Chester Walls group eager to exploit tower tourism


Neil Bellis

A NEW group which wants to look after the historic City Walls in Chester has held its launch meeting.

The Friends of Chester Walls was launched at the City Club in Chester by chairman David Pickering.

He welcomed the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, to the launch who then explained why the preservation and reopening of the two major towers of the Qalls were cause for great celebration across Chester.

The Lord Lieutenant, as well as being the Queens representative in the county, is also a retailer in Chester through his Dawson’s music store. He was delighted to see the work done through the Portico project.

Architect Donald Insoll explained how both the Water Tower and King Charles Tower had been modernised and repaired so they could take their place as a major tourist attraction.

The Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Jill Houlbrook, praised the work of Cllr Hilary McNae, who had created the original plans to bring about the Portico project and Cllr Stuart Parker, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWaC) executive member for culture and recreation, confirmed the council would provide £20,000 over two years to the Friends group to help secure the opening and promotion of the towers.

Mr Pickering told the group that it was the intention of the friends to match that amount and more through private sector activities over the coming months.

Chester hotelier Gordon Vickers took to the stage to confirm his support for the Walls project and challenged the group to come up with enough funds to put gates on the Walls and create a ceremony on key days, like those at the Tower of London  and Edinburgh Castle.

He said he would lead the charge on this challenge that would, in his opinion, be a major tourist attraction.

Roman Tours and Civil War Tours group representatives attended on the night and local tour guides were enthusiastic.

More than 70 people attended the opening and volunteers, who have already pledged their support to the group, were very keen to get on with the job this summer.

They said the attractions  would prove a magnet for tourists and make a difference to a city in need of a boost.

l If you would like to be a volunteer to help with tours, opening and closing of the towers or have any ideas as to how you can help the Walls project flourish, email friendsofchesterwalls@

See full story in the Chester Leader

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