Wiltshire Publications

Westbury Heritage back in business

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MAYOR cllr Sheila Kimmins faced an unusual ribbon cutting ceremony when she opened Westbury’s new-look heritage centre. 

The Victorian cast iron statue of Hercules, which appeared on BBC’s The Repair Shop, was adorned in ribbon for the special occasion. The statue, one of the centre’s most popular exhibits, once graced the top of the beam engine in Bitham Mill. 

The new-style heritage centre is located on the first floor of the town library, having relocated from its previous premises in 2020.  Reopening was delayed by Covid but it is now open for business, and boasts a range of exciting displays and exhibitions on the town’s history. 

Heritage Society chair, Sally Hendry said, “We are excited about the new-look displays and activities and really hope people will visit to get a real taste of our town’s history.  

“With the expansion of housing in and around Westbury, there must be many people making the town their home who probably have no idea about its history.  We want to make the centre as welcoming as possible, so everyone can pop in and browse.” 

Sally also took the opportunity to thank all the organisations and individuals who had helped fund and create the new centre. 

The official opening was attended by volunteers and guests including MP Dr Andrew Murrison who praised the new centre and took time admiring the colourful Westbury timeline that traces town history. 

More pictures on page 15

W788 1 Mayor Sheila Kimmins snips the opening ribbon on TV star Hercules  

W788 2 One of the many new cabinets showing Westbury history.  

W788 3 Mayor Sheila Kimmins feeling the quality of samples of Laverton cloth made in Westbury mills. 

W788 4 These hobnailed woolworker’s boots were found in Angel Mill. The soles are made of wood and they have steel tips. 


W788 6 Heritage Society officers left to right: Carole King, Sally Hendry, Liz Argent, Brenda Pyne 

W788 7 MP Andrew Murrison and Colonel Lucy Giles admire the timeline.