Chelmsford Heritage Open Days 2022 Brochure

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9th - 18th September 2022

Welcome to our programme brochure for Heritage Open Days 2022 for Chelmsford. Chelmsford Civic Society have once again been tasked to co-ordinate Heritage Open Days and Chelmsford City Culture and Chelmsford For You have kindly sponsored the event. We have 40 events for your enjoyment, including 10 virtual video events and a podcast on our YouTube channel “The City Council is sponsoring Heritage Open Days 2022 to support the teams work to widen participation and engage new audiences. Supporting Towards 2040, Chelmsford’s Shared Cultural Vision, which states s priority of ‘Building better connected communities. using arts and culture to ensure those often marginalised from society feel welcome and at home” “Chelmsford For You is excited to sponsor Heritage Open Days 2022 to support promoting Chelmsford as a destination to explore, whilst highlighting these areas that make us the great city we are!” This year we also have a venue sponsor - Patch in Grays Yard where many of the talks and the All About Marconi Day will be held! So, a big thank you to Patch for their venue sponsorship and a thank you to all other venues, groups and people taking part in this year’s festival. Credit also goes to our events panel who came up with some great new ideas and helped organise the events, without them this programme would be almost impossible. We hope you enjoy Heritage Open Days for 2022! Heritage Open Days Chelmsford Team

Geocaching Date: Friday September 9th to Sunday 18th September Time: Any Venue: Around Chelmsford Booking: No booking required Join in with a special Heritage Open Days Geocaching event, search out the caches, and receive a sticker and sign the logbook, lets see how many people we can get invoilved in a 10 day historic geocahing event.

Collaborative Portrait Project Winifred Sayer Date: Friday September 9th to Friday 16th September Time: Any Venue: Display at the Art Place 17th & 18th September Booking: No booking required Winifred Sayer moved to Chelmsford in 1915 where she worked at the former Hoffman factory offices. In January 1920, Winifred was a part of a local singing group called The Funions. It was this singing experience that led to Marconi engineers from the New Street Factory approaching her to lend her voice. They were looking for a singer to stand in for Dame Nellie Melba as they prepared to launch the Chelmsford wireless station in June 2020. Miss Sayer sang on three occasions to 214 receivers, and she earned 10 shillings for her work. Draw, paint or sketch a protrait from the event image and email your portrait to or upload to the Chelmsford Creative Collective Facebook page. Hard copies can be handed in at the Art Place before 17th September and art works can be collected after 18th September. Photo Tim Wander/CRHNews

Collaborative Portrait Project Dame Nellie Melba Date: Friday September 9th to Friday 16th September Time: Any Venue: Display at the Art Place 17th & 18th September Booking: No booking required Dame Nellie Melba was an Australian operatic soprano. On 15 June 1920, Melba was heard in a pioneering radio broadcast from Guglielmo Marconi’s New Street Works factory in Chelmsford. Draw, paint or sketch a protrait from the event image and email your portrait to or upload to the Chelmsford Creative Collective Facebook page. Hard copies can be handed in at the Art Place before 17th September and art works can be collected after 18th September. Chelmsford Pioneers Walk Date: Friday September 9th Time: 10am Venue: Meet at Anne Knight Building, Duke Street Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. Chelmsford has been the home of technical radical thinking since the days before the industrial revolution and can claim to be the home of many global firsts. The pioneers that made this possible have included both men and remarkable ladies. Some names will be instantly recognisable while others may less familiar. This said, they were all unique people that changed history and deserve to be honoured in this special walking tour which takes us from the Chelmsford railway station to the grounds of the Anglia Ruskin University.

Pockets, Pinafores and Practical Hats: Dressing a Woman for War Talk Date: Friday September 9th Time: 7pm Venue: Patch in Grays Yard Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. The August 1914 declaration of war had a profound if unexpected effect on British women’s clothes; these rapidly became ‘the outward and visible sign of her patriotism’. From her ‘Crowning Glory’ to ‘Naughty Nighties’, this talk looks at an often overlooked aspect of women’s lives– the effect of war on their clothing and accessories and how these could even at times be pressed into service to support the war effort and frustrate the enemy. The Cathedral Grounds Tour Date: Saturday September 10th Time: 10am & 11.30am Venue: Chelmsford Cathedral Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. Dean Nicholas Henshall will this year, guide us around the grounds of Chelmsford Cathedral and talk about the cathedral building and graveyard surrounding it. Famous Faces Playing Chelmsford plus Live Music Date: Saturday September 10th Time: 10am - 4pm Venue: Fete Grays Brewery Yard, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6QR Booking: No booking required Upstairs at Fete in Grays Yard there will be live music from local solo artists along with a photo exhibition of famous faces who have graced stages in Chelmsford over the years.

St John’s CHurch Open Day Date: Saturday September 10th Time: 10am - 4pm Venue: St. Johns Church, Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, CM2 0JD Booking: No booking required Display of the history of the church building, and organ. Self-guided tour of the church with guide sheet to highlight key features of the building (Victorian, constructed and enlarged over the period 1837 to 1884). Church members will be on hand to answer questions and give more information. Displays of old church documents and photographs. A children’s quiz of things to search for in the building. A display of the history of the Mildmay Almshouses which are nearby in Moulsham St. Displays about the invention of the pipe organ and the church organ which is Grade 1 listed on the national pipe organ register. The organ has recently been partially refurbished which required that much of the organ was dismantled giving the opportunity to take photographs of the internals that are not normally visible. We hope to include demonstrations of the organ working. Tea/coffee/cold drinks and biscuits/cakes will be available in the church cafe area. All Things Marconi Date: Saturday September 10th Time: 10am - 4pm Venue: Patch, 5-6 Grays Brewery Yard, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6QR Booking: No booking required All things Marconi is exactly what it says, from vintage radios, to Marconi displays with experts on hand to answer your querstions, Marconi, no doubt helped shape Chelmsford, come and find out more! Girls from Rainbow, Brownie and Guide units in the Girlguiding Chelmsford area have been working hard on their “Skills For My Future” Interest badges. Rainbows have been inventing, Brownies constructing and Guides have designed bionic body parts as part of their Magnificent Machines topic. There will be a display of the girls creations and the chance to have a go at constructing a radio tower from cocktail sticks, spaghetti and marshmallows. How tall will your tower be? Did you know that Girlguiding members in Chelmsford have their very own radio show broadcast on Chelmsford Community Radio?

Kapow! A History of Comic Books Date: Saturday September 10th Time: 12pm Venue: Geek Retreat, 48 Cunard Square, Chelmsford, CM1 1AQ Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. Join us for a brief history of comic books with our resident expert, Bucky! With over 9 years in the industry, Bucky will take you from the humble beginnings of the 1930s, all the way up to the multimillion dollar success of the modern age. Furry Fashionistas & Cosplay Creatives: The Art of Dressing Up Date: Saturday September 10th Time: 3pm Venue: Geek Retreat, 48 Cunard Square, Chelmsford, CM1 1AQ Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. The Art of Dressing Up - Join us for a unique insight into the world of Furry and Cosplay with our resident dresser-upper, Bucky! We’ll be covering the power of community, the miracle of construction and the magic of character in this live talk, with additional appearances from local cosplayers and fursuiters. Dungeons, Dice & Dobble: A Brief Introduction to the Wonderful World Of Board Games Date: Saturday September 10th Time: 5pm Venue: Geek Retreat, 48 Cunard Square, Chelmsford, CM1 1AQ Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. Join us for a brief introduction to the exciting world of board games with our resident expert, Richard! Channelling his lifelong passion into teaching others, Richard will lead you through board, card and party games, followed by an evening of live demonstrations and active play sessions.


Springfield Lyons Bronze Age Enclosure Tours Date: 10th, 11th, 17th & 18th September Time: 10am - 4pm - Tours 11am, 1pm & 3pm Venue: Turn left from B&Q, walk past the bus stop and the entrance is on the left, there will be a banner on the days

This is a fantastic opportunity to explore one of the forgotten gems of Chelmsford’s history, a Bronze Age enclosure used as the home of an important chief around 850 BC. With the help of local historians, visitors will learn what life was like in this special corner of prehistoric Chelmsford, when swords were forged, strange rituals were carried out and the land was used as a cemetery. Visitors can look at the Bronze Age enclosure itself, which is very well preserved, while enjoying the peaceful oasis of green space sandwiched between commercial and residential areas. Organisers will describe how the site was the home of an important Chelmsford chief towards the end of the Bronze Age, while being part of a Stonehenge-like ritual landscape which included a mortuary enclosure, Neolithic enclosure and nationally-important cursus monument, all now lost. Local historians will take small groups of visitors on a tour inside the Bronze Age enclosure, teaching them why it was built and what life was like for the inhabitants, before showing them the archaeological pits left from the excavation of the adjacent Anglo-Saxon cemetery. The tour will end with a viewing of a Second World War pillbox, located in peaceful woodland to the east of the enclosure. Visitors are free to take photos, and while the site is great for picnics, there is a well-stocked café at a nearby Longacre garden centre. Chelmsford Muslim Society Mosque Open DayDate: Sunday September 11th Time: 3pm Venue: 13a Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, CM2 0HU Booking: No booking required A guided tour of the Mosque in Moulsham Streer by Chelmsford Muslim Society, a chance to see the changes made over the yearsalong with a video history of Chelmsford Muslim Society.

Pleshey Castle Guided Tour Date: Sunday September 11th Time: 2-m, 3pm & 4pm Venue: Pleshey Castle, The Street, Pleshey, Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. There are no facilities on site. Pleshey Castle is a wonderful surviving example of a Norman motte-and-bailey castle with earthworks set in beautiful countryside in mid Essex. There are excellent views from the top of the mound. Nick Wickenden will describe the archaeology and lead a tour. The site is in private ownership, but open free of charge for Heritage Open Days. There are no standing buildings but the castle’s earth banks and mound, defensive ditch, and spectacular 15 th century brick bridge are well worth the visit.The tour includes a talk on the archaeology of Pleshey, and the history of the castle. The site has uneven grass, and a stepped climb up the castle mound, so is unfortunately not suitable for wheelchairs. Stories of the owners include the Norman de Mandeville family, the role in Magna Carta, and Thomas of Woodstock, the Duke of Gloucester.

Tea Without Borders Date: Sunday September 11th Time: 12pm - 4pm Venue: TBC Booking: No booking required Session I (12- 1pm): Masala time - Celebrating the similarities and also variations of Masala Chai in different countries in South Asia. Session II (1-2pm): Blended brews: - Exploring Egyptian herbal teas from the Sinai Mountains blended with foraged herbs from the Essex hedgerows,estuary, and meadows. A personalised tea tasting experience. Learn about herbs and their uses. Session III (2-3pm): Chinese Tea Ceremony - Experience a true Chinese ceremony where the story of tea began. There will be some food available to buy for fundraising. Panel discussion (3-4pm): Tea without borders in the form of a Q&A session with the public and people leading the sessions.

The Sometimes Secret History of Chelmsford Prison Walk Date: 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th September Time: 6.30pm Venue: Outside Chelmsford Prison Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. A history walk around the perimeter of Chelmsford Prison, learning about its creation and past. The local prison in Chelmsford is 200 years old. We will guide you round its perimeter and tell you all about its secret history. Your guide will relate the story of a public double execution, as you stand at the very spot in front of the gallows. We will pause outside the house of a hero who courageously stopped the inmates from taking over when the place was engulfed by fire. There are many showbiz connections to the prison, we will tell you about some.

Galleywood Heritage Centre guided walk Date: September 13th Time: 10.30am Venue: Galleywood Heritage Centre Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. Located on Galleywood Common, the Heritage Centre’s main building is a conversion of the 1920s grandstand from the hey days of horse racing. A listening bench in the ground has stories from yesteryear from the Galleywood residents past & present. Just outside the grounds on Galleywood Common, the track of the old racecourse can be seen. A short walk across the free public car park close by brings visitors to the remains of the Napoleonic era Star Fort earthworks which has an interpretation board. In the Heritage room there will be various displays, photographs and information about the racecourse and much more.

Galleywood Heritage Centre Archives Talk Date: September 13th Time: 2pm Venue: Galleywood Heritage Centre Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. Located on Galleywood Common, the Centre’s main building is a conversion of the 1920s grandstand from the hey days of horse racing. Archives held in the Heritage room include information on the history of the racecourse (1759 to 1935) the Napoleonic defences, St Michael’s Church, golf course and much more. There is an extensive collection of photographs of people and places. A “ listening bench” in the grounds has stories from yesteryear from Galleywood residents past & present. Lets Talk Windrush and Chelmsford Date: September 13th Time: 7pm Venue: Patch, Grays Yard Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. The ‘windrush generation’ is the term used to described those from Caribbean decent who migrated to the UK between 1948 and 1971 due to severe labour shortages in England. The hope was a better life and prosperity. Did this happen? What did these communities bring to the UK and how have things changed? How did they integrate? What were the highs and lows for the windrush generation? The Chelmsford Windrush event aims to bring an understanding of the real journies for some individuals, by hearing stories of resillience and determination. Introduction into New Generation Development Agency - An overview of the organisation, it’s history and projects. History of Windrush - what and why it happened? Two live stories of journeys into the UK How did they arrive? What was their experience? 50 years on are they glad they made the journey. Windrush scandle? Questions from the audience

The History of Hoffmans 1898 1989 Talk Date: September 14th Time: 7pm Venue: Patch, Grays Yard Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. This talk covers the origins of the Hoffmann Ball bearing Company right back to a small iron furnace at the Barbican in 1750, with the formation of the actual company in 1898 after the arrival of Ernst Hoffmann in the country to join up with the Barrett cousins. Hoffmann brought with him his patent for a lathe which didn’t leave a snag on the resulting ball of metal. Of the big three firms in the town Hoffmann was always the biggest employer, expanding rapidly in both world wars to reach a never to be exceeded 10,000 at the end of the last war. The talk covers the firm’s progress after 1945 leading to the formation of RHP and the eventual departure of the firm from Chelmsford in 1898. A Walk in J A Baker Country Date: September 15th Time: 2.30pm Venue: Little Baddow Heritage Centre Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. J A Baker’s book The Peregrine (1967) is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding books on nature in the twentieth century. It is set to the east of Chelmsford, with Little Baddow an important location. This walk will visit places associated with Baker, who lived in Chelmsford, in this most attractive part of the Chelmer Valley. John Alec Baker (1926-1987) was an author who lived his life in Chelmsford, with a Heritage Blue Plaque placed outside his flat in Stansted Close in 2020. His book The Peregrine (1967) describes his observations of Peregrines, especially in the Chelmer Valley and along the Essex coast. It is regarded as a masterpiece of English non-fiction by many and has been an important influence on many current nature writers. The walk will visit some of the sites identified in the book and those included in his diaries. It will be on minor roads and, possibly muddy, public footpaths. The walk is being run by the Chelmer Valley Landscape Group which seeks to develop enhanced understanding, conservation, and management of the Chelmer valley landscape.

Anglo Saxon Walk in Broomfield Date: September 16th Time: 6.30pm Venue: Meet at St Mary’s Church, Broomfield, CM1 7BD Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. Set against the backdrop of an Anglo-Saxon Lord’s settlement, join Storyteller Mike Dodsworth as he brings to life the landscape of the past with a walk of discovery that includes storytelling performances and active discussion. Walk in the footsteps of the Iron Age people who came to this place from far across the North Sea, bringing their beliefs, customs, traditions and most significantly…their language! Could the epic narrative poem Beowulf have been performed in the Hall of these local kings who ruled over more than 800 acres for some 500 years leading up to the Domesday Book being compiled? Here is a chance to dissolve what we now see with our modern eyes and let ourselves imagine a time when pioneering settlers built their cluster of homes around the hall of a chief, a stone’s throw from the old Roman Road heading North from Caesaromagus (Chelmsford), under whose protection they strove to forge a new life of farming and peace. Free Art Friday Date: September 16th Time: All day Venue: Chelmsford, around Central Park Booking: No booking required Chelmsford Creative Collective aim to brighten your day – Free Art Friday. We will be sharing Free Art all over Chelmsford on Friday 16th September. The suggested ‘drop’ area is Central Park with the aim of getting a higher concentration of art in that area but you may find art anywhere around Chelmsford on the day! Keep an eye out for paintings, drawings, prints, poetry, zines and more for you to enjoy and take home. If you are an artist and you want to get involved there are no rules, that’s the joy! Just make sure the work is easily removable and does no damage. You should leave a note with your artwork so that people know it’s okay to take it home. Consider options to keep it dry in case of bad weather.

The History of Essex Cricket Club talk Date: September 16th Time: 7pm Venue: The CloudFM County Ground, New Writtle Street, Chelmsford, CM2 0PG Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. Essex County Cricket Club was founded at the Shire Hall in 1876 and bought the present Chelmsford County Ground in 1967. Club historian David Pracy will give a talk using players from the club’s past to illustrate its development from amateur and amateurish club to successful professional organisation. Marconi Ponds Tour Date: September 17th Time: 10am - 4pm Venue: Marconi Ponds, Meteor Way, Chelmsford. CM1 2RL Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. A chance to view the site and hear about its uses in the past and how it is being developed today. Talk and Tour lasting approx. 45 minutes, time for questions. Drawing Trail - Crawl & Draw Date: September 17th Time: 3pm Venue: Marconi New Street Booking: www.chelmsfordhod. Join us on a trail to sketch some of Chelmsford’s most iconic buildings, buildings that shaped our Sketch stop route - 3pm meet at old Marconi building (New Street) main entrance, (Now Benefit head office), Chelmsford Cathedral, Shire Hall/Bottle Bureau, RBS High St, The Regent (Now Bar&Beyond), The Bay Horse and The United Brethren 4.30pm approx - catch up and a drink.

Museum War History Day with Essex HMVA and The Essex Yeomanry Date: September 17th Time: 10am - 4pm Venue: Chelmsford Museum, Oaklands Park, Moulsham Street, CM2 9AQ Booking: No booking required Join us at the museum for a special day. The Essex HMVA are back for 2022 to bring you a glimpse at our military history. This year’s event is based around the history of army radios. Chelmsford is known as the birthplace of the radio, so what better way to link that to our event than put on a display of some of the military radios from the 1930s to the 2000s. Get to see how advances in technology evolved, alongside a background of military vehicles and other display items from that era too. The Essex HMVA is a charity who preserves and displays military historical items via its 300 members, who do displays and events throughout the year, but such a historical display is rarely done and this is a chance to get close up to equipment. Learn more about how your mobile phone you use started as a US Handy Talkie Radio. Members are on hand to answer questions and demonstrate some of the items shown. In the Wells Suite, there will be displays and exhibits of communication equipment and various military items from the Essex Yeomanry, the Essex Yeomanry are a regiment founded in the late 1700s as a volunteer cavalry formed by prominent landowners and experts will be on hand to chat about the history. The Essex Yeomanry band will play outside at 10.30am and 11.45am. Why not combine your day with a visit to Chelmsford Museum and find out more about local history.

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Hylands Estate Restoration Exhibition Date: September 18th Time: 10am - 4pm Venue: Hylands House, Writtle, CM2 8WQ Booking: No booking required This year’s Heritage Open Day features a brand new exhibition about the restoration of Hylands House. Many local people have given us their photographs of the outside of the House as it was in the 1970s - boarded up and dangerous! We have been lucky enough to have photographs taken by the builders who started work in 1986 and show the state they found the House in - rooms without floors or ceilings! This is an exhibition mainly composed of photographs. Come along and see photographs of how it was, and walk around the House and see what it looks like now.



Celebrating Afgham and Ukrainian Heritage through Art Date: September 18th Time: 10am - 4pm Venue: The Art Place, Meadows Shopping Centre Booking: Book at the Art Place

Come and embroider words, your flag or any symbols to celebrate your heritage and we can display them at the Art Place (with translation in English). ‫ﮔﻠﺪوزی‬

Heritage Open Days 2023 If you would like to volunteer to help with next years Heritage Open Days, please email

Virtual Events - Available at 10am on each day Friday 9th Shire Hall Virtual Tour Saturday 10th The Chelmsford Technical Innovators Virtual Walk Sunday 11th Jewish Community Monday 12th Rectory Lane Cemetery Virtual Tour Tuesday 13th Chelmsford Memories

Virtual Events - Available at 10am on each day Wednesday 14th What made you choose Chelmsford? Thursday 15th The sometimes secret history of Chelmsford Prison Virtual Walk Friday 16th Guides Robotic Arm Virtual Demo Saturday 17th Joseph Freeman From New Orleans to Chelmsford Sunday 18th Pleshey Castle Virtual tour

The aims of Chelmsford Civic Society are to stimulate public interest in, and appreciation and care of, the history, appearance and character of Chelmsford. • The preservation of buildings • History and architecture • River banks, parks and trees • Future planning and land use • Transport, road and car parking • Recycling and litter disposal We hold a members’ meeting monthly during the year, up and coming events include: 31st October - Halloween Walk 15th November 7pm - The only Coastal Way is Essex Talk 6th December 7pm - Christmas Tales - Story Telling and Mince Pies If you wish to become a member of Chelmsford Civic Society and join us on our programme of outings to interesting places then please visit our web site.