Per-Axel Warensjo

Friends trustee Per- Axel Warensjo recounts, ‘My family and I moved permanently to Swindon from Sweden in January 1992. I was working for Intel and after stint in Moscow we returned and settled down here. With two small children my wife and I were looking for some parks/playgrounds and, although Coate Water was closer, my family grew very fond of Lydiard Park, so much so that it became a regular weekend visit for us (particularly when the British sun came out) and we always took family and friends visiting from Sweden to the park to enjoy the surroundings.

We have so many great memories from Lydiard, particularly with our children playing and running around. The tree in front of the House used to have a big branch and my children always wanted to sit on it while we were having a picnic. Our daughter also thoroughly enjoyed feeding the ducks at the pond.

Kids and their friends playing on the popular Cedar of Lebanon branch, c 1990’s
Kids and their friends in the old adventure playground at Lydiard Park, 1990’s.

While our visits to the park have become more infrequent as my children have grown older, it is still a park we all love to go back to on occasion.

Around five years ago I was looking to do some volunteering and Friends of Lydiard came up. Very soon Swindon Borough Council launched an outsourcing of Lydiard idea and I was thrown into a project where the objective was to stop the outsourcing to a commercial operator and after a lot of work, I think we largely achieved our goal!

So, during the last five years I have reacquainted myself with Lydiard, learnt more about the history and the House itself, met many new friends and started to visit the park more regularly. I visited the museum once in the mid-nineties and was a little disappointed on the amount on display. What a difference coming back many years later and discovering a so many treasures! I just hope the council will reopen the museum soon, now other heritage places are opening their doors across the country.

Going forward it is so important Lydiard Park will continue to be enjoyed by all and that we can help further enhance the experience of Lydiard House and its history.’

See previous Friends of the Month