Last Friday I made a trip into the big city for a very special meeting!
I rarely head into London and was thrilled to receive an invite to a meeting at 32 Queen Anne’s Gate (QAG). It is here where one of the National Trust offices is based. It is an address I have heard mentioned within my work, a magical and mysterious office in the big city, the office where our press and broadcasting colleagues and fine art curators sit. Not a place for me… or so I thought!
It turns out QAG isn’t such a scary place, but a beautiful Grade I listed building just a short walk from Westminster and Big Ben and just round the corner from the Queen’s gaff too! My purpose for visiting was to meet with the Heritage Open Day team as I’d recently been accepted as a blogger with them. Current and new team members were all meeting up to talk about the HOD blog and, of course, have a good chat with new friends.
You may have heard of Heritage Open Days? Yes? Well if not let me summarise; HODs usually take place over a few days in September. A free event, which seeks to open doors to places you may never have peered into before, or perhaps places you have visited before, but perhaps showing you sides you’d never noticed. You can find out about events in your area on their website.
Charlecote Park, and many other National Trust places, takes part in these days opening free of charge to encourage as many people as possible to access the heritage on their doorsteps. We try and do something a little different on these days – such as ‘meet the team’ where as many of us as possible are out and about to talk to people about what we do both in front of, and behind, the scenes.
The HODs blog is a great way to find out more about the events, both as an organiser of events or a visitor to an event wondering what goes on behind the scenes. The blogs are written by a team of people from across the entire country so there should be something there for everyone. It was a great pleasure to meet with some of the team who include a Heritage Regeneration Officer from Peterborough, HODs open day coordinators, and a historical tour guide from Crewe… to name but a few! Soon you will find my name added to the list too.
“Not just bricks and mortar… Heritage Open Days is more than four days of open doors, more than just bricks and mortar. There are many aspects to making accessible the places we value and telling the stories that help us make sense of the world around us. The blog will provide a unique behind-the-scenes look of England’s most popular heritage event and pick up on themes and issues that affect those delivering it.” HODs website
The day was very inspiring. We had a guest speaker who came to give us some hints and tips, Andy Jarosz – of 501 Places (a travel writer/blogger). And just look at who was keeping a beady eye on us during proceedings…
Ruth, Property Administrator (& Chief blogger!)