Blackburn Heritage Festival has published its printed highlights programme in the form of a passport sized fold out guide which is designed to be a handy size for visitors using the free vintage ‘hop on hop off’ buses to visit the many venues staging Heritage Open Days.
The festival takes place on Saturday 12 and 13 September and will also feature Victorian fairground attractions and the official opening of Hobkirk’s museum of sewing machines by the BBC Sewing Bee presenter, Patrick Grant.
Last year, Blackburn’s first ever Heritage Festival was organised by the Blackburn BID and attracted over 40,000 visitors to the town and featured over 100 activities and events in 50 venues.
Organisers Harriet Roberts and Ian Holmes were invited to attend the launch of Heritage Open Days at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London last month. Harriet explains, ‘Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest heritage festival involving 40,000 volunteers. The celebration of history, architecture and cultures takes place annually in September and aims to offer people the chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences for free.’
The event celebrated the power and relevance of local history and was attended by National Trust’s Director General Helen Ghosh, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale and other festival organisers. Harriet Roberts took part in a question and answer session about the Blackburn Heritage Festival, she said: “We feel very privileged to be one of the six events around the country to be featured at the Heritage Open Day 2015 Launch. The event brought together those with a real passion for organising engaging events for families and it was a great example of how communities can work together.”
Harriet’s blog appears on the Heritage Open Days website at www.heritageopendays.org.uk. A full list of festival events is at www.blackburnheritage.co.uk and programmes are available from the Visitor Centre at Blackburn Market.