Fascinating online archive of Ealing parks' history

Ealing Times: Glimpse of the past: Pitzhanger Manor Glimpse of the past: Pitzhanger Manor

ONE hundred historical photographs were unveiled this week in a new online archive.

It features a range of images depicting everyday life in Walpole Park and Pitzhanger Manor, with some dating back to as early as 1904.

The archive is part of a wider project to map out the past of the manor house and park.

A range of postcards, plans and records of the original house and grounds, oral histories captured in manuscripts, and documents found at the John Soane Museum in London have also been collected.

In 2012, the council joined forces with Accession Social Enterprise to help digitalise the historical materials so they could be preserved and made available to the public.

Five autistic adults from Accession digitised more than 2,700 documents, materials and images.

Led by an archiving expert, the volunteers were trained in data entry and documentation, as well as shown how to use the microfiche machine and search for historical news articles.

At the completion of the project, the group selected the best 100 historical images to be displayed in the online gallery.

Cllr Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “This is the first time that images of Walpole Park and Pitzhanger Manor’s history have been available online for everyone to see.

"The precious collection gives people extraordinary insight into the past of the manor house and grounds, and is a real treat for local people and history-buffs alike."

The archive includes photos of the manor house from the 1950s to the 1970s when it was the borough’s central library, as well as images of a garden party during World War One and of trenches being dug in the park during World War Two.

Preserving Walpole Park and Pitzhanger Manor’s history is part of wider restoration work, which aims to transform the site into west London’s premier heritage location. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Visit the online gallery at http://www.flickr.com/photos/111641333@N07/sets/72157638730171674/

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