Heritage Open Days 2017 launches in style

With a colourful cake, some delicious bubbles and very special guests, the festival was launched in style this week at RIBA in London.

Heritage Open Days held its 2017 national launch on Tuesday 18th July, at RIBA central London. Helen Ghosh (Director General of National Trust)  and Rachel Ruxton (from  People’s Postcode Lottery) were in attendance to help celebrate the return of England’s largest heritage festival. With over 3600 events now listed on the website and more to come! 

Artist Olivia Winteringham is working with Mark Highnett from Oswestry Town Museum on the Unsung Story of Gilbert & Gordon's letters

The evening was also a chance for artists from the inaugural Unsung Stories project to share their plans for the festival. This year it is shining a light on four tragic, beautiful and fascinating personal histories from the LGBTQ community. Attendees were then able to write their own letters to contribute to one of the commissions, inspired by the incredible letters found by Oswestry Town Museum between WWII soldiers Gilbert and Gordon.

New faces of heritage: Samantha Mitchell, Peter Wadsworth, Hopwood DePree, and Annie Reilly

An inspiring panel discussion featured some of the ‘New Faces of Heritage’, who spoke about the changing meaning of the word ‘heritage’ amongst other things. Before Heritage Open Days manager Annie Reilly brought the evening to a close with a toast of English sparkling wine from Albury Vineyards, one of several wineries taking part in this year’s festival and of course the cutting of a giant cake!

All images taken by Rahil Ahmad