The Golden Age will be part of this year’s New Wave programme for Heritage Open Days 2021. Developed by local organisers in collaboration with young people, this innovative new scheme aims to encourage young adults to engage with their local history.

Locomotion, which houses the highlights of the national rail collection in County Durham, will be opening up after dark so visitors can explore the museum for a 1920s-30s themed evening of fun. Learn about the railway vehicles from the 1920s-30s ‘golden age of rail’, have a go in the photobooth with art deco props, and try out the fairground games and activities in the Carnival Zone.

Heritage Open Days (HODs) is England’s largest festival of history and culture, with thousands of volunteers across the country organising events every September. New Wave is a training programme made possible with the support of players of Peoples Postcode Lottery, which takes a small cohort of participants through a structured programme focused on working with young adults. The 2020 New Wave events were postponed due to the pandemic, meaning that this year will see both the 2020 and 2021 organisers present numerous exciting events around the country.

New Wave events across the country will include:

In Cornwall, visitors can learn to crimp a traditional Cornish pasty and speak Cornish while exploring the beautiful woodlands on foraging walks and Buccawidden piskie trails at Wheal Martyn Clay Works. At dusk on St. Catherine’s Hill, a nature reserve in Hampshire, explore Wild Winchester and join in with bird and bat walks and campfire cooking. Or experience a Late Tower Takeover at God’s House Tower, Southampton, offering a chance to unwind and celebrate the work of young creatives with live performance and visual arts in a relaxed social setting.

Events across Brighton bring a sense of green-fingered fancy to proceedings. Nourish the soul and celebrate sustainability with Foody Felting, crafting your own garden vegetables out of felt. To Eat or not to Eat? That is the question at the Preston Manor estate as visitors tour the grounds, gardens, and secret corners on a botanical discovery. Join an online talk to discover the impact of living soil and composting with Composting to Heal the Earth. Take a trip Down in the Kitchen, for an interactive aural experience in the basement kitchen of an Edwardian manor house. Alternatively dust off your sequins and don the face paints for Glitter and Glitz, a David Bowie dress-up extravaganza to visit Brighton Museum’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me’ exhibit.

Celebrate black culture and heritage on Birmingham Black Heritage Walk tours of Birmingham highlighting the story of the remarkable Ida B. Wells, an African American woman who was an inspirational feminist and social reformer and influenced her British counterpart: Quaker Catherine Impney who founded the first anti-racist journal and invited Wells to Edgbaston. Step back in time and run from the police in Bullets in Brierley Hill, an escape room inspired by the original Peaky Blinders. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Marsh Park with a dance and fitness fun event, Brierley Hill Boogie. At Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, visitors can enjoy an anime/manga exhibition in the 1850s Dye House.

Delve into Suffolk’s murky supernatural past with The Lowestoft Witches, an exhibition exploring the witch trials of 1662 that influenced the Salem Witch Trials thirty years later. On Historic Lowestoft – a walk with Ivan Bunn, join the local historian on a tour of the town to rediscover the places, events and people that make old Lowestoft so fascinating.

Three events across Norfolk will bring to life the fascinating history of this pocket of East Anglia. The South Asia Collection, Norfolk, which values the ethical and sustainable processes demonstrated in traditional craft, presents Sustainable Fashion from Traditional Textiles, giving visitors the chance to view a selection of textile objects and have a go at doing their own traditional block printing. Re/Collect 250 is a collaborative community oral history project by history students from the University of East Anglia, celebrating 250 years of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Girlguiding Norfolk County Archive Resource Centre encourages visitors to try fun new cooking techniques – see how an egg can be cooked on a piece of string and have a go making a s’more or mug cake.

Lyme Unlocked in historic Lyme Park is a thrilling escape room inspired by Peter Legh of Lyme, who was charged with treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London in the 1690s.

Take an audio guided tour around areas of Leeds with four-part podcast Leeds Echoes – Walking Through Time, building a greater connection to the city. Go Behind the Screens of the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield, for a special one-off experience packed with exclusive previews, talks, and games to play. Watch fan favourite Shrek at Wentworth Castle Gardens on the big screen under the towering lime trees of Lady Lucy’s Walk in the magical setting of Wentworth Castle. Be transported to the Stone Age at the Calder Stones, a monument and gathering place built by the first Scousers 4,000 years ago, at the interactive Stones After Sunset: A Journey of Discovery.

Locomotion Lates: The Golden Age will give visitors the chance to explore Locomotion in Durham and its highlights of the national rail collection after dark.

New Wave is a project by Heritage Open Days, which is co-ordinated nationally by the National Trust with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Get Durham Magazine direct to your inbox

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here