Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Heritage Open Days 2012: a year to remember

Heritage Open Days is a national celebration of history that takes place in September every year. All over the country historic buildings will be throwing open their doors and welcoming the public from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 September. The scheme gives people the chance to see inside special places of historic interest that are usually closed or not well known. And best of all everything is free!

Hastings and St Leonards will be taking part for the third time this year.  Last year the event was a great success with over 6,000 visitors taking part in events. This year’s theme is ‘A Year to Remember’, and the programme is the biggest and best yet.

Botanical illustration of Venus Flytrap by Marianne NorthEvents on offer include the chance to learn about “Flower Power, Marianne North and the Pre-Raphaelites”, take part in a “Simultaneous Chess Champion Challenge”, and discover how to mend a fisherman’s net, sing a sea shanty, see inside a net shop and find out about your family history.

Tours will explore, Hastings Cemetery, “The Grave’s a Fine and Private, Place”, History and Architecture of the Town Centre, the working fishing beach, the Old Town and the grand designs of 1930s town planner Sidney Little, known as the ‘Concrete King’, ‘The Hidden Town Hall’, The America Ground, all gems in our heritage of the town.

St Leonards Church

St Leonards Church and Happy Harold tour bus

Fascinating churches also feature in this year’s programme. You’ll be able to find out about the church that was destroyed by a doodlebug and rebuilt to house some remarkable treasures, another that was bombed but the steeple still remained intact! To see just how churches have and still to this day play an important role in the culture and heritage of the town. You’ll have the opportunity to travel back in time and transport yourself on a vintage trolley bus – “Happy Harold” will be running again this year to the delight of both young and old

Learn more about the legacy of the work of Alan Turing, the pioneer of code breaking and computing

Events are organized mostly by volunteers from local historical societies, cultural enthusiasts, and individuals with long and fascinating memories and personal collections. Local museums are also hosting events.

The whole campaign has a focus on access and the Steering Group are keen to welcome visitors with specific needs such as wheelchair access and mobility difficulties as well as those who are visually or hearing impaired. Some events will cater especially for these and there will be plenty of family friendly events. So mark the date in your diary and watch this space for updates, or if you just can’t wait, check out the website.

The Heritage Open Day events run from Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 September. A FREE coloured and fully illustrated Heritage Open Day Programmes is available throughout the town, giving full day-by-day details of all of these events.

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Posted 11:02 Monday, Aug 27, 2012 In: 1067 & All That

Also in: 1067 & All That

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