Press Release

GLOUCESTER CIVIC TRUST Press Release. November  15, 2017.

by Hugh Worsnip. Tel 01452 790360.

Exactly 800 people attended  25 different guided walks organised by Gloucester Civic Trust during last September’s Heritage Open Days…. a record.

Figures released by the National Trust show that only Norwich and Oxford had more events than Gloucester as part of the countrywide, four day, annual celebration of the nation’s history, pushing Bristol into fourth place.

The Trust’s Council of Management was told that talks and musical events attracted 824 people. Those going on guided walks was 44 up on last year, but visits to buildings not usually open to the public were down on last year due largely to the  very popular Fleece Hotel undercroft being closed following a fire.

Paul Drinkwater, the trust’s HOD co-ordinator, said: “The loss of the Fleece left many disappointed including a couple from Yorkshire who travelled specially to see it.

Unfortunately the fire happened after the HOD brochure was published.

“Counting historic buildings not usually open to the public and stewarded by trust members, the visitor numbers totalled 2,985. In addition a further 20 historic buildings opened by their occupiers, including churches and historic inns, attracted more than 2,400 people. New venues  included Manor Farm at Kingsway, The King’s Theatre and the Shire Hall and there was a welcome return of the Norville Optical Museum and the Crown Court.

“We received many positive comments from visitors many of which wrote down their appreciation.

“The open days only work because of the willingness of  Civic Trust members who give their time for free. We had 40 qualified guides on duty leading 24 different walks on several occasions over the four days.

“ Gloucester has a wonderful 2,000 years of history and we have a duty to preserve it and make as many people as possible aware of it.”

During and since the Open Days and the History Festival 75 people took advantage of a “special offer” to join the Gloucester Civic Trust, bringing the total membership to 561.