Do something NEW with hundreds of Heritage Open Days events in the West Midlands
Heritage Open Days is all about the NEW this year, with a fantastic array of new events and openings and a new partnership with Riba’s ‘Love Architecture’ campaign, with dozens of special tours and talks. Hundreds of events will take place over the four-day weekend, with opportunities to peek behind the scenes at Birmingham’s iconic Hippodrome, discover the history of Stoke’s famous potteries and get the kids involved with hands-on craft activities, quizzes and trails. Thanks to new funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, along with support from Heritage England and the National Trust, Heritage Open Days has never had more to celebrate.
Thursday 10 – Sunday 13 September
1. Hippodrome Heritage, Birmingham – NEW for 2015
Help us celebrate the incredible history of Birmingham Hippodrome. Uncover all our wonderful stories spanning over 116 years – covering two world wars; five monarchs; four face lifts and a million memories! There will be heritage theatre tours and talks throughout the day, a pop-up archive and a chance to explore original archive materials. Come and share your Hippodrome memories and get the kids involved in family activities.
2. Park Hall WW1 Experience, Oswestry – NEW for 2015 and FREE to enter
The Welsh Guards Museum has a fascinating history of this historic regiment, while the brand new WWI trench experience has only just been completed and would normally be included in the entry fee at Park Hall Countryside Farm. Especially for HODs visitors entry to the trench experience will be free. Visit a specially built WWI trench system, stand in the front firing trench, visit the forward listening post and look out over no-mans land, visit the underground rooms and learn about trench life.
3. Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry – NEW for 2015
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum tells 2000 years of Coventry’s history and is home to an impressive visual art collection. In 2010 it was awarded Family Friendly Museum of the Year. Pre-book guided tours of the medieval Undercroft – giving a unique chance to see one of Coventry’s oldest cellars, or join our curators for a behind the scenes look at the museum collections. Or Friday, come along to ‘Herbert Late’, an exciting mix of art, music, drinks, talk, performance and history inspired fun.
4. Minton Free Library, Stoke on Trent
Passionate about The Potteries? Join a community-led celebration of Stoke-on-Trent’s heritage at Minton Free Library. Come and see 100s of exquisite Minton wall tiles re-discovered after nearly 50 years hiding behind wallpaper! Explore the majestic upper floors of the iconic Library building on an informal guided tour or enjoy The Potteries Collection – a unique people’s museum of privately owned ceramics and personal archive material. Some of the contributors will be on hand to share the stories. There will be archive film screenings and refreshments served… in Staffordshire china of course!
5. The Impact of the Great War on a rural Worcs village, Bishampton – NEW for 2015
‘Bishampton Bertie’, Bishampton History Society’s mascot, will be showcasing a World War 1 recruitment drive as part of the HODS event. Visitors can take part in heritage tours of the village, see the work of the local school on their war memorial; and try Trench Cake and Potato Bread. Children will be invited to make poppies, try on some kit, and enter a competition to win a book about World War 1. The event will also see the launch of ‘Bishampton Remembers Those that Served – a book created from the extensive research into the soldiers listed on the village’s war memorial.
Sat 10am-4pm, tours 11am & 2.30pm
6. Pershore College, Worcs – ONLY open for HODS
Pershore College is hosting this years Heritage open day in conjunction with Pershore Civic Society. 2015 is the 60th Anniversary of Pershore College which is a Horticultural centre of excellence based in historic buildings and grounds. There will be opportunity to visit both house and have a tour of our grounds. There are connections to the historic town of Pershore and its magnificent Abbey which will also be open with an exhibition related to the history of the College.
The Old Print Works, Birmingham – ONLY open for HODS
Voices of the Old Print Works will be explored through voices of those who worked at the Butcher’s Print Factory and lived in the surrounding communities. Our main focus is on the memories and cultural tradition of a physical building. The Old Print Works is an imposing, intact Edwardian factory of architectural merit and listed grade II with many original features. We will bring alive the uses and traditions of the building, expanding on traditional methods of making from the past to show a more sustainable way of making things and living today.
Packwood House, Solihull – FREE for HODS
As part of Heritage Open Days, hundreds of National Trust properties open for free, including Packwood House – described by a guest in the 1930s as ‘a house to dream of, a garden to dream in’. Lovingly restored at the beginning of the 20th century by Graham Baron Ash, the house contains a wonderful collection of 16th century furniture and textiles. The gardens include herbaceous borders, sculpted Yews and an 18th century gentleman’s kitchen garden with herbs, flowers and vegetables. This year learn more about the early history of the house and explore new ‘playful art’ in the park.