Uncover Bolton's local history at series of heritage open days
THE annual Heritage Open Days event is England’s celebration of local architecture and culture.
By offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public, or normally charge for admission, it gives anyone the chance to uncover and discover hidden treasures in their local area.
The event is organised by a network of people who share a passion for places, history and culture.
There are 50,000 volunteers who organise thousands of site openings and events, jointly attracting more than one million visitors, which makes it England’s biggest voluntary cultural event.
Annabelle Thorpe, Heritage Open Days media manager, said: “We’re in our 19th year now and we’ve just done the final count and there are 4,564 events happening over the country which is about the same as last year.
“It’s a grassroots event for people who are given the chance to discover their local history and unlock places they wouldn’t usually see. This year we’re seeing a lot of events for families such as discovery days and history re-enactments rather than just dry old buildings.
“The best thing about the event is that everything is free — especially with the recession. Some of the properties operate tours that you have to pre-book, but they won’t cost you anything. It gives families that can’t afford to spend £50 on a day out the chance to experience something new.
“We had two million visitors last year with about 50,000 volunteers making it all possible. We are the biggest heritage festival in the UK but it’s still a bit under the radar — although Martin Lewis mentioned it on Daybreak which was great publicity for us.”
Bolton and the surrounding area has a number of architectural gems — from museums to churches, to galleries and village halls — all of which will be opening their doors this weekend to help bring local history and culture to life.
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