Perkins celebrates its home-town heritage

The Peterborough Heritage festival is described as the city’s biggest cultural event, and features living history displays, battle re-enactments and outdoor theatre telling the story of Peterborough’s 3,000 year history. For Perkins, sponsoring the event also provided an opportunity to celebrate the company’s long association with Peterborough.

More than 32,000 people flocked to Peterborough on the weekend of June 16-17 for the popular Peterborough Heritage Festival which this year had several important milestones to celebrate.

The 2018 edition of the ‘festival of celebrations’ marked 100 years since the end of the First World War, 100 years since women in the UK won the right to vote, and 900 years since the founding of Peterborough Cathedral.

It was also the fourth year that Perkins has sponsored the annual festival, which is part of a collaboration between Peterborough Cathedral, Peterborough City Council and Vivacity, the charity that manages many of the city’s cultural and leisure activities.

Perkins celebrates its home-town heritage

‘This is Peterborough’

Highlights of the family-focused weekend included the popular living history displays, battle re-enactments and ‘Fiery Jack’, the fire-juggling medieval minstrel, and his gang. ‘This is Peterborough’, an outdoor play in the Bishop’s Palace Gardens of the cathedral, delighted young and old with the story of Peterborough’s 3,000-year history, told through jokes and songs with plenty of audience interaction. The play gave an opportunity to announce the launch of, a new website showcasing stories of the city’s history and aimed at schoolchildren.   

A new feature, the Cultural Treasures tent, featured dancers, artists, cooks and musicians from 11 of the communities that contribute to the make-up of modern Peterborough.

When the curtain fell on Sunday evening, it left more than 100 staff and volunteers pleased that their efforts had helped make the festival – one of the largest cultural events in the city – such a success.

Richard Hunt, Vivacity’s Director of Culture, said: “We at Vivacity are proud of our legacy of staging free events such as Peterborough Heritage Festival which makes culture accessible to families of all ages and backgrounds in the city. This work could not take place without the support of our sponsors, Perkins, as well as Peterborough Cathedral and Peterborough City Council who kindly lend us their spaces.”

‘A brilliant afternoon’

Social media comments were overwhelmingly positive. A regular at the festival who attends every year with a friend and her children said on TripAdvisor: “We absolutely love it. Lots to see and get involved in. Lost count of the number of times I heard the word ‘Wow’ from the kids.”

Writing on Facebook, a first-time visitor said: “We really enjoyed it. We will be going every year now. It was a brilliant afternoon.”

Another visitor liked the historic re-enactments. “It was an excellent day out,” he wrote on TripAdvisor. “Well organised and fun.”

Richard Graves, marketing promotions manager at Perkins, said: “Perkins is very much a part of the modern history of Peterborough – we’ve been here more than 85 years. So sponsoring this event gives us not only an opportunity to celebrate the rich history of this city, but also a chance to celebrate our place in this history.

“We’re proud to play a part in helping bring together so many people from across Peterborough. Thanks to everyone for all their hard work in creating the UK’s largest multi-period, city centre, living history festival.”