Fleetwood is a fascinating place with a rich heritage and lots of historical buildings - many more than you'll probably imagine and from Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th September you'll be able to look around the ones that interest you.
The Heritage Open Days are organised all over the country by community groups and Civic Societies in conjunction with English Heritage who manage the scheme on a national basis.
Fleetwood Civic Society is one of 1400 such organisations who between them muster up 40,000 volunteers to put on this national event every year, that delights over 1 million visitors. Fleetwood Heritage Open Days can rightfully say that it's part of Englands biggest voluntary cultural event!
Buildings of every shape, style and function show of their architectural treasures and secrets, helped by knowledgeable local guides who organise events and tours to share their local knowledge and bring the place to life.
Fleetwood Civic Society and Heritage Open Days
Meet Margaret Daniels and Yvonne Johnstone, two passionate women if ever there were! We met on a blustery, showery morning and took a walk to the top of The Mount, where we sheltered from a shower and marvelled at the stunning view.
l-r: Yvonne Johnstone and Margaret Daniels at The Mount
The Civic Society in Fleetwood has one simple aim, in fact it's one that we share, to promote Fleetwood and everything that it has to offer and encourage people to see what a marvellous place Fleetwood is. Heritage Open Days provides a perfect way to do that, attracting a few thousand people every year, with over 1000 coming to see The Mount and the Lower Lighthouse alone, from not just the Fylde Coast but a good distance inland too.
They've shown many children around these buildings from inland towns, the idea being that they instill a taste for the seaside in them and when they go home they enthuse to their parents and create a good impression about how nice Fleetwood is, and the family returns for holidays and outings.
I remember the craft shop in The Mount when we first came here about 20 years ago - it was the Civic Society who rescued this unique building from the doldrums after it had been stood empty for years and years. Once they'd campaigned and got the building back into working order, they were based on the top floor and had displays of local memorabilia and kept their headquarters open every weekend for the public to look at. Now it's closed once again, but with a toilet and plumbing it's up for Let for anyone who wants to take it on commercially from the council.
These two are a walking mine of local information, and fascinating to hear. I didn't know that the clock at the top of The Mount was a memorial to the First World War and donated to the local people of Fleetwood. I couldn't say I'd ever heard it chime, until as we were stood there it did!
Along with many locals, I also didn't know that our two lighthouses are still working. That's largely because they are designed to be seen from sea. But if you take a trip up the Lower Lighthouse on Heritage Open Days with Yvonne, she'll tell you everything that you want to know and more.
Fleetwood Civic Society are responsible for the open days at The Mount and Lower Lighthouse, and individual buildings then look after their own openings - but the Civic Society then collate everything, find the money to run the event and promote it as a whole, starting the mammoth task in February each year. All members give their time freely for the love of Fleetwood and the chance to promote it.
Take a look at the agenda and plan what you'd like to see between 12 and 15 September this year.
Fleetwood Heritage Open Days are all free of charge and right here in the streets of Fleetwood. Open to everyone, whether you live next door or are on holiday, or have a passion for Decimus Burton or lighthouses and long to find out more!
In Fleetwood you can visit these buildings:
The Mount Pavillion
The Lower Lighthouse
Guided Tours and Tea Dances at Marine Hall
Fleetwood Masonic Hall
The Mount Methodist Church
St Mary's Church
St Peter's Church
Site of Historic Fleetwood Rifle Range (Golf Links)
Memorial Park Heritage Walk
Beach Chalets and Fleetwood Children's Paddling Pool
Fleetwood Cemetery History Walks
Fleetwood United Reform Church
St Wulstan's Church
Fylde Country Life Museum at Farmer Parr's
Find the full Fleetwood Heritage Open Days brochure here
Fleetwood Waste Water Treatment Works
Fleetwood Civic Society have been involved in the Forum which has been working
with United Utilities to reduce the problems of odours in Fleetwood and
make improvements our bathing waters over the last 5 years.
In the Heritage Open Days brochure there is an advert, mainly for school visits to Fleetwood Waste Water Treatment Works at Jameson Road, but any Community Group or interested individual may also contact them for a guided tour to see the facilities first hand and to understand how they work and what individuals can do to help our environment.
Find out more about Lytham and St Annes Heritage Open Days here
Find out more about Blackpool Heritage Open Days here
The Mount, open for Fleetwood Heritage Open Days
Fleetwood Lower Lighthouse, open for Heritage Days
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