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Friends of Catalyst

A friends organisation was formed in 1987 to support Catalyst and now has more than fifty members. Its aims include:

  • Supporting the Museum by giving money for the purchase of artefacts, equipment or facilities.

  • Providing voluntary help when needed.

  • Encouraging others to visit the Museum to enjoy its displays and facilities.

The Museum is continually expanding its activities and needs more support from its Friends to help it achieve this growth.

Please help us to help the Museum by joining the Friends today.



  • A lively programme of talks and activities throughout the year

  • Information about the progress and development of Catalyst

  • Invitations to special events

  • Private views of all major new Museum exhibitions

  • Regular issues of the Friends newsletter

  • Opportunities to participate in a range of voluntary work at the Museum

Download an application form


Friends can make a valuable contribution to the practical work of Catalyst by helping in a range of interesting Museum activities.

These currently include:-

  • Assisting with the cataloguing of books and photographic archives.

  • Acting as guides for visitors

  • Helping to staff Special Events for schools

  • Helping with the maintenance of the Museum's artefacts and exhibits


There are two categories of membership, category a (membership only) and category b (membership PLUS annual admission to the museum)

Annual subscription rates are currently as follows:

Type A membership 


Type B membership (inc. entrance to Catalyst)

Individual membership           



Individual membership          


Retired member                     



Retired member                     







Joint members (couple)             



Joint members (couple)          


Joint (pensionable couple)    



Joint (pensionable couple)      


Students (single membership subscription)       14

Organised by ‘Friends of Catalyst’ and Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Widnes SciBar meets on the second Wednesday of each month (not August) at the Hillcrest Hotel, Widnes. It’s an opportunity to meet in a relaxed setting, be entertained with talks from science professionals and discuss topics with like minded individual.

With the help of David Hornby we have set up a Widnes SciBar blog.

The next meeting of Widnes SciBar will be at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, 9th November in the Trafalgar Room at the Hillcrest Hotel, Cronton Lane, Widnes.

9th Nov
David Hornby, Walter Blackstock & Bob Roach
Brunner Mond - the Building of a Major Chemical Business

John Brunner, a business man from Liverpool, & Ludwig Mond, a chemist from Germany, met when both were working for John Hutchinson who had established the first Leblanc chemical factory in Widnes.

They took the very bold step of setting up Brunner Mond & Co. to make alkali in Northwich using the new and untested Solvay process. After years of struggle to get the process working, the business became very successful. Both became very rich and went on to other challenges, Brunner in politics, Mond to apply his chemical talents in new areas.

In 1926 Brunner Mond was one of the founding members of ICI.

14th Dec
Megan Argo, Jodrell Bank
When Galaxies Collide