Four-day heritage fest coming to the town centre this August

Published: Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Northampton’s history is due to come alive during a four-day heritage fest in the town centre, Monday 5 August to Thursday 8 August.

During the four-day event, which forms part of the #CelebrateNorthampton summer programme, residents and visitors can take advantage of three interactive experiences to learn more about the town’s history.

Two theatrical interactive tours with the Looking Glass Theatre will take place each day, providing people with an extra chance to catch previously sold out tours from earlier in the year. Audience members can choose to take part in tours focusing on ‘Law and Order’, ‘The Guildhall’, ‘Theatreland’ and ‘Forgotten Places’ for the reduced price of £2 per person.

James Smith from the Looking Glass Theatre said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Northampton Borough Council and look forward to bringing to life Northampton's historical past through theatre".

In addition, free classic bus tours, setting out from The Guildhall at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, will enable riders to take in a range of heritage landmarks across the town in comfort. Sites covered during the 45 minute ride include All Saints Church, Hazelrigg House, 78 Derngate and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Northampton Transport Heritage Chairman, Graham Croucher said: “Once again we are delighted and excited to be working with our partners at Northampton Borough Council to bring history of the page and into life. In the first of three separate summer events people can travel back in time for free, on real pieces of Northampton’s history, our preserved Northampton Corporation Transport buses, with the earliest example dating from 1947, No. 154, proving especially popular.”

A fun, free ‘100 Years of Northampton in 15 minutes’ catwalk show from Red Rumpus, will also provide a lively historical treat for viewers. Taking place in Grosvenor Shopping at 1pm and 3pm, audience members will be taken on a rollercoaster ride through the decade-defining styles and events of Northampton with a catwalk of community models taking us from a Victorian music-hall singalong to the construction of the lift-tower via two world-wars, the Windrush generation, some badly behaved beatniks and the birth of the counter-culture!

In addition, there will be an accompanying mini-exhibition of photographs of old Northampton including the work of John Hendy in the '100 Years' pop-up backstage shop. Pop along and see the show as it develops in the days leading up to the catwalk!

Tamsyn Payne of Red Rumpus said: “Red Rumpus are looking forward to sharing the latest incarnation of our '100 Years of Northampton' show. We've been sharing stories and photographs with more Northamptoners over the last few weeks and have woven them into a community catwalk that's full of joy, beautiful vintage clothes and a few things you might not know about your hometown. Also we are thrilled to be curating a 1980s power-ballad poptastic playlist which will be taking over the airwaves in the Grosvenor Centre after each show. Dancing and singing along will be encouraged!”

Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “We are extremely proud of Northampton’s history so have been working with partners to develop a bumper four-days of heritage fun to celebrate it.

“The bus tours and catwalk show are free to attend and tickets to the theatrical tours just £2 each so we hope as many people as possible head to the town centre to enjoy the activities.”

Tickets to the Looking Glass Tours can be booked at

Find out more about the full #CelebrateNorthampton summer programme at