Heritage Open Days in Berwick transforms the town every year. We deck the town out with the eye-catching pink HODs bunting, strategically positioned Berwick HODs banners, every lamppost has directional signs to venues and our Berwick HODs booklet is clutched in the hands of numerous people walking about. The whole town is immersed in HODs and visitors and locals both enjoy exploring sites they do not normally get the opportunity to visit or places they walk past all the time but never think to go in.
Why we take part
What we do for HODs
It has been a pleasure to participate in the New Wave programme, giving us the opportunity to create a truly unique event. As an organisation we have learned a lot from the experience.
We worked with a team of four young people who helped us understand how to make heritage accessible to them. We discussed areas of local history they were interested in and how they would like to interact with it, then worked together with them to bring their vision to life. The event they came up with was an interactive tour of an 18th century gaol that looked at the real-life crimes and lives of some of its inhabitants. The group researched these cases in old newspapers and court records then formulated their event around this information. They also filmed a recreation of one of the trials based on primary evidence.
Overall, we are very proud of what we achieved, we successfully worked with young people, produced a sell-out event and fulfilled our aim of 25% of the audience fitting within the target age group. However, most of all we were really impressed by the young people we worked with throughout the process. New Wave inspired us as an organisation and showed us what potential we have. It has given us confidence in what we can achieve and in the future we hope to build on these successes by creating more events that attract this age group.
Working in partnership
Participating in HODs has showed us how crucial it is to be organised and work as a team. It’s so important to discuss ideas with others as a joint effort creates a much better event.
We have a small promotional budget supplied by the Town Council but aside from this we have no other funds. We enjoy close links though with Berwick Record Office, Berwick Civic Society and the Friends of Berwick & District Museum and Archives as well as good relationships with English Heritage, Berwick Preservation Trust and other independent buildings and organisations throughout the town. We’ve also recruited new volunteers this year to man venues. Without their support and enthusiasm we couldn’t run our event.
It was great to meet new people and tell them about the town's history.
It was brilliant. We had a great time and learned loads. Thank you.
Great alternative for those of us who can no longer manage the tour.
- People turning out for guided walks despite the awful weather and staying for the whole walk. That was dedication!
- How many people loved our mascot, Bari Bear, and follow him on Instagram. He popped up everywhere and was taken around by a photographer during our main weekend.