During the First World War the Hall was lent by the Ellesmere as a British Red Cross military hospital. During the Second World War the Hall and grounds were used by the Home Guard and as accommodation for American troops.
Dr Alexandra Mitchell, Project Officer at the University of Salford says that people who lived and grew up in the Walkden and Worsley area may have memories of the Hall during the war.
She said: “A lady from Walkden, Joy Openshaw, has already recorded her memories with us. She remembers going into the abandoned Hall just before the outbreak of war. Her connections went further back, as her great grandparents had also worked at the Hall as a groomsman and as a ladies’ maid.”
Oral histories are being collected as part of the Worsley New Hall project, a joint venture between The Library at the University of Salford and Peel Holdings Ltd to research and preserve the history of the Hall. A digital archive about the Hall and site will pull together information and records held in different parts of the country.
People’s memories form an important part of this. According to Dr Mitchell: “There’s only so much written and formal documents can tell us. Asking people to share their memories can tell us much more about the Hall and its role in local life.”
The project is in association with an archaeological excavation which is currently taking place on the site of the New Hall in Worsley. On 16 and 17 June 2012 there will be an open weekend for members of the public to view the excavated site.
There will also be an opportunity over the weekend to share your oral histories and memories at the nearby Worsley Library.
For more information, please contact Alexandra Mitchell on 0161 295 6752 or e-mail email@example.com
For more information about the Worsley New Hall project visit the University of Salford Library website.