MORE than 600 people packed a church at the weekend to find out more about the history of the area.

As previously reported in the Warrington Guardian, the Friends of Christ Church Graveyard staged the first Padgate Heritage Day on Saturday, September 8 and were ‘amazed’ by the response.

The family event, which was part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days festival, attracted more than 600 visitors from around Warrington.

One RAF war veteran even travelled from Newcastle to rekindle his memories of the RAF Padgate camp that was one of many displays on view.

Michael Bromwich, from the friends group, said: “Putting together the static and visual displays was no easy task, but it was helped by the support of more than 40 people who shared their stories and photographs with the organising team.

“Enthusiastic visitors were treated to stories about timeless village life from as early as the 1800s.

“The history of RAF Padgate, where up to a million young men trained for the Second World War and later, National Service, included information about numerous well-known celebrities.

“The heritage day also uncovered countless secrets and visitors spotted old friends on the many photographs displayed.

“The success of the day was due to a dedicated team who worked tirelessly researching for several months, in Warrington and Padgate libraries, talking to local people and fact finding from old parish magazines and on the internet.

“On the day, the event relied on support given by the many volunteers from the Friends Group and Christ Church.

“It was much appreciated that the professional display was only possible due to the funding from Poulton and Fearnhead Parish Council, who saw the community value in this event.

“We were also very grateful for the dedicated support from Warrington Borough Council print department.”

For those visitors who were unable to attend the event, or who wish to see the displays again, don’t be disappointed.

The majority of the displays will be on view in Padgate Library on Insall Road, up until Wednesday, September 26.