An interesting afternoon at the gallery





On Sunday, 26th May, visitors were treated to a tour and talk by Sam, one of the Haworth Art Gallery staff.

We went on a tour of the Tiffany rooms looking at the various beautiful pieces of glass. Sam explained how Tiffany, as a young man, had been on archaeological digs in Cyprus and was fascinated by the glass items unearthed. Having been in the ground for hundreds of years, glass pieces had acquired a natural textural iridescence and he wanted to recreate this effect in his glass.

With a great deal of experimentation over several years, his team of chemists and craftsmen were able to produce textured iridescent glass using metal compounds, producing differing colours of blue, purple, green, silver and gold. Pieces of this glass were used in mosaics, some of which were huge and decorated many public and private buildings in America. Special vases and display pieces were also made and the gallery has a wide selection in their permanent collection, some of the pieces being rare. We have to thank Joseph Briggs, originally from Accrington, who rose to be the top man at Tiffany Glass, as he sent back to Accrington so many pieces of Tiffany glass for our town when the works closed, rather than have the pieces destroyed. Today, the gallery’s collection of Tiffany glass is the best in Europe, having such diverse examples, some of which are rare.

The talk ended with a viewing from the gallery’s collection of an ancient vial of Roman glass unearthed in Cyprus. This piece showed the natural iridescence which had developed in the hundreds of years the item had been buried. Sam also had several iridescent Tiffany tiles for us to view and explained the process of their manufacture.

A most enjoyable and fascinating afternoon. If you go along to the gallery, you can see the Tiffany collection and read about its manufacture and how it came to be here.

Viewing at the gallery, Feb 25,2024

Fascinating and amazing! Our viewing day today was all about coins, medals and tokens.

Replicas of ancient coins astonished visitors with their detail, depicting people with helmets or intricate hairstyles, animals and insignia. These replicas represented coins dating from 700BC to 336BC. British coinage from a coin of Elizabeth l up to Elizabeth ll were on view and visitors were able to compare old sterling coins and current decimal coinage.

Tokens were most interesting with the story of their origins in ancient times and their usage in Britain in the 17th and late 18th century. Provincial coins were manufactured in towns and cities when the Royal Mint wasn’t producing coins. These were attractive with each having the name of the place and reliefs showing their important aspects eg. t he Rochdale one showed a sheep’s fleece on one side, which represented the town’s woollen trade. Also on show were workhouse tokens, protest tokens, merchants tokens and several tokens from Accrington and Church Industrial Co-operative Society. Some visitors

remembered these and there were discussions about the Co-op “Divi” which was paid in coins or tokens – this compared to present day supermarket Club Card rebates. Tokens from the local soft drinks firm, Stantons, were shown along with one of their stone jars for which people had to pay a 2/6 deposit.

Transport tokens were also shown – tram tokens being sometimes given to workers to ensure they got to work. Truck tokens were given to workers in part payment of wages. These could only be spent in the company shop, where prices were often inflated. Whilst the idea was that workers couldn’t spend their wages on getting drunk, the employer also made a profit on the truck system.

Amongst the tokens were two issued to commemorate the acquittal of two men accused of treason. They both had taken part in the Radical Movement in the 1700’s protesting against Government repression. Others in the movement were imprisoned and some hanged.

Much interest was also shown in two love tokens. These were common in the times of George ll and George lll. They were used by the rich to indicate either a secret romance or a token of esteem prior to a formal engagement. These were made from coins which had the initials of the couple on the reverse.

As for the medals we had on show, these included the Accrington Womens Temperance Society medal and ribbon and a medal and ribbon from Accrington Baby Day in 1929 in Oak Hill Park, which was attended by nearly 700 mums and children. Entertainment was provided and everyone was served an afternoon tea, demonstrating how good Edwardian organisational skills were.


Our event was the second viewing day we have organised and was a fascinating day for those who came along. Several people asked for more viewing days and there are more planned for later in the year.


Well done and thanks to all those who made this such a good event.

Santa at the Gallery


 Santa at the Gallery

Sunday December 17th 2033

Yo Ho Ho          Santa arrived at the gallery ringing his bell.

Santa came to the gallery for a short visit. He could only stay for two hours as he was very busy and had another place to go today as well.

So many families came, we were overwhelmed. 300 visitors in two hours. But it was a free event so that probably accounted for the numbers coming.
The gallery staff had set up a grotto in the morning room and Santa’s elves were there to help entertain the children, who all got a small gift.

The Red Rose singers performed and their Christmas songs echoed through the gallery creating a merry atmosphere. Lovely to hear.
The gallery staff had created an elf trail inside the gallery and the children loved searching for the elves and solving a puzzle on the way. Outside in the Rose Garden, there was a reindeer trail. Children had to find the names of all the reindeers who were hiding. But we had a problem –Rudolph had gone missing, so children were searching through the bushes and trees to try to find him. But no luck. So had he set off back to the north Pole, gone exploring, gone for his tea or been kidnapped? No-one knew and no-one found him. So we were all hoping he would be found soon.

Christmas crafts were also provided by the gallery and so many children and their parents enjoyed taking part.
The Artist’s Studios were open for visitors and there was a lovely selection of crafts, pictures and cards on display for sale, with a warm welcome for everyone.
Altogether, six of our Friends group took part in the event. Well done to them and the gallery staff for creating such a great event for our local families.


Heritage Fun Day at the Gallery

                                              With Fun and Frolics
On Sunday, September 17, 2023, the Friends of Haworth Art Gallery together with Gallery Staff and Arts in the Market came together to provide a day of heritage and fun for our local community and beyond.

The day kicked off with the Mayor of Hyndburn, Councillor Terry Hurn opening the event. Staff and Friends dressed in period costume and Arts in the Market organisers dressed as pirates to go with their display of “Under the Sea”, which was made by children in the market during the school holidays.


Here children see their art work on the wall for the first time – a beautiful display.


There was laughter and enjoyment for all. The ever popular tombola was well patronised, as was Marilyn’s arts and crafts sale.

Heritage games provided much amusement with spinning tops spinning off the table across the room. Table skittles and bagatelle became very competitive, with visitors vying to get the best score. Our finger puppet theatre was popular with the younger visitors, who acted out children’s stories like Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. Dressing up was again a feature

Gillian and Sam took people on tours of the house, pointing out its beautiful Arts and Crafts features. Amelia, as our Victorian Explorer, took the children on

an adventure, where they had to be detectives and find all the various animals in the carvings. She also did story telling.

Harry, above, acting as the coachman William Beach, took people on a tour of the stable/motor home block, which was converted into artists’ studios several years ago. Visitors were fascinated by all the stories our three tour guides told.

One of the visitors was the great granddaughter of the coachman, William Beach, and Jean was able to give her a lot information about her great grandfather, also being able to put her in touch with a distant cousin she didn’t know about.

As well as all that, we were treated to two sessions of Lancashire dialect songs by Jennifer Reid, who was entertaining as well as amusing at times. Her songs were interspersed with explanations of the meanings of some of the more obscure dialect words. A real adventure into Lancashire Heritage.


Jennifer Reid


All in all, a really successful day as well as a lot of fun and the theme of Heritage, especially of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, was well represented in all the activities.


Thanks to all who took part, helped with the organisation and planning donated resources and gave their time. Well done.

New coin boxes are now in use

The new coin boxes bought by the Friends of Haworth Art Gallery are now in use. Sandy, Jean and Harry are in the process of transferring coins, medals and commemoratives from their previous envelope storage into the new secure boxes. Each coin is re-inspected and its new location recorded. This new system will allow much better access to the items, as well as ensuring their safe storage. The photograph shows some of the Friends seeing how the new storage works.


Storage Boxes

Hurrah – the storage boxes for the coins have arrived. With great excitement, we opened the boxes on Tuesday when we went in to the gallery to do some more documentation.

The Friends paid for them as we agreed at our last meeting. The storage boxes were desperately needed as we had coins and medals in many envelopes in a shoe box and open plastic box. So their storage was unsafe.

Now that we have suitable archive boxes, all these items will now be secure.


Haworth Art Gallery – Hyndburn Business Awards June 2023

Haworth Art Gallery was nominated in the Hyndburn Business Awards 2023 and was a finalist in two of the categories. The results were announced at a dinner and presentation at the Dunkenhalgh and the gallery had a table there. Gallery staff, a representative of the Artists’ Studios and gallery volunteers went along for the dinner, which was accompanied by live music prior to the presentations. Three of the Friends were represented amongst the volunteers.

Whilst the gallery didn’t win, it was a prestigious occasion to attend and had done well in being finalists.

Gillian and Amelia, gallery staff with Marilyn, volunteer and member of the Friends.





Paddy representing the Artists
and Harry, volunteer and
member  of the Friends.




Liz, volunteeer, alongside Alison and Sam, gallery staff.



Jean, volunteer and member of
Friends with Liz, volunteer,
Alison, gallery staff.

Coronation Event at Haworth Art Gallery May 7, 2023

At the Haworth Art Gallery on Sunday, May 7th , we celebrated the Coronation of King Charles lll by holding a community event for our local families. Organised by Gallery staff, Accrington town councillors and the Friends of Haworth Art Gallery, with funding by Hyndburn Borough Council, a brilliant day was had by all. Following the singing of the National Anthem, where children from St Nicholas Primary School, Church accompanied the soloist, the fun commenced.

The Red Rose Singers performed in the rose garden as did the group, much to the delight and enjoyment of visitors.

Also outside, children and adults alike were able to enjoy making giant bubbles , which soared away into the sky and over the gallery. There was lots of fun inside as well. Vintage games proved to be really


popular with lots of discussion with children about the toys that were played with over 100 years ago.
Spinning tops became very competitive—who could make their toy spin the longest! A bagatelle and table skittles tested everyone’s skills and we were entertained by children acting out stories in the puppet theatre.

Crafts for children also had loads of clients and the crowns made

 were seen all afternoon on children’s heads in the gallery. Dressing up was amazingly popular with adults more so than children and the opportunity to “Have your photo taken with our king” was well subscribed as was the ever popular tombola, which did a roaring trade

Visitors who wished were taken on a guided tour of the house, looking at all the marvellous Arts and Crafts features of our building.

Every child attending received a party bag , which included a Coronation Commemorative medal, and enjoyed an ice cream with sprinkles in coronation colours. Featured in the gallery was a display of art work by children from St John Primary School, Baxenden and prizes for the best pieces were presented.