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New Year Honours - festival favourites

New Year is a time for lists, resolutions and honours; so reflecting on last year and thinking about what highlights lie ahead, we’ve come up with an alternative Honours list. To get you thinking about what catches attention, here are some events that proved firm favourites for the team and media in 2021...

Media knock outs

A qurky image and alliterative title helped catch attention for Otley Court House / © The Courthouse Project (Otley) Ltd

These events were the ones most featured in press pitches. Key to their success details were submitted to us early (including an image!) and their fun titles and clear descriptions caught the team's, and later the media’s attention. Congratulations….

Cemetreats & Funeral Feasts: "Picnics, lemons in handkerchiefs, and feasts with the family; all things you wouldn't expect in a cemetery, but things that took place nonetheless! Join us as we take you back in time to discover the wonderful foody cemetery and funeral traditions!"  (Friends of Wombwell Cemetery / Barnsley, South Yorkshire)

Greed, Guilt and Gruel at Otley Courthouse! "Discover shady stories and vicious villains from the past. There are court cases about theft and poaching as well as details of prisoners' food, police officers' canteen refreshments and magistrates' tea time, all available live and on-line." (The Courthouse Project (Otley) Ltd / Leeds, West Yorkshire)

Foraged Foods to Dye For: "Explore the world of natural dyes at this free session for families at the Old School, Wolverton." (Living Archive (coordinator) on behalf of Future Wolverton / Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire)

Inspiring images

A picture's worth 1000 words... and they're the first thing people tend to look at on a page. So with thousands of listings on our event directory, they make all the difference. Here are the most liked images from our social media streams last year…

Guided Tour: The Sudbury Common Lands and the Riverside - Sudbury Town Council / Sudbury, Suffolk / © Andy Longhurst

Skidby Mill - Beverley Civic Society / Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire / © East Riding Museums

Little Moreton Hall - National Trust / Congleton, Cheshire / © John Millar

Tantalising titles

What’s in a name? A lot! After an image, it’s the first thing to catch someone’s eye when looking through event listings. Here are some that caught the team’s imagination last year…

Cathedral of St John the Baptist promised visitors they would bee happy!

Make your own Air Bee-N-Bee Hotel: "Come to our wonderful garden and build your own bee hotel while learning about the importance of attracting bees into our gardens. We promise you'll BEE happy!" (Cathedral of St John the Baptist / Norwich, Norfolk)

Catch your Gingerbread in Ormskirk: "Talk and cookery demonstration by Sam Bilton, author of "First Catch Your Gingerbread". (Ormskirk Community Partnership / Ormskirk, Lancashire)

Hedgehog High Jinks and High Tea: "Find out all about the Old School’s resident hedgehog, Brian, and his spiky friends, in our celebration of all things Hedgehog." (Living Archive (coordinator) on behalf of Future Wolverton / Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes)


  • The Elephant in the Park – Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire / Sleaford, Lincolnshire
  • Prayers, Pints & Pylons - The Architectural Legacy of John Leopold Denman – Regency Town House / Brighton & Hove, East Sussex

Delightful descriptions

The first few lines of an entry can make a world of difference. Questions tease us, descriptions entice us, or simply make us laugh! Here are some that had us smiling and made us want to know more...

Great War Huts won us over with humour with this entry!

Drawers for Wars - A Century of British and Commonwealth Military Underwear: "Great War Huts invite you to have a rummage through their underwear with an exhibition showing how military undergarments have changed from the flannel pants of the Boer War to the fragment-proof Polyester of the Present Day!" (Great War Huts / Bury St.Edmunds, Suffolk)

A King's Banquet: "Feast your eyes on the sumptuous spread of manuscripts and printed delights from the Special Collections held at King's College, presented online for your delectation. Whether it be College catering, or spicy titbits from our rare books and early printed music, there is a feast of food-related material in the Special Collections. We will table an online exhibition of serious, as well as fun, documents covering five hundred years of food at King's. From food fights to food scarcity, the salutary effect of warm beer, or the economics of the price of corn, King's College's Special Collections are sure to have something to satisfy any appetite." (University of Cambridge / Cambridgeshire)

Stories under the stars: "Gather round the fire for an evening of storytelling under the stars. Experience the magic of the twilight hour just as our ancestors must have done, sharing tales as the moon rises." (Living Archive (coordinator) on behalf of Future Wolverton / Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes)


  • From Mangelwurzels to Milk - Are you hungry for Archives? If so why not come to the Pop Up Museum and Library to see a selection of food based ephemera from the collections. From ration books to recipe books, and from mangelwurzels to milk, the Archives are full of food. (Warrington Museum and Art Gallery (Culture Warrington) / Warrington, Cheshire) 
  • Edible Sunderland History Quiz Do you know your panackelty from your pease pudding? Join us for a Zoom quiz exploring Sunderland’s history and test your knowledge of people, places, food and drink connected to the area. (Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens / Tyne & Wear)

A Taste of Edible England 

Last year’s theme was our most popular yet. Here’s a tantalising sample of some of the more unusual offers people came up with for it…

Dancing through culinary history with Minoti Parikh

Delightful discussions through Dance: "Dance your way through culinary heritage as Minoti Parikh invites us to explore Indian dance through the country's diverse and delicious cuisine in this innovative dance workshop." (Leeds Civic Trust / Leeds, West Yorkshire)

Gotcha! How carnivorous plants trap their prey: "How do carnivorous plants ensnare their targets? How did they develop the structures to do so? To find out, join Dr Chris Whitewoods from the Sainsbury Laboratory. We’ll explore how these plants are used in research, which cutting-edge scientific tools are helping us to understand how they grow, and some of the wider topics in plant development these special plants can help us to investigate." (University of Cambridge / Cambridgeshire)

Danbury Delights - cooking at the palace gatehouse: "Exploring the edible connections between a Knight buried in St John the Baptist Church in Danbury, the local mills and an infamous incident at an horticultural show." (Danbury Society & Chelmsford Civic Society / Danbury, Essex)


  • ‘Our Daily Bread’ - Bread from Anglo-Saxon to Space Age. Throughout history bread has been our staple diet. Explore how it has changed through the ages and infiltrated our language, religion and culture. Each of our heritage features will have a corresponding sample of the 'bread' of the day. 'Use Your Loaf' family quiz sheet. (All Saints Church / Ilkley, West Yorkshire)
  • History on a Plate - Blue Plates, similar to the Blue Plaque scheme, will be displayed around the Town to commemorate establishments that sold food and drink and those who ran them. Some of these places no longer exist, so look for the plates in unexpected places. (Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society / Abingdon, Oxfordshire)

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