OVER 50 people attended a series of free guided walks around the historic Whitehaven Marina last weekend, led by The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven in celebration of Heritage Open Days.
Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers across the nation.
Alan Gillon, Education and Engagement Officer at The Beacon Museum, said: “We have worked with the Townscape Heritage Initiative to deliver these walks, and have had 56 people explore the maritime heritage of Whitehaven over the last few days.
“Changeable weather has restricted us only slightly and we have been amazed at how eager people have been to brace the rain to find out more about our past.”
The Townscape Heritage Initiative has funded a series of tours throughout the summer months focusing on the architectural heritage and rich history of Whitehaven town centre and marina.
Guests are educated on historic events such as the Wellington and William Pit disasters, alongside the harbour invasion at the hands of legendary naval commander and suspected pirate – John-Paul Jones.
They were also interested to find out that Pow Beck once ran openly down James Street and Market Place to the sea, and although now covered, it still runs under the pavement below their feet.
The Whitehaven Townscape Heritage Initiative launched in October 2013 and runs until December 2018 and has so far invested nearly one million pounds in Whitehaven town centre, transforming buildings on Market Place and James Street.
The Townscape Heritage Initiative is a partnership led by Copeland Council that receives funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, Copeland Borough Council, Britain’s Energy Coast and Cumbria County Council.
Julie Betteridge, Director of Customers and Communities at Copeland Borough Council, said: “The partnerships between The Beacon Museum and The Whitehaven Townscape Heritage Initiative is a fantastic example of how we are investing in our local town and residents.
“We are privileged to be custodians of this amazing town, and knowing how unique and important Whitehaven is, helps our visitors and residents love, respect and value what can be taken for granted.”