HERITAGE Open Days Festival returns in September for two consecutive weekends, writes Natasha Smith.
Every year historic sites, factories and council houses open their doors to the public.
With more than 400 events in the West Midlands, it’s England’s biggest festival of heritage and culture.
Running over from September 6- 9, and September 13-16, and every single event is free.
The theme this year is, ‘Extraordinary Women’ marking the annversary of (some) women getting the vote with talks, walks and exhibitions uncovering and acknowledging local community heroes.
Redditch’s Forge Mill Needle Museum will be free to visitors on September 9 from 11am until 4pm.
Visitors can tour the museum and the ruins of Bordesley Abbey, view the motorcycle and model boat displays and explore the ‘The Language of Flower’. There will also be Redditch Archive exhibitions, and a family heritage trail to enjoy.
THERE’S a rare chance for residents to climb the tallest tower in Redditch at St Stephen’s Church in Redditch town centre.
It will be open from 10.30am on Saturday, September 8 and welcoming people in to what is, along with the watertower at Headless Cross, one of the main visual landmarks of Redditch.
People will be able to climb the bell tower, see the bells themselves and even have a chance to ring them.
Visit The Roman Museum in Alcester for free on September 9.
From 12 noon until 4pm visitors can explore the ancient artefacts on display including a large and unique exhibit of Samianware pottery.
Children can dress up in Roman-style clothing, and there will be an opportunity to have a photograph with a Roman Centurion in the afternoon.
Guide books, video displays and a guide to a town trail will be available.
Celebrate 50 years of Sanders Park in Bromsgrove with a family day out.
The free event is on September 16 from 12 noon until 4:30pm at the park in Bromsgrove.
Live music, performances and workshops will provide family entertainment.
Artrix Songstars Choir, The Peas, the Wyre Forest Big Band, and Steve Kaos will perform, and people can partake in Victorian themed music workshops.
Other activities include face painting, classic cars, and people are encouraged to share photographs and memories of the park.
Families are welcome to bring picnics, blankets, and chairs.
The park will be open from 9am until 6pm.
Explore the history of Bromsgrove’s All Saint’s Church.
The foundation stone of the Grade II listed building designed by local architect John Cotton was laid in 1872, and in 1888 the tower was added.
The event is on September 8 10am until 4pm.
Information regarding the names on the memorial will be given, and there will be a display of photographs of the clergy who have served the church.
Cyclists doing the national Ride and Stride scheme will be welcomed on the day.
Visit allsaints.bromsgrove.church/all-saints.html for more information.
Visit Hanbury Hall, Droitwich on September 8 and 9 to discover the women of Hanbury.
The country estate will offer a glimpse into the lives of 18th Century women, from Jane Herne to Lady Georgina Vernon.
Visitors will be able to explore parts of the house not usually open to the public, and follow a trail around the grounds.
The open day is free, and no booking is required.