Contributed by Diana Bevan

Every year in September ‘Heritage Open Days’ celebrate England’s architecture, history and culture.  Thousands of buildings of every age, style and function, many of which are normally closed to the public, open their doors free of charge.  The programme also includes many activities that bring to life stories and traditions.
Heritage Open Days are organised by enthusiastic volunteers.  The Civic Trust, in partnership with English Heritage, provides guidance, central co-ordination and insurance.
In 2008, Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic Society encouraged several organisations to hold Heritage Open Days in this area.
The  response was at first cautious, but it snowballed!  Those who took part were thrilled and surprised by the success of the venture and are already planning for September 2009.
As a society, we would like to encourage more participation in the event, both in the urban and rural districts.  King Street Congregational Church are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year and are keen to join in.