The Success of Heritage Open Days, 12-13 September
From the feedback I have received from the participants there was a
large increase in visitors. It was certainly helped by the fine
weather, plus increased publicity in the local newspapers. The Mansion
at Wherstead, taking part for the first time, received over 350
visitors. Broomhill Pool had 500 visitors and received many donations
towards their Appeal. St Stephen's Church, the Tourist Information
Centre, was fully booked for their tours. Over 1,000 people visited the
Centre. There was a lot of interest in the other churches. I should
like to mention St Peter's which is now converted into a heritage centre
and rehearsal and concert venue for Ipswich Hospital Band and which had
600 visitors. St Lawrence Church, now a very successful town community
facility and cafe, attracted a lot of attention with the re-installation
of the bells. Unfortunately the belfry is not open to public viewing.
St Clement's Church had 227 visitors, exceeding the total visitors
during the past year. Visitor numbers at Christ Church, Tacket Street,
were up by two-thirds.
The Willis Building had 811 visitors, following a warm recommendation in
The Observer newspaper and Griff Rhys Jones said in the EADT that he
would be visiting the building (but he didn't). The Unitarian Meeting
House next door had in excess of 800 visitors. The new university, UCS,
open for the first time, had over 300 visitors, and Ipswich Institute
about 500. Arlingtons in Museum Street, the home of the original
Ipswich Museum and now transformed into an attractive restaurant/bistro,
had many visitors interested in the building.
One of the major attractions this year was the vintage bus travelling
between Ipswich School and the Waterfront. This was supplied by Ipswich
Transport Museum and the conductor on board was very popular with the
children. 150 people travelled on the bus, which was completely free.
This was my second year of organising the event and I would be
interested in any feedback from our members regarding Heritage Open
Days; contributions welcome.
Cover, issue 178