AN ORAL history project is being launched at the newly renovated gardens in Stanmer Park and its wider parkland.

The project, which was created by the council’s parks staff along with volunteers, captures the memories of local people who lived and worked around the park and shares them on "listening posts".

The posts contain 40 different stories from people connected to Stanmer Park, ranging from gardeners who lived and worked in the village, to the park during the Second World War.

One of the listening posts recounts the story of Canadian soldiers at the park: “I remember the weather cock on the roof of Stanmer House, which Canadian soldiers used for rifle practice - it was full of holes!”

The soldiers were stationed at the park and would practice tank manoeuvres, as well as other military drills.

While one story recalls the Great Storm of 1987: “The trees were broken and laying on the ground, some uprooted, great roots sticking up in the air. Visitors said it was like armageddon.”

The stories have been captured by professional Oral Historian Pamela Glintenkamp, working with nine volunteers.

The Argus: Stanmer Park

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, chairwoman of the environment 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.”