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University researchers calling for people’s memories of Bristol and Gloucester adventure playgrounds

Researchers at the University of Gloucestershire are carrying out a research programme that aims to collect people’s memories and stories of adventure playgrounds in Bristol and Gloucester.

Residents are being asked to come along to a number of events that will be hosted by the researchers at four adventure playgrounds in Bristol (St Paul’s, Southmead, Lockleaze or Felix Road) and one in Gloucester (White City), some of which are over 60 years old.

The research programme is called Sharing Memories of Adventure Playgrounds (SMAP).

If you played as a child, worked or managed or helped set up one of these playgrounds – or know someone who might want to share their memories – the team of researchers are keen for you to attend one of the events with stories and memories to tell or photos and objects to share. Refreshments will be provided at each of the events.

Dates and times of the events are:

The team will work with each playground on a range of playful approaches that encourage the sharing of stories and memories, and to record these using video, audio and a graphic recorder. There will also be opportunities for more detailed interviews with key people.

Dr Wendy Russell at University of Gloucestershire said: “These special playgrounds have a rich history, now is the time to record it! The idea is to share stories and memories across generations – not in search of accurate historical facts, but to try and capture what the playground meant to people, it is these shared histories we are particularly interested in.”
The project will produce a publicly available report as well as a video, and the intention is to put together a public exhibition from the project.

Those who wish to take part in this research project can just drop into one of the events, tell friends and family or contact the team for more information: Dr Wendy Russell at or Tom Williams on 07817 022123.

SMAP (Sharing Memories of Adventure Playgrounds) are pleased to be working on this project with:
• Bristol City Council
• Learning Partnership West
• Groundwork South
• White City Playground Assosiation
• Felix Road Adventure Playground Management Committee
• St Paul’s Adventure Playground Management Committee
• Bristol Play Network