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We're changing the way the Castle is used!

A look inside the 'Living History Project'

Living History Project

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” [Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940)

This quote is so true! At Friends of Margam Park, it is our aim to bring history to life for our community, to educate and inform and to entertain and enthral. With this latest project, we are certainly on course to achieve this.

As some of you may already know, we are almost there with our living history project. The project began with discussions between Jen Hamilton Jones and Gareth Elms. They wondered how it would be to ‘dress’ the Castle? “Wouldn’t it be great if we actually got some of the Talbot artefacts back!”  “Wouldn’t it also be fantastic, to get the public involved, after all its their Castle too?”  Once we had the scope of the project mapped out, we approached the Park. The staff and managers of Margam Park were delighted when we proposed this project and have been very supportive. 

From there, it was a short journey to print off leaflets and place them in the Charity shops of Port Talbot. Before we knew it, we were getting calls from very enthusiastic charity shop workers with items. The staff at the Charity shops also spread the word to the public and soon we were getting calls from members of the public that had items that previously belonged in the Castle and were happy to send them home!

The reaction that this project has received has been amazing, so much so that we opened the doors for one day this month and invited the our very special sponsors.  Items that were donated were displayed upstairs in the castle with an information sheet giving the name of the sponsor and a brief history of how the items were acquired. For example, a wonderful lady Betty Davies from Port Talbot has donated a beautiful Spode desert service, that would have been purchased around the time the Castle was newly built. The beautiful blue and gold decorated desert service were bought by a family of a lady that Betty cared for and was given to Betty after her death.  The Spode service is listed in the 1941 auction catalogue! 

Another incredible supporter named Mary, brought her father’s original cotton shirt and her parents wedding gift of a beautiful cutlery set, as well as many other items of interest.

These wonderful vintage items have been carefully placed into the castle, setting enigmatic scenes that show the Castle as a warm and welcoming home.  This has been achieved by the incredible design talents of our own Jen Hamilton Jones.  More rooms are going to be available to us and we will be looking to open up as many rooms as possible to the public.  We are now looking for volunteers to be on hand for the visitors in these rooms for the Easter.  If you are interested, let us know by contacting tony@friendsofmargampark.co.uk