There’s so much more to Horwich Heritage Centre
6:00am Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
THE Horwich Heritage Centre, in Longworth Road, is one of the town’s hidden gems. Society member Stuart Whittle explains more
HORWICH Heritage was formed in 1985 and from the beginning aspired to have its own centre to display aspects of the fascinating history of the town and surrounding area.
It was able to do this in a small way when Horwich Resource Centre opened in 1990 and offered the society a room to put on its exhibitions.
But its ambitions were only fully realised in 2005 when Horwich Town Council created additional space in the Resource Centre following the refurbishment of the former rifle range — the resource centre used to be a Territorial Army Barracks — and offered it to Horwich Heritage.
The society then set about creating its own unique Heritage Centre, which opened in 2006, the only one of its kind in the borough, run entirely by volunteers.
The centre contains a range of professionally produced exhibitions and displays about Horwich and Rivington with, not surprisingly, a special emphasis on the town’s famous Locomotive Works.
But there is so much more to enjoy.
Visitors can watch or buy one of the dozen or more films the society has produced on the history of the area and its people.
They can also find all sorts of interesting items to buy in the centre’s shop, including souvenirs and books which can only be found there.
The centre has extensive historical archives, which the public can access, and has a team of experts on family history to help people research their ancestors.
There is no admission charge for the centre but donations are welcome.
More than 3,500 people visited last year, including people from across the globe. Special arrangements are made for group visits and the society is particularly pleased to welcome school parties.
Rivington and Blackrod High School Year Seven pupils are regular visitors each year and the society’s latest initiative ‘Locom-otiv8ors’, undertaken joint-ly with Bolton Wanderers Playing for Success, ensures that children from every primary school in Horwich pay a visit.
Horwich Heritage has a full programme of speakers throughout the year with attendances usually appr-oaching 100.
It also organises walks, trips, special open days and exhibitions and an annual Craft and Gift Fair. People can visit the website horwichheritage.co.uk for details.
This year’s trip is to Arkwright’s Masson Mill and Crich Tramway Village on September 21 and the Gift Fair is on November 9.
Membership is £10 per year.
The exhibitions change on a regular basis throughout the year, particularly in association with our programme of open days.
This year we have featured ‘The History of Horwich Town Centre’, ‘The Lost Farms of Rivington & Anglezarke, ‘The History and Future of Leverhulme’s Gardens’ and comme-morated ‘30 Years Since the Closure of Horwich Loco Works’.
We also hold Family History Days — the next one being September 14 — and run Family History courses — the next one starts on Monday, September 30.
l For more information about the society and its activities contact Stuart Whittle on 01204 847797 or visit the Heritage Centre.
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