Take 5 with our monthly miscellany

For the revamped blog we promised a peek behind the scenes of HODs central. Well, it’s been an interesting month with woodland walks, cake competitions, meeting friends and making new ones. So why not pull up a chair, grab a biccie to go with the essential cuppa, and we’ll catch up!

1. A woodland walk    

June has had some glorious sunshine so I lucked out with a day trip to the beautiful community run park, Warley Woods, just outside Birmingham. It’s one of the sites working with The Gardens Trust on their new HLF project: Sharing Repton. There are four other sites across England and the meeting was a chance for us all to share ideas and make connections to build on as the project progresses. Fantastic people with great ideas so watch this space as the garden (project) grows!

Windswept walkers at Warley Woods for the new Sharing Repton project. © The Gardens Trust

2. Out & about

Other travels have taken us north to Derbyshire, where Annie gave a workshop on HODs at a conference for National Trust staff. Meanwhile Andy and I headed for Huddersfield to chat with organisers from the borough and beyond. Then, closer to home, we caught up with friends from across the sector at Historic Houses’ summer party, and met new ones at London Metropolitan Archive’s London History Day. The theme was ‘Women and Power’ and our stall was sandwiched between the excellent Vagina Museum and Feminist Library, near the fascinating Baring Archive and the BT Archives (fingers crossed you’ll be able to visit them over HODs this year!)

Marching for #Xwomen everywhere as part of Processions 2018 © Wikicommons - Alice White

3. Extraordinary Women   

London History Day gave us a chance to talk about this year’s theme, Extraordinary Women and a sneak preview of our arts commission, put her forward. This complements our main theme by celebrating the women who make a difference to our everyday lives today – maybe a councillor, brownie pack leader, the woman who contributes to every school event, who taught you to bake, to read,or quite simply expanded your horizons. Nominations are now live, so if you know someone whose light deserves to be seen then do put her forward!

4. Tea and cake   

Always a subject of deep interest here at HODs HQ, being essential fuel to keep the wheels turning! And this month the discussions have turned serious as we’re now running the World Cup of Cakes (because apparently there is a football event going on?!). So far lemon drizzle and carrot cake have cleared round 1 but there are many more battles across the gingham table cloth to go, so who will win?  You can follow the contest (and of course, VOTE!) on our twitter feed.

The greatest contest is on! Carrot or Apple, Chocolate or Coffee? You decide!

5. Discussing democracy

In keeping with the cake theme, I’ve just made a lemon sponge for our ‘Equalitea’ tomorrow. We’re hosting one as part of Parliament’s initiative celebrating 1928’s Representation of the People Act that gave all men and women over the age of 21 equal right to vote. I should get further inspiration for it (and all things Extraordinary women!) tonight at Parliament’s own Equalitea, which also launches their Voice & Vote exhibition.

On the horizon…

Well that’s quite enough for one month, next up we’re off to Bestwood Country Park near Nottingham for an organiser workshop. Really looking forward to meeting some of you there! And then, the biggie (drum roll please)… we launch the event directory! This will be followed by an ever giddier run towards the festival finish line, best dig out those comfy trainers, see you next time!