Over the last week a range of exciting new ‘interpretation’ features have been installed in Poole Park. There are new finger posts for finding your way around the park, a range of cut-out silhouette figures, postcard viewers and various information panels that talk about the park’s history, from flying boats to Victorian plant hunters, Olympic cyclists to the creatures in the lagoon!
The information panels also feature QR codes which can be scanned with a mobile phone and these link to 9 ‘Voices from the Past‘ stories as told by local children from the local Stagewise School for the Performing Arts. Voices from the Past is a series of nine short audio stories, each from a different moment in the Park’s history, each linked to a different location in the Park, and each told from a different child’s point of view. They are best listened to in context in Poole Park, or you can listen here. We are also hoping that Stagewise will be able to perform these stories in person at the Poole Park Celebration Day on Thursday 29th July, details to be confirmed.
All of the information panels, for example at the War Memorial, next to the water at Middle Gate car park (photo below left), on Westfield and near the cycle track (photo below right), have bespoke steel frames with various images and cut-outs that relate to their content and location.
The life-size steel cut-out silhouettes are all themed in various locations, there are 3 in the Plant Hunters Garden (near to the crazy golf course) featuring a young boy with a wheelbarrow (photo below, right) who is helping the head gardener and nearby is plant hunter Marianne North painting her collection! There are inscriptions on the artwork and even a magnifying glass nearby to study fallen leaves or flowers. Over on the cricket pitch the Bantem Brothers are the two speeding cyclists racing around the curve of the 1/3rd of a mile cycle track, racing to qualify for the GB Olympic team! (header photo)
Elsewhere, there are postcard viewers that feature reproductions of old postcards sent in the early 1900’s, these capture views of the park that can be seen in a viewing frame, helping to take us back to the early days of Poole Park, before cars were on the drive and with a lot less housing and buildings around the edges. On the back are the original postcard messages being sent back home to friends and family.
If you are walking in to Poole Park from the Seldown Lodge / town centre end you will find new plaques describing the new planting in the borders and then an impressive new display featuring a ‘heads-up’ park map, information panel and a stunning illustration of the park from the time of the opening in 1890, complete with puffing steam train on the new railway embankment, children playing Victorian games and performers on the band stand.
Alongside these physical features will be a range of activity cards and leaflets that help people to understand and enjoy Poole Park, these will be available online from www.poolepark.uk and available in the Park Kiosk.
Purbeck stone slabs and surfacing will be laid under the features in the next couple of weeks to complete the works.
We hope you enjoy finding all of these new features, find out a little of the history and heritage of Poole Park and delve in to the past! Find out more on this page.