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See a Victorian Harvest in action at Stretton Water Mill

Weekend of events includes butter-making and apple pressing

Councillor Louise Gittins, Kate Harland, Sophie Kelly and Alan Carr at Stretton Water Mill

Stretton Water Mill is fast approaching the end of its season and is open weekends only during September from 1pm to 5pm but there is still plenty to do.

The ‘Chatterings’ exhibition by artists of Visual Arts Cheshire has been inspired by visits to the mill. The artists took stimulation from the building and mill pond, the machinery and the mill-stones and the language and lives of the millers. The artwork is available for purchase and is on display until 30 September at Stretton Mill.

On Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24 the Mill is celebrating a Victorian Harvest with butter making, corn dollies, recipes, Victorian country music with the resident miller, Chris Hocking, and ‘the wonders of the bicycle’.

Cllr Louise Gittins, cabinet member for communities and wellbeing said: “Chatterings is a lovely exhibition and is a great partnership between Museums and Visual Arts Cheshire. The harvest weekend will be a delightful end to the season capturing the romance of the mill. You can even bring your own apples and have them pressed (bring some bottles too).”

Apples from the Mill apple trees will also be pressed during the weekend. The apple trees are all Cheshire varieties with romantic names and stories:

Burr Knot

A culinary apple, known since before 1818, with a sweet, juicy flavour. It gets its name from the burrs along the tree which will root.

Trees that produce these burrs, which are dark rough patches looking a bit like a black truffle, will root when the burr is put into contact with the ground. It is said that the Reverend Bide, on a visit to Cheshire in 1848 cut a branch from a tree of Burr Knot to make a walking stick. On his return to Hertford he stuck the walking stick into the ground where it took root and grew into a fruiting tree. It was propagated and distributed as the Reverend Bide’s Walking stick in that locality.

Arthur W Barnes

An attractive and popular mid-season cooking apple bred from a cross between Gascoyne’s Scarlet and Cox’s Orange Pippin by NF Barnes in 1902, the head gardener to the Duke of Westminster, and named after his son. It is very versatile in the kitchen and cooks to a puree. Arthur Barnes was killed in the First World War and his grave is in Eccleston churchyard near Chester.

Millicent Barnes

An apple also developed from a cross between Gascoyne’s Scarlet and Cox’s Orange Pippin by NF Barnes in 1903, and named after his daughter. Millicent Barnes, later Millicent Witter lived on the Wirral, her son is still alive. The Barnes family lived at Eccleston on the Duke’s estate. It is a dessert apple.

September is also the last chance to see Woollen Woods – an array of woolly native woodland flora and fauna on display, from knitted ladybirds to felted fungi and crocheted robins. They are hiding all around the woodlands

For more information visit www.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk .

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