Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 local people and organisations, and thousands of volunteers.
Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community, and history. It is an opportunity for people to see hidden places free of charge. This year events will take place across the country between 10 and 19 September, with a number of North East Lincolnshire places taking part.
Cllr Callum Procter, Cabinet member for heritage, said: “North East Lincolnshire’s towns and villages have an interesting and rich history which has impacted on how we live our lives here at the moment. Whether it’s the fishing history that’s been the core of so many families and providing food to the nation, or the local stories about our towns that fascinates you, it’s well worth taking a bit of time out to celebrate our past.”
There are two themes running this year: the national theme is “Edible England”, an exploration of the past, present, and future of our culinary heritage and culture, and a Heritage Lincolnshire specific theme: “Voices of Lincolnshire – Stories Unheard”, aiming to celebrate the many voices of Lincolnshire with a particular focus on the amazing stories that many people have not heard that have contributed to its heritage and culture.
A number of events are happening across North East Lincolnshire this year, including some online events.
Cleethorpes Town Hall will be hosting the “Fun, Food and Fishy Tales” exhibition in the main Chamber room on 11 September. Cleethorpes Charter Trustees and Meggies invite you to explore the food and sweets that have delighted generations, from cockles to candyfloss and more. Why not drop by between 10am and 4pm and have a look at old photos, artefacts and recipes.
Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre (GFHC) will be involved in the Heritage Open Days events again this year, offering a 10% discount on admission on 17 and 18 of September. In addition to the award-winning exhibits in the Centre, there will also be rope knot and splicing demonstrations during the two days. GFHC has also been working in partnership with drama students from GIFHE to develop some interactive content for the weekend.
Grimsby Town Hall will be open to the public on both 17 and 18 September from 10am to 4pm, to allow people access to the Town Hall particularly the Bremerhaven Room (Former Court Room) and Crosland Suite. People will also be able to see the Council Chamber, and the civic regalia and silverware as well as meet the Mayor of North East Lincolnshire and his Deputy. There will be free entry into the Time Trap museum at Grimsby Town Hall over both 17 and 18 September. Treasures from the archives will be on show, and there will be displays by Great Grimsby branch of the Lincolnshire Family History Society, Grimsby Photographic Society, and the North Lincs Art Society. Also at the town hall those days, the Lincolnshire Family History Society will be available to help you with your family history research.
Grimsby Minster will be open across both weekends from 10.30am to 2.30pm with the Magical and Mystical Minster event. Travel back in time with the Grade 1 listed Minster in the heart of Grimsby. Discover stories untold and meet some famous names and unfamiliar characters.
Villages and Towns
On 18 September from 10am to 4pm, St Nicolas Church in Great Coates, will be open to the public. The Church is a beautiful mediaeval Grade I listed structure, set in a churchyard managed for nature. Listen to the stories of people from the village of Great Coates. Take a guided tour, visit the tower and see the mediaeval brasses.
On Sunday 19 September, the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway will be running guided tours of the engine and carriage sheds and explaining about local railway history. Book on the day directly with the LWR.
On Saturday 11 September, at 11am, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission will be doing an in-person tour of Scartho Road Cemetery, which contains more than 500 First and Second World War burials. Book your place through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/160773113711
Online / Self-guided events
A Cleethorpes Heritage Trail will be available on the ‘Love Exploring App’, with support from the Grimsby, Cleethorpes and District Civic Society. You can download the free app to most smartphones. As well as taking you around some of the key points in the town, the app will show old photographs at various points of the trail, so people can visualise how the townscape has changed.
This year’s Kasbah event will be held online to make sure that the port remains Covid-safe. You can book online through Eventbrite to pre-recorded tours of the Kasbah, presentations and videos of former Ice Factory workers talking about what it was like to work there. Book your space at https://grimsbykasbah.eventbrite.co.uk.
Brilliant 3D scans will be available of both Cleethorpes Town Hall and The Knoll on the Discover North East Lincolnshire website over both weekends. Explore behind the doors of these iconic buildings on Knoll Street from your armchair! The Knoll is occupied by The Armed Forces Major Events Team and it is a place where the AFMET deliver the Armed Forces Community Covenant, “a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly”, and where the community can meet and receive any support they may need.
To find out more about these events and for all your booking links where needed, visit www.DiscoverNorthEastLincolnshire.co.uk/HOD to find out more.
Meanwhile, events are being added to the Heritage Open Days website all the time, so it’s worth keeping an eye open for more events, and if you can’t get out and about, there’s plenty of online content you can access from anywhere in the world. Visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk for more information.