Heritage Stories

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Couple eating toasted marshmallows
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Our Campfire Heritage Stories are a range of stories told around our campfire by members of our community whose heritage comes from further afield.

Stories of home, food, journeys, family, celebrations and traditions are shared around a campfire, while marshmallows are toasted.

On Sunday 24th March 2024, from 2.30pm, a special Campfire Heritage Stories event, supported by The Rothschild Foundation, is taking place. Museum visitors are invited to find out about how the Storytellers (community representatives) came to be in Buckinghamshire and how they have become firmly established in our beautiful county.  Storytellers are Karen Bonner, who is Chief Nurse at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and a descendent of the Windrush generation, and Elizabeth Dench, Sejal Sechdav and BJ Taylor who were born in Jamaica, Uganda and Kenya respectively. Weather permitting, the event will happen around a campfire adding both atmosphere and warmth and an opportunity for marshmallow-toasting! Find out more.

Oral historian Jonathan Kempster has recorded the previous Heritage Stories events so they can be shared across our digital channels to the wider community and be added to our collection. So, grab yourself a cup of tea, get comfortable and listen to these fascinating stories.


As part of South Asian Heritage Month 2023, Chiltern Open Air Museum hosted Dadima’s one-day storytelling symposium embracing nature, health, the countryside, and cultural heritage. Find out more or listen to the recording below.


2022 Campfire Heritage Stories

In 2022, we invited Dr Geeta Ludhra (South Asia) and Gregory Gonzales (Philippines) to lead the storytelling.

Gregory Gonzales and Geeta Ludhra

Select tracks from the playlist below to hear the speakers share what these prompts mean to them.


2021 Campfire Heritage Stories

In 2021, we invited three special guests, who live and/or work in Buckinghamshire, to tell their stories round the campfire – Mei Sim Merry (Hong Kong), Irfan Arif (Pakistan), and Rabbi Neil Janes, who leads the South Bucks Jewish Community.

Press play to hear 2021’s Campfire Heritage Stories.

This event was kindly supported by the Rothschild Foundation as part of a Buckinghamshire Cultural Outreach Group Project.


If you are a resident of the Chilterns and would like to share your heritage story then please contact Jacqui Gellman on outreach@coam.org.uk


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