The annual celebration of Warrington’s rich history and heritage gets under way this week, with a diverse programme of events.
Warrington’s Heritage Open Days 2020 takes place from 11 – 20 September, giving people the chance to discover fascinating local stories of the past, and how they have helped make Warrington the place it is today.
Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture. The Council, Culture Warrington, Warrington BID and other partners have worked together to ensure Warrington’s celebrations feature a range of online events, along with some safe ‘in-person’ opportunities.
The programme has been designed to enable residents to celebrate local stories from the comfort of their own homes, or unearth some hidden local gems in person while maintaining current social distancing measures.
• The launch, on 12 September, of Warrington Museum & Art Gallery’s new mobile app, enabling people to engage with the museum and its remarkable collections in new and exciting ways. The app uses technologies such as augmented reality to take users on an exciting journey through the full expanse of its galleries; from tales from the triassic era to Warrington war stories and stunning exhibitions of both historic and contemporary art.
• Staff from Warrington Museum & Art Gallery will reflect on Warrington’s most iconic historical buildings. You can download the information and map from the Warrington Museum & Art Gallery website and take your own tour of the town’s sites from the Town Hall Gates, Iconic Parr Hall and the beautiful Cairo Street Chapel.
• A spectacular LEGO replica of the Golden Gates, created by Steve Guinness will be on display at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery. The 5,000-piece model depicts every intricate detail of the iconic landmark.
• The old Lepp’s jewellers building on Bridge Street (opposite Hancock and Wood) will re-open its windows to display treasures from heritage and community groups, including Warrington Crafting Community, whose ‘Knit Warrington’ project has seen iconic Warrington buildings and landmarks knitted and crocheted into 3-D models. You can see more local history gems in the window of an empty unit in Golden Square, next door to Vintage Viola, including some of Lymm’s historic landmarks produced in 3-D by Warrington Crafting Community.
• There will be another opportunity to follow the special trail around the town centre, revealing how the area celebrated the end of the war and how American servicemen stationed here contributed to the VE and VJ celebrations. To find out how to join the trail, visit warrington.gov.uk/events
• The re-opening of the Lymm Heritage Centre (Thursday to Sunday, 1-5pm), with a range of exciting new exhibits and features. These include a reconstruction of Lymm Edwardian shop windows, filled with items from the period; a viewing kiosk for the newly-updated Lymm Archive, including a Lockdown Gallery; and ‘The Time Traveller’s Handbook’ – a guided walk around Lymm within a book.
• ‘Lewis Carroll’s Boyhood Walk’ at The Lewis Carroll Centre, describing local sites and people known to the young Lewis Carroll, following the field paths and lanes in the parish where his father, the Reverend Charles Dodgson, was the vicar in the 1830s lewiscarrollcentre.org.uk
• Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation will host a Virtual Tour of its Heritage Wall, bringing the rich history of the Wolves into living rooms, pubs and phones. Virtually, we will walk the club’s history with some special guests who will reflect on that period of time and relive the memories of the past. You can access the events, which take place on Friday 11 September (6pm) and Sunday 13 September, (3pm) on YouTube, Facebook and through warringtonwolvesfoundation.com
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for culture, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “Every year, Warrington’s Heritage Open Days have gone from strength to strength, giving people a fascinating insight into our town’s proud history. I’m delighted that, despite the restrictions in place, we are able, once again, to deliver a packed programme of diverse events for our communities to enjoy.
“There’s something for everyone, from walks and exhibitions, to virtual tours and art works. Best of all, you can either join in, safely, in person, or from the comfort of your own home. I’m looking forward to this year’s festival being another fantastic success.”
For more information on Warrington’s 2020 Heritage open Days, visit warrington.gov.uk/events
To find out more about the national Heritage Open Days festival, visit heritageopendays.org.uk