This month I was joined by filmmaker Hannah Earl from Somerset Art Works to make a short film about the Woolaway Reminiscence Project. We walked around the project area and shot some footage taking in the beautiful views looking over to the Wellington Monument. We also revisited a resident who very kindly let us film in her home and garden. Once the film is ready I’ll put a link up on this blog.
A subject that came up this month was the idea of ‘putting down roots’. Many residents have lived in their homes for decades. Neighbours become good friends and a support network is built. Generations stay in the area and ‘roots’ of family and friendship grow deep. Homes are well kept and gardens are nurtured and treasured. Some homes have stunning views over to the distant hills.
Here are some comments made last week about a resident’s beloved garden, which she has carefully designed over many years to create a private and peaceful outdoor sanctuary: ‘It’s not just in the house that has memories, it’s outside too, in the garden… and sometimes more meaningful ones … It’s like another room”. She continued to describe a communal green space behind her garden: ‘My children used to play out there catching butterflies. Children from across the road used to come and play together’.
Some lovely memories have been returned on the back of the Woolaway Reminiscence Project memory postcards, which have been sent to each house in the project area. Here are two extracts from two generations of the same family:
‘Moved in when new in 1954. One of the first houses built. Had three youngsters under ten, and I thought the house was like Buckingham Palace! At last we had a home we could settle in and make it a family friendly abode. We were so happy’.
‘We played in the streets and loved to play football after school on the patch of grass in Dover Road. We also loved to go climbing trees in Lyngford Lane. I remember the “big freeze” in 1962-63 when we were snowed in and each morning when we woke up the bedroom windows were covered in ice as Jack Frost had visited. Mum had the gas taken out as she didn’t like it, so we only had storage heaters downstairs not upstairs!’.
I’m looking forward to visiting more Woolaway homes and will continue to share photographs, stories and reflections on this blog. If you would like to get involved, a home visit can be arranged by contacting Angela Bolitho on 01823 785580 or emailing Carolyn via email@example.com