Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Welcomes a New Chair of Trustees

15th November 2022
in news

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is delighted to announce the appointment of Alex Walker as the new Chair of Trustees. Alex has over 40 years experience in the museum sector, including being head of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston, Chair of the British Association of Friends of Museums and is currently a member of the advisory panel for the Heritage Volunteering Group. She has been a Museums Association regional representative and is completing her term as Chair of the NW Federation of Museums.

Alex Walker, Chair of Trustees says “I look forward to working with the team of trustees, staff and volunteers to support the House in delivering a high-quality visitor experience and to achieve Arts Council Museum Accreditation in the next 12 months. As we approach our tenth anniversary in 2024 it is an exciting time for Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and I look forward to being involved in the many new initiatives and projects we have planned.”

Alex Walker, Chair of Trustees, planting a Spindle tree in the garden at Elizabeth Gaskell's House with the volunteer gardening team
Alex Walker, Chair of Trustees, planting a Spindle tree with members of the volunteer gardening team at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

To celebrate this new appointment Alex helped plant a new tree in the garden at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House this week as part of the extended Queen’s Green Canopy initiative. The Spindle Tree being planted is one of Britain’s most colourful native trees, turning a spectacular deep red in autumn, but as its name suggests it also has resonance with Manchester’s historic cotton-spinning past, a subject matter explored in several of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels including her first novel Mary Barton.

Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd, House Manager at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, saysOur dedicated volunteer gardening team meets weekly to maintain the garden throughout the year.  Like the rest of the House’s collection, the plants we choose for the garden must meet a specific criteria including being available in the mid-nineteenth century when the Gaskell family lived in the House. The Spindle Tree and its association with the cotton industry also links perfectly to our 2023 online talks season which focuses on Elizabeth’s 1848 novel Mary Barton. During the year we will be exploring the story, characters, and industrial background of the novel through a series of online events “

Full details and booking information for all the online events can be found on the website. Events are run on Zoom and priced at £5 per ticket.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is open every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11:00am to 4:30pm. Entry is £7.00 for adults and free for children under 16, when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are valid for 12 months from purchase and can be pre-booked by clicking here here.

For further information on Elizabeth Gaskell’s House visit

A Large Cheerful, airy house, quite out of Manchester smoke.

Charlotte Brontë on visiting the House, 1851