A SALISBURY project was collecting memories of the elderly in The Close today, Saturday June 4, to make a booklet and song.

During the garden party at 56a The Close, guests were invited to share their stories with specialist and writer Ruth Hill, 43, from Silver Salisbury, in a memory booth.

Irene Kohler, 79, is Salisbury's Older People's Champion and she's pioneering the project which was granted just under £10,000 through the National Lottery's Community Fund in April.

Since then, Irene has used the money to pay specialists, such as Ruth, and fund events to collect the memories of the elderly.

Salisbury Journal: Ruth Hill, 43, and Irene Kohler, 79, in the memory booth at 56a The CloseRuth Hill, 43, and Irene Kohler, 79, in the memory booth at 56a The Close

Ruth was at the garden party to collect stories, she had spoke to eight or nine people so far and said the response had been "really lovely".

"It's the little things that stand out to people. I'm recording them all and we're going to collate a booklet for the library," she added.

In addition to making a booklet, Ruth will be working to transform the memories into a song to capture the memories and allow the elderly to relive them.

From Coronation to Platinum Jubilee

Celebrating Age Wiltshire and Silver Salisbury are collaborating on the project, Irene said: "Memories are what make up history. Only big historical events are covered in history books but small grass roots projects are important for the community."

Some of the people sharing their memories said they could cast their minds back to the Queen's Coronation, when they were just 14 and six years old, and how they celebrated every Jubilee since.

Salisbury Journal: Jubilee celebrations at 56a The CloseJubilee celebrations at 56a The Close

The idea came about after Irene spoke with community librarian Philip Tomes about intergenerational sharing and events at Salisbury Library.

"Children and the older people gained so much from the project," Irene added.

Jane Ebel, 62, hosted the Jubilee garden party and works closely with local charities, she said: "The generosity of volunteers today has been absolutely brilliant, you can't do it without everyone pitching in."

The final product of the memory project will be launched on 17 September at People In The Park 2022 and will be on show until 10 October.