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City celebrates its fascinating history on Heritage Open Days

Taking place over two weekends, September 6-9 and September 13-16, there is something for everyone as the city celebrates its fascinating and exciting heritage with free-to-attend workshops, craft events, open days, exhibitions, performances and film screenings.
This year also marks 100 years since many women gained the right to vote and events across the city will focus on the stories and contributions of extraordinary women of Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire.
Key attractions opening their doors for free include Milton Keynes Museum, Stadium MK, Great Linford Manor Park, Bletchley Park (limited tickets, booking essential), MK Arts Centre, Milton Keynes Theatre, Cowper & Newton Museum in Olney and, in the wider area, Stowe Gardens, Claydon House, and The Old Gaol in Buckingham.
Also open for this year’s programme will be a wide range of historic sites, community buildings and spaces, hosting activities and craft days, dance and family fun days, tours, film screenings, exhibitions and much more. 
Free events for Heritage Open Days this year include:
Not normally open
  • Tour MK Magistrates’ Court with working magistrates; 
  • See inside the magical world of Festive Road in Kiln Farm where amazing things are created with scrap metal; 
  • Peer inside the intriguing world of the Freemasons at Freemason’s Lodge in Wolverton; 
  • Find out more about how black sack waste is sustainably dealt with at the new Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park;
  • Take a backstage tour at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Extraordinary women
Visit Milton Keynes Central Library to learn about the women who made Milton Keynes and see also what life was like for women in 1918 – the year many women gained the vote. 
At Living Archive MK’s exhibition at Discover MK you can find out more about women from Milton Keynes who have made change and visit North Crawley for an exhibition of the role of local women and local field walk.
Get crafting! 
  • MK Arts Centre is hosting a day of craft workshops in their studios and art room; 
  • Visit Milton Keynes Central Library and make protest signs like the suffragettes of last century; 
  • Learn how to mend and patch pre-loved clothes at a pop-up café at The Old Bath House in Wolverton.
Milton Keynes Council leader Cllr Pete Marland, cabinet member for culture, said: “Heritage Open Days in Milton Keynes is bigger than ever before. The number of attractions and groups that have joined us this year to open their doors and put on free events across the city is astonishing and testament to the fantastic history, culture and community of our city and the surrounding area.
“We are particularly thrilled to be celebrating 100 years since many women secured the right to vote. We’re marking the anniversary with many events focusing on the extraordinary women in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire who helped make our city and country the place it is today.”
Mel Jeavons, of Living Archive MK, said: “2018 is a big year for Heritage Open Days in Milton Keynes. We started with just 15 free events in 2006, and have grown to more than 90 this year over two weekends. 
“This year we are also celebrating the European Year of Cultural Heritage. 2018 promises to be one of the best years yet for bringing heritage to life in Milton Keynes. There really is something for everyone to enjoy.”

For full details of the many activities and events happening in and around Milton Keynes on September 6-9 and 13-16, visit www.mkheritageopendays.com

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