Priory Park 100

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In 2018 it will be 100 years since the Duke of Richmond and Gordon gave Priory Park to the people of Chichester for their leisure and as a perpetual memorial to those who lost their lives in during WWI. Priory Park 100 is an initiative run by the Friends of Priory Park to celebrate this centenary throughout 2018. Working to sustain this community resource for future generations, and helping people to discover and explore

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PH1986-Cricket match in Priory Park (1946)

the park’s rich 1500 year history, Priory Park 100 are hosting a programme of events culminating in an ‘Anniversary Week’ in September. From parachute jumps, to tea parties, a re-enactment of the Siege of Chichester, and a vintage car display, check out the programme of events on the Priory Park 100 website for more information.  

Richard Plowman, Chairman of the Friends of Priory Park, believes that the centenary is an appropriate moment to reflect on the park’s enviable reputation, and has used the archives of West Sussex Record Office to delve in to it’s rich history.

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PH12597-Gatekeeper of Priory Park (1890s)

“I was intrigued by this little cutting concerning Priory Park and if you want to find out more come along to my talk at 7pm  Tuesday 24th April at the West Sussex Record Office. Sydney Charles Wooderson  MBE was one of the best athletes in the world in the 1930’s and  1940’s and held the world mile record for nearly five years. The record was set in London’s Motspur Park on 28 August 1937 at 4min 6. 4 seconds. His prowess as an athlete had given him the nick name of  “The Mighty Atom”, along with a huge popular following.  So what record was he trying to break in Priory Park and did he succeed?  Come along to my talk to find out this and much more about the fascinating history of Priory Park and how the Friends of Priory Park are celebrating  this centennial year of 2018 of  Priory Park.  It was  given by 7th Duke of Richmond and Gordon to the people of Chichester on September 30th , 1918 for recreation and as a perpetual war memorial Richard Plowman - Priory Park 100for the fallen in WW1. Priory Park 100 will reflect the history of the Park in a series of unique and exciting events and who knows there might be the odd record broken as well.  WSRO  have found some wonderful film clips from days gone by in Priory Park, you might even recognise yourself, maybe your parents,  grandparents or the Mighty Atom.”

Book tickets for Richard’s talk ‘Priory Park 100 – Romans, Roundheads, and the Rolling Stones’ at the Record Office on Tuesday 24th April at 7pm.  Tickets are £8 including refreshments, and must be booked in advance by calling our reception on 01243 753602.

Lauren Clifton

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