Heritage Open Days 9-18 September 2022 - What will you discover?

Team travels - part 1

We’re mid festival frenzy here, halfway through Heritage Open Days 2018. Thousands of events have already flown their bunting and now packed it away while many thousands of others are just setting it out. We’re criss-crossing the country to see as much as possible, here’s a taster of our personal highlights so far…

Highlights from Andy's film and camera crews

ANNIE is top of the travel league!

Annie was in Hull for a joyful tribute to the extraordinary Jean Bishop

I was lucky enough to see loads across the country last week.  It’s all been the standard level of HODs excellence but two highlights:

  • A wonderful tribute to Jean Bishop in the Lord Mayor’s parlour in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire. We laughed, we cried, we ate cake. A suitably joyful tribute to an amazing woman.
  • And back to back visits to The Regency Townhouse and The Waste House in Brighton, Sussex. Two perspectives on house building from across the centuries. Utterly different yet strikingly similar.
ALEX is 7 up for his first HODs

My first official HODs… and it certainly didn’t disappoint! Seven events across Kent – incredibly difficult to pick out two highlights!

  • Who knew that England’s largest smock mill is in the tiny village of Cranbrook? I conquered my fear of heights and climbed to the top (72 feet), and even managed to buy myself some HODs flour in the process!
  • How many bricks does it take to build a Martello Tower? Nearly half a million! No. 24 in sunny Dymchurch is one of the closest Martello towers to its original condition, even complete with its own cannon and gun platform.
SARAH discovers new things in familiar places

Sarah discovered some high tech history at BRE

I headed to the home counties where I grew up last weekend and saw and learnt so many fascinating things from the most amazing people. Some fun new facts – who knew…

  • BRE in Watford is the home of cutting edge technology but also the only surviving in-situ test model used in the planning of the dam buster’s raid? (music maestro please!)
  • An old boot factory in Chesham is a recycling haven, where no nut, needle, or thread goes to waste as Workaid prepare toolkits for projects in Africa.
  • Chesham houses one of only 3 companies in the UK (only c.10 in the world!) that restores fairground organs! They are LOUD! And creating the sheets of music for them takes great technical and musical skill.
ANDY and co. gets snapping and chatting

Andy had a Roar-some weekend in Weston-super-Mare!

It was a busy first weekend for our social media team, photographers and film crews! Our social media assistant, Carrie, was with our photographer, Oskar, down in Dover, venturing beneath the White Cliffs into the Fan Bay Deep Shelter. The next day they moved onto Suffolk, discovering a maritime festival in Woodbridge and Napoleonic fortifications. Our first film crew from Cuckoo films, were in Leicester and Oxford, capturing everything from enormous waste management centres to hidden railway tunnels. We also had our second film crew, Blake House, in Preston, capturing the fabulous event taking place at Fulwood Mosque, and in Stoke, cycling around bottle ovens on an exclusive tour. That just leaves me and our second photographer, Chris. We went all the way down to Exeter and saw historic books at Exeter Library and medieval marvels at a restored ancient barn. The next day we went up to North Somerset, discovering the incredible Blagdon Pumping Station, a ferocious T-Rex at Weston Museum, and rounding the day off at the stunning Black Nore Lighthouse!

What will you discover?