The 1984 Paralympic Games was a significant turning point in the history of the Games.  With just 4 months to go, the host city for the Wheelchair Games pulled out leaving the competition in danger of being cancelled. The Aylesbury community however stepped in to support the invitation to hold the wheelchair Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and the many stories of residents’ generously offering their spare rooms and camping spaces for athletes and officials at very short notice are stories that this community will investigate further and ensure are never forgotten.

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Bartlett’s Residential Home, Stone

When resident Hilda Duncan was approaching her 105th birthday recently and preparing to complete her latest birthday challenge which involved walking 105 laps of the beautiful gardens at her home at Bartlett’s Residential Home in Stone, she had a secret wish.  She wanted to meet a Paralympian swimmer, hear their story and see their gold medal. With the help of the National Paralympic Heritage Trust and funding from the HS2 Community and Environment Fund, Hilda was granted her wish when she and some of her friends at Bartlett’s Residential Home were introduced to nine times Paralympic Champion, Robin Surgeoner.  On the morning of Hilda’s birthday, Robin visited her and her fellow residents and told them about his journey to become a Paralympic swimmer and shared his medals and memorabilia with them all.

  

Alongside her love of swimming, Hilda is a keen poet and it turned out that this is something else she has in common with Robin, who since retiring as a competitive swimmer has developed as an accomplished poet, songwriter and storyteller. So, Robin will be returning to Bartlett’s with his guitar before Christmas to explore the creative energy of Hilda and some of her fellow residents and perhaps uncover some of the forgotten stories relating to the 73 year long history of the Paralympic Games.