Potatoes to be celebrated at centre event

Potato picking in the Fens at Ten Mile Bank. Picture: Discover Downham Heritage

Potato picking in the Fens at Ten Mile Bank. Picture: Discover Downham Heritage - Credit: Archant

The humble potato is set to take centre stage at a heritage centre's first public event since the Covid-19 outbreak.

Discover Downham is taking part in Heritage Open Days on Sunday, September 19, to celebrate the country's history and culture.

The volunteer-run centre, which is located at the old fire station on Priory Road in Downham Market, will be highlighting the town's agricultural history by celebrating an important crop in the area - potatoes - in a free event named The Humble Spud.

Potato picking in the Fens at Ten Mile Bank. Picture: Discover Downham Heritage

Potato picking in the Fens at Ten Mile Bank. Picture: Discover Downham Heritage - Credit: Archant

Discover Downham has promised the event, which is based on the Edible England theme for Heritage Open Days, will have something for all the family with displays on the "humble spud’s origins, cultivation, food production and its variety of uses".

Vintage potato farming machinery will also be on display in the car park and a presentation, narrated by the event organiser Peter Thorpe, will be shown throughout the day.


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And activities aimed at children such as make your own potato head, guess the weight of the potato and potato printing will be taking place in the courtyard. 

Discover Downham Market is located at the Old Fire Station on Priory Road, Photo: Emily Prince

Discover Downham Market is located at the Old Fire Station on Priory Road, Photo: Emily Prince - Credit: Emily Prince

The rest of the centre will also be open to the public and a ticketed 'Fun Quiz and Potato Supper', which is fully booked, will be held in the evening.

A spokesperson said trustees and volunteers hope the event could be put on annually to help "publicise the history of Downham Market".

Volunteer Marion Batt said: "Our Humble Spud event will be a fun, family day celebrating the potato, which is an important crop in this area.

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"It takes place on the last day of the national Heritage Open Days week, where heritage sites like ours will be open to the general public for free."

The Humble Spud will be held from 12pm to 4pm on September 19.

The Humble Spud event is taking place at Discover Downham on Priory Road on September 19.

The Humble Spud event is taking place at Discover Downham on Priory Road on September 19. - Credit: Discover Downham

Discover Downham reopened in July after its trustees "reluctantly" postponed it due to coronavirus restrictions.

The centre is free to visit and is open again on Thursday and Friday from 10am to 4pm, and Saturday from 10am to 1pm.

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