The National Trust coordinates and publicises Heritage Open Days throughout the country, and Retford Civic Society, in partnership with Bassetlaw Museum, are putting together the event in Retford this year once more. Each of the following venues has something new for 2021 and some of them are doing tours. The national theme is ‘Edible England’ and this has provided inspiration in some of the venues.
The Denman Library has “Retford Memories: Food and Drink”, an exhibition of photographs of old Retford pubs and eating places. Explore their new heritage collection and find out how to research local and family history.
At Bassetlaw Museum, you can see how the Romans feasted and look into the new Pilgrims Gallery to find out why our ancestors left for America in 1620.
Grove Street Methodist Church, opened in 1880, has a magnificent, newly-renovated ceiling, and you can visit stalls in their Albert Hall, including Muddy Fork Honey, and “Your Life, Your Way” information on healthy eating.
The Town Church, St Swithun’s, dating from the 14th century, has impressive stained glass windows by O’Connor, Clayton and Bell and Kempe. See their new stained glass guide book on display.
St Michael’s Church has a fine, newly-restored reredos screen, stained glass windows and the 14th century crocheted spire make this a must to visit.
The Majestic Theatre, built in 1927, has been restored to its original splendour and has a photographic display showing the stages of its development. Tours between 10am and 2pm are limited to 15 people and can be booked by calling the Box Office on: 01777 706866
Trinity Hospital built in 1832/3 and designed by Edward Blore, to accommodate 16 Christian men – originally Dr John Darrel founded the hospital in 1665. One of the cottages will be open for viewing, along with the chapel, communal areas of the building and the gardens. There will not be set times for tours but when there are sufficient numbers groups will be taken around the property
The Masonic Hall, housed in a former cinema and recently redecorated in Art Deco style, will have a Masonic banquet on display. Turn up on the hour, on the day, 10am to 4pm for a 40 minute tour. Max group size 10 people. See more details on: retfordmasonichall.co.uk
The Old Schoolhouse, a new venue for this year, was built in 1813 as a Primary School for 160 boys. Recently renovated it is now called ‘The Time Machine’ and is now a community resource.
The Old Police Station, another new venue, built in 1890, has been repurposed as a hotel, restaurant and bar. It still has the original cells – call in and have a look at them!
Goodwin Hall, a community hall built in 1963 and funded by Sir Stuart Goodwin, a Sheffield industrialist backs onto Kings’ Park with beautiful gardens and people are invited to use the picnic tables and benches if the weather allows.
Kings’ Park is a regular award-winning park, opened in 1938 to commemorate not only the reign of King George V, but also the Coronation of King George V1. Great for the gardens, river and children’s play park. Enjoy a picnic here, or at Bassetlaw Museum, Denman Library or Goodwin Hall gardens.
The Chesterfield Canal and Seth Ellis. Find out about the wonderful Chesterfield Canal, built in 1777 for transporting goods, and now a great leisure amenity. See displays and stalls showing the work of the Canal and River Trust and the “Python” workboat, built in 1929. Take a 45 min trip on the Seth Ellis from Town Lock. Cost is £5 each, or £18 for a family ticket to include up to 3 children. Ring 07925851569 to book. Also look out for the Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival from 11-19 September. See more details on:chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk
Heritage bus rides around Retford can be booked on the day at the stall outside Bassetlaw Museum at a cost of £1 .
Retford Community Singers will entertain you at St Swithun’s Church at 10.45am, The Grove Methodist Church at 11.15 am and Bassetlaw Museum at 11.45 am. Come and join in!
The U3A Recorder Group will be playing in St Swithun’s at 11.30.
If you’d like to explore more of Retford town centre, pick up a Retford Art Trail leaflet, a Retford Heritage Guide and a new “Book Benches”Guide from the Denman Library, Bassetlaw Museum and the Hub.
Refreshments will be available at St Swithun’s Church, St Michael’s Church, Grove Street Methodist Church and Goodwin Hall.
Full venue details are available on www.heritageopendays.org.uk