From its heyday in the nineteenth century as a major manufacturing town and centre of wire-making, textiles, tanning, chemical production and brewing through to its designation as a new town in the late 1960s and subsequent development as a thriving business and commercial centre, Warrington has always proudly called itself the `Town of Many Industries', having a varied economy that created one of the great industrial centres of north-west England.
Working life in the town was very different a hundred years ago. Most people worked long hours in badly lit, unventilated factories full of dangerous machinery and hazardous chemicals, making goods for sale, while today the town's inhabitants can be found sitting at computers in business parks, building societies and call centres. Warrington at Work explores these changes in a fascinating series of contemporary photographs and illustrations. It looks at the impact that the Industrial Revolution had on the population and the consequences of rapid urbanisation, the changes in the industrial landscape during the Victorian era, the impact of war and the post-war decline of its heavy industries, late twentieth-century regeneration and Warrington's reinvention as a confident and thriving postindustrial town with a bright future.
Janice Hayes is the Principal Manager at Warrington Museum, where she has worked for over 30 years. As a native 'Warringtonian' her particular interests lie in researching the town's history, adding to the museum's important photographic archive and helping communities to record their past.