Get some culture! Tameside celebrates historical gems for national Heritage Open Day

By James Metcalf

Tameside’s historical gems are being celebrated this month, with the newly-renovated Hyde Festival Theatre throwing open its doors as part of the national Heritage Open Day.

Heritage Open Day is now in its nineteenth year and features over 4,400 free events across England from Thursday September 12 to Sunday September 15.

Tameside is getting in on the action, permitting free public access to 31 of the 194 sites taking part across Greater Manchester.

Julie Mayne, the director of Festival Theatre, said: “We’re allowing visitors backstage, into places where the public would never get to go.”

The weekend will include favourites such as Tameside Central Art Gallery and the former Mossley Town Hall. However Hyde Festival Theatre is the newest attraction.

A representative from Tameside Council’s Cultural Services said that it was the ‘first time the Festival  Theatre was able to get involved’ in the cross-country event.

This involvement comes after much renovation to the building and many hours of dedicated research by the team behind its re-emergence.

Miss Mayne said: “There is a café and a taster presentation on the first floor, where visitors will be able to see a showcase of the previous uses of the theatre.”

In the hope of celebrating the theatre’s 101st birthday, Miss Mayne and her team have compiled a selection of archives detailing the theatre’s history.

These include the original architect’s drawings dated to 1912, and a clip of the first picture shown at the theatre.

Hyde Festival Theatre will open its doors to visitors on Saturday September 14 10am-4pm.

Visitors can also enjoy the new ‘Hairlooms’ exhibition at Portland Basin Museum – winner of the 2013 Tripadviser Certificate of Excellence and recent entry into the Marketing Manchester’s Large Visitor Attraction of the Year competition.

Picture courtesy of David Dixon, with thanks.

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