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A weekend of local History – Explore Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of heritage and culture. Across the country, thousands of heritage venues take part, opening their doors and providing a variety of heritage events free of charge. 

For Blackpool, the event is an opportunity to explore and showcase the town’s extraordinary and eclectic history, uncovering unique local stories and hidden treasures. 

This year, members of the public have the opportunity to explore a variety of historic buildings and landscapes across the Fylde Coast. This weekend brings the opportunity to take a ‘behind the scenes’ look at some of our lesser known heritage venues as well as our more prominent spaces. 

Blackpool Masonic Hall will open its doors so you can delve into the rich history that has accompanied the growth of the organisation, both locally and worldwide. Visitors will see a range of Masonic regalia, object d’art and historical artefacts which are rarely on public display.

Seafarers will love the Old Lifeboat House next to Lytham Windmill which houses a permanent museum packed with information on the roots of the local lifeboat service, including a display featuring a full size wooden Victorian lifeboat. Places of worship and religious organisations such as the World Healing Crusade on Lytham Road will also be open, along with many other venues across Lytham St Annes and Cleveleys.  

Beth Garlington from Blackpool Heritage Service says “Heritage Open Days provides the opportunity to explore and celebrate our heritage. There is something for everyone to enjoy and the time and effort put in by local organisations and volunteers is incredible!”

Blackpool Council’s Heritage Service and Showtown have pulled together a variety of tours which allow you to explore our fabulous heritage sites. The activities are all free, but make sure that you pre-book your ticket to avoid disappointment.

Heritage Open Days… not just Blackpool
Quiet reading space at the World Healing Crusade.

Want to know about the history of Wyre? On Sunday 19 September, you can enjoy a free ride on a heritage bus along the promenade; hop off at Fleetwood boating lake to enjoy the sailing boats and discover the history of the lake.

Over the weekend, several of Fleetwood’s beautiful churches will be opening their doors to the public including St.Mary’s on Lord St, a Grade II listed church designed by EW Pugin. You can also visit St Pauls or drop in to St.Nicholas church on the corner of Poulton Road and Broadway which was  designed by notable Lancashire Architect of the 1960s, Laurence King.

Head down to Lytham Hall to explore the Grade I Listed splendid 18th-century Georgian country house set in 78 acres of wooded parkland. Entry to the hall is free this weekend, so drop by to hear about the fascinating and colourful history of the Clifton Family and tap those toes alongside Georgian dance group Regency Rejigged. There will also be special outdoor tours of the grounds, including areas not normally open to the public.

Lytham Hall
Heritage Open Days takes place Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th September 2021.

More information can be found on www.heritageblackpool.co.uk/whats-on and www.heritageopendays.org.uk

View the full online events guide for Heritage Open Days Blackpool and the Fylde Coast here.

Fleetwood Boating Lake

If you’re looking for something a bit different, why not check out these two unusual tours that look into some hidden gems of the Fylde coast?

Mike Coyle’s Blackpool War Memorials Walk

Join Mike on a hunt for some of the 182 memorials in Blackpool and just beyond. You’ll find out about  memorials that have been hidden from the public view for many years, you may even pass some of them every day.

David Evans 1906 Cleveleys Cottage Exhibition Tour

Follow this guided walk around the houses built for the “Cleveleys Cottage Exhibition of 1906”, a very early example of an Ideal Home Exhibition. You’ll see examples from Lutyens, as well as many very progressive and renowned architects and builders. You’ll also receive a replica map of the site to help you follow the tour.

Little Marton Windmill

Built in 1838 and spanning over three floors, you can see original 19th century machinery, learn about its history and uncover the story of one of Blackpool’s most underrated landmarks on this guided tour. There will be an artist led children’s activity taking place between 11am and 2pm. (No need to book).

St John’s Square Activities

Head down to St John’s Square to find out more about Showtown and the Heritage Service. There will be live music from Café Society and you can take a trip down memory lane with Jimmy O ‘Donnell who will use old objects, songs, music and stories, to encourage the sharing and celebration of precious memories. (No need to book).

How to book tickets 

The Heritage Open Days phone line will be open every Thursday and Friday 9.30am to 12.30pm, until Friday 10th September. Please call 01253 478624 to book your tickets. 

To book online, please go to www.eventbrite.co.uk and search Showtown Blackpool. Tickets are on a first come, first served basis.

Lytham Windmill and The Old Lifeboat Station

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