Tag Archives: Mayor of Winchester

Heritage Open Days

Winchester BinderyEvery September, an army of dedicated volunteers get together to champion local treasures through Heritage Open Days. Between 8 – 11 September, some 40,000 people across England have organised 5,000 free events to celebrate our fantastic history, architecture and culture.

Loyd GrossmanLoyd Grossman, Patron for Heritage Open Days, will be making a special visit to Winchester on the evening before the festival and will be speaking at an event in the Guildhall about his career and involvement with heritage.  To book tickets, visit the website here.

We caught up with our local representative, Nicky Gottlieb, to get a taste of just some of the many experiences Wintonians can expect to enjoy.

Abbey House on The Broadway was built in the 18th century on the site of a former nunnery and is now the official residence of the Mayor of Winchester.  On Thursday 8 September there will be an opportunity to take a guided tour of some of the city’s  rarely displayed collections of paintings and furnishings. Pre-booking is essential as places are limited, and details of how to reserve your place are available here.  On Sat 10 and Sun 11, the Mayor will be on hand to show visitors around the house and answer questions.

Chesil TheatreThe Chesil Theatre will be opening its doors on Sat 10 and Sun 11 between 10am and 4pm.  Winchester’s dramatic society is based at St Peter’s, a 13th century church which was converted into a 70 seat theatre over 40 years ago.  Visitors will have the opportunity to step behind the scenes, explore the stage lights, costumes, sets and photography from past productions.

Come and meet Binky BearThere will be a chance for 2 – 7 year olds to meet Binky Bear at P & G Wells Bookshop on College Street, Sat 10 at 10am. Visitors are welcome to bring their teddy along to meet Binky and take a picture, before picking up an Explorer’s map complete with trails, checklists and colouring sheets.  Binky’s author Liz Nankivell will be available for book signing afterwards and pre-booking is essential. Don’t miss the Winchester Bindery Open Day on Friday 9, also at P & G Wells.  For details, visit here.

Other child friendly activities include story telling from Pedlars and Petticoats at St John’s House, Sat 10 between 10.30-11am and 11.30am-12pm. Children aged 10 years and younger are welcome and fancy dress is encouraged. The education team from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will be hosting a fun outdoor session on the meadows by the Hospital of St Cross, exploring wetland plants, conservation and river dipping. The event is sponsored by Carter Jonas and will take place on Friday 9 between 2 – 5pm.

King Alfred Buses - by Ray Stenning IMG_9872The King Alfred Heritage Bus and Coach Display will be open Sat 10 between 10am – 3pm at the Cattle Market car park on Worthy Lane.  It’s a rare chance to see 14 buses and coaches on display together, with a free vintage bus service running between Worthy Lane and the Broadway. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and regrettably the event is unsuitable for wheelchair users.

The Ginchester Walking Tour will take place Sat 10 from 6 – 7pm.  Led by the Cabinet Rooms connoisseurs, the tour will start at the Buttercross and end at the Green Man Pub, taking a look at the city’s history and what makes Winchester wonderful.  Guests (18 and over) will also have the option to book a specially priced G&T package.

For a full list of events on offer and to keep an eye on any amendments to the scheduled programme, please visit the Heritage Open Days website or keep and eye on the Winchester HODs Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also download a PDF with an events programme: Winchester Heritage Open Days 2016 Programme.


Win Guide to January

It’s official. Christmas is over, New Year’s Eve passed in a blur of bubbles and bongs and a grey, dreary January has nudged its way in to break up the revelry.


So how to combat the winter blues? Well, to work off some of the festive indulgence and get involved in some outdoor fitness, why not join in with Parkrun every Saturday at 9am in the North Walls Recreation Ground? It’s open to all runners, from nervous beginners to spandex-clad pros, and it is an entirely free community endeavour to get people outdoors for a 5k run against the clock. All you have to do is register (once only is all that’s necessary) and bring along your printed bar code so you can get your time. It’s about fun rather than pressure, so not a bad way to get fit without the commitment of a gym membership if that isn’t your thing.


If you aren’t quite ready to let the festive theme go, then you could consider Jeff Goode’s ‘The Eight: The Reindeer Monologues’ by local theatre company Gallows Productions on 12th & 13th January at the Theatre Royal. The shows are dark and definitely adult in content so not a family panto affair. Tickets are a fiver or £7 with some mulled wine thrown in for those who aren’t on the wagon for January – or feel like falling off.

The Winchester Chamber Orchestra New Year concert takes place on the 10th January at St Paul’s Church. The programme includes Mozart’s piano concerto, Haydn’s symphony number  103 and Brahm’s St Anthony Variations. Later in the month the Winchester City Festival choir will be performing a concert on 31st January at St Swithun’s School. The programme includes Tsunami Requiem by Chris Williams, a dramatic commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Asian tsunami.

Cllr Eileen Berry, Mayor of Winchester
Cllr Eileen Berry, Mayor of Winchester

The Office of the Mayor of Winchester is one of the oldest mayoralties in England. The city was first given permission during the reign of Richard the Lionheart to create the role. The current Mayor, Cllr Eileen Berry, is the 815th on the historical roster and she has a busy start to the year. There’s the 6th annual Mayor’s Charities Quiz Night at the Winchester Guildhall on 9th January. Tickets are available from the Tourist Information office. Or, further up the hill, she’ll be opening her Mayors Choice art exhibition at the Discovery Centre featuring important local work from 31st January.

Twin Wild at The Railway
Twin Wild at The Railway

The Railway Inn has a great line-up of live music and comedy for January. Acts include rock quartet Twin Wild on 29th January, described by BBC Radio 1’s Edith Bowman as “The love child of Bastille and Biffy Clyro”. Or why not pop along to Roots and join in with Winchester’s longest running open mic night? Entry is free every Monday at 8.30pm and all levels of artists are welcome, from seasoned pros to first time gig’ers. Alternatively, banish the Sunday blues twice a month with the Late Train open mic comedy night. Again, entry is free with a donation bucket.

Plenty to do on a budget to brighten up a drab, cold January.