Friday, 4 May 2012

Olympic Pennant Travels Continued

For the month of May, a large number of the Olympic pennants will be hanging at the Stockton Discovery Centre in Luton, Bedfordshire UK, a city 30 miles north of London.  The Centre was formerly the Stockton Park Museum and was refurbished and rebuilt, opening again in July of 2008.  It is situated on the grounds of Stockwood House and has been designed with the best of environmental and sustainable principles.  It is run by the charitable Trust, Luton Culture.

The centre runs many educational programs in conjunction with schools and institutions, featuring geology, archaeology, social history and rural crafts. It showcases the history of the region dating back to Roman and Anglo Saxon times.

The centre also houses the Discovery Gardens which features classical gardens including sculptures, a Sensory Garden, a World Garden and a Medicinal Garden and displays the styles of the various gardens through the centuries.

The Olympic pennant exhibit will be an interesting forerunner to upcoming  events planned at the centre .  There will be an Olympics Opening Ceremony Family Fun Day on July 27th and then a Paralympics Family Fun Day on August 29th.

Upon learning the pennants would be displayed in Luton, I took a bit of a trip down memory lane.  My best friend during my teenage years, Suzy, spent time in Luton on one of her first job forays. At the time, she did not have many kind words to say about the area itself, although she loved the people and the friendships she made there.  I think there has been considerable growth and improvements to the community over the years. I dug through my old box of papers to find a bundle of letters she sent me from Luton and it was interesting to read them again, after the passing of several years had eroded some of the memories.  Tragically, my young friend passed suddenly from this world not too long after returning to Canada from overseas.  To re-read these old letters filled with stories of first loves, fashion of the day and new experiences in another country, while also reminiscing about old times together, was a sentimental journey I had not anticipated would be connected to my participation in the Olympic Pennant project.  How sweet to think my pennant hangs in Luton close to 42 years after my beloved friend's adventures there.

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