The Friends of Grosvenor and Hilbert Park joined in Heritage Open Days by gathering together old photos and information from Tunbridge Wells Borough council, historian Geoff Copus, and their own research from the website. We took over a couple of tables at St Barnabas Church, which was open for tours and had an extensive collection of parish history. Lots of people who visited had grown up in the area, and had memories of the swimming pool and the Satellite Club.
Nearby and long established undertakers “Kempsters” brought their old ledger books, and a talk with Mr Kempster lead to finding this excerpt. Mr Boxall died in 1914 aged 83, and had fought in the battle of Balaclava, and was present at the Charge of the Light Brigade. During this he was unhorsed, and stabbed while lying on the ground. He was then taken prisoner and spent seven months living on black bread and water. A later newspaper report, folded inside the ledger, says Mr Boxall was crippled for life after this. The house he lived in was very near the park, and we can only hope he found some comfort from being able to enjoy the pleasant surroundings.
Heritage Open Days uncover these small nuggets of past lives, and long may these weekends continue!