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Public encouraged to submit ideas for national heritage celebration

PUBLISHED: 09:51 10 April 2018

Last year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Views from the top of the The RC Church in Gordon Road. Picture: Mick Howes

Last year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Views from the top of the The RC Church in Gordon Road. Picture: Mick Howes

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Planning is under way as a town prepares to celebrate the very best of its hidden treasures.

Last year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Inside the old council chamber at Lowestoft Town Hall. Picture: Mick HowesLast year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Inside the old council chamber at Lowestoft Town Hall. Picture: Mick Howes

The newly-formed Heritage Open Days steering group for Lowestoft is currently making arrangements for this year’s festival, which will take place across the nation over a period of eight days from September 6 to 9 and 13 to 16.

Heritage Open Days, with the festival that surrounds it, was established in 1994 and is held annually to promote heritage in all its forms throughout the UK.

Last year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Organ recital with Steven Kirk. Picture: Mick HowesLast year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Organ recital with Steven Kirk. Picture: Mick Howes

Each September, people all over the country join together for several days to celebrate what makes their towns and villages special. Thousands of cultural beacons with varying ages, styles and functions open their doors to members of the public free of charge.

On the Suffolk coast, a small team of volunteers are in the process of planning Lowestoft’s own contribution to the 2018 edition of the event, which is funded by the National Trust and the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Last year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Inside the clock tower at Lowestoft Town Hall. Picture: Mick HowesLast year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Inside the clock tower at Lowestoft Town Hall. Picture: Mick Howes

Paul King, who is part of the steering group and helped organise last year’s festivities, encouraged more people to come forward with their ideas for this year’s heritage sites.

“As well as many favourites from last year, we are now also looking for new buildings around the town to take part,” he said.

Last year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Burt Collyer and Bob Collis' exhibition at the Town Hall. Picture: Mick HowesLast year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Burt Collyer and Bob Collis' exhibition at the Town Hall. Picture: Mick Howes

“We are also planning to include various heritage-themed events to take place during the Open Days festival such as concerts, recitals, walks, displays and exhibitions.

“We’re trying to encompass as many aspects of ‘heritage’ as possible including music, arts, theatre and maritime, as well as public gardens, history and architecture.”

Last year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Views from the top of the The RC Church in Gordon Road. Picture: Mick HowesLast year's Heritage Open Days celebration in Lowestoft. Views from the top of the The RC Church in Gordon Road. Picture: Mick Howes

Among the highlights in 2017 was an opportunity to see the interior of Lowestoft Town Hall, noted for its grand facade and three magnificent stained glass windows.

Visitors also climbed aboard the last surviving fishing vessel built in Lowestoft, the Mincarlo trawler, which was retired in 1989 and is now permanently docked.

Mr King added: “This is a great opportunity for community groups, business owners, schools and any other interested parties to get involved and celebrate the great heritage that our town has to offer to local residents and visitors from further afield.”

If you would like to put forward your ideas or require more information, email paulsgking@aol.com.

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