The Trust is a key partner in supporting the Lion Salt Works Museum, working alongside Cheshire West and Chester Council, with whom it has a close, friendly and long-term relationship. Our contribution takes many forms:
The Trust’s charitable status means we are able to access a variety of sources of funding allowing us to continue with the remaining restoration tasks. For example in 2016, the Museum’s rare railway Salt Wagon was entirely restored thanks to a £20,000 grant secured by the Trust from the Association for Industrial Archaeology. This work was completed in the workshops at Llangollen Railway and returned to its position near the entrance to the site, where it is now the first thing visitors see on arriving at the site.
In the longer term we are actively working towards having a permanent home on site to make salt. Our counterparts at Laeso in Denmark have shown what can be done and we see no reason why their success cannot be replicated at Marston.
Using its charitable status, we play an important role in getting sponsorship from local businesses to support exhibitions and events run by the Museum staff.
The Trust works closely with Cheshire West and Chester Council and in 2019, along with the Council’s architects, Donald Insall Associates, we helped with the restoration of the ‘Nodding Donkey’ pump. The newly-restored pump is a soaring 10-metre presence on site and is an important part of the visual understanding of how the site works. Historic research on the working of the pump was provided by Juan Cunliffe and other Trust volunteers, who also provided information for the new display boards.
Trust volunteers have long experience of demonstrating the processes of evaporating brine to make salt. We continue these demonstrations as part of the visitor experience at museum events such as its annual Vintage Transport Festival, ‘Amazed about Science’ week and Christmas weekend, to name but a few.
The Trust is keen to spread the news about the Lion Salt Work Museum and the significance of open-pan, salt-making for Cheshire, its people, landscape and industry. A Trust team has a number of different talks that we deliver to groups and societies around the region.
The Works was named for the Red Lion pub that stands at the entrance to the site and is now incorporated into the Museum. In conjunction with Museum staff, in 2019, we were delighted to spearhead the important and not at all arduous task of beer tasting research. Our chosen beers were later branded, bottled and sold at the Museum.
Over the years, the Lion Salt Works has benefitted from the interest and support of salt-making sites and other historical industrial monuments around the world. We are proud that the Lion Salt Works is a member of the European Route of Industrial Heritage ( ERIH ) and were delighted to be the host venue for their annual international conference in 2017.
A key part of the on-going work of the Trust is to champion the Lion Salt Works to ERIH and other similar organizations; to renew and develop our international network of contacts and
supporters and to promote academic research.
The Trust is a social group of people, with informal meetings often held in local pubs. From time-to-time we also make bigger trips to indulge our passion for all things ‘salt’. For instance in 2018, several Trustees self-funded to attend the fascinating 3rd International Conference on the Antropology of Salt held in Vitoria, Spain.
The Trust works closely with local business and organisations to promote the Museum. For instance, we have close ties to the Cheshire and Peak District Branch of Butterfly Conservation, which has created and maintains the Museum’s butterfly garden.
The Trust is always keen to welcome new supporters, friends and Trustees. To find out how to get in touch, click Here