Norwich heritage a national success
A national survey highlights Norwich as one of the top places to enjoy and experience heritage. The survey, from the independent think tank RSA in collaboration with the Heritage Lottery Fund, shows Norwich is in the top 3% of areas with the most heritage, and in the top 1% for heritage activities and events.
The Heritage Index, which looks at engagement with heritage as well as historic buildings, sites and blue plaques, singles out Norwich as one of the surprising star performers, in 3rd position for heritage events and coming in 9th place overall in England.
The good news comes on the back of the success of this year’s Heritage Open Days in Norwich and Norfolk, which showcased the county’s heritage with over 240 events between 10th and 13th September. Heritage Open Days (HODs) is England’s largest and most popular voluntary cultural event – this year marked the 21st anniversary of the national free heritage event, and the 11th for which Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) has co-ordinated events locally.
Organisers are currently evaluating this year’s celebration of heritage, architecture and culture, which is shaping up to be the biggest so far, and are urging visitors to help develop future events by completing the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/HODS15.
Jo Archer, HODs Project Lead at HEART, said: “This year has been an amazing success, with more events than ever before and, it looks like, more visits too. We had over 5,100 pre-book ticket requests for the 243 events, and our volunteers did a fantastic job managing the bookings process, delivering brochures and on the ground stewarding events. We’re still collating the final data, but there’s no doubt that this year’s HODs is one to remember.”
In Norwich, one of the Heritage Open Days venues, the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, had a record 3,000 visitors, enjoying four days of displays, tours and stunning views over the city from the top of the tower. Nearly 1,000 people took part in events at The Guildhall including a vintage fashion show and exhibition, tours and lectures.
Events ranged from open buildings, guided tours and walks, to literary events, exhibitions and performances, and over 170 venues took part across Norwich, Thetford, Breckland, South Norfolk, Broadland, Great Yarmouth and North Norfolk.
Other highlights this year included a chance to board the Wherry Hathor at Pull’s Ferry, which was enjoyed by around 1,600 people, a climb to the top of Happisburgh Lighthouse, a guided tour of the Cold War history of former RAF Coltishall and an historic pub crawl in Harleston.
To have your say about this year’s Heritage Open Days in Norwich and Norfolk, fill out the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/HODS15. For more about Heritage Open Days, visit www.heritagecity.org/hods, or see the Flickr photo album of this year’s events at http://bit.ly/FlickrHODs2015.
ARS – Asbestos Risk Surveys, Norfolk 01953 604411