Ever since Warley Woods Community Trust began managing Warley Woods in 2004, people have been coming into the Trust’s office sharing their memories. It became clear that people wanted to share them and that these fascinating stories should be recorded for others to hear. This was the impetus behind planning this oral history project and we were keen to ensure we recorded as many memories as we could.

The Community Trust has been able to undertake this project thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Their grant provided funding for training, equipment and professional support with sound editing, video production and transcribing.

Beginning in February 2012 with the first training course for interviewers, our volunteers have been out and about around the area responding to people who offered stories for our collection. Thirty-nine people have shared the part that Warley Woods has played in their lives and their stories span from the 1920s to the present day.

A book of these stories has been published by Warley Woods Community Trust which is available at the shop at The Pavilion, Lightwoods Hill. We think it does paint a fabulous picture of experiences and detail which ordinary history books could never tell.

Part of this project involved the students of two local schools: Abbey Junior School and St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School. In spring and summer 2013 Julia Letts of the Oral History Society visited the schools over a number of weeks, training the students in how to be good interviewers. The students then interviewed seven local residents about their memories of Warley Woods on camera, filmed by a professional film company, Scraggy Dog. 

The book and DVD can be bought at The Shop at the Pavilion or in our online shop. The book includes a CD with some of the stories we recorded. 

If you love Warley Woods, its history and care for its future, please support the Community Trust with a donation.

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We are adding new tracks every working day.  Please keep coming back to hear more.  

  1. Kathleen Perkins Holidays


  2. Paul Ross Park Keepers and Scouts


  3. Dorothy Ludlow The Morris Dancers 


  4. Roger Phipps Cross Country Running 


  5. Nigel Lloyd Warley Woods Pacers 


  6. Sharon Williamson Fallen Tree 


  7. Kate Slade Santa


  8. Jim Haycock Courting 


  9. Beryl Paramore Courting 


  10. Roger Phipps Sledging
  11. Bernard Cox Sledging
  12. Joy Ricketts Sledging
  13. Nigel Lloyd Sledging
  14. Robert Jones Sledging accident
  15. Alan Reynolds Sledging
  16. David Gray The Icehouse
  17. Steve Cemm The fence
  18. Anthea Kirk Near the Abbey
  19. Robert Jones Inside the Abbey
  20. Derek Ward Inside the Abbey
  21. Anthea Atherton Inside the Abbey Clubhouse
  22. Peter Munn Inside the Abbey
  23. Jack Yates Inside the Abbey
  24. Keith Hutchinson The Pool
  25. Paul Ross The Rose Garden
  26. Roger Haslam Planting the Rose Garden
  27. Charles Garfield Bert Fereday and Peter Butler 


  28. Brian Lownes Caddying
  29. Hazel Davis Golf
  30. Ernie Archer Busy Golf Course
  31. David Atherton Playing Gladys Lunn
  32. Peter Munn The New Pavilion
  33. Gill Whittaker Air raid shelter fun
  34. Vic Curtis The bomber
  35. Jill Chamberlain Wartime
  36. Peter Bird Incendiary bombs, home guard
  37. Janet Ferguson Allotments
  38. Bernard Cox The tree with a secret
  39. Joyce Fisher Prefabs
  40. Jack Yates Staff misbehaving
  41. Roger Haslam Clearing leaves
  42. Peter Munn Tasks on the golf course
  43. Jack Yates Payday
  44. Steve Eling Glass Houses entrances
  45. Brian Simmonds Working in the glass houses
  46. Keith Hutchinson Metal detectors
  47. Judy Priest 99 Lightwoods Hill