The Hub

The Hub was set up by Choices Advocacy, who for over 20 years have been supporting people with learning disabilities to have their views heard.

Published Articles


26th September
Daily Echo News article “Best year ever for St.James’ Park dog show”
14th July
BBC Radio Solent Featured item on Julian Clegg show – Interview with Madge Heath from the Shirley Local History Group about the International Family Day event that took place in St.James’ Park on Saturday 16th July.

Click here to listen to clip – available until Saturday 12th August.


17th November
That’s Solent TV Video news article “A Group of Volunteers Join Forces to Maintain their Community’s Green Space”
18th October
Daily Echo News article “Fun for Families at mini-Crufts Show in St.James’ Park in Shirley”
23rd July
Daily Echo News article “Dozens of parks across Hampshire have been named the best in the country after being awarded a Green Flag Award”.

The photo of St.James’ Park is from the WI Tree Planting ceremony in October 2015.

29th March
Daily Echo News article “Eggsellent Day of Fun for Families at St.James’ Park, Shirley”.


18th April
Daily Echo Heritage Review article “From Rec to Renovation” about theSt.James’ Park History Book and the forthcoming Shirley Timeline event in the Park


19th July
Daily Echo News article “Community rallies for the vandal‑hit ParkLife Café in St.James’ Park”
16th July
Daily Echo News article “Southampton’s ParkLife Café’s future in jeopardy as thieves strike again”
8th July
Daily Echo News article “Sports Extravaganza at St.James’ Park”
6th May
Daily Echo News article “Olympic diver Peter Waterfield set to open St.James’ Park Community Games”
3rd May
Daily Echo News article “£50,000 of Sport Relief cash given to Hampshire charities”


22nd November
Daily Echo Article “You Know That Face” about Paul Salmon, ParkLife Café Manager.
27th August
Daily Echo website News article “St.James’ Park wins accolade in National Lottery Awards”.
24th July
BBC Radio Solent Alex Dyke show: Alun Newman gave a “last day to vote” plug for St.James’ Park in the National Lottery Awards.
12th July
Daily Echo website News article “Park in running for top award”.
27th June
Southampton News Extra p.11 “Park Friends’ Plant Party Fun” – article with photos on the Plant Party in the Park held at St.James’ Park on Sunday 23rd June.
26th June
Daily Echo website News article “St.James’ Park, Southampton, in running for National Lottery Award”.
15th May
BBC Radio Solent Featured item on Julian Clegg show – Arthur House and children asking him questions at the FoSJP History Research Group‘s Educational Workshop atSt.James’ Park on Tuesday 14th May.


9th July
Daily Echo
Photographs of The BIG Event on the News Gallery “Weekend in Pictures” for 7th – 9th July.
7th July
Showcase Performance Groupwebsite Photographs of Showcase Performance Group performances at The BIG Event.
May Shirley Hooter Photographs and article: “St.James’ Park – Our Park” in Shirley Junior School‘s magazine.
29th February
Daily Echo
“Your Hampshire Heritage” section, article by Keith Hamilton: “£1.5m Transformation of ‘Shirley Rec’” about local resident Don Smith’s painting of St.James’ Park.
February Oral History Societywebsite Report from the Regions – Hampshire – article: “St.James’ Park – Shirley Heritage Project” on the arts based projectsundertaken by the Shirley Heritage Project.
At link above, click on Regional Report tab and search for “Shirley”.


19th July
Daily Echo
Photographs and article: “Youngsters enjoy Play in the Park event” about the official re‑opening of St.James’ Park on Saturday 16th July.


1st September
BBC Radio Solent Featured item on Jon Cuthill show: interview with Nichola Caveney (FoSJP Chair) and Mike Smith (FoSJP Vice-Chair).
25th August
Daily Echo
Photograph and article: “Port puts £20,000 in the pot for café” about DP World Southampton‘s very generous donation to FoSJP towards fitting out the kitchen in the newParkLife Café.
9th July
BBC Radio Solent Featured item on Jon Cuthill show: interview with Mike Smith (FoSJP).
5th July
BBC Radio Solent Featured item on Steve Harris show: interview with Martin Gardner (FoSJP), Cllr Jeremy Moulton (Cabinet Member for Resources and Workforce Planning), Helen Saward (SCC Project Manager), and Park visitors
interview reproduced with kind permission of BBC Radio Solent
Spring 2010
Oral History Society
e-Newsletter p.3
Photograph and article: “The People’s Park – an Oral History Project in Southampton” by Michaela Lawler-Levene (FoSJP History Coordinator).
5th – 11th February
Issue 193
First News
Photographs and article in Green News section about Green Nose Day event held at the Park in October 2009.
First News is a weekly national newspaper aimed at children aged 7-14.


December Oral History Societywebsite Reports from the Regions 2009” – article in South East / Hampshire section about Shirley Heritage Project‘s oral history project (search for “FoSJP”).
21st October
Daily Echo
Photograph and article: “Green Nose Day at the Park“. 
article reproduced with kind permission of Daily Echo
17th October
Daily Echo
Photographs and article: “A Park for the People”. Peter Law looks back at the long history of the green jewel of Shirley. Double-page spread – left page  & right page .
article reproduced with kind permission of Daily Echo
16th October
BBC News website Video news: “Cash boosts for Southampton park“. 
15th October
BBC Radio Solent Featured items on Jon Cuthill show: interview with Nichola Caveney (FoSJP) and children in the Park  and interview with Chris Packham  about the positive impact of such grants for wildlife and for the community in general.
interviews reproduced with kind permission of BBC Radio Solent
15th October
Daily Echo
Photographs and article: ” City park to get a £1.5m
article reproduced with kind permission of Daily Echo
15th October
Southampton City Council website News and Events article: “Southampton park scoops the jackpot”.
15th October
Big Lottery Fundwebsite News release: “St.James’ Park receives over £1 million for major improvements”.
15th October
Heritage Lottery Fund website Media Centre article: “Everyone’s a Winner! £18 million to UK’s parks”.
Autumn 2009
vol.37 no.2
Oral History SocietyJournal pp.17-18 Shirley Heritage Project‘s oral history project and its FoSJP origins featured under “Current British Work” – South East Region – Southampton.


December 2008
Issue 60
City View
Photograph and article: “Shirley park wins calendar_event prize”.
3rd November
Daily Echo Photograph and article: “Lottery cash boost for park revamp”.
March 2008
Issue 52
City View
FoSJP featured in an article focusing on specific areas in Southampton, entitled “Focus on Shirley”.


Summer 2007
Pukaar Magazine
Pukaar News Section – Article and 19 colour photographs featuring Park100 celebrations entitled “Centenary at St James’ Park”.
July 2007
Issue 45
City View
Shorts Section with photo, featuring forthcoming Park100celebrations.
20th June
Daily Echo
Hampshire Heritage Feature by Keith Hamilton for “Love Parks Week 2007”. Headline: “Centenary celebration for urban oasis”. Features Park100 centenary celebrations, Mrs Crate’s personal memories, and 1930 photo of Hick’s Dairy float in Shirley Carnival, pictured in the Park.
Week starting
18th June
Saints Radio Advertising Sine Star Project, who played at Park100 event.
17th June
BBC1 Politics Show Featured in programme on Parks and Green Spaces for “Love Parks Week 2007”.
8th May
Daily Echo
Photos cutting celebratory cake and parachute games. Article featuring FoSJP First Birthday Party event.
April 2007
Issue 43
City View
What’s On Section. Art in the Park event.
1st March
Southampton News Extra p.6 Community News, Shirley. Advertising re‑opening of the FoSJP Kiosk.


Dec 2006/Jan 2007
Issue 40
City View
Featured in “calendar_event Marks for Parks”. “St.James is Favourite Park”, voted Southampton’s best Community Park.
7th December
Southampton News Extra p.10 Photographs and article: “Children get busy rustling up leaves in St.James’ Park“.
2nd November
Southampton News Extra Photograph and article: “The great bulb planting“.
11th September
Daily Echo Photographs and article celebrating the Park being awardedtop place in Southampton Open Spaces Award Scheme: “Green Jewel of Shirley”.
24th August
Echo Video News Article on opening of the FoSJP Kiosk.
12th August
Daily Echo “Snack attack on St.James Park”. Photograph and article about opening of the FoSJP Kiosk.

Update – September 2017

The photos in this and the following sections have been taken in the Park at various times since the wildflowers were planted. We’ve identified some of the flowers – see if you can spot any more!

The Shirley Heritage Project

May 2009 – December 2015

The Shirley Heritage Project was funded by the same Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant that contributed towards the Restoration & Improvementproject in St.James’ Park during 2010‑2011.

During discussions with HLF and Southampton City Council (SCC), FoSJPexpressed a desire to build upon the interest in local history that we saw at the History stall at the Park100 Centenary Celebration event in 2007. The History stall was extremely popular, and many people had stories of their own to tell. FoSJP asked that a Heritage Project be included within the HLF funding – this was agreed and the Shirley Heritage Project was launched in May 2009 to:

  • allow FoSJP to organise more history-themed events in and around the Park;
  • encourage interest and provide opportunities for participation in local history;
  • collect and share local memories of the Park and its environment;
  • create a permanent history interpretation display in the renovated Park;
  • work and share information with local people, schools, colleges, and other organisations.

We used all the fascinating information that we gathered over five years to produce a book on the history of the Park and its immediate environment – the book was launched in March 2015. We’d already shared some of the stories that we’d been given in our series of public history talks held each Autumn from 2009 through 2015.

We also developed the History pages here on the website to share further information that we received and to keep everyone up to date. We plan to eventually share clips of audio and video recordings made during the project – the HLF has funded the purchase of equipment to support this.

The Shirley Heritage Project was officially completed in 2015, but its work continues, with an extended remit, under the auspices of the Shirley Local History Group.

Visit our History News page for the latest information on forthcoming history-related events and activities
Visit our Your Stories page to read some of the stories and memories that we received from local (and former local) residents.
Visit our History Past Events page to find out about past history‑related events that have been organised in and around the Park.

FoSJP History Research Group

FoSJP History Research Group – First Meeting, April 2010

The first group meeting took place on Sunday 25th April 2010 – meetings were originally held at Shirley Parish Hall but later in the ParkLife Community Room at St.James’ Park.

Subjects that were researched by the Group include:

  • The life of Andrew Barlow, a Victorian philanthropist famous locally for renovating the Barlow and Ellyett Homes on Church Street. He was also a resident of Oatland Lodge which used to be opposite the park on the corner of St.James’ Road and Winchester Road. We plan to share his story during the public talk series of Autum 2010.
  • Temperance Society activities.
  • Postcards of Shirley, particularly of the Park.
  • Nathaniel and Catherine Jefferies, local Victorian philanthropists, and their links with the Park.
  • The early Shirley Parish Church from 1836
  • Life around the Park.
  • Local architecture and its conservation.
  • George Harris, builder, farmer, brickworks and gravel pit owner.
  • Henry Cawte, JP.
  • Links with Old Shirley and Admiral Sir Charles Bullen, last surviving Captain at the Battle of Trafalgar, who died at Trafalgar House, Shirley in 1853.
  • The Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway 1881-1884 and local links.
  • The life of a child – changing times. This topic is being undertaken primarily through the Oral History Project, including play and school days.
  • Memories of Shirley School – again, through the Oral History Project.
  • The Park in World War II – its ARP history.

We’d like to thank everyone who offered help with our research to date  – the generosity of people who donated books, materials, or information was overwhelming.

The Group had its own Facebook page, kindly set up by the FoSJP webmaster. Everyone within the Group was encouraged to use this as a tool for exchanging information and ideas.

FoSJP was asked by Southampton City Council’s Conservation Team to contribute to the latest revisions of the St.James’ Road Conservation Area Document. The Group aimed to uncover information which would feed into this document and its aims.

We were particularly interested in receiving copies of deeds relating to Didcot, Newbury, and Stratton Roads around the Park, and from the houses that would have been on the proposed route of the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway, to establish whether or not the railway actually bought the land around 1881.

We’d like to thank everyone who offered help with our research to date  – the generosity of people who donated books, materials, or information was overwhelming.

After the completion of the Shirley Heritage Project in 2015, the members of the FoSJP History Research Group decided to establish the Shirley Local History Group to both continue and extend historical research beyond the immediate environs of St.James’ Park. Please visit our History News page to find out more!

Shirley Local History Group

January 2016 Onwards

After the completion of the Shirley Heritage Project in 2015, the members of the FoSJP History Research Group decided to establish the Shirley Local History Group in order to both continue and extend historical research beyond the immediate environs of St.James’ Park, to ensure that the valuable information that had been collected was retained, was built upon further, and would continue to be shared with a wider audience.

The Shirley Local History Group is still affiliated with FoSJP, but receives no external funding, instead relying entirely on voluntary donations, for example from group visits and talks, including the Autumn public history talks from Autumn 2016 onwards.

For more information on forthcoming History events, or if you’d like to find out more about Shirley Local History Group activities, please contact the team on