First Year Anniversary
5th October 2015
As we celebrate the first anniversary of the re-opening of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House I would like to pay a huge tribute to the many people who have worked so hard over the past year to make it such a great success. Through the energy, dedication and commitment of so many people the house has quickly become one of Manchester’s most popular new visitor destinations and one that is unique amongst the city’s cultural attractions. And thanks to our visitors too whose positive feedback, support and enthusiasm serves to spur us on to even greater achievements in our second year!
Chair of Trustees, Manchester Historic Buildings Trust
We have welcomed over 9,000 visitors since we reopened on 5 October 2015. Our visitors come from around the globe, as well as closer to home, to see our beautiful restoration. Your ticket gives you admission for 12 months and we’re getting to know lots of regulars.
In our first year the house has been brought to life with events and performances. In December 2014 Lip Service Theatre performed their excellent promenade show devised exclusively for us. This was facilitated by an Arts Council grant and also included fun and engaging volunteer training sessions. More recently we welcomed the singer Jennifer Reid, who developed a special programme of atmospheric Victorian ballads and dialect poetry linked to the work of both Elizabeth and William Gaskell.
Tales of Manchester Life, a youth heritage project with enJOY Arts and Tandem Theatre was a successful partnership project enabled by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council. Young women from Salford and Wythenshawe created a brilliant, clever and original promenade theatre production based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s life and writing. Three performances, which took place in May, were an absolute highlight and it was inspirational to see the themes of the house brought to life in such a way.
To find out more about this project see here
We’re grateful to all the musicians, actors, writers, academics and workshop leaders who have contributed to and supported our events programme with such enthusiasm and generosity, often on a voluntary basis.
We are located in a residential area just outside the city centre and the support of local residents is essential. We were used this year as a polling station which gave many residents the opportunity to explore the house and find out more about who lived here! We also opened for free as part of the national Heritage Open Days Festival in September and welcomed almost 400 visitors, many of them local.
In addition to opening to the public the house and garden have been used in a variety of ways during our first year – as a film set for new TV production and as a conference venue and for fine dining event. We also have rooms that can be hired for meetings and seminars – if you would like to find out more please get in touch!
With a core staff of two, we are entirely dependent on our wonderful team of volunteers and trustees. We are proud to have such engaging, enthusiastic, committed and friendly volunteers who make the house a delightful place to visit. Our volunteers help us open the house to the public, operate the tea room, maintain and develop our stunning garden, deliver our busy programme of events, private tours and much more.
We have over 70 volunteers but we are always seeking new volunteers to help out. If you are interested in volunteering and would like to find out more please get in touch by phoning 0161 2732215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You don’t need any specialist knowledge of the Gaskells, just plenty of enthusiasm and a bit of time to spare!
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is managed by Manchester Historic Buildings Trust, an independent charity. You can support us by making a donation to the trust, which will be used for the continued development of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. You can also become a member of the trust by joining the Friends of Plymouth Grove. The Friends were crucial in raising money for the restoration and ongoing support is still needed. As a Friend you will receive newsletters and benefit from special events.