Free tours of borough parks this week

There’s the chance to find out more about the history of two popular parks this week, thanks to two National Lottery funded events.

The 'Thanks To You' events are being held at Mary Stevens Park and Priory Park, both of which have received Heritage Lottery Funding. The events are part of a range of events taking place at attractions across the UK which have received lottery funding.

On Thursday 6 December at 10am, there will be an oral histories tour at Mary Stevens Park, where visitors can discover the stories of people who have visited the park over many years and have interesting tales to tell. This is a funny and insightful take on the recent history of the park since it opened its doors to the public in 1931 and will take participants on a heritage walk while stopping to listen to recordings from those who remember it well. Meet outside the coffee lounge at 10am.

On the same day at 2pm, local historian Adrian D. Durkin will be taking visitors on a walking tour of Priory Park. Participants will find out what it was like to be a monk residing in the Priory on the feast of St Nicholas hundreds of years ago. Meet at the pavilion building by the tennis courts at 2pm. Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for environmental services said:

"These two events are a great way to find out more about the hidden histories of the park, and allow people to enjoy these green spaces while discovering more about our shared heritage.

"Both parks have benefited from a range of improvements, events and activities, thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Dudley Council and the national #ThanksToYou day is a way of recognising the work that has been done.”

Mary Stevens Park has received in excess of £2.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Priory Park has received in excess of £1.7 million. The money has paid for many improvements in the parks, notably the restorations of the grade II listed gates at Mary Stevens Park and the Priory Ruins Scheduled Ancient Monument in Priory Park. Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:

"December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7.8bn National Lottery funding since 1994. This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

For more information, please go to either the Mary Stevens Park Facebook page or the Priory Park Facebook page. Alternatively, you can contact Park Ranger Deborah Merrick on 01384 815279.


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