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    The Forum Norwich

    Norfolk’s 2019 Heritage Open Days brochure is launched at historic Marble Hall

    The Forum Norwich - 22 Jul 2019

    Today marked the launch of this year’s Heritage Open Days (HODs) festival brochure with ten unmissable days of free tours, talks, walks, open days, exhibitions, performances and shows planned across Norfolk.

    Heritage champions, local dignitaries and festival organisers gathered at Marble Hall for the launch – with the historic home of Aviva at Surrey House one of the many venues opening its doors for tours throughout the festival.

    HODs is England’s largest festival of history and culture and this year marks the 25th anniversary, with a special ‘People Power’ theme being celebrated across many events. The theme demonstrates the influence groups and individuals have had over history to bring about positive change in their communities – and in Norfolk events include a new Kett’s Rebellion Tour, a display on the Burston School Strike and a guided story of Edith Cavell.

    This year’s festival takes place from Friday 13 September to Sunday 22 September, with over 300 events lined-up in Norwich and across Norfolk.

    The festival brochure is available to pick up now from The Forum in Norwich as well as Tourist Information Centres, libraries and venues across the county and electronically at www.theforumnorwich.co.uk/hods.

    All festival events are free to attend with many available for visitors to drop-in on the day unless indicated otherwise in the festival brochure. Some popular venues and events with limited space must be pre-booked, with bookings opening on Monday 29 July at 10am.

    The HODs programme includes plenty of the usual favourites as well as some exciting new venues and activities. Here’s a taste of what’s on offer:

    • Take part in a Dare to Dream craftivism workshop at The Forum, Norwich with award-winning activist Sarah Corbett, founder of the Craftivist Collective.
    • Listen to stories from Norwich High School for Girls which was open from 1877 to 1933 in a new talk at The Assembly House in Norwich.
    • Visit Bishop Bonner’s Cottage Museum, the oldest domestic building in Dereham which dates from the 1500s, and hear about characters such as war veteran one-armed Jack who was the last resident of the cottage.
    • Experience how Norwich once was with photos captured by the late Jack Roberts on display for the first time in the Portraits of Life exhibition at The Forum, Norwich.
    • Visit Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse for a programme of Taboo Tours discussing how death, mental health, LGBT+ and women were addressed in the workhouse.
    • Travel back to 1578 to discover how Tudor Norwich prepared for Queen Elizabeth I’s visit in the Putting on a Pageant interactive talk for families and young historians at The Forum, Norwich.
    • Sign up for a new 5k or 10k Heritage Run in Thetford taking in historic sites around the town with fancy dress encouraged.
    • See inside Norwich’s Dragon alHall, a magnificent medieval trading hall now home to the National Centre for Writing.
    • Hear about wartime experiences, romance, heroism and tragedy at the 1,000 Years of History event at Haveringland Church.
    • Take part in a community art piece at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich with the A Prayer Answered for Everyone installation.
    • Visit the Flames to Forum exhibition at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library remembering the library fire 25 years on and how The Forum rose from the ashes.
    • Take your seat at St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth for the Voters, Not Bloaters musical celebration of the women’s suffrage movement in the town.

    Katie Ellis, HODs Event Producer, said: “Heritage Open Days in Norfolk wouldn’t be possible without the enthusiasm and commitment of so many organisers and participating venues who open up their doors, all for free, during the festival.  In this special 25th anniversary year we invite visitors to be curious, discover treasures, and peek inside places that aren’t always open to the public. It’s a unique opportunity to meet new people, share stories and explore Norfolk’s rich history and heritage across a diverse range of events.”

    The brochure launch event was organised by The Forum Trust and kindly hosted by Aviva.

    Stuart Wright, Aviva’s Property and Facilities Director, said: “Aviva is proud to host the launch of the region’s Heritage Open Days festival – especially for its milestone 25th anniversary. We are a strong supporter of the work done by Heritage Open Days to raise appreciation of the many historic and cultural assets of our communities. We include Surrey House in this, an important building and the heart of Aviva in Norwich. Through working with Heritage Open Days, we will continue to share this fantastic building with the community and to tell stories about our rich heritage. We’re looking forward to a fantastic festival that will showcase the amazing cultural heritage of our region.”

    The HODs programme is coordinated and promoted by The Forum Trust with support from Norwich City Council, Norwich Tourist Information Centre, Broadland District Council, Breckland Council, Thetford Town Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, South Norfolk Council, North Norfolk District Council, Visit North Norfolk and many local organisations and individuals.

    For further information on the national Heritage Open Days programme visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk. For local enquiries about HODs, please get in touch via hods@theforumnorwich.co.uk and visit www.theforumnorwich.co.uk/hods for updates and tickets.