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What Prestonians have been making of the Heritage Open Days

Posted on - 14th September, 2018 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, History, Preston City Centre, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Shankly Hotel - Heritage Open Day Pics: Cheryl Disley
Pics: Cheryl Disley

Prestonians are enjoying the variety of activities on offer in the city through this year’s Heritage Open Days.

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Almost 30 activities took place over the first weekend of the national initiative, with yet more to come this weekend.

Read more: Where you can explore with Heritage Open Days 2018 in Preston

We spoke to a few of the locals who have attended so far.

Old Post Office – Shankly Hotel

Lyn Atkinson visited the old Post Office, which is being redeveloped into new luxury accommodation, the Shankly Hotel.

Lyn said: “There was just one room open to look around, which will be the reception and seating area. There was an exhibition showing floor plans and artist impressions of what the rooms will be like once it’s all finished.

“It looks like the hotel will be very upmarket – for Preston city centre anyway.”

Read more: Shankly Hotel sets a new opening date for Old Post Office conversion

Preston Cleansing Department

Preston Cleansing Department - Heritage Open Days
L-R: The Victorian buildings, the canteen, the stables where they store brushes today

Carolynn Wells visited the site of the former refuse destructor, which was built in the 1880s to collect, sort and burn waste.

Carolynn said: “We were told the history of these Victorian buildings and how they are used today. A well-informed guide showed us photographs as we walked round.

“It was fascinating to hear how at one time it dealt with human waste, but now copes with rubbish from our streets and fly tipping. It was an excellent presentation given with great enthusiasm.”

Extraordinary Women Guided Tour led by the Friends of Winckley Square

Jane Jeffery joined this tour, which marked women’s suffrage.

Jane said: “We made our way round the Square stopping at buildings that had housed notable women, mainly of the 19th century. Most of these magnificent edifices still exist, though are now in use as offices or apartments.

“Our passionate guides gave a great deal of detail about the personal circumstances of the women featured, who included a headmistress, servants, and wives of rich merchants. It was social history at its best – thoroughly enjoyable and informative, as well as educational.”

Read more: How you can explore Winckley Square inside out

St Walburge’s Church

St Walburge's - Heritage Open Day Pics: Cheryl Disley
Pics: Cheryl Disley

Lyn Atkinson also visited this Grade-I listed church, which boasts the tallest spire of any parish church in the UK.

Lyn said: “St Walburge’s is a beautiful Catholic church. We climbed the 270 steps to the steeple. There were great views of the Docks, the University, and right across Preston.

“It will be open again on Saturday 15 September between 11.30am and 2.30pm, and I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it yet.”

Edith Rigby Guided Tour led by the Friends of Winckley Square

Amanda Isherwood went on this tour, which took participants beyond the Square to where suffragette Edith was born and married.

Amanda said: “I went on the morning tour and it was excellent – very interesting and informative. It covered a bigger area than I expected, and the weather certainly helped too.

“Friends of Winckley Square is run by lovely volunteers with a great knowledge of the history of the area. I would recommend any future guided tours with them.”

Read more: Edith Rigby play to be performed at the Harris

Moor Park Heritage Walk

Moor Park - Heritage Open Day
L-R: The camel benches, an exotic flowerbed, the Tom Benson memorial

Chris Poland attended the walk around Grade-II listed Moor Park, the first of Preston’s municipal parks, and also the largest.

Chris said: “We started at the bowling pavilion before making our way to the memorial to Tom Benson, and on to have a look at the Western gates, which have been restored. Our guide pointed out the Egyptian influences with the camels in the benches.

“We walked down the avenue as we heard about royal visits, memorial benches, and how the moor was used to graze animals.”

Did you attend any of the Heritage Open Days last week? Will you be going to any this week? Let us know in the comments below.

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