Traditional skills don't have to be lost in the past. To demonstrate this Heatherfield Heritage's eclectic team (including painters, carpenters, mechanics and much more!) took a punt with an online offering for their first Heritage Open Days. Overcoming challenges they created a series of bitesize videos showcasing the stories and craft behind the arts of our inland waterways, with a lighthearted touch that proved popular.
Kerry Dainty, Heatherfield Heritage
We had no preconception as this was our first Heritage Open Days (HODs) event (and our first public outing), but we had a lot of fun participating and have had some lovely feedback.
Why we take part
We want to support the HODs as we believe that heritage should be accessible to everyone, and it’s a good opportunity to raise our own profile and show off heritage in our own style.
What we do for HODs
Bonnets to Boats: From the iconic clothes of the canal boaters and the colourful paintwork of the boats, right through to the skilled art of working the boats themselves, join us each day online to watch brand new videos and live-streams demonstrating some of the many arts of the canals and inland waterways. (Event Directory description 2023)
We ran an online video series because we figured that not everyone can get out and about, and there were quite a lot of in-person events jostling for attention in the day, whereas a video can be watched whenever. We decided to wing it a bit because we didn’t want to make our series come across too rigid and overthought. We honed in on the specific aspects we wanted to cover, then had at it with the go-pro!
We were down a key member of the gang during preparation and had a catastrophic internet failure at the beginning that necessitated putting the dongle on a boat pole and waving it around trying to get a signal! But making the videos caused a lot of giggles in the office, although we were very nervous as to what the reception would be. We were very surprised when compliments started coming in.
- 'Charming videos, very interesting'
- 'Didn’t know half of what came up in the series, loved finding out more!'
- 'Lovely introduction to canal arts, hope you do more'
- 'Fascinating and relaxing at the same time'
The difference it makes
We’ve used this as a little bit of an experiment to help us find our feet with how to present our heritage to the public and going forward we’re a lot more confident on how to do that. We’re very excited for next year’s HODs now we know what happens and we’re keen to expand with some in-person events as well as internet based.
Kerry's Top Tip!
Make sure the internet is reliable, pre-stock the tea and biscuits and don’t make it too serious.