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In an interview for the Daily Telegraph on Monday 28 December 2015, Jools Holland compares the BBC to “museums, royal parks and public swimming baths.” I think that’s a compliment.

We all have one thing in common – a desire to keep the Parks at the forefront of horticultural, landscape and cultural excellence.

First World War park employees

The Guild are carrying out wide ranging research into those Royal parks employees who served or died during the First World War.

The names of the 24 Royal Park employees who gave their lives during the war are commemorated on His Majesty's Office of Works Memorial that is in the Treasury Building adjacent to St James's Park. On the memorial is carved We Band of Brothers.

If you you had a family member or know of someone who worked in the parks prior or during the First World War please contact us by clicking here. We would be very interested in hearing from you.

World War One Centennial Commemorations

The Royal Parks Guild are working on two major projects to commemorate The Royal Parks in World War 1, and gardeners in general who gave their lives during the conflict. These projects are backed by major organisations who have agreed to help in the various events we have planned.

The Royal Parks in WW1 history project

The Royal Parks Guild is working in partnership with The Royal Parks in producing 10 Heritage Lottery Funded events between spring 2017 and summer 2019 to commemorate the centenary of World War One. Organisations working with us to produce these events include the 10th Essex Living History Group, the London Parks and Gardens Trust, The Postal Museum, The Holly Lodge Centre, Field Studies Council and Westminster Archives.

These events range from WW1 experiences, open days, schools and local community groups visits, interpretation and remembrance.

For the full range of events and activities visit The Royal Parks' WW1 website by clicking here.

Battlefields to Butterflies

This is a major Guild project independent of, but with the full knowledge of, The Royal Parks. It is from an idea by Mike Fitt, Chairman of the Guild, to commemorate those gardeners and groundsmen who died during WW1. It is a horticultural tribute with various implementations and installations which will ultimately culminate in a physical memorial being placed at Brompton cemetery for those men and women of the parks, gardens and grounds who lost their lives in WW1. From spring 2018 to summer 2019 there will be a series of events including:

Spring 2018:

Workshops at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea for gardening apprentices.

Floral display at the Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch, the Guildall, London.

Summer 2018:

Feature display "Battlefields to Butterflies" at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show.

Producing a wildflower meadow at Osborne House, Isle of Wight.

Autumn 2018:

Unvieling of a memorial for gardeners who gave their lives in WW1 at Brompton Cemetery, Chelsea.

Our thanks go to the many organisations helping with this project including J & L Gibbons Landscape Architects, Historic Royal Palaces, Historic England, Scotscape, Royal Hospital Chelsea, The Royal Parks, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tomato Applied Art and Design and Royal Botanical Gardens Kew.

Link into The Royal Parks World War 1 website

The Royal Parks and The Royal Parks Guild have joined forces, with the help of the National Lottery, to set up a website to record all of our events and results of our extensive research.

The site will be expanded as event information and topic research is finalised. Click here to go to the site.

Conserving Our Parks' Heritage

One important object of the guild is to research, record and conserve all aspects of The Royal Parks' heritage.

This can be reminiscences from past employees, photographic records, day-to-day artefacts, historical events in the parks, people from the parks and so on.

In collaboration with The Royal Parks we aim to build on this information. We already have a number of prints, photographs and artefacts, but we would always look to increase the size of the collection.

If you have memories of The Royal Parks you would like to share or item of interest relating to the parks you would like to donate to the Guild's archive collection then please contact us through the following link.

The Hearsum Collection based at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park has a diverse range of Royal parks heritage material covering the last four centuries. In the near future it is hoped that a museum can be built in the grounds of Pembroke Lodge to enable the collection to be displayed to the public. To learn more about this click here to follow a link to the Hearsum Collection website.

The Royal Parks Guild are dedicated to helping parks’ apprentice schemes and those that join them. If you would like to help us then click here to see if you could become a member of the Guild.

We value your comments and feedback. Please use the links below:

Postal address:
The Secretary
The Royal Parks Guild
14 Nelson Place
Isle of Wight
PO33 2ET

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