Liverpool’s biggest festival of history and culture- Heritage Open Days!

I think this is one of the most exciting cultural events of the year on Merseyside. An event which many Merseysiders look forward to and plan with relish. It’s one of England’s largest voluntary cultural events and it gets underway right across Merseyside NOW!.

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s outstanding architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public, or normally charge for admission.

Every year during September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. Properties ranging from castles to factories; town halls to tithe barns; parish churches to Buddhist temples.

It’s a once-in-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring local history and culture alive for everyone.
Check on-line for the local heritage events happening near you this weekend.
http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk

Today at the Albert Dock, heritage did come alive for me and another few hundred people attending one of the “Heritage” on the Dock events.
I opted for several tours such as ‘Meet the engineers’ on board the newly restored Steam Ship Daniel Adamson, a Heritage Walk, Tate architectural tour, and the Pagoda arts Guzheng ensemble sound.

Later in the afternoon yesterday, I joined the knowledgeable tea expert Alison Appleton who guided a group of visitors with a fascinating talk and session of memorable Chinese tea tasting!

We sampled several South China teas such as the Fuding White tea, a pressed, brick white tea from the same plantations that produces silver needle tea; a Phoenix mountain Oolong tea, an exceptionally rare tea from a family owned single tea tree, not a plantation; a beautiful Bohea tea with a naturally fruity smooth with caramel after taste and a Lapsang Souchong, a classic and favourite tea of Winston Churchill.

This was all new to me and the experiences gained will no doubt drive me to seek out the more flavoursome varieties instead of the usual Yorkshire tea bag. Well, they do say ‘variety is the spice of life’.

At its peak, the Albert Dock was Liverpool’s chief port for Chinese and East Asian trade so, it was definitely a fitting place to hold this presentation and an innovative way of bringing history alive.

Sitting in an airy, fireproof Albert Dock warehouse room surrounded by antique 18th Century fold over tea tables and designer chintz fabrics, provided us all with the ideal historical location were this valuable cargo,tea, was once stored. The setting and atmosphere made the afternoon.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the authentic loose teas, all served in beautifully flowered ceramic cups and certainly became a ‘devotea’ of the exquisite leaf while socialising and enjoying the afternoon.
This is certainly an acquired taste I will develop further, now that my taste buds have been tantalized.
I recommend a trip to the Tea House!
@_TeaHouse http://www.alisonappleton.com 21 Lark Lane L17

Another exciting visit on my Heritage quest, took me somewhere completely different but a place I’d passed many times on the E. Lancs……. the Gillmoss Materials Recovery Facility tour…. to see at first hand what happens to the items I put into my recycling bin.
This was a very interesting and informative talk and guide around the working site conducted from the level and covered walkway.

Using the latest technologies in mechanical sorting, mixing recyclables from the kerbside collections of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Sefton are delivered to the MRF for sorting.

This hour long tour provides you with a second by second all action viewing of the whole process from beginning to end with 25 tonnes of material an hour processed before your eyes.
uk.veolia.dicoverycentre@veolia.com
http://www.veolia.co.uk/merseyside-and-halton
If you wish to have an interesting alternative to the weekend then log onto the above websites and take a tour…all FREE
Tomorrow…….. Croxteth Park, Speke Hall, Liverpool Old Dock, several churches and the Waterhouse University complex tour.

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