Renamed St Albans weekend will still be putting residents first

St Albans Tour Guides at the Clock Tower

St Albans Tour Guides at the Clock Tower - Credit: Archant

Residents have always come First but this year they are being urged to Enjoy St Albans during a busy weekend of events.

The former Residents First Weekend now renamed Residents: Enjoy St Albans is being held this Saturday and Sunday, January 23 and 24, and offers local people the chance to become a tourist in and around their own city.

Entrance to landmark buildings together with sports and other activities will be offered either free or at a discount.

They include St Albans Cathedral, several museums, the district’s main leisure centres, community groups, the Alban Arena and Willows Activity Farm as well as educational talks, exercise classes, guided tours, cut-price golf and a photo exhibition.

Enjoy St Albans is centred on five different themes - heritage, nature, active, Roman and creative - and has been organised by the district council.

Details of all the events can be found on an interactive map available on the website

St Albans Mayor, Cllr Salih Gaygusuz, who will be attending a number of events over the weekend, said: “I am looking forward to seeing and learning many new things about St Albans.

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“This is a weekend that anyone interested in our marvellous city should not miss. It is a great way to discover more about our rich cultural and social history and take part in some challenging activities.”

The council’s portfolio holder for community engagement and localism, Cllr Beric Read, added: “We want to boost the local economy by inviting people to sample what is on offer and to pass on the word to family and friends that St Albans is a great place to visit.

“The interactive map is an excellent way to see what is happening during the weekend and will help people plan ahead.”

* Local historian John Cox is curating an exhibition of the illustrations of Frederic George Kitton in the north transept of the cathedral during the Enjoy St Albans weekend.

The illustrations include two former pubs, the Peacock in Hatfield Road and the Punch Bowl in Redbourn Road as well as drawings of the Bath and West Agricultural Show which was was held in May 1896 locally and attended not only by the Lord Mayor of London but also the Prince and Princess of Wales - later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

Mr Cox, who is putting on the exhibition on behalf of the St Albans and Herts Architectural and Archaeological Society (SAHAAS), will also be giving a Powerpoint presentation on Kitton’s short life of 49 years.

It will provide information on his work as a wood engraver and illustrator, his love of St Albans and Herts and how he saved a building in the Market Place from demolition in 1898. Two of his watercolours will also be on display.

The exhibition can be seen from 10am to 3.30pm on Saturday and from 1pm to 3.30pm on Sunday.