8 thoughts on “Preston Park Museum. c1950

  1. I have very fond memories of days out at Preston Park with my mother throughout the sixties. I particularly remember the conservatory, being full of unusual and exotic plants. I remember for years it had a honey bee’s hive in a glass case which enabled one to watch the bees safely. A little glass tunnel went to a window to facilitate their comings and goings.

    We used to take lovely walks by the River Tees in the grounds; I remember the lovely smell of the wild garlic flowers. On one occasion we were prevented from walking by the river due to an infestation of Giant Hogweed plants (Heracleum Mantegazzianium) which could cause terrible rashes if touched. Efforts to eradicate it were difficult apparently?


  2. My mother worked in the building as the telephone operator from 1946 to 1947 when it was owned by Ashmores. She started there at 16 in 1946. Her maiden name was Freda Harrison. I used to visit there as a child in the 1950’s when it became a public park. I have many pictures c1957. I remember the beautiful conservatory, my mum used to eat her lunch there when she worked in the building. She told me many stories about working there, it was a very relaxed working environment, but dress code was strictly adhered to. I have a lifelong interest in Rhododendrons because of loving the here as a toddler.


  3. I believe that my grandmother was a Scullery Maid here for the Ropners around 1920 – 1924. Her name was Inez Alice Bell, Dob 11/11/1906. Her favourite story was when she was asked to take the post and she would need to walk past all the ‘new fangled’ cars and the chauffeurs would all whistle at her.


  4. When the owner Sir Robert Ropner died, Preston Hall was bought by Ashmore Benson & Pease in 1937 and used as their offices. William Ashmore was a relative of mine on my grandmother’s side.


  5. I too have very happy memories of visits to Preston Park during the 60″s. There was always an ice cream van there so my brother and I always had a treat. I can remember how lovely and warm it was to look around the conservatory and admire all the unusual plants. I went back about 10 years ago and it was still a lovely and interesting place to visit.


  6. I also remember visiting Preston park in the 1950″s, if I remember correctly you used to drive in from the entrance where the lodge is and out by the main entrance. In those days there was a huge rhododendron outside the main entrance. This photograph seems to have been taken from a high viewpoint, I wonder where from?


  7. I spent a lot of time in this museum as a child, my best friend was the parkkeeper”s daughter and they lived at the lodge by the main entrance. I remember in the conservatory there was a Mynah Bird flying free (who used to say “show us yer knickers!!). The period rooms and the street were my favourite places – especially the chemists and the cobblers – happy memories!


  8. Remember Preston Park Museum very well in the 50″s. In the entrance there was a Polyphon. It looked like a huge clock with a large metal disc with holes set into a lovely wooden case, when you put a penny in the slot it played beautiful music. Also remember the conservatory filled with plants and sculpture. When I visited England last year I went into the museum and asked what had happened to the Polyphon, they didn”t know anything about it. Does anyone know?


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