Ribble Valley museum exhibition shines spotlight on two local hospitals

Clitheroe Castle Museum.
Clitheroe Castle Museum.
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A new history exhibition that delves into the history of what life was like for people who lived and worked in two local hospitals will be held at the town’s castle museum later this month.

Called You’d Hear Them Jingle, the display at Clitheroe Castle Museum features a range of stories about the lives of some of the thousands of people who lived, worked or had relatives at Langho’s Brockhall and Whalley’s Calderstones hospitals.

Photographs, documents, objects and a digital archive all form part of the exhibition, created as part of a Lancashire museums project in partnership with Pathways Associates CIC. The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The exhibition also includes part of “The Lost Sister” family story.

A few years ago, visual artist Melanie Sims researched her aunt’s stay at Calderstones.

This investigation resulted in Melanie producing a range of photographic and textile works, which will also be showcased. Poetry by Ronnie Kerr, who worked with Melanie on this project, will also be featured.

County Coun. Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “The exhibition shares a fascinating history of an important, but often hidden aspect of community history in Lancashire.

“It provides a valuable opportunity for people to learn more about this interesting history, which can often be lost and forgotten.

“Hospitals like this, were more frequently known as institutions, were mainly for people living with a learning disability. Such places were common all over the country at one time.

“Understanding how they came about, and who lived and worked there, provides interesting insights into changing attitudes and practices towards people with disabilities.”

The exhibition will run from Saturday, January 20th, until Saturday, February 14th in the Steward’s Gallery.

Admission to this exhibition is free, but charges apply for entry to the museum.

Clitheroe Castle Museum is managed by Lancashire County Council’s museum service, on behalf of Ribble Valley Borough Council.