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CELEBRATE YOUR HERITAGE: A festival bringing the rich history of the North East to life continues until the end of the month

CELEBRATE YOUR HERITAGE: A festival bringing the rich history of the North East to life continues until the end of the month

Image from Durham County Council


A heritage festival is bringing the rich history of a North East market town to life, while celebrating the anniversary of the world’s first passenger railway.

Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) and the Stockton and Darlington Railway HAZ have joined forces for the third time to deliver an extensive programme of events and activities this month.

This year’s theme is ‘Our Heritage’ and people will be encouraged to explore what heritage is and how the region’s past, including its railway history, has shaped individuals, communities and cultural traditions.

The festival runs until Monday 27 September and includes Heritage Open Days events taking place in the area. There will be opportunities for residents and visitors to research their family trees, learn about the latest archaeological discoveries and enjoy free events, including recorded and live online talks, walks and exhibitions.

The festival will culminate in a series of events celebrating the anniversary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

These festivities will give a small taste of what to expect in 2025, when large scale celebrations will take place across the region to mark the 200 th anniversary of the railway. This is also the year that County Durham hopes to be UK
City of Culture 2025, and the anniversary activities, along with the region’s wider railway heritage, will be integral to the bid.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “This year’s festival programme really does offer something for everyone, with a wide range of fascinating free and low-cost events.

“This includes many that celebrate the contribution the Stockton and Darlington Railway made not only to
County Durham and Tees Valley, but the world.

“It’s wonderful this event coincides with the Durham 2025 campaign and the county’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025, as it shows what an interesting and diverse place the North East is. It also reflects our commitment to preserving and showcasing the heritage of the area and the can-do attitude of our communities.”

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