A group of sixty people – Society members with friends and relatives – spent a cheerful if rather hot day at Gunnersbury Park on 28 July 2018 to mark our 60th anniversary. This was an especially appropriate venue since the Society has always supported the local history museum for our area, putting on joint exhibitions and establishing the Friends organisation in 1981. In addition major restoration works have been completed there in our anniversary year.
We explored the new Museum displays on all three floors of the Large Mansion, went on guided tours of the restored landscapes with Jan Anderson, the landscape architect, or Chris Ellis the Head Gardener, then assembled inside the walled garden where Capel Manor College’s West London Centre is based. The staff of the Benugo cafe in the Park provided a wonderful spread there for our birthday tea.
Some members had never explored the Park before or visited the Museum; nearly everyone planned to return soon. Seeing inside the 18th century walled garden was a special treat, as it is only occasionally accessible to visitors on Open Days. We loved seeing the students’ working gardens, features like the stumpery which they had laid out in the past, and the small animals, birds and snakes looked after by the Animal Care students.