The Centre is an independent organisation of two parts:
- The Working and Administrative Centre, containing the archives and artefacts, housed at the address found on the Contact page.
- The Visitor Centre, used as a meeting point for the public, where historical material can be exchanged, whilst at the same time, providing an abridged exhibition of the overall history of New Park for the public, New Park Academy and other interested schools. This is housed in a building generously provided by New Park Academy.
The aim of the Centre is:
- To provide an archive of the history of New Park , which is otherwise undocumented, for the people of that Community, the general public and visitors to the town, who are interested in its past.
- To provide a resource for New Park Academy and other schools in Harrogate.
It aims to do this through:
- A tour, given by the management, through photographs and text within an environment, recreating some of the scenes of the past.
- An ‘experience’ rather than a collection of artefacts.
- Continuing to collect memories, pictures and data .
- Illustrated talks to social groups within the Harrogate area given by the Centre’s Management.
- A twice annual newspaper (‘The New Park Mirror’) run by the Centre’s Management
The Visitor Centre has been built by ex pupils, ex parents and a retired teacher of the school, along with many members of the public who have been interested in providing a facility for the community.
The Visitors’ Centre provides a meeting point for the public and schools to exchange stories, information and material through the Manager.
Many of these ideas are best summed up in the first page of text in the exhibition:
This exhibition has been built to preserve and illustrate the identity and history, in basic detail, of the area known as ‘New Park’, which began as an individual community in its own right.From its beginnings in the beauty of the Yorkshire countryside, it became a hardworking, industrial community, providing facilities for the town of Harrogate itself. Although there are signs of this left today, New Park has nonetheless refound some of its original natural beauty. In looking at this past, it is important to remember the thousands of people who have been part of this community. For many, their working life must have been hard and they may have felt their contribution went unnoticed. However, without them, New Park would not have the heritage it has today.
There are also those individuals whom many of us remember kindly for their outstanding efforts.
This exhibition does not in any way claim to provide a complete picture of that past, for there are many out there who have their own stories and memories to tell. We would gladly welcome these as an addition to what we hope will be a growing and lasting collection as well as a tribute to the community!