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Peterborough Heritage Open Days 2021

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Heritage Open Days are now concluded for 2021. Committee members Chris and Gerry Nicholas, the local
co-ordinators for Peterborough, reflect on this year's event:-

"Without wishing to labour the effect the Coronavirus epidemic has had on our social lives over the last eighteen months, it would be wrong not to emphasise the extra work from countless volunteers to ensure Heritage Open Days 2021 not only took place, but was very successful.

Throughout the Peterborough area nearly twenty events took place between 10 – 19th September. Whilst some events saw a light footfall, a few were oversubscribed and some are even planning for next year’s festival. Many parish churches showcased their own unique artefacts, Railworld with its nature reserve had much to see, the Cathedral held atmospheric candlelit tours and encouraged people to attend Compline, D’Arcy Jewellers held their final ‘back of the shop’ tours before they shut their doors for good, Helpston and Thorney organised walking tours and many others took part in what was a challenging time.

Advertising the events could have been a problem with the threat of Covid ever present, and having factored in the risks and costs of distributing printed advertising material, it was decided not to make any leaflets or pamphlets available this year. However, with the co-operation and support from local newspapers and magazines (who generously gave us free advertising space), and the now ever-increasing popularity of social media, Heritage Open Days saw considerable coverage.

Peterborough Civic Society is immensely grateful to everyone who took part and the feedback from visitors was nothing but positive. Subsequently, this is highly encouraging for future years when, hopefully, the list of events will return to its former numbers and potentially grow into a larger festival locally. There is after all, a wealth of history in the area – perhaps more so than in any other part of the country. Not many places can trace their own history back 5,000 years…

Our thanks must go to the many volunteers who gave up their time to run the events and most importantly, made them safe for members of the public to visit. Without their efforts, it’s unlikely this festival would have taken place."

Peterborough Heritage Open Days is achieved through the of close co-operation between Chris and Gerry of this society, Peterborough Cathedral, Peterborough City Council and City Culture Peterborough (formerly Vivacity), who have encouraged participants to open their doors free of charge. We are enormously grateful to all the owners who so generously give their time to open up their premises.

We are looking for new venues that are normally closed to the public or charge for entrance but would be willing to open their doors to give free access. If you would be willing to take part then please contact Chris or Gerry Nicholas on telephone 01733 204128 so it can be discussed further.

Similarly if you know of a venue that meets the above criteria whose owner or manager you think would be interested in taking part please contact Chris or Gerry with the details.

Chris and Gerry took over the reigns from David Jost after his many years as the local co-ordinator, for which we are very grateful for his commitment and tireless work he put into this role.

If you would like an active role with the Society, then please visit our Support Us page for further information.

page last changed 20 August 2021