Catalyst Museum

Catalyst Museum We are the museum part of Catalyst Science Discovery Centre and Museum. We focus on chemistry and industry, with emphasis on the NW of England

Operating as usual

An interesting slide taken from the railway area looking across West Bank.  Undated but the cars, the Silver Jubilee Bri...
10/11/2021

An interesting slide taken from the railway area looking across West Bank. Undated but the cars, the Silver Jubilee Bridge and West Bank Power Station's presence are small clues. Some zoomed in shots of the same image. #catalystarchives

Peter and Florence Furnival of Runcorn celebrate their golden wedding in 1989.  Peter worked at various ICI plants local...
06/11/2021

Peter and Florence Furnival of Runcorn celebrate their golden wedding in 1989. Peter worked at various ICI plants locally and Florence had 20 years service in the print room and canteen.

Peter and Florence Furnival of Runcorn celebrate their golden wedding in 1989. Peter worked at various ICI plants locally and Florence had 20 years service in the print room and canteen.

Well you wouldn't expect to get anything decent out of this poor specimen (5" x 4" negative).  It turns out silk purses ...
04/11/2021

Well you wouldn't expect to get anything decent out of this poor specimen (5" x 4" negative). It turns out silk purses can be made!

Huge thanks to Darren Aston from Ingevity Warrington for donating some more CAPA for our Fantastic Plastic workshops. Th...
04/11/2021

Huge thanks to Darren Aston from Ingevity Warrington for donating some more CAPA for our Fantastic Plastic workshops. Thank you!

Huge thanks to Darren Aston from Ingevity Warrington for donating some more CAPA for our Fantastic Plastic workshops. Thank you!

Have you seen our brilliant new Planetarium Show yet? If not, then there is still time to book tickets for tomorrow or S...
29/10/2021

Have you seen our brilliant new Planetarium Show yet? If not, then there is still time to book tickets for tomorrow or Sunday. Learn to identify constellations and go on an epic ride in the hunt for alien life in our new show. Book here https://www.wtm360.co.uk/sales/catalyst-science-discovery-centre-1562313415

Have you seen our brilliant new Planetarium Show yet? If not, then there is still time to book tickets for tomorrow or Sunday. Learn to identify constellations and go on an epic ride in the hunt for alien life in our new show. Book here https://www.wtm360.co.uk/sales/catalyst-science-discovery-centre-1562313415

Photos from Halton Heritage Partnership's post
28/10/2021

Photos from Halton Heritage Partnership's post

22/10/2021

Watch this to find out what we've got planned for October half term!

What a great event we had on Friday - naming the Henry & John Brunner Room in our archives & the presentation of 2 artef...
19/10/2021

What a great event we had on Friday - naming the Henry & John Brunner Room in our archives & the presentation of 2 artefacts for permanent display in the museum - the ceremonial key from the opening of the Transporter Bridge and a silver table bell presented to Sir John Brunner at the re-opening of the Transporter Bridge in 1913. George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews officially opened the room alongside friends & relatives of the Brunner Family, Robert Mee the High Sheriff of Cheshire and Derek Twigg MP for Halton!
Halton Borough Council Halton Heritage Museums of Cheshire

Photos from Halton Heritage Partnership's post
14/10/2021

Photos from Halton Heritage Partnership's post

Just look at these lovely thank you cards we received from 1st Lydiate Beavers following their sleepover at Catalyst. Ar...
11/10/2021

Just look at these lovely thank you cards we received from 1st Lydiate Beavers following their sleepover at Catalyst. Aren't they brilliant? We're so pleased they had a great time πŸ™‚

Just look at these lovely thank you cards we received from 1st Lydiate Beavers following their sleepover at Catalyst. Aren't they brilliant? We're so pleased they had a great time πŸ™‚

We were very excited to be asked back to Kids Live at 5 on https://lymmradio.co.uk/ today. Listen later to hear Shanna o...
10/10/2021

We were very excited to be asked back to Kids Live at 5 on https://lymmradio.co.uk/ today. Listen later to hear Shanna our Education Assistant outline our plans for October half term!

We were very excited to be asked back to Kids Live at 5 on https://lymmradio.co.uk/ today. Listen later to hear Shanna our Education Assistant outline our plans for October half term!

Wow, what a week! Lucinda and Shanna have loved being part of the EP STEAM Festival @NWMuseum inspiring young people abo...
08/10/2021

Wow, what a week! Lucinda and Shanna have loved being part of the EP STEAM Festival @NWMuseum inspiring young people about Science. So much fun and so many workshops!

The formal opening of The Gossage Room was a great success this week, welcoming descendants of William Gossage, founder ...
08/10/2021

The formal opening of The Gossage Room was a great success this week, welcoming descendants of William Gossage, founder of Gossages Soap in this very building. Also Mayor of Halton Cllr Christopher Rowe wearing the same chain of office Frederick H Gossage wore as 1st Mayor in 1892!
Halton Borough Council Halton Heritage

We're looking for a flexible, hard-working team member to lead on our central booking at Catalyst. If this is you then f...
07/10/2021

We're looking for a flexible, hard-working team member to lead on our central booking at Catalyst. If this is you then follow this link to find out more:https://www.catalyst.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Admin-Bookings-Assistant.pdf

We're looking for a flexible, hard-working team member to lead on our central booking at Catalyst. If this is you then follow this link to find out more:https://www.catalyst.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Admin-Bookings-Assistant.pdf

The full-set of Gossages 'The Wheel' are available to view in our Gossage Room library and archive!
30/09/2021

The full-set of Gossages 'The Wheel' are available to view in our Gossage Room library and archive!

ICI C&P News scanning this week - expect some extracts in the weeks to come!  This time students from Runcorn Grange Com...
16/09/2021

ICI C&P News scanning this week - expect some extracts in the weeks to come! This time students from Runcorn Grange Comprehensive visit Runcorn Heath 1987

ICI C&P News scanning this week - expect some extracts in the weeks to come! This time students from Runcorn Grange Comprehensive visit Runcorn Heath 1987

Saying a HUGE Thank you to Catalyst volunteers Peter & Mary for taking the Catalyst stand to the Disability Awareness da...
14/09/2021

Saying a HUGE Thank you to Catalyst volunteers Peter & Mary for taking the Catalyst stand to the Disability Awareness day on Sunday. Even though it rained there was still a good turnout and lots of interest in Catalyst & our facilities. Well done!! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Saying a HUGE Thank you to Catalyst volunteers Peter & Mary for taking the Catalyst stand to the Disability Awareness day on Sunday. Even though it rained there was still a good turnout and lots of interest in Catalyst & our facilities. Well done!! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Visit us this weekend for FREE as part of Heritage Open Days! Explore the galleries, peek into our extensive archives, s...
10/09/2021

Visit us this weekend for FREE as part of Heritage Open Days! Explore the galleries, peek into our extensive archives, see the fab 'Where There is Light' immersive sound and light installation as part of Halton's Borough of Culture or take part in hands-on workshops #HeritageOpenDays #familyfun #wherethereislight
Celebrate Halton 2021 Halton Borough Council Arts Council England ArtReach squidsoup BBC Radio Merseyside Liverpool Echo News Runcorn and Widnes World

Visit us this weekend for FREE as part of Heritage Open Days! Explore the galleries, peek into our extensive archives, see the fab 'Where There is Light' immersive sound and light installation as part of Halton's Borough of Culture or take part in hands-on workshops #HeritageOpenDays #familyfun #wherethereislight
Celebrate Halton 2021 Halton Borough Council Arts Council England ArtReach squidsoup BBC Radio Merseyside Liverpool Echo News Runcorn and Widnes World

We are delighted to announce the opening of a fab art installation as part of Halton's Borough of Culture celebrations! ...
03/09/2021

We are delighted to announce the opening of a fab art installation as part of Halton's Borough of Culture celebrations! From 8th - 12th Sept visitors can explore Where There Is Light a new immersive sound & light installation funded by Arts Council England Tickets available on Catalyst website www.catalyst.org.uk
Celebrate Halton 2021 Halton Borough Council ArtReach squidsoup

We are delighted to announce the opening of a fab art installation as part of Halton's Borough of Culture celebrations! From 8th - 12th Sept visitors can explore Where There Is Light a new immersive sound & light installation funded by Arts Council England Tickets available on Catalyst website www.catalyst.org.uk
Celebrate Halton 2021 Halton Borough Council ArtReach squidsoup

Are you a resident of #Halton who’s unemployed and interested in gaining creative and digital skills? Our friends at Mak...
03/09/2021

Are you a resident of #Halton who’s unemployed and interested in gaining creative and digital skills? Our friends at MakoCreate and MakoDigital Arts CIC are running 3 FREE creative training courses. You receive a Β£30 amazon voucher on course completion.
https://bit.ly/digitalhalton

Are you a resident of #Halton who’s unemployed and interested in gaining creative and digital skills? Our friends at MakoCreate and MakoDigital Arts CIC are running 3 FREE creative training courses. You receive a Β£30 amazon voucher on course completion.
https://bit.ly/digitalhalton

Looking for something to do this #BankHolidayWeekend  We've got something for all - the PlayLab for under 5s, interactiv...
27/08/2021

Looking for something to do this #BankHolidayWeekend We've got something for all - the PlayLab for under 5s, interactive gallery, cafe, historical archive, science shows and workshops for the whole family! Don't forget you'll get an annual pass too! #familyfun

The women from Greenbank Works Widnes showing the importance of having first aid close at hand in 1930.
24/08/2021

The women from Greenbank Works Widnes showing the importance of having first aid close at hand in 1930.

The women from Greenbank Works Widnes showing the importance of having first aid close at hand in 1930.

On until 5th Sept! Learn about one of nature's best scientists in our Bee Discovery workshops, experiment with stings & ...
23/08/2021

On until 5th Sept! Learn about one of nature's best scientists in our Bee Discovery workshops, experiment with stings & make your own bee buzzer at 11 & 2. In Destination Space find out what Mars smells like & watch us launch a rocket at 12 & 3! Book your tickets here https://www.wtm360.co.uk/sales/catalyst-science-discovery-centre-1562313415 and receive an annual pass when you visit!

On until 5th Sept! Learn about one of nature's best scientists in our Bee Discovery workshops, experiment with stings & make your own bee buzzer at 11 & 2. In Destination Space find out what Mars smells like & watch us launch a rocket at 12 & 3! Book your tickets here https://www.wtm360.co.uk/sales/catalyst-science-discovery-centre-1562313415 and receive an annual pass when you visit!

You'll definitely get caught in the rain today if you are attending the Northwich Pina Colada Festival!  Not as tenuous ...
21/08/2021

You'll definitely get caught in the rain today if you are attending the Northwich Pina Colada Festival! Not as tenuous a reason for a festival as you may think, as the man himself, RUPERT HOLMES (who moved to the USA when he was 6) was actually born in Northwich. In a recent note to the organisers Rupert mentions his grandma who used to be an ICI canteen supervisor. A quick dive into our archives show that his great grandmother Ann Jane Pynn as well grandmother Annie Isabella Pynn were both very prominent and well-regarded members of Winnington catering staff. Here is Ann Jane's (born 1865) employment card and a photo of her in 1929.

It was very much a family affair as Ann Jane's husband Charles Joseph Pynn also worked for ICI. So too did their children, two notables being Peter Joseph Pynn (known as Charlie) who was a comedian and entertainer at many of the ICI concert parties and fund-raisers. And Francis Blatchford Pynn who worked in the laboratory.

Even Annie Isabella (RH grandmother) visit to the USA in 1949 to see her daughter didn't go unmentioned in the Alkali News - such was the rarity of foreign travel at that time!

What a delight it is to have these wonderful archives at our museum. .... if you like pina colada .. la la la - you'll be singing it all day!

An interesting donation of a couple of large ICI long service certificates - both for the same man WILLIAM HENRY ARNOLD ...
20/08/2021

An interesting donation of a couple of large ICI long service certificates - both for the same man WILLIAM HENRY ARNOLD and both for the same date / length of service. The monochrome version was issued at a time when resources were low but how typical of ICI at the time, not only to mark the occasion but to also wish to replace the certificate when the war was over. William worked as a shift chargehand at Wigg Works. He died aged 59 in 1955 and actually had just over 40 years' service in total.

Thanks to AromaPrime Themed Scents for helping with the creation of our Two Centuries of Stink exhibition. It's on until...
13/08/2021
Timeline Of Scents Lets People Sniff Town's History

Thanks to AromaPrime Themed Scents for helping with the creation of our Two Centuries of Stink exhibition. It's on until 26th September so pop down to Catalyst to have a sniff!

AromaPrime was delighted to provide scents forΒ a new exhibition which celebrates Widnes' stinky history!Β Two Centuries of Stink: Smell Mapping Widnes Past and Present is now open to visit atΒ Catalyst Science Discovery Centre and Museum.In the 1800s, the chemical industry’s arrival i...

Celebrations today as Abbey, our new cafe assistant passed her Food Hygiene & Safety and her Food Allergens Awareness tr...
04/08/2021

Celebrations today as Abbey, our new cafe assistant passed her Food Hygiene & Safety and her Food Allergens Awareness training. Well done Abbey!!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸŽ‰

Celebrations today as Abbey, our new cafe assistant passed her Food Hygiene & Safety and her Food Allergens Awareness training. Well done Abbey!!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸŽ‰

Featured Books This Month!Pop in and peruse the Runcorn New Town book and masterplan - a couple of gems in our Gossage R...
03/08/2021

Featured Books This Month!
Pop in and peruse the Runcorn New Town book and masterplan - a couple of gems in our Gossage Room Library and Archive #catalystarchivenews

New for August! The Frida Mond letters ... take a look through the large file of letters translated by Gordon Bolitho fr...
03/08/2021

New for August!
The Frida Mond letters ... take a look through the large file of letters translated by Gordon Bolitho from German into English many decades ago. They range from 1839-1875 and paint a very detailed picture of their lives when she and Ludwig first came to Widnes, right through to their move to Winnington Hall. All domestic arrangements are covered in this fascinating document. The file is on the table in our new Gossage Room Library - you don't even need to ask! #catalystarchivenews

It may be dull and rainy outside, but you can always rely on us to brighten your day with our 'Over the Rainbow' worksho...
30/07/2021

It may be dull and rainy outside, but you can always rely on us to brighten your day with our 'Over the Rainbow' workshops at 11 & 2 or the 'Medicine Show' at 12 & 3, daily until 6 Aug! Book tickets here www.catalyst.org.uk & receive a 12 month pass for the same price!

It may be dull and rainy outside, but you can always rely on us to brighten your day with our 'Over the Rainbow' workshops at 11 & 2 or the 'Medicine Show' at 12 & 3, daily until 6 Aug! Book tickets here www.catalyst.org.uk & receive a 12 month pass for the same price!

Knowing how much we enjoy a company magazine here at Catalyst, finding 3 stray DEARBORN CHEMICALS newsletters from the 1...
27/07/2021

Knowing how much we enjoy a company magazine here at Catalyst, finding 3 stray DEARBORN CHEMICALS newsletters from the 1980s constitutes a collection! If you have any to donate / loan for scanning please let us know. Pop along to our Gossage Room Library to see our magazine collection - (we have at least 1,800 company magazines scanned!) #Dearborn #catalystarchivenews #notjustprettyfaces

Some super slide scanning today by Tim and Peter!  A few images brought to life which have been unseen for a few decades...
23/07/2021

Some super slide scanning today by Tim and Peter! A few images brought to life which have been unseen for a few decades! Photos of our building before we came, Spike Island, Sankey Canal area and West Bank, Widnes in the early 1980s #catalystarchivenews

Our centre will be CLOSED FOR THE DAY on Sat 24th July as there's a large music festival happening on Spike Island. Howe...
22/07/2021

Our centre will be CLOSED FOR THE DAY on Sat 24th July as there's a large music festival happening on Spike Island. However, our cafe will be open for take-away only, so if you are in the area you know where to come for a drink, snack or ice cream! πŸ₯€β˜•πŸͺπŸ₯ͺπŸ”πŸ‘

Our centre will be CLOSED FOR THE DAY on Sat 24th July as there's a large music festival happening on Spike Island. However, our cafe will be open for take-away only, so if you are in the area you know where to come for a drink, snack or ice cream! πŸ₯€β˜•πŸͺπŸ₯ͺπŸ”πŸ‘

Photos from Halton Heritage Partnership's post
22/07/2021

Photos from Halton Heritage Partnership's post

On a day like today ... couldn't you just leap into this pool?! - A few shots of the ICI Swimming Gala at Marbury Pool i...
21/07/2021

On a day like today ... couldn't you just leap into this pool?! - A few shots of the ICI Swimming Gala at Marbury Pool in Northwich - 1970

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Mersey Rd
Widnes
WA8 0DF

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Comments

Used the archives to research ICI in the 1930's. Had tremendous support from the Archivist, Judith. Very proactive service, extremely helpful and professional as well as being polite & accommodating. Would definitely recommend a visit.
Catalyst, SJB, St Mary's Church and canal.
Wreck of a Mersey Flat bottom Boat. Spike Island.
my Dad, Jack Mercer, kneeling on the right, with the ICI Marsh Works Fire Brigade in 1944.
photo of my Dad, Jack Mercer, kneeling on right, with the ICI Marsh Works Fire Brigade in 1944.
The Mitchell & Kenyon film company was a pioneer of early commercial motion pictures based in Blackburn in Lancashire, at the start of the 20th century. It was thought that their archive was lost or destroyed. But the discovery in 1994 of a hoard of film negatives led to restoration of the Mitchell & Kenyon Collection, the largest surviving collection of early non-fiction actuality films in the world. This piece of film is of workers leaving Gossages Soap Factory in West Bank in 1901. The company was responsible for around half of all of the UK's international soap trade at this time. I wonder how many of the workers in the film have great grand-children walking around Widnes today?
Can you help out at Catalyst on Heritage Open Day - Sunday 16th Sept, anytime between 10am and 4pm? We're looking for volunteers to greet visitors to let them know what's on, to be on hand in our Observatory and to guide visitors around the museum. Full briefings will be given. Leave a message here please or email [email protected]
Jeff 5th from left.
Many wanted one of these, but were not always as lucky as I was to be at the right place at the right time.
demoltion of Dennis's Copper Works chimney Mossbank Widnes Photo Taken by relative Pat Fenlon
Mersey Jigger Flat Eustace Carry in 1905, At Clare And Ridgeway Sankey Photo By Derek Littler.
why no photos of Dennis's Copper Works on Cornubica Road where my late Grandfather worked, Charles Humphries