Our Park research journey began by asking local people about their personal memories. Information about the Park’s history came to light at FoSJP’s Reminiscence Day event in May 2006. Following this event, we were also helped by donations from individual collections and personal research – in particular from the archive of local historian Bob Grice and the research of Mr AGK Leonard who researched the Southampton City Council archives to discover how the Park came to be purchased.
Bob has also introduced us to the the books written about Shirley’s history. One of the most informative has to be the publication Shirley from Domesday to D-Day (right), published by Southampton City Council. One of the main local historians and contributors to this book, Rosaleen Wilkinson, was the opening speaker at the FoSJP 2009/10 series of Public Talkswhich started in October 2009.
Thank to Bob’s donation of the archive, FoSJP was able to produce the History Quiz which was organised as part of FoSJP’s First Birthday Party in May 2007. Material from the archive has also been used to produce a History Stall which is displayed at FoSJP events such as the Park100 event in July 2007. Photographs of Shirley for the displays have been kindly provided by the Southampton City Council Heritage Services Local Collections Service. FoSJP must also acknowledge the individuals who have shared their personal stories and photograph and postcard collections, so that we can share them with others.
It’s been a great honour for FoSJP to also share the archive with 120 Year 3 children from nearby Shirley Junior School, who came for history lessons in the Park in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.