Bollington is a pretty Cheshire market town about 18 miles south of Manchester, known to its residents as Happy Valley. It was once a hive of the Industrial Revolution, with mills spinning some of the finest cotton to stock the city’s warehouses. It used to be home to the biggest water wheel in England. Now it’s home to 16 pubs.

Tales of the Town is an interactive exhibition running from 2 – 4 June created by local anthropologist Zak Tanamli together with Manchester-based artists Sophie Bullock and Anna Horton.

They interviewed local residents and groups to capture how village life has changed over the years, before putting these accounts inside exhibition boxes.The boxes come alive when touched, playing eyewitness accounts of how the town has changed over the years, with old photographs, objects that relate to the recorded stories, newspaper clippings and more.

Each beautifully crafted box brings a different time of the town to life. Tracking them down makes for a great day out for all the family – even children who think history is boring.

Manchester artists create stunning new exhibition in Happy Valley I Love Manchester

Bollington Cross Primary School will be showcasing their very own time capsules displaying messages to the future.

Families can also enjoy creative workshops to make take-home paper time capsules or get hands-on with the technology involved in the interactive exhibition.

It’s all part of SHIFT, a programme celebrating digital arts and tech-promoting digital experiences in unexpected spaces this summer featuring a jam-packed series of events and hands-on activities, from exhibitions, installations and workshops to talks, tech meet ups and pop-up maker stations.

Manchester artists create stunning new exhibition in Happy Valley I Love Manchester

There’s even more for the whole family as a free fun day for all takes place at Bollington Arts Centre on 3 June from 11am – 3pm.

So take a nostalgic trip through this charming Cheshire town, discover the handmade curiosity cabinets and enjoy the stunning surrounding countryside. It’s an easy trip from Manchester and makes for a fun half-term day out.

Visitors will be given a map identifying the whereabouts of the artists’  homemade curiosity cabinets throughout the town

For more information and the full SHIFT Programme:

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