High Wycombe Heritage Day took part from 11 AM to 4 PM on Sunday 12th September in Wycombe town centre, with activity focussed around the guild hall. It was organised by HWBidCo/My Wycombe, along with support from a number of local organisations including Wycombe Arts Centre.
Heritage Day included heaps of fun for all the family, including the traditional mayor weighing ceremony, a giant chair installation courtesy of our very own Dan Wilson/Decreate, heritage trails, history walks, medieval children’s entertainment and more…
About Heritage Day
During Heritage Day, High Wycombe’s history and traditions took centre stage, including the ancestral mayor weighing ceremony.
High Wycombe is the only town in the UK to still continue this long-established ritual, which involves a public weighing of the mayor to see if they’ve gained weight during their time in office.
Heritage Day also included entertainment & attractions from a number of local organisations including Wycombe Museum, WWFC Trust, the High Wycombe Society and High Wycombe Community Board. There was also plenty of children’s entertainment including medieval stilt performers, musical minstrels and jester shows.
Following the mayoral precession in the High Street, newly elected High Wycombe Mayor and friend of the arts centre Cllr Andrea Baughan took a turn in the stocks to raise money for the Mayor’s Appeal Charities (the Epilepsy Society and Stoke Mandeville’s Ducklings Charity).
Talented 13-year-old singer/songwriter Soraya Ray performed music throughout the day, while dancers from Castle Street Dance school performed under the Guildhall.
There was also a Wycombe Through the Ages photo exhibition showcasing images from the town’s past dating as far back as the 1890s. And High Wycombe Society’s Willie Reid provided two exclusive 45-minute History Walks.
About that giant chair
As part of Heritage Day, Dan Wilson of Decreate and Wycombe Arts Centre carried out some interactive public art, which included a commission to decorate the giant chair. Dan said, “I took the branding and applied it with my twist (in keeping with some other local projects from the last few years), paying homage to the amazing chair-making history of the town as well as other skilled craftspeople and creative trades, and local icons, Beech trees, the River Wye and the environment, too.”
Dan’s commission took the form of a giant chair that stands nine foot tall, which was showcased alongside chair upcycling demos that were designed to encourage people to be creative and to add their own spin to older seats. The public was also invited to sit and pose for photographs on the chair next to Dan’s workspace beside the Guildhall.
Now that Heritage Day is over, the giant chair has found its forever home in the Garden Space at Wycombe Arts Centre, where visitors will be able to see it in all its glory. If you can’t wait until your next visit or you want to see what it looked like before Dan got his hands on it, you can check out the incredible transformation in the photos below!
About HWBidCo/My Wycombe:
MyWycombe is a jointly funded initiative from High Wycombe Business Improvement (HWBIDCo), Wycombe Museum and Arts Council England. The site launched in April 2021 with the aim of promoting High Wycombe, community events, the town’s rich heritage and excellent local businesses. In addition, the site aims to keep local residents and town centre visitors informed of news and events happening in the area.