A bit late to the party, I was only recently introduced to Heritage Open Days, which are a ‘festival of history and culture’, according to the aforementioned website. In other words, they are an opportunity to be given a guided tour or see books and other treasures which are normally not available to view – and all for free.
Certainly, we experienced both at St Oswald’s Church in Methley, a village southeast of Leeds. In short, we learned about the Lancastrian presence in this part of the world, including the battle of Towton in 1461, as well as the building of the church and its artefacts. I also saw for the first time a man dressed in a full suit of armour and learned other aspects of life in the Middle Ages.
A number of other people were dressed in Medieval finery – or rather mostly peasant attire – and were displaying paraphernalia that would have been common at that time. I was particularly intrigued by the some spoons, which I took to be replicas made of plastic. However, they are actually made of cow horn.
Why don’t we use such now? Apart from being carved, at high temperatures horn can be moulded into all kinds of shapes (there was also a bowl made of it, remarkably found in a charity shop), so it is a useful material. And of course it must be naturally BPA free.