Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Enlightening Day at Lichfield

I spent a most interesting and enlightening day at Lichfield recently.

It was a familiarisation day organised by Lichfield Council, with a view to getting group organisers interested in bringing parties to this delightful Staffordshire city.

We met at the Lichfield Cathedral Visitors Centre, where introductions were made over coffee and biscuits.

Then we repaired to the cathedral itself, where we were given a brief tour.

From there we crossed the Close and walked through the picturesque Vicars Close, home in years gone by to the vicars choral, before paying a visit to Erasmus Darwin House.

Erasmus Darwin was the grandfather of the much more famous Charles Darwin. A brilliant and multi-faceted man, he was one of the founder members of the Lunar Society. I was aware that this was an exceptionally gifted man, but this visit gave me even more insight into his brilliance.

College Hall, in a former theological college, saw us all sitting down to a buffet lunch. I can say in all honesty that it was one of the finest buffets that I have ever experienced.

During lunch, we had a presentation about the National Memorial Arboretum, which is not far away at Alrewas.

After lunch, we repaired to the Lichfield Garrick, a modern theatre named after the great actor David Garrick, who was a Lichfield man, where the House Manager answered questions.

We then went to the Lichfield Heritage Centre, housed in the former St. Mary's Church in the Market Place, where there are exhibitions relating to Lichfield's history.

Then it was across the road to Dr. Johnsons Birthplace, where the curator pointed out many items of interest from the great lexicographer's career.

Finally, we went back to the Heritage Centre for coffees and goodbyes.

During the day, I was able to talk to other visitors. A good few were from nearby villages, but I also chatted to people from Burton-on-Trent and Leicestershire County Council retired employees!

It was a very good day, very interesting and very well organised, and has certainly increased the likelihood of my bringing a party from Leicester to Lichfield.