Steam engines, Morris Dancers and a choir will be part of the noisy and warm welcome to visitors to the Lion Salt Works Museum’s second Dickensian Christmas weekend on 10 -11 December. The Museum’s magical festive weekend, staged at its atmospheric site, is full of exciting events aimed to appeal to the whole family. Almost all the events are free of charge, including meeting the most important visitor of all – Father Christmas.
Open from 10.30-4pm* on Saturday and Sunday, free activities include:
- A visit to Father Christmas in his Winter Wonderland Grotto in the Museum’s Butterfly Garden. Children just need to follow the fairy lights and bring any letters they want to share with him.
- Family Craft Activities will be available in the spectacular, historic setting of the Thompson suite where children will be able to make a wide range of traditional items, such as Christmas cards and paper chain decorations as well as writing letters to Father Christmas. Courtesy of Saltscape and Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Santa Christmas decorations can also be made.
- Historic steam engines, courtesy of Clive Hearsey and local steam enthusiasts. The machines will be in full steam during the day and their owners on hand to talk about their engines. The engines on display will be two Burrell double clutch compound speed locos, “Lady Louise’ and “Alexander” as well as ‘Bessie’ a scale model tractor engine. Children will be able to ride on the back of some of these miniature engines.
- Visitors will also have the chance to find out about traditional crafts such as bodging (wood-turning), weaving, spinning. felt-making and crocheting.
- There will be festive story-telling in the specially-constructed ‘Storybox’ in the Thompson Suite.
- As the Lion Salt Works is the last open-pan salt-making site in the country and one of only four in the world, nowhere else in the UK can visitors enjoy learning how to make salt over an open pan in its original, historic location.
- Christmas shoppers can enjoy browsing in the Museum’s well-stocked shop which features gifts such as the new contemporary jewellery collection, bags, books and some special items made from rock salt.
- The Museum’s café offers light refreshments, including its Christmas speciality Emma’s Winter Gingerbread latte. The cafe is ideally located overlooking the imaginatively-themed play area, giving adults a chance to have a coffee while the youngsters play.
In addition to these activities, on Saturday 11 December, visitors will have the chance to see:
- In full voice, local carol singers from the Rivendell Choir, will be getting everyone into the Christmas spirit by singing traditional carols.
- There will be a lively performance by the local Earl of Stamford Morris Dancers
Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing at Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “Last year’s Dickensian Christmas was magical and this year’s will be even bigger and better than before. This is a wonderful line-up of activities and almost all of it will be available free. I hope that everyone takes the opportunity of coming along to this wonderfully atmospheric site and joining in the festive spirit.” Subject to clearance
This year, the multi award-winning Museum was named ‘Heritage Project 2016’ by the National Lottery Awards following a hotly-contested public vote.