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Birthday celebration for much-loved event

Published Thursday, 29 August 2019

Coventry is this year celebrating 25 years of Heritage Open Days and a special birthday party was thrown at the historic St Mary's Guildhall.

Lord Mayor Cllr Linda Bigham was joined by members of the national Heritage Open Days organisation, the City of Culture Trust, Council staff and members of groups and organisations who care for the historic buildings and sites around Coventry and the surrounding area.

The Lord Mayor said: “Heritage Open Days is such a great national event, and one we are very proud to be a part of.

“Coventry is UK City of Culture 2021 - and among the many reasons we won that title is our amazing history and the way it has been preserved and kept as a part of city life for everyone to enjoy.

“Our history means so much to our city, and always will. We are determined to cherish our beautiful buildings and landscapes and protect them for future generations.

“We could not do that without a lot of help and we are indebted to the many groups and individuals who work so hard to keep our links with our past.

“The 25th birthday party was a way for us to say thank-you and to celebrate a very special milestone, as well as look ahead to what promises to be another fantastic event this year.”

Annabelle Thorpe, National Heritage Open Day Manager, who was at the event, said: “Coventry has been part of Heritage Open Days since the very start in 1994, and the city’s passion for its history - and the stories from its past - is clear to see from the number of events that take place each year. 

"The festival is a wonderful way to share and explore Coventry’s dramatic and diverse history – and have a great day out in the process!”

The annual event is co-ordinated by the National Trust and is England’s largest grassroots heritage festival .The city has been a part of the event since it started in 1994.

In Coventry, it is organised by the City Council and celebrates Coventry’s architecture, culture and local and social history.

This year, the event runs from 13-22 September, when stunning buildings in Coventry and the surrounding area will be opening their doors to the public for free.

Around 50 sites are taking part, ranging from major attractions such as the Guildhall and Cathedral to a variety of other venues including the Weaver’s House, Old Grammar School, National Express Garage, the Albany Theatre and Stoney Road allotments.

There are also tours, child-friendly activities and a photo competition.

Brochures are available from the Council House, Tourist Information Centre, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and participating venues.

Many of the tours require pre-booking. Information on pre-booking and all the venues can be found at www.coventry.gov.uk/hod or in the brochure. You can also sign up for the regular newsletter.

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