Poignant reminder of hope
We’re proud of the Gardens’ long and rich history and are fascinated when we have the privilege of seeing first-hand a glimpse into our visitors’ minds from days long gone.
This charming picture postcard, sent to one of our trustees, is one of those times when you see a parallel with today’s events.
Sent by a couple named Gert and Fred to a friend or relation named Lizzie in the summer of 1919, this postcard serves as a poignant reminder that however, we may feel at a given time in history, there is always hope.
July 1919 is eight months after the end of the devastating First World War and a time when the globe was in the grip of Spanish Flu, which claimed millions of lives.
While there were no UK-wide or regional lockdowns, like those we are living through at the moment, the government imposed some restrictions, such as closing dance halls, cinemas, theatres, and churches for months. Some people wore anti-germ masks and there were public health campaigns, too, to help minimise infection rates – and, of course, conspiracy theories and false information abounded.
You can’t help but wonder if Gert, Fred, and Lizzie felt how we are feeling now about Covid-19. Just like today, the Gardens provided a wonderfully tranquil place where visitors could free their minds, enjoy the advantages of fresh air and a good walk in inspiring surroundings.
Gert and Fred clearly enjoyed their day out at the Gardens – and this summer, more than any, we’ve loved seeing friends and families enjoy the safe space of the Gardens, taking long and lazy picnics on the lawn (just like our writers here) and enjoying live music from our historic bandstand, which continued through August and September.
As the weather cools, you might be wrapped up a little more and you might not linger so long on the lawn with a basket of goodies, but as this charming picture postcard from 101 years ago shows, the Gardens remain a beautiful space that can raise anyone’s spirits.