Barbara Warsop attended a workshop with Ignite Imaginations back in 2014 when we were still called Art in the Park. The workshop inspired her to write her own book "The Lost Village of Parkwood Springs". Barbara's journey with Ignite Imaginations came full circle when we met her again in March 2018 during our Lakelands project. She shared the story of her book with us and was kind enough to give us a copy. Here is her story...
It all began when I realised that my grandchildren had no idea what it was like when I was a child with no electricity until I was 10 years old. So I started to write my memoirs. I saw a Sheffield University add for a writing workshop and I decided to join it. It turned out to be poetry with Fay Musselwhite where I must have spoken about Parkwood Springs. Later on Fay contacted me to say that “Art in the Park” was doing a series of workshops that I may be interested in as one workshop was about Parkwood Springs so I jumped at the chance.
I enjoyed the workshops for the six weeks, but especially walking to the place of my birth. It was nothing like what remembered about it. Mark Doyle The leader of the walk was a very considerate person when we had to climb the hillside. I told of what it used to be like for me as a child living there.
I had lots of personal photos of our time living there, it was a place where the history of it was going to be lost forever if someone didn’t do something about it. I had looked on the internet and in the Library but could only find one or two photos.
The workshops culminated in February with an exhibition at Hillsborough Park Pavilion. This gave me the opportunity to show all my photos and my collection of memorabilia. I was allowed a table to myself and I could not believe how many past residents of Parkwood Springs came on that day. One chap who came was the son of my mother’s friend who I had not seen for 60 years. Plus old neighbours I had not seen for years.
From that time on there were many coincidences.
In August 2014 Underbank Community Group which I am a member held their annual art Exhibition at Stannington carnival. I was contacted by a past resident asking me if I had any pictures of Parkwood Springs and I said I was looking for some myself. That day four past residents came to me and we all reminisced about Parkwood Springs. I decided with all the interest about it I had to do something about it. I had already started to do my memoirs. So they took a back step for me to write about Parkwood Springs.
I joined an oral history group workshop run by Dr Michelle Winslow
University Teacher in Adult Palliative and End of Life Care,
Oral History Lead, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
At this workshop they put me in touch with Mel and Joan Jones who helped me enormously in putting the book together as they have written many local oral history stories.
I also had lots of help from past residents who met up regularly and were eager to see something written.
It took me two and a half years to write the book and everyone told me I had to get it published. So I took the decision to fund it myself hoping I would get my money back.
I arranged a book launch on May 9th 2017at Hillsborough Park Arena.
I could not believe 70 people turned up to my book launch where I sold 82 books.
I have now sold books to people in Canada, Australia, South Africa, and all over the England. It’s amazing how the past residents have spread out since the 1970s.
My book launch 9th May 2017 Hillsborough Park Arena
The people with their hands up were all past residents of Parkwood Springs
Mark Doyle - the artist from Ignite Imaginations is on the left on the back row.
The next coincidence leads me to the present day and my amazing journey.
March 2018 Ignite Imaginations contacted our art group with a view to working with us on the Lakeland project I told our secretary that I had enjoyed working with the group in the past.
We have now enjoyed working with Laura Page who has done three workshops with us about Stannington. There I gave her a present of my book with a dedication to Ignite Imaginations for giving me the inspiration to write the book.
Barbara with other members of Underbank Community Art Group as part of the 'Lakelands' project in 2018.