Thursday, 22 August 2013

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Help !

The Manchester Express broke down in the Summit Tunnel today in 1899.
The tunnel completed in 1841 is 2869 yards in length and at the date of completion was the longest railway tunnel in the world.
It claimed 28 human lives and took two years four months to complete and cost £251,000.
Here at Touchstones we have a photograph collection which includes the Summit Tunnel and many are of the disastrous fire on December 20th 1984 which are in colour and show flames leaping from the ventilation shafts. Please call in to view these if you are able.

Monday, 19 August 2013

On this day in China 8

The art of curator.................................

Once you have transported the art between venues you need to go through the process of:

  • unpacking

  • condition checking

  • preparing the art for hanging.........

Rochdale Town Centre

Following on from yesterday's post and also thinking about our town centre's regeneration, the oldest hiuse in Rochdale was demolished in 1908 for new development.
This was The Great House, Amen Corner, situated in what is now Newgate. The land ajoining was known as The Orchard, where the War Memorial is now.
The house dated back to 1565.
If you live locally please call in to Touchstones and see the many photographs we have in our collection on the town centre's development over the years.

On this day in China 7 - Shopping

Along with acting as Courier to the art, experiencing the culinary delights  we thought we would share with the delights of shopping and inparticular the cute brading/ logos you see when out and about.

Loved the panda brand - not the heads on the figures so much, but the logo is cool. 

Really like this logo

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Long Gone !

Belfield Hall was last tenanted, August 18th 1891.
The family of Belfield appears in deeds as early as 1278 with Adam de Belfield, in 1523 holding ancestral estates.
This quotation appeared on a sundial at the hall :

As the hour that is past, so doth life fly.

On this Day in China 6 Food Update

Stinky tofu is a delicacy - not as bad as it could have been, but will pass next time! 

Some of the other food this evening was really good though and they embrace our vegetarianism. The food in Hunan is known for being hot and spicy.

The equivalent of Walkers crisps are also available in China - how does cucumber  or lime flavoured take your fancy!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Raining Cats and Dogs !

Rochdale on this day in 1891 had a record rainfall of 2.124 inches.

On This Day in China 5

Here is today's update from our Art Gallery Officer:

The schedule is pretty hectic and moving the exhibition from Zhengzhou and Changsha is about 500 miles overland! There are two quite big lorries which are climate controlled with all the artworks in the crates.
It took a 13 hour journey to get to ChangshaTomorrow the customs people come and then we can unload and start condition checking all over again. 

Here are some pictures of the journey to Changsha:

Help its 41degress!!!!!!!

Arrived at Changsha

Friday, 16 August 2013

On This Day in China 4: Food

Here is a picture of the take out lunch box which they have ordered each day for us at the museum.

Had noodles for breakfast as well today though. There are lots of veggie Chinese dishes, the difficulty is in getting across that you don't eat meat or fish, it's a difficult concept to grasp for them and if you went to a restaurant without someone who spoke Chinese, you really need to go somewhere with a picture menu. We did go to Pizza Hut two nights ago just for a change from Chinese food potentially three times a day. There is also Starbucks, Hagen Daaz, KFC, McDonalds (of course), but they all have some different variations on what they would serve in UK

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Rained Off !

The Rushbearing Holiday this year has been marred by bad weather.
Rochdale Observer, August 15th 1929.

During the Rushbearing, Rochdale, the commercial and religious centre of one of the largest single parishes in the country, was flooded with visitors from rural villages such as Milnrow, Whitworth, Littleborough and Wardle; some of which later developed their own rushbearing festivals.
               Absracted from ' Rochdale Revisited ' by John Cole.

On This Day in China 3

The giant statue is in the main entrance/foyer of Henan Museum. People like to pose with it for photos.

Chinese people are mad for taking pictures and love their mobile phones and cameras. Two men both wanted to have their photo taken with me at the Shaolin Temple?!.........      and a small child ran after me in the street here near the shopping mall to take my photo!

Watched performance of ancient Chinese music in Henan Museum

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

On This Day in China 2

All going well. Massive thunderstorm last night! Then final day of condition checking. We have 7 paintings and 3 sculpture to do out of 80 artworks altogether. Well, until we have to do it all again in Changsha

It's quite tiring as condition checking is when you have to concentrate all the time, but otherwise it is just like work at home, we just happen to be working in a museum in China! We finished all the condition checking at 12noon today and then got taken here which was amazing (

Tomorrow we go to the museum and wait for the customs people to check the crates (there are customs between different provinces here not just when you enter or leave the country). 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

On This Day in China

Our Art Gallery Officer is currently in China acting as Courier for Greater Manchester Museum Groups exhibition: Towards Modernity: Three Centuries of British Art. We thought it would be interesting to blog about her oriental experiences.

Made it to Zhengzhou.

Went across to Henan Museum this evening to oversee the crates being moved into the gallery and met the art handling team who seem great. 

Then we got taken for dinner by three staff from the museum - one of the directors, the head of exhibitions and someone from the digital department - all women and we entertained them with our vegetarianism!

So tomorrow morning we start the take down and condition checking which we have three days to do before the customs checks on Tues and then the transit to Changsha on Weds. 

Because I went to see the crate move, I got to see the exhibition which looked very 'proper' and well done. So funny seeing our paintings in a museum in China!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Storm Force !

Manchester Guardian Report August 7th 1830 :
On the afternoon of Friday the 30th ultimo Rochdale was visited by a storm of thunder and rain the latter of  which accunulated to such degree that the sough, laid for the purpose of conveying water from the old church yard, that the sough blew up carrying with it a considerable portion of the wall on the left hand descending into Packer Street and a large mass of earth.
Some of the stones probably weighing 12 score pounds were forced a distance of a dozen or 14 yards by the impetuosity of the stream.
The cottages on the left hand of the steps were suddenly inundated and the garden in front covered with bricks and stones, no person injured.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Collections Online

Our Online Collections Database is back up and running on our website.

Location, Location, Location !

Sale today in 1836 of Roche Bank Estate.
This was the property of Charles Rhodes and consists of the Mansion House, another Mansion House in the process of being built and numerous springs.
These properties are set in over 14 acres.

Monday, 5 August 2013

School's Out !

Is anyone playing out ?
Please click on this link to see how we played :

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Buckets and Spades at the ready !

Back on the holiday theme :
Early in 1942, the Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor James Hardman, together with most of the Mayors of other towns in Lancashire and Yorkshire, attended a conference in Huddersfield.
The subject was Holidays at Home.

Please click on the link below to find out more :

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Join The Parade

A cycle parade and procession was held today in 1921, organised by the Rochdale Branch of the British Legion.