IHN North West Member, Middlewich Heritage, is organising two open days on 18th & 19th September at the Murgatroyd Brine Pump. As a Scheduled Monument, Murgatroyd’s brine shaft is the last of its kind. Sunk in 1889 using traditional methods – hand dug and timber lined – it is now the only surviving wild brine extraction shaft in Cheshire.
After abandonment in the 1970s and following decades of neglect the brine pump has now been restored with monies from Historic England, the National Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Association for Industrial Archaeology. It will be open to the public for the first time in September, so why not visit the last remnant of salt making in Middlewich.
IHN Cornwall & Devon member SS Freshspring is inviting the public on board for their family open day on Monday 30th August (Bank Holiday Monday) from 11.30am-4pm. The ship, moored along Landivisiau Walk, Bideford quay, will be open to the public for free with a range of children’s activities, entertainment and celebrations to mark the ship’s 75th anniversary. This event is suitable for all ages and there is no charge for entry.
During the day there will be free tours of the ship (learning all about her rich heritage), children’s activities (including rope making and knot tying), as well as a special visit from local children’s author, Anthony Burt, reading his book The Wish Fish which is based upon the Freshspring ship. These interactive reading workshops will last approximately 15 minutes and will take place at 12pm, 2pm and 3.30pm and attendees will receive a free signed copy of the book. Steam engine rides will be running along the quay for both children and adults to enjoy (with a small contribution going towards the charity). There will also be aerial act performances throughout the day.
Local charity, Way of the Wharves, who research and present the history of the wharves and surrounding area of East the Water, Bideford, will also be joining the SS Freshspring to share knowledge of the rich maritime history in North Devon.
Becca Craft, Public Engagement Officer at the Freshspring Trust says, “We are so pleased to be opening over the bank holiday weekend and can’t wait to welcome you on board for our family open day, celebrating our 75th anniversary event. We have lots planned for the day, so please pop along and see us. I always say that we are quite possibly Bideford’s best kept secret and most are unaware of SS Freshspring’s rich history, including how our chairman bought her 8 years ago for £1!”
Due to covid-19 there will still be limited numbers on board and all health and safety instructions will be given to visitors prior to boarding the ship. As well as this event, SS Freshspring is open every Sunday throughout summer (free to visit).
This year Heritage Open Days will run from 10-19 September 2021. The theme is Edible England, from forgotten recipes to food in the factory, why not hold an event to help audiences explore our culinary heritage?
Heritage Open Days is looking for ‘Edible England’ to encompass the broadest possible spectrum of events and stories, from revealing culinary tastes of the past to going behind-the-scenes of modern production methods. The theme will also explore the customs and quirks that have developed around what we eat and drink, as well as the fascinating history of some of our regional and national specialties.
You can get a range of extra resources by registering an event including marketing and evaluation materials to help inform future activity. For more details about how to get involved, visit the Heritage Open Days website.