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Thousands Enjoy Heritage Weekend

This year’s Heritage Open Days has been a resounding success, with a huge increase in visitors to Coventry’s historic buildings.

Organisers Coventry and Warwickshire Promotions believe up to 50 per cent more visitors came the 12 buildings that were open at the weekend.

Counting the amount of people looking at the attractions has proved difficult because they are all open for free, and people can walk around them as often as they like.

But tour guides in St Mary’s Guildhall recorded 2,300 people coming through the door – an increase from 1,500 last year.

The event, sponsored by CWN, was bigger than last year, with new buildings opening including Kirby House, Cheylesmore Manor, Drapers Hall and St Mary’s church in Wyken.

Event co-ordinator Hilary Hopker said;

“The highlights were those buildings that had additional things happening. We had a string quartet playing Drapers Hall and a medieval musician in St Mary’s Guildhall.

“Quite a lot of people managed to get out to Wyken, and a lot of people living near the church took the opportunity to have a look around.”

Organisers of a history walk in Spon End also reported a success, with over 100 people taking part.

It was put on by the Spon End Forum and was led by local historian Mark Cook, who had expected about 40 people.

He said;

“The huge public response to the last two walks shows the need for funding for regular activities of this kind.”

Kevin Noble of the Spon End Forum said;

“We have a strong sense of local identity in Spon End. This historic area has a special character of its own and it is one that Spon End people are proud to be associated with".

The walk followed the route of the River Sherbourne between the Sky Dome and Spon Bridge through Spon End and also included the area around Broomfield Place.

It highlighted over 800 years of the areas history including the mediaeval Crow Moat and St Christophers Chapel as well as the local industries of cloth trades, ribbon weaving, watchmaking and cycles.

Anyone who missed the walk can find information about Spon End history on the Spon End Community website at

The Spon End Forum would also like to hear from anyone with information or pictures of the area or from anyone who would be happy to help resurrect the Spon End History Group.

You can email the Spon End Forum at , telephone forum chair, Colin Walker on 024 7663 2123 or write to it c/o NW Area Co-ordination Office, Radford Fire Station, Coventry CV1 4EL.
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CWN / Heritage / Heritage Open Days / 19 Sep 00

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