23 Aug 2023
by Maddy Scott

A close up of a gold ring on a wooden wedge. It is being cut with a wire on a saw.
Not all that glitters is gold. Discover the intricacies of silver smithing this September. (© Pruden and Smith)

Jewellers: Glittering craftsmanship

Pruden and Smith (East Sussex)

Go behind the scenes at Pruden and Smith’s jewellery workshop. See how traditional techniques and modern technology are used to create contemporary jewellery, including a tour of the forge, finishing room, main workshop and exhibition of objects to illuminate the tour. See the specialist equipment required to bring designs to life, from lathes to lasers, traditional silversmithing tools to new technology.

Conservators: Films forever

BFI National Archive (Hertfordshire)

Go behind the scenes at the British Film Institute and find out how this world-class archive and collections centre is able to preserve our film and TV heritage for future generations. Chat with conservators and archivists, wander round exhibitions, join mini tours and watch demonstrations to discover how this multimedia archive preserves, stores and restores British visual culture. (© BFI)

Horticulturalists: Bloom and grow

Friends of St Giles Hill Park (Hampshire)

Uncover the history of St Giles Hill, from its origins as an execution site to a much loved city park. Join horticulturalist and historian Dr Harry Mycock on a walk across and around the hill, and hear about the local flora and fauna that covers the space. Climb through the wooded areas to the top of the hill to enjoy the views across Winchester, including the Norman cathedral, Gothic guildhall and medieval Great Hall.

Curators: Caring for the past

Bodmin Keep: Cornwall's Army Museum (Cornwall)

Come and explore the collections with a bespoke object highlight trail around the museum, filled with examples of creativity and Cornish history. There will also be talks from the Curator throughout the day, all about what it takes to run a museum and the artwork in the collection. Take the rare chance to get up close with objects from the stores that are not usually on display. (© Bodmin Keep: Cornwall's Army Museum)

Genealogists: Tracing our roots

Findmypast & National Trust (Cheshire)

Ever wanted to trace your family tree, but had no idea where to start? Visit Quarry Bank and get to grips with Findmypast’s family history records, have a chat with a host of genealogy experts and listen to talks on how to trace your heritage. Explore billions of online records, and learn how to research newspaper archives - who knows what you might find! There will also be the opportunity to hear the fascinating stories of the site itself, and the stories of the people that lived and worked at this workhouse.

Mechanics: Lift the bonnet

Lanchester Archives - Coventry University (West Midlands)

Shift gears and get up close with a display of Coventry Classic Cars at the Frederick Lanchester Building at Coventry University. Find out how restoration experts, heritage skills providers and engineers are able to restore, repair and renovate these beautiful vehicles and get them back on the road. (Image: 1932 Lanchester / © DLOC)

Optometrists: Quite the spectacle!

The College of Optometrists (London)

Head over to the headquarters of the UK’s professional, scientific and examining body for ophthalmic opticians - eye doctors. These 18th century townhouses are the home of the newly refurbished British Optical Association Museum, housing historical vision aids, sight test equipment, antique spectacles from across the world and various works of art, a lodging house, doctor’s surgery and a crime scene! Keep an eye out for the ghosts that are reported to haunt the halls, while you explore the refurbished Council Room, Print Room, Panelled Room and Library.

Restorers: Beautiful building blocks

Nottinghamshire Buildings Preservation Trust & Newark Civic Trust (Nottinghamshire)

Have you ever wondered how ancient and historic buildings manage to look the same as they did hundreds of years ago? Find out how heritage builders are able to maintain and repair historic buildings, and have a go at some of the skills yourself. Watch demonstrations of the techniques and see which specialised equipment is used to keep our beautiful buildings intact. (© Nottinghamshire Buildings Preservation Trust / Newark Civic Trust)

Scientists: Testing, testing

Oxford Preservation Trust (Oxfordshire)

Meet the scientists at the forefront of cancer research and medical development at Oxford University. Tour the labs where vaccines are created, genomes are studied and doctors are working to fight this disease and develop the medicines of the future.

Viticulturists & Oenologists: From grape to glass

Laurel Vines & Beverley Civic Society (East Riding of Yorkshire)

Enjoy a stroll through the vines then tour the winery. Meet the experts at this award-winning family run site who grow the grapes then convert them into delicious drinks! (Image: Follow the life cycle of a glass of wine, from the ground to barrel to glass! /© Laurel Vines)

PLEASE NOTE - These events were accurate at the time of publication but the details may change. Some events require pre-booking. Please check the individual entries for updates and details.

Find out more

  • What's on? - Keep checking for events near you
  • Festival Spotlights - Be inspired for your event searches with our highlight posts, including an extra Meet the experts: conservation special
  • Curious Collections - read more about the BFI 's amazing collection