Spring Lecture 2022 at Purley Barn
Friday, 25th March 7.00pm


Grubby Hands and Scraped Knees:

A Skip through the History of Children’s Play Outdoors

by Linden Groves

Our Spring Lecture is a tribute to Charles Elly who was our Chair for six years.  He died suddenly last March and he will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.  He loved gardens and he loved sharing them with our members; and he also loved working with and helping children.  The subject of our Spring lecture has been specially chosen to help recognise his interests and his many contributions to the Berkshire Gardens Trust. Click here to read our tribute to Charles.

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We are very pleased to welcome Linden Groves as our speaker.  Linden is Head of Operations and Strategy at the Gardens Trust, the national body representing the Berkshire Gardens Trust.  She has carried out substantial research into how children played in historic landscapes in the past, for organisations such as English Heritage, the National Trust and the Royal Parks. She uses this knowledge to inform provision for children today, from helping navigate the desire for play areas at historic properties, to devising and running traditional garden games in historic gardens. Linden is currently writing a book on the history of playgrounds for Liverpool University Press.

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Photo courtesy of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust

This lecture is based on Linden’s deeply personal passion. She is a landscape historian who has spent two decades watching her own children play their way through some of the finest parks and gardens from history. How could she not then start to imagine children in boots and caps, watched by mothers in petticoats? And wonder how it all began?   In this lecture, Linden Groves will take us by the hand for a whirl through the history of play in gardens and parks. Together, we’ll sail boats and roll hoops in 18th century estates, then crowd onto Giant Strides and swings in Victorian parks, before getting hands-on in post-war adventure playgrounds. She will end by taking a look at some of the ways that children experience these landscapes today.

Time: Please arrive for 7.00pm. The evening will start with a buffet and drinks followed by a short tribute to Charles.  Linden’s lecture will start at approximately 8:00pm. 

Venue: Purley Barn, off Beech Road, Purley-on-Thames, Berkshire RG8 8DR

Refreshments:  If you have any dietary restrictions, please email BerksGTenquiries@gmail.com immediately after booking.

Cost: Tickets for the lecture are Members £15; Non-Members £18.

Queries: Please contact Janet by email at BerksGTenquiries@gmail.com; or phone Fiona on 0118 994 3504.

Please note: We hope that there will be no COVID restrictions by the time of this visit, but please be understanding if there are last minute alterations in the arrangements if the situation changes. We may take some photographs during the buffet and lecture. If you would prefer not to be included in these photos, please email BerksGTenquiries@gmail.com or tell us when you arrive at the venue.