History Project for historic park


    Victoria Park girls

    Residents are being asked to share their memories of a popular park in Stafford as part of a history project.

    The project is part of the £2.5 million restoration of Victoria Park in Stafford which got underway in the summer.

    The work will see the restoration of historical landmarks such as the bandstand and Mottram Shelter, as well as improved facilities including café, aviary and toilets. The park has held a green flag – the yardstick for the best open spaces in the UK – for thirteen years.

    Stafford Borough Council is now asking local people for their memories, anecdotes, and other information that will help record the history of the park for the initiative. The council wants to produce an ‘Oral History Project’ that will be used to guide interpretation boards, exhibitions and a permanent art installation, in the award winning park.   

    The council says it can be a simple childhood memory of feeding the ducks or a description of how the park looked previously since it opened in 1908.
    The National Lottery funded work is expected to be completed in the summer next year. 

    Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, Cabinet Member for Leisure at the borough council, said: “Work is progressing very well on the park – but there is also so much other work going on in the background to ensure more people will have an input into, and be able to enjoy, this attractive gateway to our town.  
    “The aim of our ‘Oral History Project’ is to collect and preserve people’s memories so they cannot be lost. The finished project will be used in the park as part of the improved interpretation of its history and heritage.”

    She added: “We would love to hear from people who have a story to tell of Victoria Park and would be willing to record them for us so we can create a legacy through the eyes of Staffordians for future generations to enjoy.”   

    The council is working with the Graphics, Fashion, Media and Photography students at Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group. Course leader for Creative Media, James Nicholls, said:  “I feel the students will benefit so much from talking to and researching the past history of Stafford.  In addition the experience they gain through working on the project from start to finish will prove invaluable for their studies and equip them with skills and knowledge for their own future.”

    To get involved with the Oral History Project contact Lisa Hibbert, Victoria Park Community Engagement and Events Officer on 01785 619428 or email victoriapark@staffordbc.gov.uk.

    View more information about the restoration on the Victoria Park - Heritage Lottery Fund page.

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