24th May

Catalyst opens new History Makers Gallery!

On Friday 17th May, Catalyst was thrilled to officially open the Baker Gallery, a new exhibition which celebrates the work of local chemist Dr Harry Baker, a pioneer in the development of chlorine production at the Castner Kellner factory in Runcorn, on the site now owned by INOVYN.

The gallery has been funded by AIM Biffa Award under a scheme called History Makers which enables museums to recognise remarkable people that helped to shape our world.

Guests at the opening included members of the Baker Family, Chris Tane CEO of Inovyn, members of AIM, invited guests and Year 5 pupils from Weston Point Community Primary School who worked with the designer of the gallery to research the life and work of Harry Baker. They produced a newspaper which was given away at the event and created a song which they performed at the opening ceremony.

Dr Diana Leitch, Chair of Trustees and Acting Director of Catalyst said “It’s almost 3 years ago that we had a dream to create a gallery dedicated to a local history maker and we hope that when you see the gallery you will understand its significance. Catalyst is very much about the past, present and the future, and the future is the young people that we inspire.

We chose to work with Weston Point Community Primary School particularly because they are right next door to where Harry Baker worked from 1897 for the rest of his career, and where 122 years on, chlorine is still produced today, which is incredibly important.”

Emma Chaplin, Director of AIM, the Association of Independent Museums, said “It is fair to say that most of us had not heard of Harry Baker when we received the application from Catalyst but we were blown away by the passion and the huge connection to the site and the community.  You’ve set the bar really high for other History Makers and from our point of view, it’s great that we can showcase you to other museums across the country and that BiffaAward can show how landfill tax money is being invested, so, incredibly well done for making such a difference.”

You can find out more about Catalyst by visiting the website at www.catalyst.org.uk


Catalyst is an independent charitable trust operated by Catalyst Science Discovery Centre and Museum Trust Limited and managed by a board of Trustees. It is the only museum in the UK which explores the science and technology behind the chemical industry and its impact on our lives, past and present, through a host of hands-on exhibits, activities and demonstrations. Catalyst is a great science based family attraction with an excellent educational focus

For more information contact Meryl Jameson, Marketing Manager at Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Mersey Road, Widnes, Cheshire WA8 0DF. Telephone 0151 420 1121 or e-mail meryl@catalyst.org.uk

Association of Independent Museums

AIM is a national charity which connects, supports and represents independent-thinking museums, galleries and heritage organisations, helping them to prosper.

For more information contact Sassy Hicks sassy@aim-museums.co.uk

Biffa Award

Since 1997, Biffa Award has awarded grants totalling more than £165 million to thousands of worthwhile community and environmental projects across the UK. The programme administers money donated by Biffa Group Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund.

For more information see www.biffa-award.org

AIM BiffaAward History Makers is a programme which enables museums to apply for funding to create new exhibitions featuring the lives and achievements of extraordinary, historical figures who have made a significant impact in the industrial, creative industries and arts, scientific or social history of the UK, helping to shape the world we live in today.