Bandstand performances, talent competitions and firework displays are just some of the fond memories of Baxter Park that will feature in a Big Back Garden exhibition.

The exhibition, which is part of the Big Back Garden project led by the University Archives, celebrates Dundee’s iconic Baxter Park by looking at what people remember about the park over the years and what it means to them now. You can listen to recordings of their memories and thoughts at the exhibition, as well as view some of the archives that were used by Morgan Academy pupils to research the Park’s long history. The exhibition can be viewed Tuesday 19 -Saturday 30 July at Dundee Central Library in the Wellgate Centre.

“Baxter Park has a rich history and has been enjoyed by so many since it first opened in 1863,” said Dr Jan Merchant, Senior Archivist at the University of Dundee. “As Dundee’s first ‘People’s Park’, it acts as a big back garden for Dundonians and continues to play a central role in the lives of many individuals and communities. As part of the Big Back Garden project we wanted to see how people connect with the park and how they have used it throughout the years, and how urban green spaces promote health and well-being

“This exhibition is a first look at some of the memories we have recorded so far. Some participants talk about how they remember the park as it used to be, with an active bandstand and entertainment like talent shows and ‘bonnie babies’ competitions which were hosted in the park.

“We also have some of the younger generation share how they enjoy the park now, from picking the flowers to climbing trees to the highest possible point.

“By recording people’s experiences, we can build on the existing narratives and develop a dynamic oral history resource for visitors in the future.”

The Big Back Garden project website is available to view online. Visitors can find out about the Park’s history, try out a quiz trail and are invited to contribute memories of using the Park.

Visitors to the Park can also listen to narratives about the Park’s history which are based on the pupils’ research and can be accessed via QR code plaques on benches in the Park.

Big Back Garden is a collaborative project led by the University of Dundee Archive Services, in collaboration with Dundee Local History Centre, Dundee City Archives and other local organisations and individuals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *