Rochdale Time Machine event a huge success
Date published: 07 June 2019
Mayor Billy Sheerin at the Rochdale Time Machine event
Heritage Open Days and Rochdale BID staged a special celebration event, The Time Machine in Rochdale’s historic Toad Lane as part of the national 25th Anniversary celebration of Heritage Open Days.
Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture; in 2018, over 5,500 events welcomed more than three million visitors across the country. Every single event is free, including access to many sites that usually charge for admission.
Venues across Rochdale will be taking part in the main Heritage Open Days festival in September, with events including a special programme of Restoration and Revival activities at Rochdale Town Hall.
Over the weekend of 1 and 2 June, visitors were invited to share stories of the town’s past, present and future with a range of fun, interactive activities for young and old.
Mayor Billy Sheerin visited the pop-up picture house on board Audrey, The Vintage Mobile Cinema which presented British Pathe news clips of milestone moments and memories of Rochdale.
There was an aroma archive of powerful smells and flashback fragrances which included the stench of the River Roch, cattle market and the famous lavender cart.
Time Travellers from Touchstones brought a collection of artefacts in a Cabinet of Curiosities and the Pioneers Museum staged a Household History Detective area of consumer items through the decades.
Local digital history expert, Richard Lord gave visitors the opportunity to take a 3D virtual tour of the town 100 years ago.
Community artist, Vicky Lomax curated an exhibition called The Lost and Founded Societies of Recreation, a vibrant market place of clubs, creators and curators which took place in the historic church, St Mary in the Baum.
Time Machine themed walkabout theatre companies entertained shoppers in The Exchange and there were free guided walks across the town centre with Colin Meredith.
A Futurescope area generated conversations and gathered feedback on the multi-million pound transformation of Rochdale Town Hall, with visitors sharing their hopes and dreams for the building.
There was a foretaste of the Natural History Museum’s Dippy on Tour exhibition coming to Rochdale in 2020.
Hopwood Depree hosted a Hard Hat Heroes area showcasing the progress of the high-profile restoration project of the Hopwood Hall Estate in Middleton with the Friends of Hopwood Hall.
Rochdale BID Manager, Paul Ambrose said: “The Time Machine has helped us to look at history in a refreshing new way. The event generated lots of interest in developing creative ways to celebrate the stories of Rochdale and increase our involvement in Heritage Open Days every September.
“The BID has an opportunity to build on the success of the Time Machine, showcasing our incredible history and heritage assets to bring partners together and to drive visitors to the town.”
Heritage Open Days Manager, Annabelle Thorpe said: “I’m so delighted that this first Time Machine event was such a huge success, and bought so many people together to talk and share stories about their personal histories of Rochdale.
“Events like this prove that heritage can be fun, accessible and open to all – a wonderful way for communities to come together.”
Organisations, businesses and individuals who are interested in being involved in Rochdale’s Heritage Open Days should contact Paul Ambrose on:
M: 07811 278 517
Rochdale’s Heritage Open Days 2018:
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