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Public invited to roll back the years at Winckley Square

June 13th, 2016

Winckley Square -Western boundary looking North 1882 Credit - Preston Digital Archive

Winckley Square -Western boundary looking North 1882
Credit – Preston Digital Archive

  • Community invited to get involved in Winckley Square memories event on Saturday, June 18
  • Heritage project aims to build up a memory archive of the Gardens ahead of the next phase of the £1.2m restoration programme starting
  • Event will run from 10am – 3pm and is open to everyone

The team behind a £1.2m scheme to restore Preston’s Winckley Square Gardens wants people to share their memories at an event this weekend.

People with historic photographs, news clippings, scrap books or stories about the Gardens are invited to the Winckley Square memories event on Saturday, June 18, ahead of the next phase of work starting in July.

Running from 10am to 3pm in the Gardens, the event will feature activities where people can share their memories, whether they are anecdotes which can be recorded or photos that can be shared they are all part of the rich history of Winckley Square Gardens.

Photographs will also be copied on the day to help form a clear record of the Square’s history and will be used to help tell the story of Winckley Square either online or during activities with schoolchildren.

A new edition of Marian Roberts’ definitive book “The Story of Winckley Square” is being planned, and these memories will form part of a new chapter which documents the recent history of the Square.

The £1.2m restoration scheme of the Gardens was given the go ahead last year, led by the Winckley Square Community Interest Company (WSCIC) and Groundwork in partnership with Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council, Preston BID and Preston Historical Society.

Photos already gathered include images from the Preston Guild in 1922, a class photo from Preston Catholic College and photos of the square from as early as 1882. There’s many Victorian and Edwardian photographs of the Square and the buildings which surround it but few of the Gardens themselves and not many from 1920 onwards.

Ruth Jenkins, Development officer at Groundwork, said: “We hope the people of Preston and beyond will join us to share their memories and stories of Winckley Square Gardens over the years. It’s really important to us to find out how the Gardens have influenced the culture and society of Preston over recent decades.

“The history of the Gardens is very well documented up to the early 1900s, but after that the records are a lot scarcer. This is a real opportunity for people to share what Winckley Square Gardens means to them and what it reminds them of.

“It would be great to hear from people who got married nearby and had their photos taken in the Square, or reminiscences of what happened in the Gardens during the Second World War.

“It might be the place a couple went on their first date or a family went to for a picnic every summer, or more recently about people spending their working lives in and around it.”

If you’re unable to attend the event but want to share your memories, please email them to or share on Twitter at @WinckleySquare

Click here to read the announcement from June 2015 when funding for £1.2m Winckley Square Gardens restoration was approved.

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