Town Hall first among equals

PUBLISHED: 11:22 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:46 06 May 2010

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RESIDENTS of St Albans district will be able to enjoy an action-packed weekend of fun and entertainment next Saturday and Sunday, January 26 and 27, when venues take part in the sixth Residents First Weekend. This year there are several activities which

RESIDENTS of St Albans district will be able to enjoy an action-packed weekend of fun and entertainment next Saturday and Sunday, January 26 and 27, when venues take part in the sixth Residents First Weekend.

This year there are several activities which are taking place in St Albans Town Hall itself. After the refurbishment that took place last year, the building is open and there is the chance to have a look around.

St Albans Arts (STARTS), who now run the Town Hall, are opening it up throughout the weekend so you can see the inside and learn more about STARTS and their future plans. The Mayor, Cllr Kate Morris, will give a short Mayoral talk at 10am and 10.30am in the old Mayor's Parlour on both the Saturday and Sunday, with the Macebearer, to show and explain to visitors the civic regalia.

The courtroom will also be open all weekend and on Sunday afternoon there is the chance to have a look at the cells under the courtroom* and 'Meet the Gaoler'.

The St Albans Architectural and Archaeological Society will also be opening their new library in the judges' robing room and will be on hand to describe their collection of books, historical manuscripts and maps to visitors. All these events, some which have never happened before, will give visitors a new perspective on this much-loved building.

Elsewhere in the city and district, various attractions are open free for the day such as Redbournbury watermill, Redbourn village museum, The St Albans Organ Museum, The Roman theatre and the St Albans Clock Tower. The Abbey is once again, putting on many events such as tower* and stone store tours*, the ancient graffiti tour* and this year for the first time, a special tour of the medieval wall paintings*.

On the Sunday, the Gardens of the Rose will be open so you can walk around and see the magnificent work that has taken place over the last few years. There will also be an exhibition on the progress of the proposed Butterfly World attraction that is planned to be built in the next couple of years. The new Rosebud café within the grounds will be open, offering a free cup of tea or coffee with every cream tea purchased.

As usual there are a host of free guided walks led by the City of St Albans Tour Guides. This year for the first time there are two walks on the Sunday led by the Green Spaces team. At 10.30am there will be a walk around Nomansland Common and at 2.30pm a walk around Bricket Wood. These walks will look at the wildlife and management of these valuable sites. Further details and meeting points for these walks and all the walks on offer are available in the Resident's First leaflet.

Batchwood Hall Nightclub is also taking part in the Residents First Weekend for the first time. Turn up between 9.30pm and 11pm on Saturday night with your leaflet and receive free admission.

The Residents Feast is also popular with several of the city and districts favourite restaurants that are offering discounts over the weekend. St Michael's Manor, The White Hart Hotel and The Albany (George Street) are giving a free bottle of wine to diners, the Quality Hotel and Mantra (Verulam Road) are offering 25 per cent off the final bill and Café Rouge and Cibo Di Vino are offering free desserts, just to mention but a few. Just show your Residents First leaflet or the wrap on this week's Herts Advertiser to get the offer shown and, as with all popular restaurants, please book a table to avoid any disappointment.

All the offers and information on the Residents First Weekend and the above events are available in the leaflet. If you have not got a leaflet, they can be obtained from the Tourist and Information Centre in the Old Town Hall, St Albans (01727 864511), as well as all the venues mentioned above and all those taking part in the weekend.

The Residents First Information Point will be open from 9am-4pm on the Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday, in the Old Town Hall, St Albans. You can pick up advanced tickets for those events which require them and take part in the FREE Residents First Raffle. With many great prizes it must be worth a shot!

The Residents First weekend is your weekend, have fun!

*An advanced ticket is required for this event and available from the Resident's First Information point at the Town Hall on the day of the event.

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