Meet the team

Annie Reilly - Manager

I have long been a Heritage Open Days enthusiast, having first stumbled upon the festival the day after I arrived from the USA eleven years ago. Before joining HODs in 2017, I worked at Nuffield Southampton Theatres as Producer, managing a team to deliver a wide range of productions as well as programming incoming shows. I am now responsible for the national direction, strategy and delivery of our festival. It’s truly a joy - and fascinating! - to work with the thousands of extraordinary people who make Heritage Open Days happen across the country.

Annabelle Thorpe - Head of Communications

I’m delighted to be back after eighteen months away, publicising my first novel and writing my second.  I first joined Heritage Open Days in 2012 and it’s been wonderful to watch the event develop and grow.  Alongside managing the media campaign and press coverage for Heritage Open Days, I also work as a journalist, so the thousands of individual stories that make this such a unique event have a huge appeal for me.  

Sarah Holloway - Operations Officer
I’ve been working on Heritage Open Days since 2007, initially as the Registration Officer processing all the fascinating entries. Now, I’m responsible for the database, website and the day to day operations but I still do lots of processing and love the fantastic geographic overview it gives us of some quirky heritage hotspots! I’m also at the end of the phone or email for any queries, big or small, so do give me a shout if you need anything.

Andrew Henderson - Visitor Experience Officer

I am very excited to be part of Heritage Open Days! Before joining the team, I worked at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Catalhoyuk (Turkey) and Memphis (Egypt) designing both the physical and digital aspects of the visitor experience. This included everything from signage, bins and benches to social media, videos and websites. I love the diversity that Heritage Open Days offers and really look forward to working with you all to create experiences that your visitors never forget!

Alex McCann - Assistant Business Support Coordinator

I am joining the Heritage Open Days team at a hugely exciting time ahead of the 2018 Festival in September. I will be supporting the operational delivery of the Festival, whilst answering enquiries on a day to day basis. I look forward to experiencing the diversity that Heritage Open Days has to offer, and being a part of growing this fantastic event.

Laura Davey – Press and Communications Officer

I’m so excited to be working with Heritage Open Days as part of the communications team, as exploring historic places and discovering hidden architectural gems has always been a passion of mine. My role is to help boost press and media coverage – I’m on a mission to make sure as many people as possible know about this fantastic festival!

Archie Manister-O'Neill - Admin & Media Assistant (volunteer)

After a couple of months away focusing on my university studies, I’m back working with HODs for the summer. I am hugely excited to be celebrating the Extraordinary Women from
all across the country, and the HODs double weekend extravaganza. I'll be pulling together some Festival Spotlights and helping with other day-today operations. I can’t wait to explore the country’s wonderful heritage with you all.

Carrie Long - Social Media Assistant (volunteer)

I’m excited to be joining the Heritage Open Days team ahead of the Extraordinary Women theme for the festival in September. I have an academic background in World History and a passionate interest in visiting heritage sites mainly developed during my travels overseas. I cannot wait to now explore our own country’s wonderful heritage and share fascinating unsung stories with you on social media.

India Abbott - Social Media Assistant (volunteer)

I’m so happy to be joining Heritage Open Days as I will finally get the opportunity to explore English heritage and culture with a fresh new perspective. Along with Carrie, I'll be helping out with the social media side of things and hopefully learning a great deal along the way.

Matt Emmett - Photographer

When a friend looking for some photography pointers took me to an abandoned jet engine testing establishment, I was drawn into a world of fascinating locations. Six years later I’m still taking pictures of the historic built environment and now work with heritage organisations and local councils. I am thrilled to be working with Heritage Open Days. Getting people to engage with our amazing history sits in perfect alignment with my own goals and I look forward to bringing visual stories of the UK's incredible history and heritage into people's homes. You can see more of my work on my website and Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.