Sunday, 26 March 2017

Amazing Discovery of Treasure

Love is in the air at South Ribble Museum
10th February 2017

A ROMANTIC riddle has been solved thanks to an amazing discovery of treasure – just in time for Valentine’s Day.
In 2014, a pair of metal detector enthusiasts uncovered half of a 450-year-old silver ring with the word ‘Yours’ inscribed on it, sparking much discussion about what the cryptic inscription meant.
Now, in a remarkable coincidence, the same treasure hunters have struck again – unearthing the other half of the ring and solving the mystery.
When put together, the ring reads ‘I Am Yours’ and the new find has provided a fascinating insight into the story behind it.



David Hunt, Curator of South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre, said: “It is quite an astonishing double find and tells a heart-warming tale of love and courtship from the Tudor era.
“It is what is known as a posy ring and it dates from around 1550. They were usually made for someone with a high social status.
“Potential suitors would present them to their sweethearts as a declaration of their love, in the hope of wooing their beloved.
“Of course, we will never know if the feelings were mutual, but maybe the effort that went into it struck a chord with the recipient.”
The couple who unearthed the ring are metal detection enthusiasts Iain and Sheila Gunn, of Adlington, who are members of the Preston Metal Detecting Group.
When they made the first discovery in August 2014, they sent it to Dot Boughton, the Finds Liaison Officer for the British Museum – a requirement as the ring is legally classed as treasure due to its rarity.


After much analysis, the museum gave the ring back to the Gunns, who had no hesitation in donating it to South Ribble Museum.

Mrs Gunn said: “We love visiting the museum and admire the work of David and all of the dedicated volunteers.

“It’s a great place to visit and it’s an honour to be able to contribute to the collection – especially as it became the 1,000 object the museum has acquired.”

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Exhibition: Those magnificent Men The War Photography of Capt. William Chambers RFC

This exhibition ran from 1st September to 1st October 2016

Born in 1897 William Chambers was an electrical engineer by profession. He joined the Lincolnshire Regiment early in the war. He applied to join the Royal Flying Corp, and as a young officer learnt to fly at the Royal Aero Club, obtaining his pilot’s license exactly a hundred years ago in October 1916. He then served as a photographic reconnaissance officer with 49 Squadron in Kent.


This exhibition reveals him to have been a remarkably gifted and brave photographer. His work is a remarkable testament to the precarious nature of early flight, and the brave men on both sides who took warfare into the air.

His collection of some 80 large format negatives taken on service, and an album of photographs, passed through the family to his nephew, New Longton resident Richard Chambers. A keen photographer himself, Mr Chambers realised there immense historical significance and passed them to fellow Leyland Photographic Society member David Lewis. A recognised master of developing images from early negatives, David has spent over 200 hours producing the sepia toned images.

The exhibition graphically shows the risk intrinsic to early flight: landing strips were usually rough fields, the aircraft were string bound wooden struts and canvas, and crashes were very frequent. Around 8000 men were killed in training – more than in actual combat.



On the 15th May 1918, now a captain in the RAF, William Chambers took off on a routine reconnaissance over France with his American observer Lt. R.J.Burky. They were shot down by a German fighter, killing both men. Captain Chambers has no known grave, and is listed on the Arras Memorial. His pictures were carefully treasured, and can now be seen in this remarkable exhibition.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

National Archaeology Festival 2016

Cuerdale Hoard Find-spot Walk

Dr Fiona Edmonds addressed the 35 adults, children and babies who came on the walk on Sunday July 31st.

The group led by Dr David Hunt, curator of the South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre, left St. Leonards church at 2pm and Dr Edmonds spent two hours answering questions during the walk.

Dr Edmunds is a leading authority on the period 800AD -1100AD and was Senior Lecturer in Celtic and Anglo Saxon Studies at Cambridge. She has recently taken up a senior post at Lancaster University. 

The museum is very fortunate to have, on loan from the Harris Museum and on permanent display, a selection of the original coins found at Cuerdale in 1840. The Borough is very proud of its links with the discovery of what at the time was England's greatest treasure.


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Leyland Artists Exhibition.

Our current exhibition is from a relatively new art group (only established some five years ago) here in Leyland.  Known as the Leyland Artists they currently have 28 artists producing work in watercolour, acrylics, oils, pastel, ink and wash and graphite.

Floral artist Sophie O'Regan is also exhibiting an installation designed specifically for the museum alongside this exhibition. Watch the video below for more details...

















Saturday, 7 November 2015

Open Art Exhibition 2015

7th November 2015
The Borough's annual Art Exhibition was opened by the Mayor of South Ribble at 11am on Saturday the 7th attracted almost 90 entries. The work has been adjudicated by well-known Fulwood artist and teacher Pam Potter.

First Place: Dr Christopher Tattersall, for
'My Wife: Advanced Alzheimers'


Runner Up: Douglas Holloway, for
'Top Lock, Wheelton'

Third Place: David Jaundrell, for 
'Quayside'

Works by Bill Southworth, Yvonne Birchall, Mark Reynolds, Sue Redman and Maureen Walker were also Commended. The public can now have their say by voting for the painting of their choice. The work receiving the most votes will be awarded the South Ribble Blue Ribbon at noon on the last Saturday of the month.

Pam Potter with the winner 
Christopher Tattersall
David Hunt (Curator) introducing the 
Mayor and Consort of South Ribble
Local Artist Chris Oakden with 
Eleni, the subject in his painting 
'Sweet Dreams'
Sue Redman with friend Joan Hassall 
stood by Sue's commended work 
'Shining Through'

Standing Room Only!

Beautiful Silverwork of Martin Sergeant

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Stewart Whillis at Leyland Museum

18th July
In a quite brilliant lecture local clock expert Stewart Whillis fascinated a considerable audience at the museum with the story of William Leigh, one of the master clock makes of English horologists golden age.

Stewart Whillis answering many questions

Amongst his creations was the celebrated Worden Hall clock. Stewart spoke of his own very early involvement with rescuing the clock. He has been responsible for weekly windings ever since, as was recently recognised by a presentation from South Ribble Borough Council. Stewart added, ‘It has been a pleasure to have been custodian of what is a marvelous piece of English workmanship at its very best. William Leigh was decades ahead of his time’.



Museum makes 1000th acqusition to its collection

16th July
In our most successful Archaeology Festival ever, visitors attending Dot Boughton’s fascinating talk about her involvement in the discovery of the Silverdale Hoard were in for a special treat. The Viking treasure, discovered in 2011 is believed to have been one man’s share of the much larger Cuerdale Hoard. 

Coins from the 1840 find are currently on display at the museum kindly on loan from the Harris Museum, Preston. Image P1020348 shows Dot autographing postcards of the Silverdale Hoard. She spoke at some length of her role as Finds Liaison Officer at the British Museum for the NW of England.
In this respect she is responsible for treasure Trove, and presented an inscribed silver ring found by metal-detectionists Iain Gunn and his wife at Mawdesley to the museum. It dates from around 1550 and is of a type known as a Posy Ring.  
Dot examining a small bronze axe

This is the first Treasure Trove the museum has received. It was also the 1000th donation of items to the South Ribble Museum collection. As curator Dr David Hunt said, ‘We are a tiny volunteer run museum so this is quite a day for us. I don’t think our founders in 1978 could ever quite have envisaged this day coming along!’. But that was not the end of the occasion, because Dot went on to identify a locally found small bronze axe as dating from around 1700bc. That is almost 4000 years old. Dot had the last word, ‘This is really exciting, it is not a rare or valuable find but really is what my job is all about; saving our heritage for the nation’.