A scone with jam and cream
Tea for two for the best Heritage Open Day event idea

Organisers of Chelmsford’s Heritage Open Days are offering a free tea for two at The Hive café for the best suggestion for this year’s free festival of history and culture. The festival is held every September and it’s a chance to explore hidden places and try new experiences as you find out about the history of your local area. There’s a special theme each year and the one chosen for 2021 is ‘Edible England’ – a topic dear to most us.

Chelmsford’s culinary history investigated

Chelmsford has an interesting culinary history. Whether it’s the fermented fish sauce called ‘garum’ that would have been used by the Roman inhabitants of Caesaromagus, drinks produced in the brew house of the Dominican Friars who lived close to where New London Road crosses the River Can, or the exotic fruits grown by the Georgian gardeners of Hylands Estate, there’s no shortage of inspiration.

Chelmsford’s Heritage Open Days stalwart Alan Pamphilon is hoping suggestions from the public, particularly the city’s young people, will make the 2021 festival an exciting year.

“There are so many ways we can celebrate ‘Edible England’. It could be through cookery demonstrations to explore the traditions of cuisines in modern Chelmsford, a celebration of street food, or even with recipes passed down through generations of Chelmsfordians. We already have some brilliant new experiences lined up for this year like tours of the Chelmsford Brew Company, events associated with our many local allotments and a podcast from the Galleywood Vineyard. We’d love to hear about what this means to you so we can make the most of this brilliant theme together.”

Organiser, Alan Pamphilon
Galleywood Vineyard is one of the locations getting involved

Venues planning to reopen for 2021

Another exciting aspect of Heritage Open Days is the opportunity to visit places for free that aren’t usually open to visitors. In 2020, some events took place online with a record number of videos and audio tours available and even a City Heritage Scavenger Hunt for residents to enjoy.

This year venues are planning to open their doors again with Pleshey Castle, Hylands Estate, the Essex Police Museum and many smaller locations across the city all set to welcome visitors in person. The tours will include a new Marconi walk as well as “Drink and Draw” and “Free Art Friday”, both with an “Edible England” theme.  There will still be digital tours too and Alan Pamphilon says this blend of content is here to stay.

“Last year was a very different experience for us as Heritage Open Days for the first time, had digital content. We did really miss the physical aspect of visiting these places, but it gave us new skills and ideas. In 2021 it will be wonderful to have the best of both worlds: real life visits to explore the physical city and online content to entertain those who aren’t able to come in person.”

Organiser, Alan Pamphilon
What event would you suggest?

Send in your event ideas

Heritage Open Days run between 10 and 19 September and we’ll have more on the Chelmsford programme in the coming months.

If you have an idea for ‘Edible England’ or anything else you’d like to see as part of Chelmsford’s Heritage Open Days, drop the team a line at hod@chelmsfordcivicsociety.co.uk by 20 June. If your idea is chosen, that tea for two could be yours.

Terms and Conditions

The closing date is 20 June 2021. The prize is afternoon tea at The Hive for two, value £29.90, no cash alternative is offered. The Hive requires 24 hours notice to book the afternoon tea. The prize must be used within 6 months of being received. A winner will be chosen by 27 June by the Heritage Open Days Chelmsford organisers. Contact details will not be stored and will only be used to contact the winner.

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