KIDDERMINSTER's illustrious past is leaping out of the history books and onto the streets thanks to a new heritage trail across the town.

Over the past two years a team of local historians have been working on the project to celebrate Kidderminster’s rich past.

Interpretation boards charting key landmarks and the lives of some of the most significant figures who have helped shape the town over the centuries have been placed at five locations.

Boards installed so far tell the story of Kidderminster-born Rowland Hill, who created the world’s first postal system, and of the eventful life of preacher Richard Baxter during the Civil War era.

Other boards cover the arrival of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, the Brinton family renowned across the world for carpet-making, and the coming of steam power.

A final board dealing with the birth of the carpet industry will be added in the near future.

The project, steered by Kidderminster’s Heritage Opportunities Group (HOGs), has been supported by the town and district councils, The Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster College, Brintons archive, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Project leader Dave Laverty, of HOGs, said: “This town has a fascinating and fantastic story to tell and we can all take pride in it and inspiration from it.

“The hard work of a wonderful team of people has enabled the idea of a trail to become a reality and we hope both visitors to our town and locals alike will enjoy finding out more about the town’s key people and places.”

HOGs chairman Colin Hill added: “HOGs is dedicated to raising awareness of the town’s heritage and this is a major achievement after several years of hard work.”

The boards can be found at the Town Hall, on Waterside close to the bus station, in Pike Mills in Green Street, beside the canal below St Mary’s Church, and in the New Meeting House garden off the Bull Ring. A sixth board will follow at Weavers Wharf.

QR codes on each board can be used with a mobile phone to follow the trail which takes about 45 minutes to walk.