Gear yourself up for an action packed week this September as classic cars and National Heritage Open Days return to St Helens.
On Saturday 9 September, motoring fans are expected to turn out in force once again for the annual town centre classic car show which will see more than 60 memorable motors from years gone by line up in Church Square.
Organised by St Helens Council and the Phoenix Clock Face Car Club, must-see attractions at this year’s event include vehicles from the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s – as well as a range of classic American cars, bikes and scooters.
Meanwhile, from 6-10 September, don’t miss out on the opportunity of exploring architecture, history and culture on your doorstep through a wide range of tours, events and activities as part of the National Heritage Open Days.
Taking place in iconic buildings across the borough including a number of churches, Smithy Heritage Centre, the Mansion House, St Helens Masonic Hall, and Newton Library – these open days are a once-a-year opportunity for residents to discover hidden gems right here in St Helens.
Commenting on the programme of events, St Helens Council’s Town Centre Manager Gary Maddock said: “Over the course of several days, residents can take a trip down memory lane and even step back hundreds of years ago by attending the classic car show and Heritage Open Days.
“Whether it’s by remembering fond memories of a car you may have once owned –or by finding out the history of a building you’ve always wanted to know the story behind – there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy throughout the week.”
Announced Heritage Open Day events:
Newton-le-Willows Library: 6-8 September – 2pm to 3pm
Crow Lane East, WA12 9TU
Celebrate National Heritage Open Days at Newton-le-Willows Library as local historian, Geoff Simm, gives a series of talks about the heritage of Newton High Street, Common Road and Crow Lane, and Earlestown.
There will also be a condensed heritage walk starting at the library on Saturday 9 September from 10am.
The Mansion House: 7-9 September
Age UK Mid Mersey, The Mansion House, Victoria Park, City Road, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 2UE
Visitors will have an opportunity to go on a guided tour of the Grade II listed Mansion House including the main period rooms within the house (although not all rooms are open to the public particularly during the working week due to the building being commercial premises). At the start of the tour there will be a short presentation explaining the history of the house. In order to fully appreciate the presentation and tour, and for safety reasons, spaces on these tours are very limited, so early booking is strongly advised.
Visitors will also have an opportunity to see inside the new state-of-the-art orangery where there will be photographs of the house including the restorations that took place when the charity took it over and brought it to its current state.
Visitors will be given a free A5 leaflet which explains the history of the house as described in the presentation.
· Thursday 7 September: 1300-1500, Tour 1330
· Friday 8 September: 1300-1600, Tour 1500
· Saturday 9 September: 1100-1700 for Food, Drink & Craft Festival, Tours 1330 & 1430
Spaces limited on tours – please pre-book
Call: 01744 752644
Lucem House Community Cinema Plus+: 8 September – 11am to 4pm
100 Corporation Street, WA10 1SX.
Stop off at Lucem House Community Cinema Plus, where volunteers look forward to welcoming you as they unveil their amazing upcoming programme of films.
Learn how to become a member, volunteer and hire the venue as a classic movie is screened throughout the day so visitors can experience the cinema in action.
Light refreshments will be served, and the venue will be included as a stop off point as part of the transport museum bus tour.
St Helens Masonic Hall: 9 September – 10am to 5pm
6-8 Hall Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1DL
A chance to find out what happens behind the normally closed doors of a Masonic Hall.
Tours will give a brief history of the historic Victorian building and the conversions it has undertaken to make it one of the best examples of a Masonic Hall and Temple in the North West of England.
You will be shown the practice rooms, function areas and temples and ask any questions you may have! Prepare to be surprised about the size of the building, as it is a true Tardis, with magnificence hidden within.
While wheelchair users cannot access every part of the building, the main features are accessible and help will be at hand to make your visit as easy and pleasant as possible.
Refreshments (hot and cold drinks and biscuits) will be available for a very modest donation.
Smithy Heritage Centre: 9-10 September -12pm to 5pm
Kiln Lane, Eccleston, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 4RA
Come and explore the past at the Smithy – where a brilliant range of weird and wonderful ancient items from all over the world will be on display.
You can also look at objects that have been excavated, including a wonderful rocking horse toy that has been chosen to help tell ‘A History of Lancashire in 70 Objects’, and you can make your own replica to play with.
On 9 September, take a look at how books and documents were made in the past, with some extra family fun craft activities – print your own artwork to take home!
Get your oven gloves on and join in with the fifth annual Great Eccleston Bake-off on Sunday 10 September! Entries will once again be judged by the lovely ladies of St Helens W.I. For details of how to enter, visit www.smithyheritagecentre.org.uk/whats-on
Holy Cross & St Helen RC Church: 9-10 September – (times listed below)
Corporation Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1EF
Grade II listed building, opened 1862. Guided tours available explaining the history of the church, the statues, the stained glass windows and other features. The Church was designated as one of the Jubilee Shrine of Mercy with its own Holy Door in the 2016 extraordinary year of Mercy.
· Saturday 9 September: 1100-1600; Tours 1230 & 1430
· Sunday 10 September: 1300-1530; Tour 1415
St Helen’s Parish Church: 9 September – 10am to 3pm
Church Square, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1AF
St Helen’s Parish Church is located in the centre of St Helens, with the town deriving its name from the church. There has been a church building on this site for hundreds of years. One of the earliest references to “St Elyn’s Chapel” dates from 1552. The current building is listed Grade II and was designed by W.D.Caroe. Completed in 1926, it is a fine example of arts and crafts architecture. During Heritage Open Days, the church will be displaying a number of items of interest, including historic bibles, furniture and memorabilia, some dating back to 1670. There will also be a selection of historical photographs on display.
St Thomas Church: 8-10 September (times listed below)
1 Peter Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA10 2EB
This distinctive red brick church built by Peter Greenall the brewer is one of the oldest in the town. Started before there was any real population, Greenall recognised the potential for growth in the new industrial area.
The church grew and flourished with the town, and Greenall with it – becoming MP for Wigan. By the turn of the century the building was experiencing major changes for a new era. This continued after the First World War and again following a fire in 1960. Follow the changes, and how the church community responded to new needs and circumstances into the next century, through pictures, aspects of the building and furnishings. Track down the Thompson mice and – weather permitting and stamina – see the town and its surroundings from the tower. (Children need to be accompanied with an adult.)
· Friday 8 September: 1300-1700
· Saturday 9 September: 1100-1600
· Sunday 10 September: 1200-1600
North West Museum of Road Transport: 9-10 September – 11am to 4pm
Hall Street, WA10 1DU
Free admission to explore their collection of old, and not so old, buses from St Helens and beyond. Cars, motorbikes and other vehicles will also be on display.
For more information on National Heritage Open Days, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/printable-area-lists/town/St.%20Helens