THEATRE fans can take a rare peek behind the curtain at The Rose in Kidderminster during this year's National Heritage Day.

Free backstage tours of the Rose Theatre will take place between 10am and 2pm on Saturday, September 14, covering scenery-making to the high-tech wizardry needed for modern-day productions.

Visitors can drop in for a cup of tea and a chat and see how shows are made from start to finish.

Guests can also view the extensive range of costumes in the impressive wardrobe department.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

Historic Baxter Church in the Bull Ring is throwing open its doors from 10am to 4pm and will be putting on a dramatic presentation of writings by Richard Baxter.

The famous puritan cleric lived and worked in Kidderminster in the 17th century and was a chaplain in the Parliamentary Army during the Civil War.

There will also be displays of Baxter history and a musical evening, starting at 7.30pm. For details, call 01299 878759.

A boat trip into the past will be the centrepiece of National Heritage Day in Kidderminster when Bramble, an 85-year-old working narrowboat operated by Stourport Forward, transports passengers along the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal as part of a tour of historically important sites.

The town’s Heritage Opportunities Group (HOGS) has laid on the unique glimpse into history as part of a walking tour of the town led by HOGS historian Dave Laverty, a former history teacher at King Charles I School.

Walkers will set off from the town hall at 10am and hear about the golden age of carpet-making before boarding Bramble. The commentary will continue on the 68ft narrowboat as it makes its way through the town and on to Wolverley for canalside refreshments at the Old Smithy Tearooms.

It will then return to Kidderminster where passengers resume their town walk from the old town wharf, Church Street and Vicar Street before finishing with a guided tour of the town hall.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

While Bramble is making its way to Wolverley, another 75-minute walking tour of the town will begin at 11am from the town hall.

HOGS chairman Colin Hill said: “It will be a unique opportunity to see some of our town’s history from a completely different vantage point. We expect tickets to sell quickly is only one boat trip and numbers are limited.”

Tickets for the boat trip and walking tour cost £20 and include refreshments at Wolverley and a guided tour of the town hall. Tickets for the 11am walking tour cost £5. Bookings can be made by calling 01562 732158.

As part of Heritage Day, the town hall will host exhibitions by local historical groups from 10am-3pm and young visitors can take part in a free stamp-making workshop to celebrate Kidderminster’s Rowland Hill who founded Britain’s postage system in 1840.