A day dedicated to celebrating St Helens’ rich heritage and the work taking place to promote it has been hailed a success after hundreds attended the event.
Organised by St Helens Archive Service, St Helens Heritage Festival 2023 saw a number of heritage groups, historical societies and other organisations come together to engage with the public and showcase the borough’s fascinating and varied history.
Meanwhile, a vintage bus was on display, courtesy of the North West Museum of Road Transport, as well as St Helens R.F.C. memorabilia including the World Club Challenge trophy – with a dance performance from St Helens-based group, Mucky Mountain Morris.
Made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, St Helens Heritage Festival 2023 also featured a ‘Creative Underground’ room – the result of an ambitious project to uncover the Borough’s rich heritage in the arts, culture, and creativity industries – containing an interactive map, films screenings, flags, information and children’s activities.
Thanking residents for attending and the organisers, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Communities and Culture, Councillor Anthony Burns, said:
“Our borough is steeped in heritage, being the birthplace of the railway and England’s first industrial canal, as well as world leaders in glass, pharmaceuticals – and of course, the home of the mighty Saints – our greatest ambassadors – who are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year.
“This day was dedicated to celebrating our identity and what better time to do it than during our year as Borough of Culture. I’m sure many people learned something new about our great borough which has more than played its part throughout British history.”
For a full programme of Borough of Culture events, visit: www.culturesthelens.co.uk
Exhibitors who joined the St Helens Archive Service team on the day included:
• Buzz Hub St Helens
• Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust CIC
• Cowley Schools Heritage
• Friends of St Helens Cemetery
• UnTangled Haydock
• Merseyside Archaeological Society
• Merseyside Industrial Heritage Society
• Momo’s Café
• Newton Viaduct Sankey Valley Project World Heritage Status Bid
• Northwest Miners Heritage Association
• Rainford Heritage Society
• Rainhill Civic Society
• Rainhill Railway & Heritage Society
• Rotary Club of St Helens
• Saints Community Development Foundation
• Sankey Canal Restoration Society
• Smithy Heritage Centre
• St Helens Art Club
• St Helens Historical Society
• St Helens Sinfonietta
• Sue Gerrard
• The World Of Glass
• UC Crew
• U3A Local history group,
• Windleshaw Chantry
• WW1 Poppy Trail Newton-le-Willows