Your chance to look behind the scenes at region’s hidden gems

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The public’s once-in-a-year chance to see some of the region’s hidden gems begins today.

Heritage Open Days, which run until Sunday, sees hundreds of buildings, many of which are not usually open to the public, throw open their doors amid a packed schedule of tours, talks and exhibitions.

Among the unusual buildings open today - all for free - are an “eco home” at 84 Inglemire Avenue, in Hull, a typical 1932 end-of-terrace home which has transformed by an array of energy-saving devices which has cut the bills to nil - and is still warm and cosy.

Not normally open to the public, the Electric Works in Sheffield which houses animators, games developers and filmmakers, is running short tours from 10am to 4pm on Saturday.

And on Sunday for the first time the dark, forbidding cell beneath Ripon’s Georgian courthouse, now a museum, will be opened up for visitors to see where prisoners waited before being put on trial.

Beauchief Abbey in Sheffield, which dates to the 12th century, will open tomorrow 10am to 4pm, Friday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 1pm to 4.30pm. Finally in Hull, there will be an open day on board the Pride of Rotterdam on Sunday, between 10.30am and 3pm, with guided tours, entertainment - and the chance to win a minicruise for two.

John Netherwood, chairman of Hull Civic Society, said: “Heritage Open Days only happens because of the enormous support it enjoys in the city - our partners and sponsors, our army of volunteers and Hull Council, all walking in step to celebrate our heritage.” For more see www.heritageopendays.org.uk.