Story of campaign to save Northwich’s Lion Salt works goes digital

A fascinating online resource has been launched chronicling the efforts of the Lion Salt Works Trust to bring the historic site back to life.

Almost 60 back issues of the Mundling Stick – the newsletter produced by the Trust from 1995 – have been uploaded to the Lion Salt Works website.

The digital archive provides a unique insight into the Trust’s efforts to save the last surviving open pan salt works over a 13-year period from 1995 to 2008.

The earliest edition, dated summer 1995, reports that the Trust has moved into the former Lion Inn and gives an update on the restoration of the site manager’s office.

The latest edition from winter 2008 celebrates Cheshire West and Chester Council signing contracts with the Heritage Lottery Fund and the North West Development Agency to take forward the restoration.

Named after a tool used to pack salt crystals into the moulds when making lump salt, the Mundling Stick aimed to ‘cram in all the latest information about the conservation and restoration of the Lion Salt Works’.

Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Economy, said: “The Mundling Stick newsletters are a real asset to the historic story of the Lion Salt Works.

“They illustrate the vital role the Trust has played in bringing us to where we are today – with the £8.8m restoration of this unique historic site well underway.

“I am delighted that the newsletters can now be accessed online. Not only is this fascinating resource more accessible to a wider audience, it is also preserved for future generations.”

The Lion Salt Works Trust was formed in 1993 as a registered charity. It secured a number of substantial grants, enabling surveys to be undertaken and conservation plans to be prepared.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is working closely with the Trust on the restoration project, supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will see the 19th century site reborn as a unique visitor attraction.

Trust Chairman Nick Hunt said: “The Lion Salt Works Trust have always regarded the Mundling Stick as a primary way of communicating the salt heritage story to local and wider interest groups.

“It will be an invaluable archive in understanding how the Salt Works came to be regenerated.”

The newsletters can be downloaded in PDF form at http://lionsaltworks.org/the-trust/mundling-stick/

Anyone interested in becoming involved as a volunteer with the Lion Salt Works project should email Nick Hunt at ngkhunt@yahoo.co.uk