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Heritage Open Days Festival Returns to Warrington Next Month

Heritage Open Days is England's largest festival of history and culture where stories and traditions from the past are brought to life.

Heritage Open Days Festival Returns to Warrington Next Month

The legacy and ingenuity of Warrington's inventors through the years will be explored when the Heritage Open Days festival returns next month.

Heritage Open Days is England's largest festival of history and culture where stories and traditions from the past are brought to life.

This year's theme is 'Astounding Inventions' with a fun-filled and family friendly programme of events all over the Warrington area between 9 and 18 September. Many of the free activities will explore the impact of the Industrial Revolution and the major innovations and inventions that power our everyday life.

But you can also learn things like how is the Captain of the Titanic connected to Winwick? And what was a member of the Rolling Stones doing in Padgate?

Last year, many of Warrington's heritage organisations were unable to open their doors to the public due to the government's social distancing regulations, so this will be the first year that the festival has been run without any restrictions since the pandemic.

Warrington Museum and Art Gallery - run by the charity Culture Warrington - is leading on many of the events.

Hannah White, from the museum, said: "The annual Heritage Open Days festival is always a highlight in the Culture Warrington calendar, allowing us to collaborate with many of the wonderful heritage groups and sites across Warrington.

"In 2021, we delivered a smaller programme while operating under restrictions due to the pandemic. However, this year's programme is jam packed and we hope that it will bring people back together. The festival's theme of Astounding Inventions will allow visitors to discover the significant role that some of Warrington's greatest minds have played in inventing and making discoveries that are essential to our daily lives.

"From exhibitions and Mad Scientist workshops at Warrington Museum, tours of Warrington Museum of Freemasonry and the Rail Transporter Bridge, to a local history day commemorating Old Billy, the oldest horse on record, who was Warrington born and worked on the canals, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy."

Warrington's inventors - or 'mad scientists' - in the spotlight will include Dr Joseph Priestley, a tutor at Warrington Academy, who invented carbonated water - the basis of today's fizzy drinks - and Warrington Guardian's Alexander Mackie who developed the composing machine which was used for early type setting.

Other highlights include a talk by Culture Warrington's Philip Jeffs about how Parr's Bank came to be and a family-friendly celebration of Old Billy's life at Victoria Park.

The Grade II-listed building Parr's Bank in Winwick Street dates back to 1877 and has recently been transformed into a boutique hotel and coffee bar. It was originally home to Parr's Banking Co and is renowned for its stunning Victorian architecture.

Warrington's Old Billy is the longest living horse on record. He lived between 1760 and 1822 and reached the age of 62. Marking 200 years since his death, the working horse's life will be explored through theatre and storytelling alongside family attractions.

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