Celebration day as institute turns 175

Mechanics Institute trustee Jim Oliver with the copies of the Epworth Bells. Picture: Malcolm Billingham E0325MB
Mechanics Institute trustee Jim Oliver with the copies of the Epworth Bells. Picture: Malcolm Billingham E0325MB

ARTEFACTS dating back almost 200 years are to go on display at a major event showcasing Epworth’s heritage.

An open day is being held to mark the 175th anniversary of Epworth Mechanics’ Institute Library which will include a timeline depicting the area’s history.

The timeline will feature details of events and activities at the institute since it was opened by businessman William Read in 1873. It is now one of the last remaining institutes in the country.

There will also be a display of old pictures of the Isle of Axholme and copies of the Epworth Bells dating back more than 100 years will be available for people to look at.

Volunteer Chris Pledger, 56, of Sandtoft Road, Belton, said: “This is a major event in the calendar for Epworth and we want as many people as possible to come along and join in the fun.

“It is a great chance to find out about the history of the institute and Epworth in general. People can also see the great work we do here and see what activities are on offer.

“We also have details of Mr William Read who was an eminent local businessman, draper, publisher and grocer.

“The timeline looks fantastic and it has taken a fair few months to pull together through research. You never know, there might be details of some of your friends or family members.”

The celebrations will take place between 10am and 3pm on Saturday, October 20.

A raffle has been organised with the chance to win a number of prizes donated by businesses. Top prize is a 30 minute flight for two from the Real Aeroplane Club near Howden.

A number of community groups and organisations will also have stalls selling everything from books to cakes.

In addition staff will be asking for donations to a fund which will pay for the restoration of old copies of the Bells.

The mechanics’ institute was historically used as a place to provide education to adults, with a specific focus on technical subjects. It was housed in many places before finding its current home in the Manor Court House in Market Square in 1949.