On Friday 23 June, the UK’s prestigious Geologists’ Association unveiled four new display panels at the multi award-winning Lion Salt Works Museum in Northwich, Cheshire. Funded by the Association’s Curry Fund, the boards give in-depth geological information about the salt beds beneath Cheshire and are designed to appeal to the country’s many amateur and professional geologists. The unveiling took place during Cheshire RIGS* Geodiversity and Geoconservation Conference being held at the Lion Salt Works Museum that day. Cheshire RIGS supported the Museum by using their in-depth local geological knowledge to write the display boards.
The colourful display boards, featuring pictures of what Cheshire would have looked like 250 million years ago under a blazing desert sun, are free for everyone to see and are displayed immediately outside the entrance to the Museum near its industrially-themed play area. A new geology page, giving in-depth geological background information on the salt beneath Cheshire is also available on the Museum’s website at www.cheshiremuseums.co.uk. This was also written by Cheshire RIGS.
The Museum is the only salt museum in the country. It is also one of the last remaining open-pan, salt-making sites in the world and for this reason is an Ancient Scheduled Monument, with the same protection status as Stonehenge.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Since re-opening in 2015 after a four-year £10m restoration, the Museum has had lots of interest from the geological community. In order to continue to attract this audience plus young geology students from across the region, the Museum wanted to broaden what it offers. We are delighted that the Geologists’ Association’s Curry Fund awarded the Museum a grant for these fantastic new display boards. We hope this is a step towards eventually opening the doors for specialist geological tours. Our thanks also go to Cheshire RIGS* for using their in-depth local experience to write these boards for the Museum.”
Susan Brown, Curry Fund Secretary and Rockwatch Chair of the Geologists’ Association, said: “The salt beneath Cheshire makes it very interesting for geologists and we are pleased to help the Lion Salt Works by providing funding for new display boards and the content for a new geology web page. We hope that existing and aspiring geologists will enjoy this new material and that the museum will go from strength-to-strength in promoting its geological credentials, locally, regionally and nationally.”
Since 1858, the Geologists’ Association has actively promoted the study of geology to all who are interested in the past, present and future of the natural world. The Association’s Curry Fund supports a variety of causes such as geological conservation projects and geological publications, including film, video and television productions.
The Lion Salt Works Museum tells the story of salt and its impact on the landscape, people and industries of the area, through fun and interactive displays. The Museum has won seven awards since re-opening, including the National Lottery ‘Heritage Project 2016’ – won after a national public vote.