DID YOUR FAMILY LIVE ON DELAMERE
During the late 1940s and through to the early 1960s, Delamere Park Camp was home to hundreds of Polish and Eastern European families awaiting local authority housing allocation. The photographs reproduced below show some of the residents of that period. These photographs are additional to many others, like the one above, which you will find in the book.
THE STORY OF DELAMERE HOUSE
AND DELAMERE PARK
This outstanding book by Mark Bevan and David Coxhead, includes approximately two-hundred colour and black & white illustrations.
The book records how Delamere Lodge came to be built in Cuddington (Cheshire) in the 18th century, and how, renamed Delamere House, it developed into the centre of a great rural estate, owned by the Wilbrahams and extending over thousands of Cheshire acres. The family’s links to the Royal bloodline are explored and the story is told of Delamere Park’s connection with the “Fighting Temeraire” of Trafalgar renown.
For almost two centuries the Wilbrahams dominated the local area and, in doing so, employed scores of estate workers and domestic staff at Delamere House which, at its zenith, was one of the foremost seats of Cheshire, adorned with the finest of furniture and art treasures.
Mark Bevan and David Coxhead’s book gives an account of one of these masterpieces, a Titian that once hung in the Delamere House drawing room and is now displayed in the National Gallery of Art, in Washington DC, its value beyond measure.
Photographs, of the interior and of the park, from the halcyon days of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, are superb, as are those of the estate cottages, the farms and the people.
By the late 1930s, enormous change was underway, the great rural idyll of England having been shattered by the First World War and Delamere House was demolished . When war broke out again the once stately parkland was commandeered by the military and the troops came, first the British and then thousands upon thousands of Americans as part of the build-up to the invasion of Europe. The tales are the stuff of legend.
After the war the camp remained for almost twenty years and here, notably, Polish ex-servicemen and their families carved out a thriving, independent community. The collection of camp photographs are extraordinary and are probably the first ever published to detail what amounts to a forgotten chapter in Cheshire’s history.
Early maps and post-war aerial photographs show how the Delamere House parkland and the camp evolved, latterly into modern Delamere Park which began as a dream of one man.
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