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The award-winning

Museum of

Cannock Chase is a great day out for the whole family Located on the site of the former Valley Colliery, which later became a mining training centre, the museum is the gateway to the Hednesford Hills Nature Reserve and the ideal starting point for a visit to Cannock Chase, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whether you are interested in local coal mining, want a hands-on experience of the history of toys or fancy reminiscing about Granny’s front room, we’ve got something for everyone. Explore our local area, past and present, and our exhibitions and events programme means there is always something new to see. There’s also lots for families, including quizzes, interactive exhibits and activities all year round!

Mining Memories Experience the fascinating story of coal mining in Cannock Chase, discover how it shaped our area and meet the people who worked in the pits in our Coal Mining Gallery. Mining Memories is a fascinating interactive journey back in time to the Cannock Chase coalfield, which was the backbone of the community until the last pit closed in 1993. What was it like to work down the pit? Enter the pit cage and listen as it shudders and shakes its way to the mine! Dress as a miner and find out about his day at work! Watch archive films from the old Valley Training Centre and use our interactive maps to find out where the collieries were.


Trace the Chase Visit our Local History Gallery and discover the history of the Cannock Chase area. Interactive displays tell the story of our industrial beginnings, military and wartime history, notable local citizens, work, leisure and wildlife.

Hednesford. Image

courtesy Ray Smi

Heritage Walks Experience the history and beauty of Cannock Chase with a walk or cycle along the Cannock Chase Heritage Trail. Find out more from the museum. Launching in 2016, a new app will allow you to take guided walks on Hednesford Hills, and discover the history of this beautiful Nature Reserve. Visit the website or ask at reception for more details.

The Parlour at the Pavilion Why not combine a visit to the museum with a trip to the ice cream parlour in the newly renovated Hednesford Park Pavilion? Opening in spring 2016 the pavilion will offer: • Locally made organic, real dairy ice cream • Fresh shakes and sundaes • Sub sandwiches and snacks Adjacent to the new children’s playground and other park attractions.


Exhibitions 11th January – 26th February

John Kraujalis: Sky, Land and Water A collection of landscape photographs by local photographer John Kraujalis depicting our beautiful countryside. John’s photographs are an artistic interpretation of what he sees. He looks for combinations of landscapes and colour and much of his work involves sunsets and reflections.

7th March – 24th April

J.R.R. Tolkien & Staffordshire 1915-1918. A Literary Landscape

Joh Image courtesy of

n Kraujalis

J.R.R Tolkien, the world famous author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, spent a period of his early life in Staffordshire, in particular during the Great War when posted to the army training camps on Cannock Chase. These years were a formative period in the development of Tolkien’s work on the mythology, languages, history and geography of what would become Middle-earth. Curated by The Haywood Society, this exhibition will celebrate the importance of Staffordshire on the early writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and the development of his vision of Middle-earth.

30th April – 19th June

Chris Holloway: A Transport of Delight Born and brought up near the railways and canals of West Bromwich, near the railway and canal, artist Chris Holloway had an interest in transport from an early age. He started painting in 1994 and since then it has become a real passion. This exhibition features oil paintings of Image courtesy of Chris Holloway passenger and freight transport from the early 19th century to the present day – mainly from the Midlands. Whether of railways, canals, trolley buses, ocean liners and aircraft, each painting has a story to tell which is included in the exhibition.

25th June – 14th August

Cannock Chase Open Art ‘Celebrating Staffordshire’ Calling all artists! Here is your opportunity to submit your artwork for display in the museum exhibition gallery. To mark Staffordshire’s 1000th birthday, the theme this year is ‘Celebrating Staffordshire’ and we are looking for works inspired by the county, its people, places and industries. Whether it is painting, drawing, needlework, crafts, ceramics or sculpture, we welcome all forms of art. There are no geographical restrictions on entry, so why not have a go? It‘s open to all. All work chosen for display can be offered for sale.

20th August – 14th October

Jean Walker: Sightseeing The museum is delighted to welcome back artist Jean Walker with a new collection of striking oil paintings. This year’s exhibition focusses on Jean’s travels and the photos she has taken over the years. She also takes inspiration from trips taken by her family and friends. Her trademark method consists of working with assorted mediums and a palette knife to enhance a particular scene, making it heavy in texture. Jean strives to bring to life the beauty of nature Jean Walker Image courtesy of through her own individual style, aiming to encapsulate nature’s beautiful colours, vistas, buildings and wildlife around the UK.

24th October – 16th December

Everybody’s Darling: The First World War, Nurse During the First World War, thousands of women served as nurses. While many assisted in hospitals at home, others worked close to the Image courtesy of Emma Warren battlefields. For many of the privileged young women who became nurses the work was a huge culture shock. The nurses made a great and lasting impression and commanded great respect. They provided vital skills and fulfilled an essential role. Many also risked and sometimes lost their lives. 100 years after the First World War, this exhibition pays homage to the nursing organisations that served during the war and the experiences of the nurses themselves.

The Space by the Chase: a space for art, the place for coffee Enjoy our brand new selection of speciality hot drinks, cakes, snacks and ice creams, in our new-look coffee shop. Local artists are invited to hire the walls to display their artwork in this bright welcoming space.

Events Birds of Hednesford Hills Saturday 30 January • 11am – 3pm • Free Join us for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch! Bird watching and crafts for all the family.

Half Term Events - Sky, Land and Water 15 - 19 February • 11am – 3pm • £2 Drop in arts and crafts for half term- visit the website for more details.

A Woodland Mystery A murder mystery evening supper Saturday 27 February • 7.30pm • £18 Become a detective and help to unfold the mystery surrounding spooky Gaskin's Wood. Includes a fish and chip supper.

Fight, Flight and Fire! Saturday 12 March • 11am – 3pm • Free Science – medieval style! British Science Week event for all the family.

Easter Eggstravaganza 28 March – 8 April • £2 per workshop Fun activities for spring and exploring the works of JRR Tolkien.

Staffordshire Day Sunday 1 May • 12noon – 4pm • Free A local history fair to celebrate our own special corner of Staffordshire.

Transport of Delight Talks Tuesday 3 May & Thursday 9 June • 2pm Learn more about Chasewater Railway (3 May) and Aston Manor Transport Museum (9 June).

VE Day Saturday 7 May • 11am – 4pm A day of activities to commemorate this momentous occasion.

Museums at Night – Transport of Delight Friday 13 May • 5pm – 8pm • Free Visit the museum at night for fun family activities.

Half Term Workshops – Transport 30 May – 3 June • £2 per workshop Drop in arts and crafts for half term with a transport theme.

Chase Quilt and Embroidery Festival Saturday 2 - Sunday 3 July Fabulous opportunity to view beautiful quilts and purchase quilting fabrics and haberdashery.

Archaeology for All Saturday 23 July • 11am – 4pm An exciting event for the Festival of British Archaeology.

Summer Workshops – Passport to the World Tuesdays in July and August • £2 per workshop Travel the world in our globetrotting themed summer workshops.

Summer Family Day Sunday 7 August • 12noon – 4pm • Free Craft activities, workshops, displays and shows for all the family.

Hound of the Baskervilles Friday 19 - Saturday 20 August • £15 Family (2 adults & 2 children): £55 An outdoor theatre event re-telling the classic Sherlock Holmes adventure. Bring a picnic and waterproofs.

Jean Walker ‘Artist in Residence’ Tuesday 23 August and Thursday 13 October • 11.30am – 2.30pm Meet Jean Walker, the artist behind our current exhibition, Sightseeing.

Halloween Spooktacular! 24 - 28 October • £2 per workshop Spooky fun for all the family for half term!

The Mystery of the Mine of Doom A murder mystery evening! Saturday 29 October • 7.30pm • £15 Become a detective and enjoy a piece of spooky storytelling theatre! Includes refreshments.

Edith Cavell and Nursing in World War One Wednesday 26 October & Wednesday 9 November Visit our World War One field hospital on 26 October and hear more about Nurse Edith Cavell at a talk on 9 November.

Winter Wonderland Sunday 20 November • 12noon – 3pm • Free Nature-themed activities and crafts for all the family.

Christmas Family Day Sunday 4 December • 12noon – 4pm • Free Christmas craft activities, workshops, displays and shows.

Dementia Friendly Events All year Workshops for those living with dementia and their carers see website for details.

You Crafty Thing Thursdays • 10.30am – 12.30pm Weekly adult craft group – stick, knit and sew with fellow crafters.

Little Friends 3rd Friday of the month • 10am – 12pm Themed activities and events for babies and toddlers: crafts, baby area, water, sand & sorting play, outdoor fun, rhyme time, music and storytelling.

Coming Soon: Conversation Club Our new monthly conversation club – explore museum artefacts, chat about times past and meet friends.

Services Group Talks Museum staff can deliver talks to groups and organisations, either at the museum or at your own venue, including artefact handling. Please speak to the Bookings Officer to book your talk. Charges apply. Call for Artists! Are you an artist interested in exhibiting at the museum? Professional artists can apply to exhibit in our temporary exhibition gallery, whilst enthusiastic amateurs can hire the coffee shop walls to display their work. Please contact the museum for an application form. Research The museum has a research library containing books, photographs and documents about the history of the local area. We also offer a Collections Enquiry Service. Contact our Collections Officer on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings to make an appointment. Learning at the Museum Our education programme has won the Sandford Award for Heritage Education four times. Each interactive learning day, led by a museum educator, includes exciting hands-on activities, including object handling, demonstrations and role play. Topics include World War II, Coal Mining, Local Studies, Habitats, Toys and Science. Outreach and bespoke tours also available. Ask for a brochure. Room hire Hire our conference room or workshop for your next meeting, training or conference. We offer a tranquil setting, competitive rates and free parking.

How to find us The museum is just 15 minutes walk away from Hednesford bus and railway stations and has ample free parking. It is easily accessed from the M6 and M6 Toll. Follow the brown ‘purple stag’ signs from major routes into Cannock Chase.


Museum of Cann annoock Chase

Museum of Cannock Chase Valley Road, Hednesford, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS12 1TD. Phone: 01543 877666 Email: /museumofcannockchase

Opening Times 2016 The museum is open all year round, except for two weeks at Christmas and New Year. Easter to the end of Sept – Daily, 11am to 5pm, including Bank Holidays. October to Good Friday – Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm. Last admissions 30 minutes before closing. General admission is free of charge. Charges apply to some services and activities. Groups - please contact us to help us plan your visit.

Visitor Facilities Our coffee shop sells hot & cold drinks, ice creams, cakes and snacks. There is space to picnic outside and we can advise on local places to eat. The gift shop sells a range of local publications, gifts, souvenirs and pocket money toys. Find out what else there is to do locally in our Cannock Chase Tourist Information Point. Baby changing facilities, high chairs and bike racks are also available.

Access Facilities include ramps, lift, stairlift, Braille and large print guides, disabled toilet, induction loops and disabled parking. Access statement available from the museum or on the website.


Museum of Cannock Chase: everything you want to know  

Colourful guide to one of Staffordshire's most treasured family attractions.

Museum of Cannock Chase: everything you want to know  

Colourful guide to one of Staffordshire's most treasured family attractions.