assemblages, or given seemingly banal objects new functions and effects. Featured artists: Rob Anderson, Aimee Bollu, Caroline Broadhead, David Clarke, Nuala Clooney, Rachael Colley, Rosie Deegan, Kate Farley, Daniel Fogarty, Joe Hartley, Kate Haywood, Jasleen Kaur, Julie Mellor, Maria Militsi, Rebecca Ounstead, Matt Rowe, Jonathan Trayte and Abbie Williams each present new and existing works. Ambiguous Implements is a touring exhibition curated by Laura Mansfield in collaboration with Rachael Colley and Nuala Clooney. To read more please visit: Image: Ambiguous Implements. Courtesy of Dust


Magnus Quaife: While England Mourns 4 May – 30 June | Gallery Four A food riot in 18th century Manchester meets the iconic, nearrevolution of Paris 1968 in Manchester-based artist, Magnus Quaife’s newly-commissioned, multi-dimensional voyage into civil disobedience, language and unsung folk heroes. Quaife draws first on the legend of oft-forgotten Milnrow school master John Collier, known by the pseudonym, Tim Bobbin. A self-anointed ‘Hogarth of the North’, Collier’s work as a self-tutored writer, painter and caricaturist recorded the darker side of provincial life in the 18th century in a distinct Lancashire dialect, including ‘the shudehill fight’ in Manchester during November 1757. Working in foil-lined insulation board, a material more often reserved for construction projects, Quaife revives imagery of the 1968 Paris student uprisings during the 50th anniversary of those events, referring to classic poster designs to find contemporary equivalence to the grotesque characters, humour and cynicism found in Colliers work, while considering where truth and myth lies in collective cultural and political memory.

Image: John Collier (Tim Bobbin), Portrait of Tim Bobbin. Photo: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service

Supported by Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery

Lore and the living archive 4 May – 30 June | Gallery Three Dancers process down the streets as a melody repeats like a mantra. A ghoulish looking costumed horse fights with another in the centre of town. A hedge of twigs and branches withstands the tide. Ritual and custom is found in every society, and Doc Rowe has been documenting the traditions of the British Isles since the 1960s, amassing an enviable collection of artefacts, photography, footage and audio currently housed in Whitby. This living archive, growing year on year, is thought to be the largest of its kind and charts the rise, decline and revival of many of our calendar customs. Lore and the living archive sees three artists respond to this collection through new, original artworks. Photographer, Bryony Bainbridge; printmaker and poet, Natalie Reid, and multimedia artist, Anna FC Smith contemplate what place traditions have in contemporary society and how they influence the communities in which they originate. The artists also consider the role of the archivist and how his presence at some events has become as anticipated and revered as the tradition itself.

Image: Doc Rowe. Courtesy of Lore and the living archive

Lore and the living archive opens at Touchstones before touring nationwide. To read more about the artists, Doc Rowe and some of the customs represented in the archive, please visit:


Caroline Achaintre: Wimper Opens 7 July Gallery One London-based Caroline Achaintre’s watercolours sit at the heart of a multi-disciplinary practice, which also traverses textiles, ceramics and prints. Renowned for working in vibrant colour and potent imagery, Achaintre’s work often evokes a subversive spirit of carnival, creating an atmosphere that is simultaneously playful and absurd. While drawing on traditional European festivals, still a regular, seasonal occurrence in towns and villages throughout the continent, often typified by centuries-old customs and darklyfantastical costume, the artist simultaneously makes links to contemporary sub-cultural strands of sci-fi, the goth-metal scene, psychedelia and horror films. A selection of her paintings are shown in Rochdale to celebrate a progressive, female artist in continued ascendancy following her inclusion in the British Art Show 2016 and a solo exhibition at the Baltic, Gateshead. Wimper is kindly supported by Arcade, London.

Image: Caroline Achaintre, Wimper, 2018. Courtesy of the artist & Arcade, London

Supported by Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery

Herstory: Women Artists from the Collection of Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Opens 28 July Gallery Three & Four Turin-based Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo began collecting contemporary art in 1992 and is one of the most respected private collectors in Europe. Having now amassed approximately 1,500 artworks by many of the major names in international contemporary art, one of her early interests was in supporting women artists. Drawing on her collection, Herstory features artworks by some of the leading female artists of the last forty years including Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Mona Hatoum and Sarah Lucas, and explores how they have radically altered the face of contemporary art. In addition to the works from Re Rebaudengo’s collection, the exhibition showcases select items from across our own rich art, museum and local history collections offering further resonance to some of the issues being addressed.

Image: Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. Courtesy of FSRR. Photo: Stefano Sciuto

In 1995 Re Rebaudengo established the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in her native Turin. Alongside educational initiatives and exhibitions, the Fondazione prioritises collaboration with other public galleries to support artists and promote contemporary art. Supported by Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery


Ancient Egypt: Life along the River Nile Until 12 May Heritage Gallery Be transported down the Nile into ancient Egypt and discover this fascinating world through centuries-old exhibits from the land of the pharaohs. Preserved and buried for thousands of years, the stunning objects in this exhibition range from a set of canopic jars to small pieces of intricate jewellery. Featuring objects from Rochdale’s own Egyptian collection, this exhibition spans over 4,000 years of history. Many of the items in the exhibition were excavated by the famous Egyptologist, Sir Flinder Petrie and donated to the museum by Charles Heape, a Rochdale industrialist. Learn about the incredible story of Petrie and his amazing finds which transformed our understanding of ancient Egypt and archaeology. Vessels and pots, amulets, jewellery, mirrors, tools and animal mummies tell the story of the everyday life of its people and their beliefs. Discover what beauty meant to the ancient Egyptians through the personal belongings that accompanied them into the afterlife. Take a glimpse at a civilisation whose focus on appearance is not dissimilar to our own. Through our special youth project, Reflection, explore the similarities and differences in the ways that we transform our bodies today. Visitors of all ages can journey through the centuries to write their name in hieroglyphics, wrap a mummy, have a go at our exciting exhibition trail dressed as an Egyptian and take a ride in an ancient Egyptian river boat.

From Herbs to Hospitals: Health and Wellbeing in Rochdale From 16 June Heritage Gallery Learn more about the development of health and well being in Victorian Rochdale through to the advent of the NHS in the 1940’s. This exhibition will look at how medicine and healthcare went from being a luxury for those who could afford it to a service available for everybody. Featuring a range of objects that have never previously been displayed and have been donated to the museum collection from various donors including Birch Hill Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary. Highlights include a beautiful wooden home medicine chest, a selection of poison bottles and a nurses uniform alongside a selection of medical instruments and a horrifying dental drill. Working in partnership with Manchester University to celebrate the NHS turning 70 later this year, the exhibition will tell the stories of local people and their experiences of the NHS through a series of oral history recordings. There will also be loaned objects from the Museum of Medicine and Health. The show will also include a display created by people living with dementia who attend the Alzheimer’s Society Memory Cafes within the borough.


Fashion: Dress and Accessories from the Museum Collection At Heywood Sports Village From April A chance to see a selection of the museum’s collection of female dress and accessories. This exhibition features a beautiful 1950’s outfit and a 1960’s Jaeger woollen suit. As well as clothing, a striking selection of accessories such as shoes, jewellery, handbags and hats are included in the display.

Film and Cinema At Middleton Arena Until August Before the advent of TV, and later digital streaming, cinema was perhaps the most popular form of entertainment for people from all backgrounds, with at least one in every town in Britain during their heyday of the 1930’s and 40’s. This display will celebrate the popularity and development of the picture houses in the Rochdale borough and will feature objects recently donated from the former Middleton cinema owner George Brighty.

Rochdale’s Collections Museum Ongoing As well as our changing exhibition spaces, we have a dedicated permanent museum which aims to tell a potted history of Rochdale in a fun and friendly way. The museum is ideally suited to families and people with an interest in the history of Rochdale. There are interactive displays, hands on exhibits, films, audio and a wide range of objects from the Borough’s collection on display.

Rock, Pop and Rave in Rochdale Saturday 12 May | 11am-3pm Can you help on our quest to document Rochdale, Middleton, Heywood and the Pennines musical history since 1975? To develop a new section of Touchstones Rochdale’s Museum we are looking for stories and information about musicians, clubs, clubbing, DJ’s, bands, recording studios or stand out events/gigs/raves that took place in the local area. If you would like to share your stories, or loan objects to our exhibition then please come and meet Alison Cooper who alongside young people from the Rochdale borough is curating a new display in part of the main Touchstones Museum.


Talks, Tours & Special Events Wakes Day

Saturday 26 May | 12noon-4pm | FREE Join us at Touchstones Rochdale for a unique day celebrating our new season of exhibitions linked to the folk culture, craft techniques and radical politics which have shaped the world. Celebrate this holiday tradition with folk and Morris dance performances, live music, family art and craft workshops, storytelling, a heritage walking trail and Lancashire dialect poetry. Also available on the day will be a small selection of guest beers for sale and traditional fayre served in the Art Café. During the Industrial Revolution the tradition of the ‘wakes’ was adapted into a regular summer holiday with each town in Lancashire taking their designated annual holiday on a different week in the summer.

Reading – Catherine Czerkawska Saturday 21 April | 6pm-7pm | £3 (drinks served from 5.45pm)

Join us for a special evening to coincide with World Book Night and current exhibition Reading Art. Critically acclaimed author Catherine Czerkawska will share extracts from her latest novel The Posy Ring (The Annals of Flowerfield #1). Czerkawska is a multi-award-winning novelist and playwright based in Scotland. She has written plays for the stage, ITV and BBC Radio 4, and has published numerous short stories. Her eight novels include The Curiosity Cabinet, shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and serialised on BBC radio in 2013. This event is presented in partnership with Rochdale Ideas & Literature Festival. For more details please visit Booking Required

Image: Rochdale Wakes Week Postcard (1910-1930). Courtesy of Touchstones Rochdale Museum Collection No Booking Required

All ages

Reading Art - Storytelling & Tours Saturday 21 April | 2pm-4pm | FREE

Join us for an afternoon of fun to mark the launch of Reading Art, our new exhibition drawn from the Borough’s fine art collection. Professional storyteller, Professor Jigget, will be spinning yarns from our special reading corner and Rebecca Morrill, co-curator of Reading Art, will be leading short tours of the exhibition. No Booking Required

All ages

Family Fun Day Thursday 31 May | 11am-2pm | FREE Come and join the Touchstones Rochdale team for fun arts and craft activities! No Booking Required


To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale 9

Talks: Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery Second Tuesday of every month 8 May | 12 June | 10 July | 14 August 12.30pm-1.45pm | £4 (£3 members) - pay on the day

The Friends organise monthly talks by invited speakers about art and craft and an annual trip to visit other regional art collections. For more details about the next season of events please visit: No Booking Required

Gong Bath

Saturday 23 June | 2pm-3pm | £10 per person A gong bath is best experienced lying down, so please bring whatever you need to be comfy on the floor. Cushions, blankets, mat etc. During a gong session, your body absorbs sounds that it needs for healing whilst filtering out what is no longer required. The complex, yet delicate, overtones of the gongs, allow your superficial thoughts to dissipate and you can easily reach a much deeper consciousness leaving you in a very calm, relaxed state.

From Herbs to Hospitals: Well-being Event

Saturday 16 June | 1pm-4pm | FREE Join us on Saturday 16 June for a free well-being event linked to our new exhibition, From Herbs to Hospitals in the heritage gallery. Refresh yourself with a range of special activities. Have a go at some simple yoga moves, try your hand at knitting, make something crafty and sing your heart away within a group.

The gong vibrations continue to work long after the gong bath has finished. Gong healing works on various levels - physical, mental, energetic, emotional and spiritual. Negativity and chaos are suspended; irregularity and resistance disappear and the whole being is returned to harmonic balance. A lot like love, the gongs need to be experienced! Come along and try this treat for the soul. Ask anyone who has experienced the gongs and they will tell you it is the ULTIMATE reset button. Booking Required

For adults

A perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale 10

Workshops Inspired by our wonderful museum collections and the exhibitions in the heritage gallery, try your hand at something new in our fun and friendly adult craft workshops. Cost £20 for a full day session and £10 for half day, payable on booking. Price includes all materials. Spaces are limited and booking is essential.

Egyptian Treasure Box

Saturday 12 May | 10.30am-3pm with half an hour for lunch | £20 Discover more about Ancient Egypt through this creative workshop where you will make your own decorated Shabti treasure box with ceramicist Su Hudson. Learn how to shape clay to form a beautiful box and decorate and embellish using different tools and techniques.

Decorative Gift Boxes

Saturday 9 June | 10.30am-12.30pm | £10 Our ever popular ink buddies are back! Artists Karen Vine and Trish Cartner will help you to create beautiful gift boxes using your own hand-printed card and decorative papers inspired by the colours of ancient Egypt.

Formal Calligraphy

Nourishing Herbal Body Bar

Using traditional writing tools, join local calligrapher Janice McClelland to learn techniques in the ancient art of formal calligraphy.

Create your own luxurious body lotion bar using simple plant based ingredients. Learn how to make floral infused oil and incorporate this into a nourishing moisturiser. The session will be led by Alison Cooper who has studied a foundation course in herbal medicine.

Saturday 14 July | 10.30am-12.30pm | £10

Saturday 11 August | 10.30am-12.30pm | £10

To To book: book: visit visit,, call call 01706 01706 924928 924928 or or pop pop in in to to Touchstones Touchstones Rochdale Rochdale



Gypsy Queen

Tuesday 29 May | 7.30pm | £6 Can two men raised to fight ever learn to love?

This Egg theatre company presents Me and My Bee Friday 11 May | 4.30pm | £3

Climate change is massive. Bees Aren’t.

Our fuzzy little friends need our help and so we’re launching a political party disguised as a party party disguised as a show. There’s only one problem. The bees are dying and without them, we will too. Multi award-winning theatre company, ThisEgg, invites you to save the world - one bee at a time. A new family comedy with live music. Plant the seed for a change, join the Bee Party. Me & My Bee is a show for children & adults, tackling a bigger issue in a more intimate manner. The show plays with how we can make what we imagine become real. It is about cause and effect. It is about humans as much as it is about bees. It is about doing more to help, before it is too late.  The Scotsman The Stage The List  Three Weeks A Younger Theatre  Edinburgh Festival For Kids “completely in awe” A Younger Theatre “a riotous, cleverly constructed and hilarious family show” The Stage Age 5+


The story of ‘Gorgeous’ George O’Connell: traveller, bare-knuckle fighter, hero to his people and Gypsy King. George leaves this life behind and enters the world of professional boxing, which puts him on a collision course with his roots, his identity and his greatest fear. In the opposite corner, gay boxer Dane ‘The Pain’ Samson, the young pretender and son of a boxing legend. But Dane is fighting his own battles and they will ultimately lead to a tragedy that neither man could predict. Two men who find themselves, and each other, in the most unlikely of worlds. ‘Gypsy Queen’ is an unconventional love story between two fighters who discover the greatest challenge lies outside the ring. Nominated for Best New Play and Best Fringe Production at the 2018 Manchester Theatre Awards, ‘Gypsy Queen’ is the new play by Manchester based writer Rob Ward. Ward previously co-wrote and performed one-man show ‘Away From Home’, which won MTAs for Best New Play and for Ward for Best Fringe Performance. The performance contains nudity, strong language and scenes of a sexual nature. “Heart-breaking, raw and emotional, this really is not one to miss”  Broadway Baby “Laugh-out-loud lines...a touching romance”  The Independent “A slick, rewarding piece of work"  The List

60 mins Age 16+


70 mins

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale

The Man on The Moor Friday 15 June | 7.30pm | £6

‘A great mystery, expertly told.’ Written & performed by Max Dickins Directed by Oliver Senton

He didn’t even have a name. He was simply ‘the man on the moor’. ‘A carefully constructed, engaging story which hooks us at the very beginning and doesn’t let go.’  Scotsman On 12th December 2015, an elderly looking gentleman was found dead on Saddleworth Moor. He was carrying no form of identification. In his pockets were just £130 in cash and return train tickets from London from the previous day. Despite a national campaign, he remained unidentified. He appeared to have no family, no friends, and no home. He didn’t even have a name. Three questions abounded: Who was this man? Why did he seemingly travel 200 miles to die? And why did nobody seem to miss him?

Elmpenny's Museum

Saturday 28 July | 11am & 2pm | £3 Elmpenny (a puppet) owns a museum but has lost three of his objects. Led by the museum's treasure hunters, join us on a multi-sensory adventure to find the objects. We’ll go to the bottom of the sea (to see bobbing umbrella jellyfish), fly in the sky (to see glowing balloons and cotton wool clouds) and enter a windy butterfly forest (to see blowing leaves and fluttery butterflies on sticks). Each landscape will have a number of interactive objects/scenery as well as sensory materials. Once 'found' we’ll use these to make a shadow on the museum shelves and make the objects 'appear' within them! Early years

40 mins

As the police went public with the man’s image, 40 different people reached out to claim ‘the man on the moor’ as their missing husband, father or brother. These people are ‘the left behind’. Those who pick up the pieces when someone they love leaves and simply never comes home again. This is their story.  The Times ‘[A] finely crafted monologue’ Recommended. The Guardian ‘Captivating. You’d be a fool to miss this.’ Fest Magazine ‘A masterly monologue that is both, in the best sense, highly entertaining and deeply thought provoking.’  Edinburgh Guide PG

1 Hour

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale


Regular Activities

Mindfulness & Wellbeing

Last Friday of every month | 5pm-6pm | ÂŁ5 25 May | 29 June | 31 August Join us in our peaceful Gallery setting to explore the popular practice of Mindfulness. Learn how to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings through activities and breathing techniques that have been proven to reduce stress and improve wellbeing. Just bring your own yoga mat or towel and get ready to relax. Just turn up

For Adults

Touchstones Creative Writing Group First Thursday of every month | 2pm-4pm FREE Now independently constituted, the group meets monthly to inspire and promote creative writing. Encouraging the positive health and well being benefits which can be gained through expressing yourself with creative writing. The group welcomes new members, both would-be and existing writers, to join in. Just turn up

For Adults

Homework Club Every Wednesday | 3.30pm-4.45pm | FREE Saturdays | 1pm-4.45pm | FREE Got a project to finish, need a picture printing out? Come along to our Homework Club. Children under 11 years must be accompanied by an adult. Just turn up

Knitty Gritty Last Tuesday of every month 29 May | 26 June | 31 July | 28 August FREE - just buy a brew! Join our monthly knitting circle in The Art CafĂŠ. Feel free to bring along your own knitting projects, share ideas or start something new inspired by our current exhibitions. Just turn up


Make Art! Summer Saturday Sessions 4th August | 25th August | 15th September 11am-2pm | FREE Join an artist-led drop-in workshop to make your own crafty creations inspired by the current Art Gallery exhibitions. Just turn up

Ages 5-12

All Ages

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale 14

Lunchtime Meditation

Family History Drop-in Sessions

16, 23 May 6, 13, 20, 27 June 18, 25 July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 August

Local History Centre Every Thursday | 2pm-4.30pm | FREE

Escape from the office or your busy schedule with our new drop in lunchtime meditation classes. Relax and be calm in our beautiful art gallery spaces. Guided by an expert in Buddhist meditation, Patrick McBride. Just turn up

For Adults

Need help with your family tree or don’t know where to start? Call in to our weekly Family History drop in sessions where friendly staff will be able to help you. Just turn up

All Ages


Tiny Touchstones 3, 10, 17, 24 May

Meditations by Midnight An introduction to meditation - Workshop 19 May, 16 June, 21 July | 11am-1pm £15 per person (With guest poet and musician - Don Parry) Everyone’s lives are very busy so there has never been a better time to start your journey along the path of meditation. If not “Now” when? I urge anyone that has not yet attended one of my sessions to come along. Not only does meditation reduce stress but it also gives deep rest and the ability to develop inner peace. In these sessions there will be a full commentary with explanations and discussions after. The intention is to give the basic tools and techniques of meditation to everyone, to enable them to reduce stress, worry and negative thoughts from their minds. Booking required

For Adults

7, 14, 21, 28 June 5, 12, 19 July £2 per session These creative sessions use a range of exciting and open ended objects to stimulate the senses for tiny ones and inspire imaginative play for the under 5s. Each week we bring new themes inspired by the world and art around us and invite parents and children to relax, build, sort, create and play together in a welcome space. Our early years artist is on hand with stories, songs and creative activities to inspire your adventures.

Toddlers - 10.15am Babies - 11.15am Under 5s - 12.15pm


To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale 15

Summer Fun Workshops

Can O Worms Storytelling and Crafts

Choose Your Own Adventure

Discover animal stories old and new and learn about the wildlife of Rochdale. Use musical instruments to help our story teller. Help us to create our own oak tree and fill it with animals and make your own animal craft to take home.

Booking required | £4 per child, accompanying adults free

31 July & 2 August | 10.30am-12noon & 1.30pm3pm | FREE | Booking required

Bookmark Bonanza!

14 August | 10.30am-12noon 16 August | 1.30pm-3pm

Help storyteller Professor Jigget to create musical tales inspired by the wildlife of Rochdale. Build props, scenery and characters from a variety of craft materials. Imaginations necessary – may involve lots of nonsense!

31 July 2018 | 11am-2pm | FREE | No booking required Create your own unique bookmark inspired by our Reading Art exhibition. All materials supplied. Take it home and never lose your page! In partnership with the Summer Reading Challenge and Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council’s library service.

Evening Bat and Wildlife Walk

2 August | 8.15pm-9.30pm | £2 per person | Booking required Join our local bat and wildlife expert Ray Stearn and discover the amazing animals that live right on our doorstep. Meet outside the museum for a walk to find bats, peregrine falcons and more. Is that an owl I hear…?

Tiny Touchstones in Summer

28, 30 August | 10.30am-12noon Suitable for under 5’s | FREE | Booking required Come and join our early years artist at a creative session of imaginative play for under 5’s. Our sessions will be inspired by music and nature and use a range of exciting and open ended objects to stimulate the senses. Parents and children are invited to relax, build, sort, create and play together.

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale 16

Nature and Music Craft sessions 7 August | 10.30am-12noon 9 August | 10.30am-12noon 16 August | 10.30am-12noon 23 August | 10.30am-12noon 28, 30 August | 1.30pm-3pm

£4 per child, accompanying adults free Join us at Touchstones and make your own nature crafts and musical instruments to take home. Don’t forget to pick up a special Bug Hunt sheet to track down all the bugs hiding in the museum and art gallery!

Music. Technology. Art

7, 14, 21 August | 1.30pm-3.30pm Age 11-25 FREE | Booking required Join our museum team for a workshop of music, technology and art. Linking to our new re-vamped museum area for music, festivals and rave culture from the local area.

Music Inspired Art

9 August | 1.30pm-3pm FREE | Booking required Join artist Vincent James to create music inspired artwork. In this workshop you’ll make and decorate your own percussive spin drum.

Asian Musical Instrument Craft 21 August | 10.30am-12noon 23 August | 10.30am-12noon

Booking required | £4 per child, accompanying adults free Have a go at creating and designing your very own ‘Dholki’ (two-headed hand drum) a traditional folk instrument from the South Asian sub-continent, used for high pitched music at mehndi parties and weddings.

Wigan S.T.E.A.M. Sonic Pi Workshop

8 August | 1pm-3pm Age 8+ FREE | Booking required We are very excited that Wigan S.T.E.A.M. is here! Building connections between STEM, culture and heritage. Our Sonic Pi workshop is a brilliant opportunity for children and young people to make music using text based code, to create loops, samples and beats. We’ll be learning to make spooky soundtracks and funky dubstep tracks.

Wigan S.T.E.A.M. Stratch Music Animation Rainbow Bird

15 August | 1pm-3pm Age 6+ FREE | Booking required

Come and join the Rainbow Bird for some bubble filled interactive storytelling fun. Learn songs, make puppets, join in the stories and dance to the music. Fun interactive session for children and families.

Join Wigan S.T.E.A.M. again today. Our Scratch Music Animation workshop introduced children and young people to the wonderful world of Scratch block coding. We’ll be creating and animating characters to make a mini orchestra! Its going to get LOUD!

23 August | 1.30pm-3pm | FREE | Booking required

To book: visit, call 01706 924928 or pop in to Touchstones Rochdale 17

Get Involved! Join the Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery The Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery have been essential to our continued growth and development as an important regional art gallery. Through their generous donations over the years we have been able to conserve and acquire countless key works of art for the collection.

Volunteering In Touchstones Rochdale, we’re always looking for volunteers to help out both inside and outside of the building. Whether you’re helping out with our loans boxes, giving tours of the galleries, collecting feedback or supporting our workshops and activities, if you would like to get involved, please email

Annual membership is ONLY £10 and in addition to supporting the Art Gallery, you will discounted rates on the annual programme of talks and trips organised by the Friends and invitations to private views for all exhibitions at the Art Gallery.

How to join You can join in a number of ways: • Post a cheque (made payable to FRAG) c/o Touchstones Rochdale, The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AQ (please make sure you include a cover letter giving your full name, address, postcode, telephone number and email address). • Ring 01706 924928 and pay over the phone. • Come along to one of the talks organised by the Friends and pay in person.

Further information To discuss any aspect of the Friends or membership please contact Jenny Buckley (Chair, FRAG) on 01706 358686 or Mark Doyle (Art Gallery Curator & Collections Manager, Touchstones Rochdale) on 01706 924555 or

Venue Hire Touchstones Rochdale offers a unique venue for meetings and events. Our studio space and meeting room are available for hire. Email for more details.


Schools Service If you are a school or educational group looking for exciting and engaging learning experiences, then why not visit Touchstones Rochdale. Our expert led sessions support the new national curriculum and we have been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge which is a nationally recognised indicator of high quality educational provision. Download our Schools Programme from our website or ring the Education Team on 01706 924931.

Arts & Heritage Resource Centre Ever wanted to see where we keep and care for the Borough’s museum, art gallery and local studies collections when they’re not on display? Visits to the Arts and Heritage Resource Centre can be arranged but must be booked in advance, please enquire at Touchstones for more information. Why not have a look on our website to see the new Virtual Reality Tour of the centre.

Visitor Information As well as our museum, art gallery and events programme, there are plenty of other reasons to visit Touchstones Rochdale. Touchstones Rochdale is the home of Rochdale Borough’s Arts & Heritage Service and is operated by Link4Life. The Art Café Open 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday, serving a wide selection of fresh hot and cold food, drinks and snacks. With free wi-fi and a relaxed atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to catch up with friends, meet colleagues, or simply relax after enjoying our exhibitions and displays. Shop The place to get that unique card or gift. We stock a range of souvenirs, postcards, local crafts, jewellery, books and pocket money gifts for children. Local History Centre Discover the past for yourself first hand. Whether you’re interested in local history, want to trace your family roots or just want to know a little more about the street you live on, we can help you find out more. Our collections include maps, photographs, ephemera, archives and local newspapers on microfilm. Free internet access including ancestry. com is also available. Just pop in and our friendly staff will help with your enquiries. Visitor Information Centre Our Visitor Information Centre staff will be happy to help you learn more about the local area. They have information about local and regional events, accommodation and hospitality; and are full of suggestions for things to do and places to visit for all ages, backgrounds and interests. Access Touchstones Rochdale is fully accessible for people using wheelchairs. There are three designated parking bays for blue badge holders outside the venue. Travel Information Touchstones Rochdale is located close to Rochdale town centre approximately 5 to 10 minutes walk from Rochdale Transport Interchange with bus and tram access and 10 minutes from the Rochdale Railway Station. We are 10 minutes drive from J20-M62. Cycle parking is available outside Touchstones Rochdale with Pay & Display car parking available close by. Opening Times Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm | Art Cafe: 10am-4pm FREE Admission Closed on Bank Holidays Contact Us Main Reception: 01706 924492 Visitor Information Centre: 01706 924928 Email: Online:

Follow us on: Facebook (Touchstones Rochdale) Twitter (@Touchstones) Instagram (Touchstones_Rochdale) Pinterest (Touchstones Rochdale)


Art Gallery • Museum • Local History Centre • Visitor Information Centre Events Programme • Education Service • Shop • Cafe A671 from Burnley

Where to find us







A640 from Milnrow and J21 - M62























































n tio ta T s S ER S

dale Roch Hall n Tow



Ground Floor







From Bury and Bolton
























A680 from Blackburn

A58 from Halifax

Train Station

A671 from Royton and Oldham

A58 from Sandbrook Park and J20 - M62

Heritage Gallery Toilets Education Studio Performance Space


The Art Café

Visitor Information Centre


Shop Entrance

Museum Local History Centre

First Floor Gallery One Lift

Gallery Four

Gallery Two Gallery Three

This information is available in large print on request. The Esplanade, Rochdale, OL16 1AQ

01706 924492


Link4Life is the trading name of Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust. Registered Charity No: 1118610

Touchstones Rochdale Guide May-August 2018  

Welcome to our exhibitions and events guide, listing everything happening at Touchstones Rochdale, and by our teams across the borough over...

Touchstones Rochdale Guide May-August 2018  

Welcome to our exhibitions and events guide, listing everything happening at Touchstones Rochdale, and by our teams across the borough over...