FOR many people, nature is a place of solace and filled with a lifetime of memories. The team at Southwell Minster decided to reflect on how important nature is to us as part of the ‘Leaves of Southwell’ project funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.
Given that many of us are now staying at home again, the project will also hopefully inspire us to spend time reflecting on our own memories of nature or perhaps we can encourage older self-isolat- ing family members and friends to share their memories by talking about them over the phone or writing notes. Memories can also be record- ed over Zoom and transcribed.
To give you an idea of the type of memories that we are looking for, volunteer Joyce shared one her favourite memories connected to nature entitled Grandfather’s Magic Mix.
“During the 1940s, I grew up in Manchester and as a girl, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and on their allotment. My most important job was stirring Grandfa- ther’s Magic Mix. This was brewed in an old dolly tub with a tight fitting lid and a wooden paddle so I could reach the bottom of it. The smell was horrendous, and years later I was given the recipe and no wonder it reeked! It was made from pondwater,potash, driedbloodand horse manure!”
It is not just memories that the team is looking for – can you share a recipe that uses nature’s bounty? Do you have family recipes passed down generation to generation for chutney, jam or pickles?
Songs, poems and hymns often connect us to nature. Do you have a favourite song that reflects nature?
What we are going to do with all the memories and other information we have gathered?
Your stories – we will collect all the memories together and share them later in the project during 2021. We will use your stories to see how things have changed and how people’s attitudes and inter- action to nature has changed over time. We will use this to inform our work with schools and educa- tion, to ensure the younger genera- tion understand how and why they shouldvalueandcarefornature.
Your recipes – we would love to publish some of them on our website. If we have enough, we might publish our own recipe book.
Your songs – we hope to have a special concert sometime in 2021 at Southwell Minster where we can gather to sing the songs that reflect our love of nature and we will also read out some of the memories gathered. Everyone who took part will be invited to join us.
To find out how to submit your memories please see the advert. We look forward to hearing your memories.
Published January 2021