4th October

Catalyst celebrates 30 years!

1987 saw the birth of Catalyst – The Museum of the Chemical Industry based in Widnes, Cheshire. Thirty years on and following a name change, Catalyst Science Discovery Centre celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a fabulous showcase event to mark the occasion. Invited guests included the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, the Mayor of Halton, trustees, patrons, friends, supporters, volunteers and a group of cubs from St Luke’s, Widnes who had a great time mixing ‘potions’ in the laboratory with Catalyst Education Manager, Lucinda.

In his keynote speech, Professor Dominic Tildesley, Past President of the Royal Society of Chemistry recognised the incredible efforts of the staff and trustees and congratulated them on their 30th Anniversary. He said “Catalyst, is a celebration in itself, a celebration of the rich history and heritage of the area. Widnes and Runcorn were rightly known as the very centre of the chemical manufacturing industry in the North West. The original ‘Northern Powerhouse’. And the museum here holds a unique collection that tells a very powerful story. 30 years on, of course Catalyst has evolved considerably and has a dual role as a museum but very importantly a great educational facility for the chemical sciences and related STEM subjects. With the Discovery Lab, hands-on experiments, family workshop and extra activities in the Observatory, Catalyst is more engaging and inspiring than ever before. Thank you, on behalf of the chemical science community. The RSC has been proud to support you.”

Speaking about the event, Chairman Bryan Davies said “It was a splendid occasion enjoyed by civic dignitaries, sponsors, trustees and staff celebrating Catalyst’s 30th Anniversary. The centre continues to deliver science lessons to people from many walks of life and ages from 5 – 95. The keynote speech from Professor Dominic Tildesley highlighted the major contribution that Catalyst had made both locally and nationally as a science centre and as a repository for some amazing archive items about the local and regional chemical industry and wished the centre continuing prosperity and success in the future.”

Director of Catalyst Jayne Edwards added “At our 30th Anniversary Celebrations it was marvellous to see such a range of support for Catalyst in its mission to ‘preserve the past and inspire the future’. The enduring support of local industry, academia, professional bodies such as the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Chemical Industries Association, Halton Borough Council etc is highly valued and enables Catalyst to welcome the public and schools to experience the world of science and local history.”