“I remember the weathercock on the roof of Stanmer House, which Canadian soldiers used for rifle practice - it was full of holes!"
“That Palm House used to be wonderful - it was like being in a foreign land.”
“First thing in the morning, the cowman would bring the cows from the fields down through the village street to the milking parlour.”
“The trees were broken and laying on the ground, some uprooted, great roots sticking up in the air. Visitors said it was like Armageddon.”
A fascinating new oral history project takes Stanmer Park visitors back in time as they explore the newly renovated gardens and the wider parkland.
Created by Brighton & Hove City Council’s parks staff, working with volunteers, the project captures the memories of local people who lived and worked around the popular park and shares them on special ‘listening posts’.
The project includes 40 different stories and memories from local people connected to Stanmer Park, ranging from gardeners to those who lived and worked in the village. There are also accounts of major events including the Second World War and the Great Storm.
The stories have been captured by professional Oral Historian Pamela Glintenkamp, working with nine volunteers.
Four audio ‘winders’ have been installed in different areas of the park, each themed with different memories including recollections of the park during the Second World War, and of working in Stanmer House and the nursery.
A booklet has also been produced to record the stories which will eventually be archived at The Keep.
Councillor Amy Heley, chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, said: “Nothing brings history to life more than personal accounts, so we are delighted to have captured the stories of local people who have lived and worked in Stanmer Park and have witnessed first-hand many important changes and events.
“I’d like to thank all those involved with this fascinating project, from those who have researched the history and gathered the stories to the participants whose memories will be enjoyed and shared by Stanmer Park visitors for many years to come.”
The Oral History Project is part of the Stanmer Restoration Project – funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and BIG Lottery ’Parks for people’ scheme Brighton along with Brighton & Hove City Council, Plumpton College and South Downs National Park Authority.