Heritage open days prove a success

Gary Baines fires 16 shots in a minute from a 1887 Martini Henry Mk 4. SUS-161209-002458008
Gary Baines fires 16 shots in a minute from a 1887 Martini Henry Mk 4. SUS-161209-002458008

The return of England’s biggest festival of history and culture was celebrated in Shoreham.

The England Heritage Open Days took place across the country, starting on Thursday and finishing on Sunday.

Checking out the firing range for the day are James Neenan, Harrison Baker and Ian Tyers from Elite Action Games

Checking out the firing range for the day are James Neenan, Harrison Baker and Ian Tyers from Elite Action Games

A number of open day sessions took place across the area including at Shoreham Fort, St Nicolas Church and the Shoreham RNLI lifeboat station.

People were invited to share their memories of Shoreham beach as an oral history recorder was on hand at Shoreham Fort.

Among the festivites was a number of talks from guests, guided tours, gun firing and lots of activities.

Gary Baines, chairman and founder of the Friends of Shoreham Fort, said: “It was a major success. Loads of people came to the fort on the Sunday, obviously the weather on the Saturday turned a few people away.

John and Jeannette Simpson who have compiled a history of Lydia Yavorsca, Princess Bariatinsky, who is buried in the churchyard. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-161109-124717008

John and Jeannette Simpson who have compiled a history of Lydia Yavorsca, Princess Bariatinsky, who is buried in the churchyard. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-161109-124717008

“We made an effort to make the day entertaining for children so we ran a powder monkey game to keep the children entertained.

“We realise that they learn so much more when they are hvaing fun and it is important to make history as fun as possible.

“We would just like to say a massive thank you to all the people that came out and supported us.

“We want to give back to the community because of the support they show us and events like these help us to do that.”

The public get a tour of the lifeboat head quarters. Pictured are Esme and Emme Horowitz. SUS-161209-002654008

The public get a tour of the lifeboat head quarters. Pictured are Esme and Emme Horowitz. SUS-161209-002654008

Shoreham RNLI Lifeboat Station provided daily tours throughout the four days.

These tours showed visitors the large all weather lifeboat, the D class inshore lifeboat and how the boats are deployed.

Andy Morgan from Shoreham RNLI said: “The whole four days for us were great.

“We had about 40 people on our tours that we ran once a day.

“As a charity, we rely on donations from the public in order to keep operating and saving lives.”

Guided tours were also available at the St Nicolas Church in Shoreham.

The church was built in the tenth century and visitors were given the chance to see its architectural and historical features.

Father James Grant added: “The day went very well.

“We must have had about 50-60 visitors throughout Saturday which was great.

“I only arrived in November so it was the first time I have taken part in this event and I’ve got to say, I thought it was a fantastic day.”

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