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Heritage Open Days celebrates world cultures in Tindal Square

Heritage Open Days Chelmsford Dance Tindal

This Saturday 16 September, Chelmsford’s Heritage Open Days are holding a day of cultural and historical celebration in Tindal Square.

Heritage Through the Arts celebrates the history of entertainment in different cultures from around the world. The event has been possible thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It’s free to attend, just pop by any time between midday and 4pm.

Hod Tindal Sq

Have fun while learning about the heritage and traditions of world cultures

There’ll be loads of activities for both children and adults to enjoy while learning about the heritage of different cultures.

The rich tunes of traditional Ukrainian, Afghan and Chinese music, and the rapid sounds of African drumming will reverberate across the square throughout the day. There’ll also be live performances by Chinese dancers and even a giant Chinese dragon to interact with!

Have your hands painted at an Indian Henna stall and enjoy plenty of art activities, from Roman mosaic making to calligraphy.

Historic military vehicles will be on display in the square, with experts from the Essex History Military Vehicle Association on hand to share their history and preservation.

An old games stall will teach little ones games from years past, or give older participants a big dose of nostalgia!

There’ll also be Marconi history talks, live opera, and an Essex Jazz exhibition.

Dress as your favourite historical character or era

Actors in period clothing will be hanging out in Tindal Square on the day, including a 1960s Corn Exchange star and Chelmsford feminist and abolitionist, Anne Knight. You’re encouraged to dress for the occasion too!

Dress up as your favourite historical character or era – perhaps Chelmsford suffragette Grace Chappelow? Wireless communication pioneer Guglielmo Marconi? Or Judge Tindal in honour of Tindal Square?

The Statue Of Judge Tindal In Tindal Square
The statue of Judge Tindal in Tindal Square

There’ll even be £50 prizes for the three best dressed guests.

If you need some fashion inspiration, take a look at these historical photographs from Chelmsford Museum’s archives!

Heritage Open Days is the UK’s biggest festival of history and culture. It runs every year for 10 days in September and offers an insight into local heritage through a programme of free events.

Chelmsford’s programme of events for 2023, run by Chelmsford Civic Society, began on 8 September. Supported by Chelmsford City Council, brilliant events held so far have included a war history day at Chelmsford Museum, tours of the Springfield Lyons Bronze Age enclosure, and a talk on Chelmsford’s historic witch trials.

There’s still a chance to enjoy the programme if you haven’t already, with this weekend’s Heritage Through the Arts. Free guided tours of Chelmsford Cathedral this Saturday 16 September will explore the building’s unique art and architecture, and an exhibition at Hylands Estate on Sunday 17 September looks at historic events held at the estate.

You can also still see the heritage photography display at The Art Place until 17 September, and explore plenty of digital content on Chelmsford Civic Society’s YouTube channel.

Heritage Open Days Display
A photography display at The Art Place

To keep up to date with next year’s festival, follow Chelmsford Civic Society on Facebook and Twitter.

If you’re an organisation looking for a space to host a cultural activity or event, find out more about hiring Tindal Square on the Chelmsford City Council website. Events that offer a positive cultural or social impact and enhance the visitor experience will be given priority access to use the square.

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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.