On Sunday 30 September, St Silas British Legion, Meriton Street, will be hosting St Philips Marsh Open Day. This will be a free event for all the family, running from 10am-4pm.
The open day, created and curated by former St Philips Marsh residents, is a rare chance to explore the history of this unique island area in the heart of the city that was once home to over 6000 residents.
Brian Davies, who lived with his family in St Philips Marsh until the 1960s, organised the exhibition with a group of former residents. The displays on show will tell the story of the Marsh and its people through photographs of the area and stories from those who once lived there. The day will also see special musical performances from the 1984 sell-out show Yesterday’s Island, inspired by Mr Davies and produced by John Scully.
Bus tours will depart every hour from St Silas starting at 12noon for those who would like a guided tour of the area. These tours will take in key sites around St Philips Marsh and describe the area as it once was.
Next door, St Philips Marsh Nursery, formerly St Silas School, will also be welcoming visitors. In Mr Davies’ search for local artefacts, he discovered a memorial board holding the names of former pupils who gave their lives in World War I, as well as a sporting honours board from the School with accolades from 1911-26. These are to be rehung in the schoolhouse and will be on show to the public for the open day.
The exhibition will be opened at 10am by former resident Jayda Smallbridge, whose family ran the newsagents on Feeder Road for over 80 years, and a 3 year old member of the St Philips Marsh Nursery School. The day will close with a grand finale at 4pm.
Image credit: Brian Davies, Grafton Street 1935