HARWICH’S historic Guildhall will open to the public for an exhibition exploring the town’s rich and colourful past.

Honourary town archivists Ray Plummer and Anne Kemp-Luck will put on the display to mark National Heritage weekend on Saturday, September 14, and Sunday, September 15.

The exhibition runs on both days between 2.30pm and 4.30pm at the hall, in Church Street, and entrance is free.

Visitors can take in the sight of wall carvings etched by Napoleonic prisoners, the town’s 17th century mace and a portrait of the Queen signed by Her Majesty during a visit to Harwich in 2004.

Mr Plummer said: “Harwich certainly deserves to be known as ‘Historic Harwich’ and we are very fortunate that the town’s archive retains so much in terms of documentation and artefacts.

“There can be few places with such a wealth of history and National Heritage weekend is an ideal opportunity to show it off.

“The Guildhall is a fascinating building and is a wonderful location to display the archive material.”