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THE SKY is the limit for a Staffordshire Moorlands arts group’s major exhibition plans thanks to a £2,000 donation from digger giant JCB.


OUTSIDE is bringing internationally renowned touring art installation ‘Museum of the Moon’ to Cheadle’s St Giles the Abbot Church as part of celebrations to mark the life of pioneering astronomer Mary Adela Blagg.


The giant suspended moon by artist Luke Jerram will form the centrepiece of the three-week ‘Cheadle Moon’ celebrations, from March 15 to April 5, marking the 80thanniversary of the death of the internationally acclaimed astronomer who lived her entire life in Cheadle and is buried in St Giles’ churchyard.


OUTSIDE Creative Director Sarah Bird explained: “Museum of the Moon is just part of a wide-ranging programme of lunar inspired arts and cultural activities planned for the Cheadle Moon celebrations and this can only be made possible thanks to support from organisations like JCB.


“For the three weeks Cheadle will be filled with stardust and moonlight with celebrations taking place in churches, schools, shops and streets.  It will tell Mary Blagg’s inspirational story and celebrate her life. Born in 1858, her groundbreaking work mapping the moon saw her become one of the first women admitted into the Royal Astronomical Society. A crater on the moon, Blagg crater, was named after Mary, and in March 2023, a planet was named Maryblagg in her honour.


“Museum of the Moon will rise in the nave of St Giles the Abbot and be a stunning centrepiece for the exhibition. Measuring six metres in diameter, the internally lit sculpture features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface and is complemented by surround sound musical compositions created by award winning composer Dan Jones.”


JCB Earthmovers Operations Manager, John Godfrey visited the impressive church to meet exhibition organisers and hand over the £2,000 donation from the company.  He said: “This exhibition celebrates one of the town’s most accomplished women and it is important that her achievements are celebrated and her story is told. When OUTSIDE approached us for support, we were delighted to be able to help; JCB has two factories in Cheadle and as a major employer in the town we are always keen to support local community initiatives such as this.”


Admission to Museum of the Moon will be free of charge but visitors will need to reserve tickets. Bookings will open in January 2024. Visit for more information.


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