On the 22nd February 2017 the Warrington Museum of Freemasonry arranged a supper for Friends of the Museum. The evening included a talk by Mitchell Hill, who is the Collection and Archive Manager for Warrington Museum as well as the Mentor for the Warrington Museum of Freemasonry. Michelle’s talk commenced with a brief history of the Warrington Museum which included some very interesting images of how the Grade II listed building looked soon after its construction was completed in 1857 and how the interior displays were organised in those early days. They looked extremely cluttered to modern eyes and especially so when compared to how the displays are currently organised.
Michelle’s talk then turned to the Warrington’s fine glass industry, which started with the Romans and flourish for centuries. A picture of Warrington dated 1722 by D Dombervand shows the town dominated by two English Cone glass furnaces. Piggots industrial directory of 1828 references eight glasshouses working in the town at that date. Warrington was well known for its production of fine flint glass.
In 1806 the Prince of Wales together with his cousin the Duke of Clarence visited Liverpool and at a subsequent formal dinner the Prince commented on the glassware on the table and requested the Mayor of Liverpool to order some glass on his behalf from the same manufacturer but showing his Prince of Wales Feathers emblem. The Council ordered 12 decanters; 36 coolers; 6 carafes; 72 Claret glasses; and 72 Port glasses from Perrin Geddies of Bank Quay, Warrington. However, this was found to be insufficient, and a further order of 12 decanters, 48 wine glasses, 48 claret glasses; and 36 goblets; a grand total of 342 items of glassware. The Council paid £600 on account and a balance of £706/18/0, a total of £1306/18/0. It took from September 1806 until January 1808 to complete the order.
The last glass factory in Warrington closed in 1933, bringing to an end many centuries of glass making in the town.