Frequently Asked Questions

Why are some events bookable and not others?
Often the properties that take part in Heritage Week have very limited space and a booking system gives us greater control over the number of people attending at any one time. It also means that householders have a list of attendees to satisfy their insurance companies. Likewise, event leaders giving talks or leading tours sometimes find it easier to deal with smaller groups.

Why do tickets have to be allocated by ballot, what’s wrong with 1st come 1st served?
Unfortunately the old 1st come 1st served system favoured those visitors who were retired or not in full time work and by the end of the working day, when some visitors tried to book tickets after work, many events were already full. By making all of the bookable events ballotable everyone has the same chance of getting tickets.

Why do you post tickets? Why can't I book online?
By sending out tickets to a registered postal address it helps us to verify that the person booking the tickets is a genuine visitor. Unfortunately, due to the free nature of DAHW events, an online booking system could be open to abuse. We do however welcome communication by e-mail.

Why can’t the event be 2 weeks/ 1 month?
The logistics of organising all of the events into a 9 day period, along with the typesetting and printing process, already take up much of the year. Although it would be nice to have a longer event it wouldn’t be practical at this time.

Why don’t all events have a duration listed?
Some event holders like to have a more relaxed attitude towards their event and leave the timing open-ended to make last minute changes or answer extra questions. Whenever a duration can be listed it is.

Could you not put on extra events rather than have a waiting list?
Unfortunately not. The preparations for the events already listed take several months and a lot of communication to set up. By the time the bookings are received and the events start to fill up there is no longer sufficient time left to organise extra events with the respective event holders.

Why can’t the booklet be published earlier in the year?
Again, due to the length of time it takes to organise all of the events, it is not possible to publish the booklet any earlier in the year than we already do.

Why can’t I have a direct contact number for my favourite event?
All of the event holders in Heritage Week are volunteers and a great many of them are private householders. In order to protect their privacy and ensure smooth communications at all times we ensure that we are the only contact with all 200 event holders on our list and never pass on their private contact details unless specifically instructed to do so.

Can I just turn up to bookable events without a ticket on the off chance someone doesn’t turn up?
We would respectfully ask that you do not. Although it can be frustrating finding out that there has been a no-show on an event that you could not get tickets for it is even more frustrating for event holders trying to deal with too many people when some visitors have booked correctly and some have just turned up ‘on spec’.

Why is my favourite event from past years not available any more?
All of our events are run by volunteers and sometimes, for their own reasons, they do not wish to take part any longer. We respect this and although this is regrettable for visitors who may have enjoyed the event previously the final choice of events appearing in Heritage Week is always down to the event holders themselves.

Why have some people been to very popular events twice while I have been on waiting lists for many years?
Unfortunately some visitors, when booking events, make bookings under different names or from different addresses. We try to be vigilant and ensure this does not happen but sometimes one or two bookings may slip through the net.

What is the connection between DAHW and Heritage Open Days?
Heritage Open Days, organised by the Civic Trust, takes place over the course of a long weekend. Dorset took part in the early events but soon realised that the potential number of events in Dorset was increasing each year and that one weekend was not sufficient. As such, Dorset Architectural Heritage Week was born and in honour of its roots the first weekend is always a part of Heritage Open Days.

Would it not help administration to make a charge for some events?
It probably would! Unfortunately the basic concept of Heritage Week, inherited from Heritage Open Days, is that all events should be free of charge. We only ever make minor administrative charges where it is completely unavoidable -such as those to cover coach and boat hire this year.

Why don’t you ‘blackball’ or ban people who persistently don’t turn up to events they have booked?
Again, one of the basic concepts of the event is accessibility for all. If we blocked certain people from attending events for any reason, other than Health & Safety or legal reasons, then we would be ignoring our own basic concepts and ideals.

Why do you not offer online booking?
This is for security reasons. When making online bookings for tickets, concerts or events you need to provide your payment card details as well as your contact details. This gives the venue your registered cardholder details so they can contact you in the event of any problems with the booking. As all DAHW events are free of charge this method of address verification is not available to us so we verify all potential visitors’ addresses by sending out the tickets to them at the address they have provided. The address provided is supplied to the relevant event holder (and may be passed on to the police or insurance company) but under the terms of the Data Protection Act will not be given to anyone else.