Table Manners – project event
In September 2016, Halton’s past was brought to life in the spectacular setting of Runcorn Town Hall when the Table Manners event kick-started the Borough’s Heritage Open Days programme.
Sitting at a table is something that most of us do quite regularly – it’s a place to eat, to meet, to converse, and to share. Table Manners utilised this unique setting that mixes both social and business realms to present the stories of different people from Halton’s past. Members of the Halton Heritage Partnership sat with familiar and unfamiliar ‘guests’ at a rather grand table (set with the finest silverware nonetheless), via items from their public and community collections.
The event’s historical guests included William Hankinson (1929 – 1907), a soap box maker and later an ‘aerated water manufacturer’, and Mary Shaw (1837 – 1902) who ran a soup kitchen and attended to sick seamen, who were represented at the table via a ginger beer bottle and family portrait photograph, respectively. Speaking at the event, Artist in Residence Jeni McConnell explained her vision for it:
“I think the important thing for me is that you find different ways for people to engage. I like creating things were we are looking at heritage in a different way – Table Manners presents elements of the Partnership’s collections in a unique way, whilst still focusing on the working lives of people from our past.”
Members of local (and not so local) communities joined the Halton Heritage Partnership at the event to explore the Borough’s past and to take part in a post-dinner party discussion about their shared heritage. Engaging with new audiences in creative ways is part of the shared heritage strategy that the Halton Heritage Partnership are developing as part of their Heritage Lottery Fund project, Working Lives: Working Together – so be ready for more curious engagements emerging in the future!
To find out more you can explore the Table Manners booklet from the event online here.