Behind closed doors
Hampshire Life|September 2020
Behind closed doors
Meet the two women shining a light on Hampshire’s hidden historical sites as the 2020 Heritage Open Days defy the coronavirus crisis
Elizabeth Kirby

Five years ago, Winchester’s Heritage Open Days were the county’s best-kept secret.

So secret in fact, that the majority of the county didn’t even know they were taking place. That was, until one local resident, Nicky Gottlieb, took it upon herself to ask more of the city’s hidden heritage sites to open up their doors for the annual event, which this year takes place between September 11 and 20.

Fast forward to 2019 and Nicky, together with local resident and now friend Becky Brown, grew the events in and around Winchester from six to 145. The pair have now branched out from the National Heritage Open Days organisation, to create their own Winchester Heritage Open Days website; with a brand-new podcast using the expertise of University of Winchester students. Nicky explains: “It still amazes me today that there are still so many people who don’t know what Heritage Open Days are about; it’s been around for over 25 years now and was first started down in Gosport even longer ago than that. I first got invited to an event run by a friend and when I looked into it I thought ‘why isn’t Winchester doing more?’”

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September 2020