Costumed guides will lead visitors through the story of Blackburn’s hidden past on vintage buses taking visitors on a tour of the town’s oldest park areas as part of the Blackburn Heritage Festival.
The guides will point out the heritage of the town in the historic buildings and at sites along the way. An outer circle bus will leave the Penny Street side of the temporary bus station every hour, taking visitors out to the borough’s historic parks on Saturday, 12 and Sunday 13 September.
Local theatre producer, Paul Mason, has masterminded the research and scripts for the volunteer guides. One of the volunteers is Alex Martindale who has dusted off his cravat and top hat for the occasion. He said: “I’m proud of Blackburn and excited to share the town’s rich heritage with visitors from outside the borough, and those who already live or work here.
Alex will be covering the route, which circles the town centre and takes in Eanam Wharf, Blakey Moor and some other hidden gems.
He added: “Last year I particularly enjoyed getting access to some buildings that are usually closed to the public and the helter-skelter of course! I look forward to participating in the festival organised by the Blackburn BID which coincides with Heritage Open Days.”
Visitors will be able to hop on and off at Corporation Park where they will be able to explore the interior and admire the architecture of the Grade II listed Conservatory built in 1900 and discover the history of the park. Guides will be on hand between 10am and 2pm on both Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th.
The buses will go up as far as the Witton Pavillion for passengers to hop off to take a tour around the old coach stables. Witton Park is open for Heritage Open Day on both days between 11am and 4pm with guided walks at 11.15 and 1.15pm.
Visitors taking the hourly outer circle route will be able to hop off and take a backstage tour at Thwaites Empire Theatre. The venue was established in 1910 as one of the country’s first electric picture houses when cinema going and film making was in its infancy. The theatre is open for free tours on Sunday 13th between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
For more information about the Blackburn Heritage Festival visit www.blackburnheritage.com