Ronjul – reflecting on 2015 at Quarry Bank



I was talking to Angharad our new Archives and Collections Officer the other day and she told me about Ronjul (I should add here that she’s Welsh not Norweigian!).  The Norwegians have a name for the week between Christmas and the New Year which is Ronjul and part of the tradition surrounding this week is to spend some time reflecting on the year that has passed.

I thought I would use this blog to do just that.

2015 has been a very exciting year for us here at Quarry Bank.  Visitors have enjoyed a variety of exhibitions and events from the beautiful engravings of ‘Drawn Out of Love’ to family fun with’An Apprentice Adventure’ and the exploration of sound in ‘Aural Looms’.  We had our busiest ever year, with more of you visiting than ever before.

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Cat and Birds by Barbara Greg from the ‘Drawn Out of Love’ exhibition
Children (and grown ups) enjoyed playing in the Apprentice Adventure exhibition

We’ve conserved and restored the Clock Tower and sluice gates at Quarry Bank and continued the work on the machinery at Nether Alderley Mill.

Jerry on clock tower
Building Supervisor Jerry Veale with the restored clock face
More repairs
Repair work at Nether Alderley Mill

But the biggest event of the year for us here at Quarry Bank came back in January with the news that we had ‘won the lottery’ and been awarded a £3.9million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This meant that the Quarry Bank Project could go ahead and we’ve already make huge progress in 2015.

Work has begun on the glasshouse restoration in the Upper Garden, the frame has been removed and while it feels odd that there is a gap up there, we’re looking forward to seeing what has been described as ‘doing a jigsaw without the picture’ as the restored and replacement pieces return and are pieced back together in 2016.  When the gardens re-open in February you will be able to watch as this happens, but more on that next week.

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The glasshouse was behind them!

We’ve also been working with our local communities in Styal, Wilmslow and Wythenshawe, local schools have been involved, including Styal Primary Allotment Club, Wythenshawe schools visiting for the Manchester Airport Attendance Day and with staff taking part in mock interviews with Year 11 pupils at Wilmslow High.

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Thumbs up from a member of Styal Primary allotment club
School pupils enjoy Manchester Airport Attendance Day

There is so much more I could mention but suffice it to say, when we look back at 2015 at Quarry Bank it was a great year.

Finally, thank you.  Every visit you make and every penny you spend at Quarry Bank helps us with the conservation of this unique site.  As part of the National Trust our aim is ‘Forever, for everyone’ and this is only possible while you visit and enjoy Quarry Bank so much.

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Thank you from the staff and volunteers at Quarry Bank

Next week I will take a look at what is coming in 2016…..(hint – there are a lot of new and exiting things to look forward to)

Happy New Year!


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