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05 June 2023

Posted by Alice Flynn & Emma Scattergood

Stories From Our Streets at the Abbeyfield Wessex Society Reminiscence Session at Poole Library

In June, Stories From Our Streets member Alice attended a reminiscence session held by Louise Lomas of Abbeyfield Wessex Society, at Poole Library.


This session was fascinating and full of good conversation! Louise had brought along a selection of objects to spark memories and reflections about the past. There were ration books, rag-rugs, old Brasso tins, an old milk- bottle from the days when milk was delivered by the milkman.


This session was one where we gathered stories orally – taking notes about what was shared. We hear from those who could remember rations – and how abundant and available so much is today. People chatted about how the shops are open almost all the time in person and on-line, yet Sundays were traditionally a day of rest. We explored how this might have added a welcome slowness to life and given a sense of rhythm. Alice learned there were set days a month where people would do their laundry or beat the carpets clean…bringing back memories of her grandmother, Bridget, sharing certain days of the week were for laundry and baking – a busy time for a family of fourteen!


One participant recalled how when the circus came to town it was a big event and that, at a time when animals were part of the circus, elephants were paraded through the streets of Poole. This connects to the present day, too, to the elephants walking above Boscombe’s Art Depot, spray-painted by graffiti artist Krishna Malla AKA Tech Moon, a nod to when the circus came to Boscombe’s Hippodrome (now the 02 Academy), as well as to animal welfare.


Over tea and cake, participants shared stories, weaving between the historical objects in their hand, their personal experiences of them, and their reflections of life past and present. A tapestry of community tales.


Perhaps you, or a relative or elder you know has stories to share with you? Perhaps a young person in your life might enjoy swapping stories about life across the BCP area over the years? It could be a paragraph or a poem or a written conversation, anything goes! Everybody has story to share. Could you help us gather them, either your own or from those you know?


You can email us via stories@artfulscribe.co.uk or download the activity pack from our blog page. Why not enter our competition before the 21st July, 2023? The first prize is £50 of book vouchers. Here’s the link to the pack and competition:



Thank you to Arts Council England and BCP Council for making the Stories From Our Streets ArtfulScribe project possible and accessible to all! 


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