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Chard high street is open for Heritage Open Days 2021

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Heritage Open Days 2021 is taking place this September, so join your community to celebrate the heritage on your doorstep!

This year, and every year, thousands of volunteers across England organise events to celebrate our fantastic history and culture. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore, with this year’s theme being Edible England.

As part of this year’s festival and the Chard High Street Heritage Action Zone, special activities will be taking place in the town centre of Chard, celebrating the heritage on our doorstep.

There are three Chard organisations putting on events for Heritage Open Days 2021, which runs between Friday 10th September and Sunday 19th September:

  • Wednesday 15 September, 12:30pm – 2:30pm

Chard Museum – Chard Remembers: World War 2 Cooking Challenge and exhibition on ‘Food as History’. Free entry!

World War 2 Cooking Challenge – During World War II, limited food goods were available. Do you think you can cook with limited items? Email with the subject ‘WW2 Recipe’ and let them know if you would like to cook a main or dessert. You will be emailed back with a recipe so you can make and bake your meal which can be brought to the event for others to sample.

Food as History – Listen and read stories from people living in Chard in the early 2000’s who were all in their 70’s telling stories about working ‘in service’ during World War II. Hear of experiences of being self-sufficient and about their favourite foods like tripe!

  • Friday 17 September, 10:00am – 2:00pm

Chard Reservoir Heritage & Conservation – find out about the reservoir from volunteers and rangers who will be running a pop-up stand at the front of the Guildhall. Did you know it was previously Chard Lido or that the site was used to store part of the old railway? Find out about the conservation work that has happened over the past few decades to make the site into a wonderful local nature reserve, plus much more.

  • Friday 17 September / Saturday 18 September, 9:30am – 1:30pm

The Guildhall Open Days – free entry to Chard Guildhall with access to the hidden parts of this grand civic building, including the town hall, clock tower, front stairs and dressing rooms. See displays of the old plans of the building and its history, plus learn about the Chard Mace whilst talking to the Mayor, Mace Bearer and Town Crier.

Councillor Jason Baker, South Somerset District Councils portfolio holder for Chard Regeneration, said: “There is so much history in Chard but it’s easy not to notice it as you pass through the town on an average day – and some of it is hidden away. Through the High Street Heritage Action Zone, we will be highlighting and celebrating the history of the town centre through community events and activities over the next few years.”

Anna Matthews, Chard High Street Heritage Action Zone Project Manager, added: “We are thrilled that our colleagues at Chard Museum, Chard Town Council and Chard Reservoir will be running unique, FREE events for you for Heritage Open Days this year. We encourage you to take advantage of this special opportunity to connect with your community.”

Sarah Holloway, Programme Manager for Heritage Open Days, also said: “We’re all interested in where we live but we don’t necessarily know the stories behind the buildings and spaces we walk past each day. Our event organisers keep finding creative ways to tell these tales and keep them alive. HODs connects people through shared experiences and this year, that feels more important than ever. It’s also one of the reasons we chose Edible England as our theme. Food brings people together and what we eat and drink is at the heart of much of our culture, our history, our communities, and our daily lives.”

For full information about the Heritage Open Days in Chard, visit the Heritage Open Days website.

The High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) team at South Somerset District Council has encouraged partners to put on activities for Heritage Open Days 2021, contributing to achieving Chard’s potential as a unique place to live, work and visit. We hope that this year’s special events will encourage even more organisations and property owners to get involved in future years.

The HSHAZ programme has three parts:

  • Public realm improvements
  • Grants for the repair and renovation of historic buildings and shopfronts
  • Community engagement

A local consortium of cultural and community partners is also running a HSHAZ cultural programme – Culturally Chard. The HSHAZ is part of the Chard Regeneration delivery programme which aims to strengthen the community and make the town increasingly self-sufficient with all the services, facilities and events necessary to make it a great place to live. You can find out more about the aims of Chard Regeneration and the HSHAZ via our dedicated website.

You can also find out more about how the town centre is changing at

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