British manufacturers take pride of place at Heritage Open Days 2008, 11-14 September

Manufacturers across the country will throw open their doors as part of the Civic Trust's new Made in Britain campaign and Heritage Open Days, England's largest voluntary cultural event, which will run from 11-14 September 2008. From potteries to shoe manufacturers, brush makers to glass blowers, Heritage Open Days offers visitors the chance to see behind the scenes of factories and workshops where some of this country's best-known and most-cherished goods are still being produced with great skill and craftsmanship.

Made in Britain, which will be launched later in the summer with a dedicated website www.made-in-britain.org.uk, celebrates British manufacturing locations and traditions as an important part of Britain's heritage and culture. The campaign pays tribute to the contribution that manufacturers make and have made to the prosperity and identity of local communities as well as entire regions.
Running special guided tours and skills demonstrations, the companies will join over 3,500 buildings and places across England which will open up to the public free of charge for this year's Heritage Open Days. The annual event, which regularly attracts up 1 million visitors, raises awareness and appreciation of the impact of local architecture, history and culture on our day-to-day life. It is co-ordinated by the Civic Trust in partnership with English Heritage and organised on the ground by over 35,000 volunteers.

Philip Kolvin, Chairman of the Civic Trust, said: "Heritage Open Days invites visitors into places, which are normally private or would charge for entry, to meet people who live or work there, or who know the history of these places better than anyone else. It's your chance to discover what is special or distinctive about the place you live."

"Manufacturers with their bottle kilns, mills or model villages have shaped our cityscapes and landscapes over a long period of time. We are proud that with our new campaign Made in Britain and Heritage Open Days we are able to highlight those enterprises, which keep alive long manufacturing traditions and whose products take pride of place in our homes and memories."

Manufacturers opening up for Heritage Open Days 2008 include:

Bristol Blue Glass, Bristol
Opportunity to watch, and maybe even participate in, glass blowing at the Bristol Blue Glass factory, one of the few surviving in Europe that still uses traditional glass blowing techniques, the very same that were used some 300 years ago, when Bristol Blue Glass was first produced.

The Round Building, Hathersage, Derbyshire
Architectural tours and cutlery making demonstrations at the famous David Mellor Cutlery Factory, designed by Sir Michael Hopkins. The adjoining museum displays the historic collection of David Mellor’s design, from tea spoons to traffic lights.

Emma Bridgewater, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
All of Emma Bridgewater's traditional cream earthenware and designs are manufactured at the Victorian Eastwood Works site on the bank of the Cauldon Canal in Hanley, the heart of the potteries in Stoke-on-Trent.

Bowhill & Elliott, Norwich, Norfolk
Established in 1874, Bowhill & Elliott are one of the last shoe manufacturers working in the city, where once there were hundreds. Come and see the historic shop interior and join the tours of the workshop beneath, where traditional slippers are being made.

G H Hurt & Son Ltd ‘The Shawl Factory', Beeston, Nottinghamshire
Founded in 1912, G.H. Hurt & Son is a family firm which knits hand-finished scarves and shawls in Chilwell. Established in an old seed warehouse built in 1781, the business has remained on the site to the present day. See some of the factory’s rare lace-knitting machines in action.

Cottam Brush Ltd, Hepburn, Tyne and Wear
Observe the manufacturing process of brush making within a new and technical environment at Cottam Brush, a company producing brushes for over 150 years for a very diverse market. Children will have the chance to make a little brush using one of the techniques used throughout the history of the company.

John Hardman & Co Stained Glass Manufacturers, Birmingham
Lightwoods House dates back to late 18th century. The building in the park is now a working stained glass studio, with an extensive archive collection of the company founded in 1838.

Ercol Furniture Works and Showroom, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire
Guided tours of this Civic Trust Award winning, energy-efficient manufacturing plant and showroom, relocated 8 miles from the historic furniture town of High Wycombe.

A number of manufacturers ranging from David Mellor Design to Bristol Blue Glass will produce an item in their special trademark style in support of the campaign. These highly-collectable gifts will be for sale at the manufacturers' factory shops over Heritage Open Days or from www.made-in-britain.org.uk which will go live at the beginning of September 2008.
The Heritage Open Days online directory listing all the events taking place in England will go live in mid-July at www.heritageopendays.org

ENDS