Discover Woking’s rich cultural heritage at Party in the Park

2 May 2018

Visitors will have the chance to step back in time and explore Woking’s great heritage at Party in the Park, in Woking Park on Saturday 7 July 2018.

This year, the Borough will remember those who fought for peace and equality a century ago. On November 11 2018, it will be exactly 100 years since the guns fell silent on the battlefields of France, and World War One finally came to an end. This year also sees the centenary of a monumental victory as the tireless campaign for women’s right to vote was won.

To mark the occasion, creative types can participate in a community art project, making a war horse out of recycled materials, or create a suffragette tea towel, or a party hat. There will also be the opportunity to browse the many interesting arts and crafts stalls and take home something to remember the day by, whether buying or making.

Many local history societies will have exhibits on display at the event, to give a fascinating window into the lives of past residents as they faced monumental social change over the last centuary and beyond. From the water to the wing, experts from organisations such as Basingstoke Canal Society, Brooklands Museum, Brookwood Cemetery and many more, will be on hand to educate, inform and perhaps provide a few surprises as a rich Borough past is unveiled.

Imogen Middleton, Project Officer at Surrey History Centre, describes the project Surrey in the Great War: A Country Remembers. She said: “Our Party in the Park exhibition stand will showcase the First World War stories of local people and places in the county, and the Woking area, with a Home Front focus and free children’s craft activities.

“These interesting, moving stories have been shared by members of Woking’s community and project researchers. Our exhibition will provide a fitting tribute to everyone who served in WWI in some way, from women war workers, a Woking Victoria Cross winner and wartime aircraft factories, to food rationing, care of wounded soldiers and more!”

Rosie Everritt, Project Archivist for Surrey Heritage, said: “The March of the Women: Surrey’s Road to the Vote is a project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which first gave some women the right to vote.

“In this centenary year it is important to remember Surrey’s hugely significant role in the long campaign for women’s suffrage and the contributions made by local women and men on both sides of the fierce debate. At our Party in the Park stand you can discover the local suffragettes, suffragists and those who opposed women’s suffrage in your area, including stories of the inspirational former Woking resident, Dame Ethel Smyth, who composed the suffragette anthem ‘March of the Women’.

“Visitors can take part in our family friendly activities and design their very own rosette or miniature placard! Meet the project team to find out more about what we are doing to uncover Surrey’s suffrage story and how you can get involved!”

With all the fun of the fair, including a glorious Victorian style carousel, circus skills workshops, magic, puppet shows, a petting farm and the usual spellbinding mix of live and participatory dance from Dance Woking, there really is something for everyone.

Riette Thomas, Celebrate Woking Project Manager, said: “Across the year, the Borough is remembering two significant moments in our national history and discovering the impact that they had at a local level. Alongside the normal excellent live entertainment and fun activities, this year there will also be the chance to explore, discover and learn about our community’s history.

“I would encourage everyone to pay a visit to the heritage stalls in the Bandstand Zone, to browse old photographs, find out interesting facts and talk to enthusiastic local historians who are experts in their field.”

‎The fun-filled, family-friendly event starts at 12noon with a march around the park accompanied by the Surrey Army Cadets and Band. For more information, visit www.celebratewoking.info/partyinthepark or join the Facebook event.