Tell us your stories: make history come alive

This year, Heritage Open Days is all about stories. Every Heritage Open Days property has a tale to tell, whether a glamorous country house, a medieval undercroft, a church, or a lighthouse. We want to make history come alive with stories of love affairs and family feuds, political schemes and wild romances. Have you got a story to tell us?

© Laura Scottorn - What tales can your place tell?

Firstly, a big HELLO to everyone out there already involved in Heritage Open Days. I’m a new addition to the team this year, looking after all aspects of PR and doing my best to make sure that Heritage Open Days get lots of lovely coverage in newspapers, television and online. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting a feel for how Heritage Open Days works and learning about all the fantastic events happening up and down the country. My job is to make these events sound as interesting and exciting as possible, so that journalists, bloggers, TV presenters and radio DJs will all cover different aspects of Heritage Open Days. And this is where all of you come in!

I’m a journalist by trade and I’ve spent my career so far telling stories; travel stories mostly, from around the world and also here in the UK. In all my travels I haven’t found anywhere that compares with England for its wonderful mix of heritage, eccentricity and enthusiasm for maintaining and sharing all the history that makes our island such a unique place. We are a nation of storytellers, tales woven through the castles, cottages and churches, mansions and marketplaces, town halls and village streets that dot our countryside.

And so I want you to tell me your stories – the story of the property that you have registered for Heritage Open Days 2012. I’m looking for tales of doomed love affairs, political machinations, of ghosts and heroes and villains.  They don’t have to all be high drama, gentle tales of village life are equally welcome, but there must be something to engage and entice the reader. I’m hoping that the quirkiest and most interesting stories will be picked up by journalists, so you may find your property starring on your local news bulletin, radio show – or even on the One Show or Radio 4.

Don’t worry about writing the perfect short story; it’s the tales themselves that I’m interested in, rather than how they’re written. If it’s funny, sad, tragic, dramatic, if it changed the course of world events, or simply changed the life of two people, then I want to know about it!

Please send your stories to me at annabelle.thorpe@heritageopendays.org.uk and let me know if you’re happy to be put forward for interviews, broadcast coverage etc.

Thank you!