Funders’ support with Joseph Wright Hall refurbishment

The Trust is working hard to restore and reuse this Grade II listed building which we use for our education and community events and arts programmes, and to adapt the surviving first floor of the Chapel with its tiered pews to create an auditorium for school visits and community performances.




With external support and our own investment we’ve been able to:

  • draught proof and refurbish the windows thanks to WREN Landfill
  • restore the pews and platform stage thanks to WREN Landfill
  • modernise the heating system thanks to (ERDF) Smart Energy
  • install a lift to provide access for all to the auditorium thanks to EnTrust
  • rewire the building and install a new fire alarm system thanks to SSE Renewables – North Lincolnshire Sustainability Development Fund
  • improve the kitchen thanks to Wren Kitchens (Barton)
Posted on:28th November 2021

Joseph Wright Hall – a work in progress

We’ve done a lot – but need to do more.  Our next project is to increase capacity of the building by improving the groud floor and staircases to the first floor auditorium.

To further bolster the Trust’s efforts to attract additional external funding we have launched a local appeal for £50,000 which will be used to lever in a further £200,000.

Supporters can send a cheque (payable to the Queen Street School Preservation Trust) to the Treasurer, Graham Cannon at the Wilderspin School Museum, Queen Street, Barton, DN18 5QP,  or contact us for details of how to arrange a BACS payment.  Alternatively, you can set up a standing order for a monthly payment or a BACS payment. While it is hoped that these payments will continue for two years they can be cancelled at any time.

Posted on:28th November 2021

Time’s On Our Side

We’ve all the time in the world at Wilderspin – now that Humberside Clock Works is based here in oue Aelberry Building.

Darren Bristow provides specialist servicing and repairs of mechanical clocks of all types: antique, vintage and reproduction.

Telephone (01652) 634913 or visir

Posted on:28th November 2021

Arwen Couldn’t Dampen Our Spirits

Storm Arwen may have led to Barton’s Christmas Festival 2021 being cancelled but we were REALLY busy!

Hundreds came to Wilderspin to buy Christmas gifts from 20 stalls and bag a bargain from our Christmas Shop.

Father Christmas didn’t know what had hit him as children queued to “place their Christmas order” with him and take home a stocking.

The Old School Canteen was busy all day keeping up with hungry visitors.

We hope we made up for the disappointment of the festival cancellation and helped put folk in the Christmas spirit!

Posted on:28th November 2021

Alice in Wonderland cancellation

Friends at Barton’s postponed production of Alice in Wonderland has regrettably been cancelled for the foreseeable future at Wilderspin while essential  electrical and safety improvements in the Joseph Wright Hall, started during the last lockdown, are completed.  This work will continue throughout 2022.

The work has been made possible thanks to a grant from SSE Sustainable Development Fund, and additional heating improvements have been funded by Land Trust.

We’re getting in touch with ticket holders to advise about refunds.   Our Office is open on Thursdays & Fridays only to process refunds – we are unable to deal with cash refunds at other times.  If you are unable to call in on Thursdays & Fridays, please get in touch by phone (01652 635172) or email so we can make alternative arrangements.

The show may be scheduled for another venue and ticket monies can be transferred accordingly – we’ll sort the transfer arrangements with FAB.

We are grateful to ticket holders who have kindly donated their payment to the Trust for the benefit of further improvements to the Hall – these monies will be added to the Joseph Wright Hall Public Appeal which will be used to remodel the fire escape and stage access stairs which will enable us to increase audience capacity.  It’s important that donations to the appeal from ticket monies are clearly designated as such – if you’d like to do this, please let us know by phone or email.  The Museum office is staffed on Thursdays and Fridays only, but you can leave a message on our answerphone any time.


Posted on:22nd September 2021

Alice in Wonderland update

We are working with Friends At Barton to reschedule ALICE IN WONDERLAND, cancelled due to Covid 19 restrictions, this autumn – all being well.

Essential safety works improving the Joseph Wright Hall auditorium have been underway during the lockdowns – including installation of a lift and new electrics and a fire alarm system – and are due for completion in October.

We will advise ticket holders of the new dates as soon as possible and arrange for refunds if necessary.

We are grateful to Landtrust for funding support to install the lift, and to SSE Renewables (Sustainable Development Fund) for funding support of the safety improvements.

Posted on:8th September 2021

Heritage Open Days 2021

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s architecture and culture by allowing visitors free access to interesting properties that are not usually publicly accessible or would normally charge a fee. It also includes tours, events and activities that focus on and celebrate the local heritage of the area. Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest and most popular voluntary cultural event and is also held in a further 48 countries across Europe.



Voices of Lincolnshire – Stories Unheard

In 2021 Heritage Lincolnshire is celebrating the many voices of Lincolnshire with a particular focus on the amazing stories that many people have not heard.  The theme focusses on the idea of celebrating the many voices of the county that have contributed to its heritage and culture, but which often go ‘unheard ’.  The festival will run from Friday 10th to Sunday 19th September 2021 giving everyone a whole ten days to visit the special places taking part.

Posted on:6th September 2021

Christmas at Wilderspin

On Saturdays 4 & 11 and Sundays 5 & 12 December, 10am-4pm, we’ve some craft and gift stalls next to The Old School Canteen in addition to our own Christmas shop clearance with loads of stocking filler bargains.  And Father Christmas will be in his grotto again – 11 – 12.30 and 1.30 – 3.00 (£3.50).

If you’d like to book a stall for any of the dates above – please ring (01652) 635172


Posted on:4th September 2021

Back to School!

Lockdown seemed as good a time as any to shake things up a little.

And the National Lottery Heritage Fund has helped us – so, thank you!

After our first decade we thought it was time to re-open by re-telling the fascinating story of the School’s unique link with Samuel Wilderspin and his Infant System – back in the early 1800s.

We’ve re-shaped your visit so you’ll go “back to school”, straight into the world’s only reconstruction Mr. Wilderspin’s Model Infant School of 1845.

pupil teacher

Then new displays and historical classroom settings tell the story of the Barton Church School, including a new Wartime Classroom showing the part played by the School in the Second World War.

You can help too – tell us what you think about our re-telling of the Wilderspin Story.  We’ll then look at things again over the summer and tweak things further in time for a big bash in September as part of Heritage Open Days.

Posted on:12th July 2021