It was a snowy first open weekend for The Old Chapel. On the morning of the 23 March, I woke up ready for the day ahead. Excited, nervous and curious all at once, I opened my curtains to big snowflakes, the weather forecast had been right! Still, you can plan for most things except the weather.
Everything was ready – the children’s costumes were ironed for people to try on, all the panels were up, volunteers were signed up, the MATCH team had prepared their stall to raise funds for St Francis Hospice and of course the beautifully restored Old Chapel itself took centre stage. On Sunday the Young Enterprise Team, Aurelia, also sold their unique Sow and Grow products.
Brian Evans arrived to do his Heritage Walk of Upminster on the Saturday, but due to the weather, Brian gave an illustrated talk which highlighted new things about the familiar town around us; it was greatly enjoyed by everyone. The Spring Fayre was also on at the School; many people went over there and vice versa. It was fantastic to see people of all ages enjoying The Old Chapel. There were activities related to different costumes through the ages for children (and adults!) to enjoy, as well as costume that was made by volunteers in the costume making workshop for people to try on.
In total, we had 482 visitors over the two days, which was great seeing as the weather was so bad. This was made possible with the support of several volunteers and the Friends of The Old Chapel committee who gave up their time over the weekend. Next up is our first Tea and Talk, which is on 10 April at 10.30. ‘A Stroll Around Upminster, Part 1’ is a talk illustrated with local photos by Richard Moorey. It’s free to attend for Friends of The Old Chapel, otherwise £2 per person. Refreshments are included – contact the Heritage Officer, Gemma Smith, to book a place.