Article date – 29 August 2018

On Saturday 8 September, motoring fans are expected to turn out in force once again for the annual town centre classic car show which will see plenty of memorable motors from years gone by line up in Church Square.

Meanwhile, from 3-14 September, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore architecture, history and culture on your doorstep through a wide range of tours, events and activities as part of the National Heritage Open Days.

From taking a tour of the mysterious St Helens achieves storage room deep within the Gamble Building – to attending a number of fascinating talks and workshops in libraries, this year’s Heritage Open Days has something that everyone can take an interest in, as St Helens celebrates its 150th year since becoming a municipal borough.

Encouraging residents to embrace the borough’s history and culture by getting involved, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Better Health and Developing Arts & Culture, Councillor Gill Neal, said:

“St Helens is steeped in rich history and events like this are a fantastic way to bring our borough’s glorious past back to present day to share with residents.

“Whether it’s remembering fond memories of a car you may have once owned –or by finding out about the history of a building you’ve always wanted to know the story behind – there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy throughout the week.”

The full list of confirmed St Helens 150 Heritage Open Days is as follows:


St Helens – The Great and the Good (and a few of the not so good): Wednesday 5 September, 2pm to 4pm, Rainhill Library

A talk with local author Brain Leyland about as his book, St Helens: The Great and the Good (and a few of the not so good!)


Tour of the Achieves: Thursday 6 &13 September (10am, 1pm, 3pm) The Gamble Building

Some fantastic treasures lie hidden beneath Gamble Building and they will be revealed in these specially guided tours.
Places are limited and must be booked in advance by telephoning 01744 677446.


Photo Scanning Sessions: 3, 7 & 14 September

Do you have any old photographs, negatives, slides, posters, tickets, artefacts, objects or memorabilia that you would like to contribute to the borough’s virtual archive? Bring them along to one of the photo scanning sessions taking place in libraries across the borough to get them scanned, keeping the original and a digital copy for yourself.

Monday 3 September 1pm-3pm, Thatto Heath Library
Friday 7 September 10am-12pm, Newton-le-Willows Library
Friday 7 September 2pm-4pm, Rainford Library
Friday 14 September 11am-12.30pm, Eccleston Library
Friday 14 September 2pm-4pm, Rainhill Library


Bag making workshop: 7-15 September

Come along to one of these sessions to chat and reminisce about the history of the borough while choosing a tote shopping bag to decorate using incredible images from the local archive which can be taken home.

Friday 7 September 2pm-4pm, Billinge Library
Saturday 8th September 10am-12pm, Thatto Heath Library
Saturday 15th September 10am-12pm Eccleston Library


The Day Laughter Broke Out: Friday 7 September, 12:00pm-1:30pm, Eccleston Library

Fascinating talk held by Dr. Tom Preston about his recently written biography of one of Britain’s top comedians, Liverpool-born Robb Wilton.


Rainford and the Surrounding Areas: Friday 7 September, 2:00pm-3:30pm, Rainford Library

Join local resident Barbara Hurst for Heritage Open Days as she talks about her portfolio of vintage card creations and looks into their social history.
Barbara will bring along photographs and personal objects dating back to 1908 including photographs of a train stopped in the village due to deep snow, and tanks lined up on the bypass during the war.


A Day in the Life of a Bottlehand: Friday 7 September, 7:00pm-11:00pm, The Citadel

Everyone knows the sacred grass of the Saints RLFC stadium but do you know what came before? Set against the backdrop of St Helens life in the late 19th century “A Day in the Life of a Bottlehand” digs beneath the earth to celebrate the lives, stories and histories of the people who worked.


The Heritage of Barrow & Cook solicitors: Friday 7 September, 1:00pm-4:00pm, Saturday 8 September, 11:00am-1:00pm, Barrow & Cook solicitors

Grace Ancestry have been examining all the heritage and history of the historic Barrow & Cook solicitors in St Helens.

Come and view the resulting exhibition during Heritage Open Days whie sampling some free tea and cake.


Be Seen Be Heard: Friday 7 September, 9:00am-3:15pm, Deafness Resource Centre, WA10 2QB

As part of the annual Heritage Open Days weekend, local arts agency Heart of Glass has selected two artists to form a new partnership with the town’s Deafness Resource Centre during its 90th year of providing services for people in St Helens.

Members of the public are invited to take part in a creative workshop on the theme of the Be Seen Be Heard commission which explores how identity, personality and sense of self is an exchange that relies on visual cues such as symbols, gestures and body language


Knock Knock! Who’s There? : Friday 7 September, 3:00pm-4:00pm, Thatto Health Library

Come along to Thatto Heath Library to celebrate Heritage Open Days with a local history talk from Marie Roylance.

This fascinating talk includes details about the year 1882 when the inhabitants of Thatto Heath implored The Duchy of Lancaster to help them against Samuel Taylor Lord of Eccleston Manor.


Picnic in the Park: Saturday 8 September, 11:00am-4:00pm, Taylor Park

Pack a picnic and join St Helens Council’s Healthy Living Team for a family fun day in Taylor Park.

The event, which forms part of Heritage Open Days, has been organised to mark World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day and will feature family games, heritage bus tours – as well as introduction taster sessions to Healthy Living programmes developed to improve health and wellbeing.


Read and Rhyme Time (Traditional Stories): Saturday 8 & 15 September, 11:00am-12:00pm, Eccleston Library

Come to Eccleston Library for a trip down memory lane in a special Read and Rhyme with a traditional story and favourite nursery rhymes of times gone by.


Cannington Shaw: Saturday 8 September, 10:00am-12:30pm, Eccleston Library

Join members of the Friends of Cannington Shaw at Eccleston Library for a special Heritage Open Days event.
View text, photographs, and illustrations, including paintings by local artists and handle a variety of artefacts such as bottles and jars made by Cannington Shaw, including the iconic codd bottles.


Sharing Heritage: The St Helens Youth Theatre – Saturday 8 September, 2:00pm-4:00pm, The Citadel

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sharing Heritage (HLF), the St Helens Youth Theatre will start to work on a project celebrating 150 years of St Helens and wants to hear from young people.


Smithy-Con Science Fiction and Fantasy Fair: 8-9 September, 10:00am-5:00pm, Smithy Heritage Centre, WA10 4RA

To tie in with a science fiction-themed exhibition, the Smithy will be hosting a mini Comic-Con-type event, with stalls of memorabilia, costumes, toys and games – feel free to come dressed up as your favourite character and join in with the fun!

The sixth annual Great Eccleston Bake-off open to anyone to enter will take place on Sunday 9 September.


St Helens Township Family History Society: 13, 14 & 15 September, 11:00am-1:00pm, Eccleston Library

Drop in for help with your local history research.


The History of Oakdene Hospital: Thursday 13 September, 11:00am-12:30pm, Rainhill Library

Fascinating talk on the history of Oakdene Hospital by Judy Lowe (Rainhill Civic Society)

Find out about the nurse Edith Livingstone and the history of an autograph book kept by Edith Lidstone, who was a nurse at Oakdene Auxiliary Hospital during the Great War.


Newton Poppy Trail: Friday 14 September, 1:00pm-4:00pm, Newton-le-Willows Library

Join volunteers Margaret, Marion, and Neil for Heritage Open Days as they showcase their work on the Newton Poppy Trail project.

The group will provide information and answer questions on their research on soldiers who died during WW1.

There will be poetry readings and refreshments served as part of the event and the Royal British Legion will be in attendance.


Clay Pipes and Old Bottles: Friday 14 September, 1:00pm-4:00pm, Rainford Library

Join the Rainford Heritage Society in Rainford Library where a fabulous collection of clay pipes and old bottles which were discovered in the village of Rainford will be on display for all to see.


For more information on St Helens 150 Heritage Open Day events, visit:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here