Saturday, June 02, 2007

"Myths And Legends At The Salt Museum"

Today I've been writing poetry in the Salt Museum.
And I've also now met another Cheshire Poet Laureate.
Jo Bell, the present one ( see my previous post) ran a superb poetry workshop at the museum basing her session on " Myths and Legends of Cheshire" .
This theme coincided with a current exhibition on that topic, which runs at the Salt Museum until September 2nd.

In Cheshire, salt has been produced for over 2,000 years; the museum, based in Northwich for over a century, tells this story and shows us people whose lives (in various ways) were involved with salt.
Originally, the museum was in the local library ( the Brunner) but this actually subsided due to salt extraction.
In the 1970's, Cheshire County Council bought Weaver Hall, where both the Museum and the library have been housed since. ( see photo above: the museum's original title remains above its doors) Weaver Hall was once a workhouse; there is no trace of this now, although an exhibition depicting it remains.
The atmosphere throughout the museum is bright and spacious, its displays, compelling; we can, too, fully appreciate this attractive Grade 11 listed building.
The Myths and Legends Exhibition is a lively one; we see vivid pictures, read resumes of stories ranging from spine-chilling to mystifying to ( frankly) hilarious ones, we see colourful puppets and wonderful old books ; Jo Bell built our workshop on all this, throwing in a handful of fabulous exercises too, so that we enjoyed ( hugely) a satisfyingly creative time..

Writing poetry is not something I do very often, neither is visiting the Salt Museum ( in fact, I'd never been there before...) but I've had a lovely day.


Blogger Philippa said...

So, Jan, are we going to get to read one of your 'salty' poems?
I wonder if there is a pepper or vinegar museum anywhere, or any other type of condiment!
I'm up to my eyes with GCSE marking - I have 300 scripts to complete by 19th June!!..................I may be gone some time!

6:07 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

I think often the enjoyment of a museum is in building and the space and what they do with it, quite as much as the exhibits themselves.
Glad you had a nice day!

6:41 pm  
Blogger Marianne said...

A salt museum? That is a little different. Glad you enjoyed your day.

If Philippa gets my son's GCSE paper, please could she give him an A? We're up to our eyes in 100 reasons why he's too busy to revise. And he has two weeks of solid exams starting tomorrow.

9:58 am  
Blogger Philippa said...

Hi there, Marianne.......I'm open to blackmail! I like CHOCOLATE!

10:46 am  
Blogger I Beatrice said...

Who would have thought there could be enough salt bi-products in the world to constitute a museum? It puts me in mind of those obscure publications they produce for the final round of 'Have I got news for you?'!

Still, it looks and sounds a very interesting place. And I hope it has inspired you to put pen to paper (or finger to mouse as the case may be)... I look forward to coming back and finding the next thing.

Thank you for visiting me today, and for your encouraging comments. I do regularly think of abandoning the whole thing - but somehow don't think I ever shall.

The ideas and words do just keep bubbling up and over, don't they?

12:31 pm  
Blogger Minx said...

Sharing poetry is not quite as painful as you think it is going to be. I know.

1:01 am  
Anonymous marly said...

Where's the poem? S?

And what about those exercises? What were they?

6:26 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

We have been meaning to go to that salt museum for literally decades - well two...I think the history of salt is quite fascinating. I expect the museum is tooand good for stimulating some interesting poetry too I expect.

7:36 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Yes I'd love to see/read on of your pieces Jan. Salt seems a wonderful motif for poetry, bit like life - hard won and easily dissolved.

11:42 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Good Luck with your marking.
How many have you done so far? Hope it goes OK.

Yes, so true.
Reading your words, I thought at once of The Tate at St Ives, Cornwall.
It's wonderful...the gallery appears to spread out into the sky, sea, the sand...

Hmm. Exams. Hope he does OK. But don't get stressed...they're HIS exams and you can only provide the tea, bed, table..Easier said than done, tell me about it!
And please send Philippa some chocolate!!

I love HIGNFY!
Paul Merton is great; his thinking, his comments are always
SO logical...

Hello Minx!
Please enlarge on your sharing of poetry thoughts.
I'm not into sharing mine from last Saturday as they're not worth a share.
Sometime I may well srub them up a bit....

One excellent exercise: we chose 3 slips of paper from 3 separate piles which were passed round.
One pile was a list of characters, the others were places and characteristics.
I ended up with A Fairy, The airing cupboard and the characteristic was " alcoholic"
I then attempted a poem re an alki fairy who lived in an airing cupboard...

Yes, you would be very interested. Try and get to the Myths and Legends Ex too.

I loved your priceless ending comment...Hard won Easily Dissolved.
Wonderful stuff..

12:43 pm  

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