Heritage that’s free to explore ...

Heritage weekend
Heritage weekend

Everything from Jurassic fossils to photos in a phone box is included in this year’s Fenland Heritage Weekend, taking place on September 12-15.

Organisers describe it as “a once-a-year chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life”.

Over the four days buildings of every type and function throw open their doors for free access. There are tours not only of centuries-old buildings but also the ultra-modern waste transfer station in March. There are also several guided walks, notably one of the Ring’s End Nature Reserve tracing its history “from the age of steam to the age of water voles”.

Exhibitions include one celebrating the life, folklore and habitat of hares, as well as “Fossils Galore” in March, where finds from the Jurassic age will be on show.

Several historic churches will be open, including the Chapel of Ease in Guyhirn and the Centenary Baptist Church in March, the town’s first non-conformist church.

But the quirkiest item has to be “History on a Postcard”, a display of photos illustrating the history of the telephone box that will be on show in the traditional red box in Wood Street, Chatteris (pictured).

Other events taking place over the same weekend include the Whittlesey Festival on September 15 and two chances (Sept 13 and 15) to see the restoration work at St Mary’s church, March, which was gutted by fire in 2010.

The Fenland Heritage Weekend is organised by Fenland District Council, Wisbech Town Council and the March Society with the active participation of many volunteers.

Councillor Pop Jolley, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for leisure and tourism, said: “This is one of the times that Fenland can really show itself off.

“It’s a great chance for local people and visitors to see the fantastic range of things we have to offer both in our towns and in the surrounding countryside.”

n Full details can be seen in a booklet available in Fenland @ your service shops and libraries or online at www.visitcambridgeshirefens.org or www.heritageopendays.org.uk