Winchester chosen to host Civic Trust workshop

Winchester has been chosen to host one of only 13 workshops being arranged by the Civic Trust, who arrange the country-wide Heritage Open Days.

The recognition comes after the continuing success of the Winchester Open Weekend, which has now been running for five years, and the close collaboration between the tourism services of Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council.

Winchester will host an afternoon workshop at the Guildhall on Thursday 10 February, which will include a walking tour led by Graham Scobie of the City Council's Museums Service, who will demonstrate his remarkable and entertaining knowledge of the city's streetscapes and buildings. This will be followed by success stories from regular and new participants, along with a question and answer session with staff from both the Civic Trust and English Heritage.

Places on the workshop are free, but numbers are limited to 30. If you are interested in opening your house, workplace or attraction to the public and would like to attend the workshop to find out more, contact Clare Broomfield at the Civic Trust on 0870 240 5251 or email after 17th January.

Now in its eleventh year, the Heritage Open Days initiative encourages buildings of historic or architectural interest to open free to the public. In 2005, co-ordinators are hoping to introduce more family-friendly activities and the Civic Trust is using the national programme of free workshops to share best practice and new ideas, introduce potential participants to the scheme and tackle some of the practical challenges such as health and safety.

Winchester City Council's tourism service has been co-ordinating its own contribution to the national scheme - Winchester Open Weekend - for five years with an ever-increasing range of buildings opening to the public, and ever-increasing interest from local people and visitors.

The Civic Trust has been impressed by the close collaboration between the tourism services of Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council in developing and promoting a varied line-up of openings. Hampshire County Council promotes around 100 events across the county during the Heritage Open Days weekend. This year the Civic Trust would like to see even more participants, and so are extending the invitation to attend the workshop in Winchester to anyone who would like to find out more.

Winchester Open Weekend is co-ordinated locally by Winchester Tourism's Special Events Officer, Elaine Robbins, and will take place this year on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September. If you know of any buildings in the Winchester area that you feel should be included in this event, please contact her on 01962 848361 or email

Openings elsewhere in the county are co-ordinated by Hampshire County Council's Tourism Officer Jane Thomas and take place from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 September. Jane can be contacted on 01962 846251 or email