MEMORIES of the Beecham's building were rekindled as realistic guided tours were held over Heritage Weekend.

Former workers at the ex-pharmaceutical factory joined others as a vivid 30-minute tour gave visitors a chance to relive memories of the building on Saturday.

With a history stretching back to 1877, the listed building is one of the most iconic images of the town’s rich past and was built as the headquarters of the pharmaceutical company for rapid production of medicines.

Commissioned by the Heart of Glass project, St Helens College tutor Ian Greenall created a performance installation specifically for the day, which gave visitors the chance to experience the history of the building over time.

Historic parts of the building on show included an old staircase, mosaic floor and the office of Joseph Beecham, son of the business’ founder, Thomas.

The tours were led by Ian, who played the role of Tom Oldham, the Beecham's coachman.

Meanwhile, on Friday, former Beecham's workers reunited at a ‘reminisce afternoon tea’ event at Colours Restaurant ahead of a VIP preview of the tour.

Elsewhere, among the other events over the weekend, a retro ex-St Helens corporation bus returned to the streets of the borough giving special audio tours.

St Helens 54, a 1967 Leyland PD2A/27, set off from the old Beecham’s building for two trips around the town. Personal and historical facts were retold to passengers as the vintage bus stopped off at local landmarks throughout the town during the tours, put together by the Heart of Glass and the North West Museum of Transport, on Hall Street.

Artist Lowri Evans devised the day, leading an orchestra of local voices and stories, which helped to make the bus tour with a difference and were compiled into a limited edition vinyl.

“I have been really inspired by the heritage of St Helens and understanding through chance encounters or guided walks with people who live there,” said Lowri.

“I have been particularly inspired by the conductor Thomas Beecham, who was born in St Helens and is the grandson of Thomas Beecham, who owned the Beechams Factory."

“He was an early pioneer of recording classical music, so I hope to capture my week in St Helens with the same dedication to a recorded sound. I hope to collect, compose and conduct a collective story of a place, I am interested in how people tell stories about a shared place and their personal lives. Seeing St Helens as an orchestra, and what that might sound like.”