A Pottery exhibition created by young people has opened at the Museum of Wigan Life as part of a new exhibition celebrating the fascinating craft trades of the borough.

A Potter’s Tale explores local crafts and historic skills from across the borough including pottery, silk manufacture, bell making, pewterware, carved coal and clock making. Beautiful objects such as historic crossbows and silk pattern books will be on display, many for the first time.

The museum secured £37,500 Heritage Lottery funding to develop a project in partnership with Wigan Youth Zone which saw young people working alongside local ceramist Lizzy Griffiths of Craftworks Studio to handle original museum objects, make their own pots, find out about local crafts and develop new skills and experiences through a range of visits. Their experiences will be shown on brand new touchscreen table on display at the museum showcasing their film and images.

Their work will be displayed at the museum alongside original objects including pewter, cannel coal sculpture and silk works, before going ‘on tour’ across the borough.

The exhibition is also being celebrated with pottery mice that are being hidden around Wigan town centre for members of the public to find. These mice were made by young people at Wigan Youth Zone to reflect the original Roman settlement and the little known fact that Romans enjoyed eating dormice as a special treat!

Lynda Jackson, Community History Manager at the museum, said: “This is a fantastic exhibition which is the culmination of weeks of hard work by all the young people involved. Visitors will have the chance to enjoy these new objects as well as learning about an important part of the borough’s heritage.”

Cllr Kenny, Wigan Council’s Cabinet member for Resources, said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund was able to provide funding for this valuable project. Not only has it enabled young people to learn more about the history of the borough; it has also given them the chance to learn new skills and create this pottery which will be on display for residents to view as part of this exciting new exhibition.”

The exhibition opens on Thursday 2 April and runs until 4 July. The project and exhibition has been supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Young Roots.


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