A taste for history - Sheffield celebrates its food and drink heritage at citywide festival

Sheffield will be celebrating its history and heritage in September with a focus on food and drink.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 12:44 pm

Edible England is the theme of this year’s Heritage Open Days which take place from September 10-19. Hundreds of places and spaces that aren’t usually open to the public are getting ready to open their doors again after last year’s event was forced to go mainly online.

There are currently 67 city events listed on the event website, www.heritageopendays.org.uk, from tours of Aizlewood’s Mill, which was once a flour mill, to the historic herbs and plant to be found in the Zion Graveyard in Attercliffe, now a wildlife area.

Sheffield organiser Janet Ridler of Sheffield Civic Trust said: “We want to make sure that the festival doesn’t slip under venues’ and organisers’ radars as they begin to open up again.

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Aizlewood's Mill.

“The festival will probably be one of the first large-scale heritage events to take place across the country."

She stressed that there is still time to put on an event and the idea of the food theme embraces both the city’s diverse communities and independent food producers.

Wardsend Cemetery on Livesey Street, next ot the River Don, is offering a Wardsend Wander, where visitors can hear tales of Sheffield people’s lives linked with growing and producing food and drink. There is also a nod to the Euros with great stories of local sporting triumphs.

Christine Handley and Hugh Waterhouse are leading the short walks on September 12 and 14, talking about producers of agricultural tools and silverware through to market gardening, livestock rearing and brewing.

Heritage Open Days organiser Janet Ridler.

The organisers say: “Along the way we’ll discover a few of the highs and lows of Victorian and Edwardian England and how the traditions of foraging, growing, making and competing are still alive and well – if you know where to look!”

Some events, such as Judith Smith’s talk about Cutlery For Afternoon Tea on September 15, will take place online. Judith will explore some of the amazing cutlery from the Hawley Tool Collection which is now housed at Kelham Island Museum.

The Central Library is asking ‘how did your nan cook it?’ with a display of display of vintage cookery and household management books from Sheffield and beyond. The organisers says: “Worn, stained, treasured – these are the books from your grandparents' kitchen which found their way to your parents' house and are now on your bookshelves.”

One of the more unusual examples of cutlery from the Hawley Collection at Kelham Island Museum, which is taking part in Heritage Open Days with an online talk

There’s no booking required and the exhibition will be on show during library opening hours.

Go foraging with Don Catchment Rivers Trust on a riverside foraging walk in the beautiful Moss Valley on September 14. Learn good practice foraging, try some foraged foods and take ideas home for your own recipes.

Community pub the Gardeners Rest in Neepsend are celebrating all that is Sheffield - traditional real ale, pork pies, Henderson's Relish, and the Sheffield breadcake! Plus there'll be Sheffield cheeses and other locally-produced bar snacks to try alongside their cask ales and locally-produced gins.

For details of events and booking, check out the individual pages on the website, which offers printable area lists of all events – just click on the Sheffield link.

The Medieval Day will be back on Dore Village Green this year on September 12 - this picture is from 2019. Living history events will include knights in battle!