Today was the opening day at Chester: A Life Story [pictured above], the new heritage attraction in Chester.
I was there early this morning for an exclusive preview of the exhibition, researching an article for The Guardian in the family travel section.
Here’s the recent news item I wrote for the Cheshire Ultimate Guide by way of a preview of the story to come.
A new family visitor attraction has opened in Chester to celebrate the city’s rich social history in time for this year’s Chester Heritage Festival.
Chester: A Life Story puts the emphasis on the often-overlooked stories of ordinary people, using multi-sensory interpretation to highlight the folk who have shaped Cheshire over the past 2,000 years.
Including sections on crime and punishment, and health and medicine, it traces human stories from Roman Chester to the present day via the Middle Ages, aiming to put the story of Chester into a global context.
The heritage attraction is based at St Michael’s Church on Bridge Street, Chester, and managed by Big Heritage, the company that also runs Western Approaches, the wartime secret bunker in Liverpool.
The Chester Heritage Festival runs June 21-29 this year with events around the city.
It was the first Cars and Coffee Cheshire meeting of the season and I had been dispatched by the city’s new independent magazine, Tortoise.
Now I’m no petrolhead. In fact, I’ve never seen a single episode of The Grand Tour and I love the Italian job for the scenery — not the cars. But the Chester meeting was surprisingly inclusive with families and onlookers amongst the crowd.
I even had a spin around the Castle Car Park in a souped-up moped courtesy of the ladies from Deva Tuk Tuk [pictured above] and Ronnie the tub tuk dog.
Intrigued? Here’s a preview of my story:
The regal statue of Queen Victoria eyes the eclectic crowd with arch curiosity: petrolheads and boys racers mix with family groups.
There are serious tyre thumpers, blasting techno from behind their darkened windows, a proud owner posing for selfies next to a rare example of an Alfa Romeo 155 and classic car owners taking torque next to the caffeine-buzzing coffee cart.
It’s like an event at The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, without the tweed, pencil moustaches and copies of the Daily Telegraph.