Get involved with Winchester Heritage Open Days
Becky Brown of Winchester Heritage Open Days talks about how she got involved with the organisation and how you can too.
Last year I attended Winchester Heritage Open Days for the first time. I had heard of Open Days in London before, but somehow our local one had passed me by. Not sure how as I have lived here 17 years! Fortunately though, last year I finally discovered how amazing it is, and after a fabulous four days visiting various events I decided to volunteer. So I dropped a note to @WinchesterHods and the rest as they say is history!
From the moment I got involved I was inspired. Not only does Winchester have some amazing buildings and stories to share, but the team behind Winchester Heritage Open Days is brilliant. There is a tiny group of volunteers who run the website, social media and organise the printed programme. We are led by the inspirational Nicky Gottlieb, who single-handedly transformed Winchester Heritage Open Days last year. Also supporting us is the national Heritage Open Days team in London and then there is the wider team of locally based volunteers, supporters and organisations who not only agree to open their buildings and run events, but do it all for free. Truly inspiring.
All Our Stories
One of the national themes for 2017 is All Our Stories, focusing on the hidden stories and historical secrets across the country. Here in Winchester and the surrounding villages we have got quite a few secrets and stories to share, for example:
- On Romsey Road there is a Cosmic Walk and Labyrinth
- The Winchester Model at City Museum
- Hyde Abbey's encaustic tiles
- Conservation grazing at St Cross meadows
- Vintage make do and mend at Stardust Years
- St Lawrence, the Mother Church of Winchester
- Jane Austen and the Regimentals
- Tomb of John Keble in Hursley
- Hockley Water Mill in Twyford
For more information on these and the other 70 events please visit the 2017 programme.
If you are reading this I very much hope you are able to attend one or more of the events at this year's Heritage Open Days. The festival begins on Thursday 7th September and continues until Sunday 10th.
And if you enjoy it do consider joining our team! We would particularly love to hear from local people who are great organisers, have fundraising experience, media skills and/or heritage expertise. So if you have a passion for local heritage and can spare a few hours every week to help organise, promote and run events on a voluntary basis then please do get in touch. I am confident that everyone who joins the team will find volunteering for Winchester Heritage Open Days a rewarding, interesting and fun experience. I can also guarantee you will learn something new!