A free, family friendly, outdoor heritage experience in Heaton Park, Manchester, on 1-2 July. Come along and find out what life was like in 1916 here in the UK, and on the fighting front along the Somme.
Heaton Park was a military training ground for soldiers during the First World War, and Heaton Hall was a hospital. A century on, an exciting selection of enthusiasts from across the country come to Heaton Park to tell the stories and accounts of people from 1916. Experience a range of drop in activities, exhibitions, scheduled talks and mini performances. Why not bring your own First World War artefacts along for one of our experts to identify and tell you more?
Ride on a heritage tram, meet the Lancashire Hussars horses, find out more about your own ancestry, and watch archive film from the battle of the Somme itself.
Enjoy performances from folk trio Harp and A Monkey, Threadbare Theatre, A Soldier’s Tale and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Stop off at one of our speaker’s tents and hear about the importance of animals, the development of artificial limbs, the Salford and Barnsley Pals, conscientious objectors, how the Commonwealth War Graves Commission came into being and the ‘wild women’ of the First World War.
Witness living history groups running a field kitchen, a Salvation army unit and watch out for the Manchester Regiment who will be putting new recruits through their paces. Heaton Hall will take you back to the time it became a WW1 military hospital, and a team from the University of Manchester will give you a flavour of life for nurses working at Casualty Clearing Stations.
Visit Gateways' team members Alison Fell, Lucy Noakes and Emma Hanna in the 'Your Stories' tent. Explore the history of medicine and the First World War with Gateways' network members Jessica Meyer and Christine Hallett.
There’s so much to learn and this is just a flavour of the Experience Field!
- Friday 1 July: Gates open at 3:30pm with activities starting at 4pm-7pm to anyone with a ticket to the evening concert.
- Saturday 2 July: Gates open at 10:30am with activities starting at 11am-4pm, open to all.