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Innovation theme for this year’s Gosport Heritage Open Days

GOSPORT’S history of invention, innovation, and pioneering work will feature large in this year’s Heritage Open Days.

Announcing the theme for the annual celebration of Gosport’s rich and varied history, the organizing team put what it calls ‘Astounding Innovations’ at the core of the free events and experiences to be held from September 9th to 18th.

Terry Rhodes, Chair of Gosport Heritage Open Days said: “This year we’d love to help passionate people tell local stories to bang the gong for Gosport to inspire the next generation.

“These could be about Henry Cort and pig iron, boat designing and building, submarines, food developments and of course the Gosport Tube.”

Not that the innovation theme will be to the exclusion of other events – the plan is for visitors to be able to enjoy the borough’s forts, churches, Naval buildings, graveyards and ancient woodlands, some of which are only open to the public during Heritage Open Days.

And in keeping with the innovation theme, the organizing team wants people to come forward with creative ideas for new talks, guided walks, cycle rides, entertainment, exhibitions, and digital experiences.

Terry Rhodes urged people to get started by accessing Open Your Doors in 2022 or, “pop into Gosport Tourist Information Centre for a chat.”

The Open Your Doors website has a click-through to the entry criteria which include – most importantly – that admission to an event must be free of charge and it must, “offer something special”.

As reported in The Globe, last year’s 69 events attracted 16,436 visitors – including 3,923 who viewed the online presentations – at a cost to the organizing team of just £920 which worked out at about 5p per visitor.

Not that Terry Rhodes is going to let the Gosport ‘rest on its heritage laurels’.

As well as asking Gosport people to be creative and innovative with ideas for events, she said: “Last year over 220 volunteers helped promote, organize and assist in making events happen and we would love more people to get involved.”

Image (top): Gosport Heritage Open Days Logo. Reproduced with permission