There’s a packed programme of events coming up at the birthplace of industry.
The Ironbridge Gorge will be celebrating its special status as a World Heritage Site later this month. with a packed programme of free activities. The celebrations will be launched on 22nd September with the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival in the centre of the town, followed by a week of fascinating and nostalgic talks and walks culminating in a wonderful Heritage and Craft event over the weekend of 29th – 30th September at Maws Craft Centre.
The World Heritage Festival on 22nd September starts at 12pm in central Ironbridge. The Wharfage that runs alongside the River Severn will be transformed into a fantastic venue for a high quality market selling all kinds of unusual and locally made crafts and food, such as the Ironbridge Catering Company with one of the country’s biggest mobile BBQs, serving free range meats from Buttercoss Farm in Market Drayton and Beeford Bee Products who produce a great range of candles, honey, natural cosmetics, soaps and even polishes for boots. Many of Shropshire’s favourite charities will have stalls at the festival, giving visitors a chance to hear more about the work they do in the community.
Street performers plus local and community bands and musicians will also be entertaining visitors n the Square. Highlights include the Jackfield Band and the Telfordaires who are amongst the top ten Barbershop Choruses in the UK.
At Merrythought Village the workshops and Micro Brewery will be open while visitors wanting to enjoy a scenic river cruise can step aboard the Hafren. Local historians will be on hand all day to give guided walks and talks; helping visitors understand the amazing history of the Gorge and why it has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, alongside the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids.
The market stands will continue to trade during the evening and the Iron Bridge will be illuminated in spectacular style, with a firework display ending at 8pm.
Activities continue throughout the week with a programme of walks and talks looking at many aspects of the Gorge such as the geology of the area, its industrial heritage and development over the centuries. Over the weekend of 29th – 30th September, Maws Craft Centre will host a Heritage and Craft event where visitors can enjoy attractions such as portable steam engines, traditional craft demonstrations and family activities.
Visitors are advised that there is no parking in the Ironbridge Gorge on 22nd September and they should use the well signed Park and Ride, at the top of Jiggers Bank that will take them into the heart of the event.