A fantastic Heritage Open Days in Mole Valley
10 days, over 70 events, thousands of visitors!
This year, Heritage Open Days celebrated its 25th birthday by extending the celebrations over ten days. During that time the heritage of Mole Valley was celebrated in all its forms: buildings, culture, history, wildlife and landscape. All events well-attended and many visitors took the opportunity to go to multiple activities. Celebrating the local theme of 'Mole Valley on the Map' and the national theme of 'People Power' there was an extensive and well-attended talks schedule, exhibitions, walks, open houses and performances to enjoy.
Councillor David Draper, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said "It was fantastic to see so many visitors taking part and celebrating the unique heritage of this district. The events were a great boost to the profile of our villages and town centres. Leatherhead enjoyed an excellent Medieval festival, Dorking hosted Morris dancers, a children's heritage trail and open houses and Bookham celebrated its village traders. Events took place in all corners of Mole Valley from Charlwood in the south to Ashtead in the north, and from Abinger in the west to Buckland in the east. Heritage Open Days brings the whole of Mole Valley together to celebrate with pride the special qualities that make us unique.
"The celebrations included special anniversaries for Mole Valley including the 50th anniversary of the opening of Leatherhead Theatre. Two expert talks brought to life the stories of the theatre itself as a fascinating piece of architecture and the characters that shaped it such as Dame Sibyl Thorndike. Another highlight was the 40th anniversary of the death of Sir Neville Barnes Wallis, celebrated inventor of the Dambusters bouncing bomb. Manor Farm Tithe Barn hosted an intriguing special exhibition on Barnes Wallis mounted by Effingham Residents' Association.
"The success of each Heritage Open Days is founded on the hard work, knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication of an army of volunteers and event hosts who provide a welcome to visitors from as far afield as Canada and Thailand."
Heritage Open Days will return next year from the 11th to the 20th of September.