Our village is very fortunate to have the open green space of the Rushcliffe Country Park on our doorstep. But have you ever wondered about its history?
You can find the fascinating story of how it evolved via the ‘Bombs to Butterflies’ project, where the original book has now been reprinted by The Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park (FoRCP).
The first edition of the book was in 2003 – published by ‘The Friends’ and The Ruddington History Society. The idea was the brainchild of Margaret Lawson who put together a historical account of the area – starting pre World War Two right up to the development of our Country and Business Parks.
FoRCP volunteer John Hubbard explains that new demand for this eighteen year-old book came about after a slide show presentation by one of the charity’s members, Jean Gray, telling the history of the Country Park. Jean has been a driving force to bring the stories from these pages alive in a new series of short films based on the original book. She says: “it had often been talked about doing a reprint and I think the audio-visual project helped us make this decision.”
The new Bombs to Butterflies collection of audio-visual stories captures the unique insight based on archive material about how a bomb filling factory, then an Ordnance Storage and Disposal Depot, eventually became Rushcliffe Country Park and Ruddington Fields Business Park.
Village based media company North Point Productions created the four part audio-visual series alongside Jean Gray and, village resident, June McConnell with help from Ruddington Village Museum. Its video project was funded by the Clifton and Ruddington Co-op Community Fund.
The videos comprise hundreds of photographs from these four eras, many of them unearthed since the original book was published. They’re accompanied by a narration based on the original text interwoven with digitally cleaned-up recordings from many of the people who were originally interviewed by Margaret and her team to be transcribed for the printed book.
500 copies of the book has been reprinted in Ruddington by printing and reprographics company Adlard Print, which is situated on The Green. John tells RUDDINGTON.info: “The reprint was done by Adlard as they had all the information from the first edition. FoRCP paid for the reprint so all the money from the sales will go to the Friends.“
John joined the Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park because, in 2011, he and his wife moved to Ruddington from Cheshire to be close to his daughter and family, and he recalls: “I thought it was a good way to meet people as we didn’t know anyone in the area“.
The book costs £6 and is being sold at the FoRCP ‘pop-up shop’ at Rushcliffe Country Park Education Centre which takes place on the first Wednesday of each month from 10am to 12noon.
We’ll keep you updated about the new Bombs to Butterflies series of audiovisual films, which Jean says will be launched at Rushcliffe Country Park. In the meantime, you can become a member of Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park and see the work it does on its website >>HERE<<.