THE TINY PARK WITH A MIGHTY HEART
is a unique contribution to cultural diversity, social history, common humanity
and surprises-with-a-smile

 
 
  Thanksgiving Field and its Uplifters Park have their home behind the barn at Tally Ho Farm Shop & Equine Centre,
Crouch Lane, Winkfield, Berkshire SL4 4RZ United Kingdom

The fragments unearthed in its historic 1943 USAAF B17 debris field are now in outposts elsewhere in the UK, in Germany, and across the USA. But the fences are packed with dozens of plaques and stories

The Park is unattended but free to visit and enjoy during the Farm Shop opening hours
9am-5pm Mon-Sat, 10am-4pm Sundays

For more information, contact Hugh Gibbons hughgibbons@just1.org.uk


 
     
 
THE VISITORS' GUIDE TO THE FIELD & PARK


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to print out or bring with you on tablet or phone

    

 
     

 
THE
GUIDE TO ALL THE PLAQUES

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 The fences of the Park carry over three dozen plaques
 celebrating a great diversity of people and ideas.
 You'll find they have lots of humanity and humour
 and a great range of surprises.

 The Guide has the wording on each, and background information.

 
 
     
   
THE GUIDE TO MISSION 115Z

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The surprising story of how the fragments were made into unique conversation pieces
sent out far and wide
 
     
 
THE PATERNOSTER PLAQUES GALLERY

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A remarkable new resource for local churches and schools to borrow
and put to use before it has its home on the fence in early summer 2018

The Lord's Prayer in 20+ different languages
packed with examples of cultural diversity
to muse on and amuse
     





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ANOTHER GREAT LITTLE GET-TOGETHER IN OUR TINY PARK!

SUNDAY 23 JUNE 2019
 IS ANOTHER THANKSGATHERING TO PLACE PLAQUES
WITH A 14 OCTOBER 1943 SPECIAL EYE-WITNESS:
EILEEN GRANT WHOSE FAMILY GAVE REFUGE TO THE CREW
WHEN THEY WERE BROUGHT TO "DAIRY FARM".
SHE HAS A TALE OF HUGE MEN, CRYING, PARACHUTE SILK
AND CHEWING GUM.

Click on image for details




 
 
 
and also for families, schools, clubs, churches and other communities
to join in and enjoy a lasting presence in the Park - and beyond
 
 
At any time
PLACING A PERSONAL PLAQUE ON THE UPLIFTERS FENCE

to give thanks to and for someone or something

Just get a small one made and have it dedicted



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  says creator, co-ordinator and Park Ranger Hugh Gibbons
Contact hughgibbons@just1.org.uk
 






Like many other people already, you'll find lots in the story of the Field & Park to smile at - and surprise.  Though only a few metres wide and deep, the Park is bighearted and unusual in being a public celebration of kindness and humanity. And the value of VGOSH!

What started as chance find while metal-detecting has become somewhere that shares and projects mettle in many forms.

In long-cultivated countryside to the west of London and close to Windsor, Legoland, Ascot, and Bracknell, the Park is a very different sort place for anyone to pop in. It's a good place for a family picnic, and it's easy to arrange something for small group visits.

The Park is at the edge of the big Field - and the Fence has become the home of a big array of plaques in tribute to Uplifters.

Uniquely, there are outposts in some unexpected places including family homes, offices, embassies, museums, and churches - in the UK, across the USA, in Germany and elsewhere. If you want to add a plaque or set up your own outpost, you'll be very welcome - see the section below.

The Field and Park started with my finding a handful of metal relics from USAAF B17F #3351Z seventy years after it tumbled into the tiny RAF Winkfield and ended up ablaze in our Tally Ho field at 6.24pm on Thursday 14th October. 

Z had been taking part in a very historic event in the liberation of Europe - the Mighty Eight's Mission 115, second of over twenty raids on the city of Schweinfurt. It was a brutal and memorable day's battle that saw courage on both sides, military and civilian, in the air and on the ground. It was said that the story of Z was a remarkable saga - and didn't drop its bombs. Our crew had a happy landing, and most eventually went home to long lives in the USA. The burnt-out wreckage of Z was removed, and the field left in peace until my metal detector began to bong at 10.24am on Sunday 20 October 2013!
 
Intrigued, I researched the families and communities involved then and now.  What came to light was many stories of kindness, common humanity and generosity of spirit.  So it seemed appropriate to make something in tribute not just to them but to all the world's hidden heroes after conflict of any sort - who pick up the pieces and help life and hope return. 

The Thomas family at Tally Ho kindly suggested fencing off a little space behind the barn, and I arranged seats and some fun things to get people thinking. The family been remarkably encouraging, and I've tried to make sure that the Field & Park don't impact on what is after all a very busy and successful equine business. The Park itself is low-maintenance - and incidentally has no funding, committee, constitution or mission statement.

It's now probably the smallest park in the Berkshire - but has links in spirit with nearby Lily Hill Park, Jealotts Hill Community Landshare, Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Park, the American German Air Memorial Garden and churches in Schweinfurt, and Ramsey County Historical Association.

More recently, the Park has encouraged the acclamation of Uplifters: people who for whatever reason are seen by individuals, families or groups today as inspiring, encouraging, or good to be around.  It includes those Uplifters after conflict. But you’ll find they include quite a merry and diverse cast!  And anyone is welcome to add their own example on the Uplifters Fence and its plaques.

And to have an international take, autumn 2017 saw the public unveiling of the Paternoster Plaques. This is a gallery with the familiar Lord's Prayer in many different languages. Before settling down in the Park in summer 2018, the Paternosters will be available for local churches and schools to put to use.

Happy landings!  And oh - be kind to your web-footed friends...

Hugh Gibbons


 
     
 
Assistant Ranger Doug Digger suggests that you might now download and browse this...
 
Image result for Download Button UPLIFTING VISITORS' ESSENTIALS IN THE FIELD & PARK
and their many things to explore and enjoy
 


  • Essentials for visitors
  • A brief account of the background history
  • The Giving Thanks Seat with its quiet ethos
  •  The Thinksgiving Seat and its fun questions for children of all ages
  • The two 2016 trees: rowan Williams and Nathaniel the hawthorn
  • The Common Humanity Corners dedicated to Henri Dunant, Louis Zamperini and Everywoman
  • The solar-powered Guiding Angel helping panes to and fro nearby Heathrow
  • The Uplifters Fence with its array of cheery plaques in tribute to people and things that inspire, encourage, exemplify or amuse
  • The breathing space provided by Sidcot School - to grab a handful for home
  • The vista southwards with its resident horses, birds, bees, butterflies, trees and breezes
  • Verbatim accounts of that 1943 day by crew members - and local eyewitnesses!
  • A brief guide to Mission 115Z - but see below for the detailed account
 
   
 
Doug the Digger suggests that you might also download and browse this
 
Image result for Download Button GUIDE TO MISSION 115Z - OPERATION GOING HOME
with B17 relics made into tiny works of art as special gifts
 



About two dozen of the cartridges, bullets, lumps of molten duralumin and parts unearthed in the debris field of B17F #3351Z have been made into simple conversation pieces or brooches by Hugh Gibbons. 

The original idea was to send something home to the crew's families - and return property of the US Government 70 years late!  But other happy home suggested themselves.

Part of the fun has been in giving them titles - and in arranging for special envoys to present the items to their new homes.

It's a sort of dispersed reverse museum for the Field - housed in homes, offices, galleries, and the like instead of just one place.

They've been sent as tiny but telling gifts to many different places, including members of today's families of the crew, national and local museums, memorial parks, the US and German embassies in London, USAF personnel, churches and communities in Schweinfurt, and heads of state.

Most are mounted on oak from a tree way over 200 years old that was salvaged from Lily Hill Park in Bracknell - believed overflown by Z in its final few minutes. 

The Guide has detailed information on all items as in early 2017.
 
     
     
 
Doug suggests that you might enjoy the idea of...
 
Image result for Download Button PLACING YOUR OWN PLAQUE ON THE UPLIFTERS FENCE
as an unusual lasting thank-you or tribute to someone
 
 



Near or far, if you'd like to think of adding to the array - and fun - you'll be very welcome to do so. We'll add any backgound details to the list in the Guide (and in time on this website). The flyer on the left has the specification, but contact hughgibbons@just1.org.uk if you're thinking about things.

You can bring along a plaque to place yourself, or send it for Hugh who'll arrange a suitable ceremony (that'll end with singing Be Kind...)
 
     
     
  For the Contents and industrial-strength website set out on our opening in June 2015