A FESTIVAL to celebrate the history and heritage of St Helens borough will take place today following the success of last year's inaugural event.

With more than 700 people coming to take part in last year's event, St Helens' Heritage Festival will see a number of local heritage groups, historical societies and other organisations come together to showcase the borough’s uniquely fascinating and varied history in two rooms under one roof.

Taking place at St Helens Town Hall on Saturday, May 25, the event will showcase the town's proud industrial history, the borough's historic influence on the railways, and the glory days of Saints throughout the club's 151-year history.

St Helens Star: Last year's event was deemed a great successLast year's event was deemed a great success (Image: Bernard Platt)
As Rainhill is the location where George Stephenson's 'Rocket' became the first vehicle to be used on the Liverpool to Manchester railway, and Newton-le-Willows is the place where the world's first major railway viaduct was constructed, there will be a focus on railway history at the event - all the more pertinent as the 200th anniversary of Rainhill Trials is set to be celebrated across the borough in 2030.

There will also be a vintage bus – courtesy of Northwest Museum of Road Transport – and classic cars out on display in Victoria Square, with entertainment and children’s activities making this the ideal free family day out.

St Helens Star: 150 years of Saints was celebrated at last year's event150 years of Saints was celebrated at last year's event (Image: Bernard Platt)
St Helens Borough Council’s leader, Councillor Anthony Burns, said: “I’m delighted to see St Helens Heritage Festival return after last year’s success which attracted more than 700 people, including visitors from across the city region, into our historic town hall which is the perfect setting to host such an event.

“Our borough is steeped in heritage, being the birthplace of the railway and England’s first industrial canal, as well as world leaders in glass, pharmaceuticals – and of course, home of the mighty St Helens R.F.C. – one of the most decorated rugby league clubs in the world.

  “This day is dedicated to celebrating our identity and what makes us proud, so come along and maybe learn something new about our great borough which has more than played its part throughout British history.”  

Organised by St Helens Archive Service as part of the Creative Underground project St Helens Heritage Festival will take place in St Helens Town Hall on Saturday 25 May between 10am-3pm, with refreshments available.

Exhibitors joining the St Helens Archive Service team on the day include:

  • Bookstop St Helens
  • Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust
  • Friends of St Helens Cemetery
  • Haydock Untangled
  • Merseyside Industrial Heritage Society
  • Momo's Community Café
  • Northwest Miners Heritage Association
  • Northwest Museum of Road Transport
  • Rainford Heritage Society
  • Rainhill Civic Society
  • Rainhill Railway & Heritage Society
  • Saints Community Development Foundation
  • Saints Heritage Society
  • Sankey Canal Restoration Society
  • Sankey Valley Project World Heritage Status Bid
  • St Helens Archive Service
  • St Helens Art Club
  • St Helens Choral Society
  • St Helens Historical Society
  • Sue Gerrard – Historian and Author
  • The Smithy, Eccleston
  • The World of Glass
  • U3A St Helens Local History Group