Egypt artefacts to be locked up to save them from damp
HISTORIC items from Macclesfield’s renowned Egyptian collection will no longer to be put on show because of failing conditions at West Park museum, it was revealed this week.
Museum bosses say that fragile items in Marianne Brocklehurst’s famous historic collection are at risk from damp.
The collection is on loan at a special exhibition in London, but when it returns to Macclesfield next month some of the items – including a mummy mask made of textile and papyrus – will have to be put straight into storage.
Bosses are applying for funding to create a new exhibition at the Old Sunday School to create a new home for the collection.
Sue Hughes, museum director, said the trust has placed a funding bid with the Arts Council for the initial stages of the project to move the collection.
The trust has already been awarded £10,000 from Macclesfield Town Council, which they hope to secure match funding for
Sue said: “We preserved the items before sending them to London so there are some we don’t want to put back out in the damp conditions.
“It’s not safe for the fragile organic items and we will have to monitor the rest, but more will have to go into storage as conditions get worse. This is sad for the people of Macclesfield who should be able to enjoy them.
“I don’t see a future in West Park Museum as it is. It doesn’t have toilet facilities for school groups and we’re not getting the visitors we should be.
“Recent work on the collection has highlighted how significant it is and we want to create a new gallery which the community can be proud of and will support the regeneration of the town.”
However, museum bosses say there is no suggestion of the museum closing in the near future.
Marianne Brocklehurst, who was the daughter of silk manufacturer John Brocklehurst, amassed the collected the 19th century and built West Park Museum in 1854 to display them.
The 500-piece collec- problem roads.
Claire Tovee had a similar experience, she said: “I reported two potholes a few weeks ago and got this same response – but then they were actually repaired a couple of days later.”
Peter Wood suggested council officers inspect roads on their bikes, adding: “It’d be healthier for them (unless they fell off in the potholes), and it’d reduce the council’s carbon footprint. Oh, and they might actually understand the problem.”
Dougie Brown said: “Don’t think we’ve got one road in Macclesfield that hasn’t got a pothole. It’s a joke.”
Vivienne Landers said: “I’m a cyclist too and I agree the roads are unsafe for cyclists, more cycle lanes are needed around town.” tion includes pottery, jewellery, statues, leather shoes and a mummy case which contained the remains of a dancing girl which Marianne Brocklehurst buried on the banks of the Nile.
The museum also has a local history display including works by artist Charles Tunnicliffe.
A spokesman for Cheshire East Council, which owns the museum and collections, said: “The council cherishes the collection and with partners we are reviewing ways of ensuring it remains accessible to the public.
“The council is not planning to sell off either the collection or West Park.”
●● Some of the Egyptian artefacts held by West Park Museum, left, West Park Museum is no longer fit for purpose
●● David Mayers showed us the issue for cyclists on Cumberland Street, Macclesfield