|The main wall exhibition contains sections on Boatbuilders; Shardlow
Hall; Wilden Ferry and Cavendish Bridge; the coming of the Trent and Mersey
Canal; James Sutton and the Shardlow Boat Company; Soresby and Flack Boat
Company; Cowlishaw's Coal Company; the North Staffordshire Railway Company;
the milling and animal feedstuffs firm F E Stevens Ltd; Public Houses and
Breweries including the history of the site of the Malt Shovel and
the neighbouring brewery/maltings building, the Ropery and the Henshall
family. NEW FOR 2014: transport and Shardlow Nurseries and the Dickinson
Also, large poster display panels tell the story of St James Church,
Wilne Chapel, the village carnival, the House of Industry, the village
schools, shops, the tramway, and a case study of a site on Aston Lane.
There is a full size replica of a narrowboat back cabin which has
been named Swift after one of the Shardlow Boat Company's craft. This displays
signwriting by Tony Lewery, roses and castles by Jan Deuchar and water
cans lent by the family of Ike Argent.
Children visiting can dress in costume. A grant from the Co-op enabled
the Centre to commission clothes of the Edwardian period of canal boating.
Elasticated to fit various sizes of small people they can give our younger
visitors the feel of life in long skirts or granddad shirts and ‘weskits’.
In the exhibition cases and displayed around the walls are items
related to rural crafts and industries including blacksmiths and cobblers
tools, farming implements, bottles from local breweries, and material relating
to the village policeman and the Aston to Shardlow tramway.
A video presentation provides an introduction to the historical port
and the present day village.