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Uncovering the Archive – The stories, the people and the history
October in Ellington Park was focused on its heritage and preserving the park’s history digitally, via the archive project.
Starting with the Friends of Ellington Park collection, our eight archive volunteers have been reviewing the community contributions and finding items of interest that fit the collection criteria. There are five categories for the archive which cover how the park has been used, what it looked like, important dates and stories of the people involved. So far we have found information or items as follows;
Leisure: Historical planned public events in Ellington Park of both local and national significance. We have found the complete playbill of the 1934 pageant in the park with over 2,500 Ramsgate residents performing, posters for the Phoenix Fairs in the 1980’s and the May Fayres organised by the Friends.
Landscape: Heritage features and archaeology. We have found a Victorian postcard with an image of the lost fountain, originally installed in the park in 1894.
Nature: Historical or changes in trees, planting and wildlife, including a 75th commemorative flower bed in the park.
War Time: WW1 or WW2, links with the Ramsgate Tunnels in the park, including a WW1 replica poster and photo of wood carving of a soldier.
People: Historical people involved in the park, families of the Ellington Estate, park keepers and others of local or national significance. A photo of Mr Griggs the park keeper in the 1930’s has also been found and digitised.
Many more items are being digitally recorded and added to the online archive and catalogue weekly, with a target of 2,000 items to be digitised in the first year of the archive project. The archive will be available for public view online and will be launched with the new website in the coming year.
To preserve and enhance the history of the park Thanet District Council and the Friends of Ellington Park are working behind the scenes to finalise design and issue tender documents, with a robust procurement process we will ensure best value for money for public funds, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund support of £1.8m. Works are scheduled to start in the park at the end of 2019 and bandstand restoration works commence in January 2020.
“When the temperatures are this hot people always flock to the beaches and we’re lucky to have such beautiful bathing spots. However, some people seem to have forgotten that we are still in the middle of a pandemic.