We are interested in collecting memories from individuals who have Paralympic stories to share, from the humble beginnings at Stoke Mandeville through to the present day. It may be that you were involved yourself as an athlete, volunteer, Games maker, or spectator, or perhaps you have a family member with a connection. Whatever your involvement, help us bring our collections to life and preserve Paralympic heritage for future generations by sharing your experiences. Our friendly volunteers are waiting to record your story!

If you have memories you would like to share of the Stoke Mandeville or Paralympic Games then please contact [email protected]

Oral history interviews

  • Margaret Anne Aldous - medical photographer at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the 1950s
  • Kevan BakerParalympic athlete and advocate for those with disabilities, competed at 4 Paralympic Games from 1984-1996.
  • Mike Brace CBE, DL - former Paralympic skier and leader of disabled charities
  • Dave Gollopspectator and volunteer at the Stoke Mandeville Games and national para sporting events.
  • Jane Johnson-Booth - volunteer at the Stoke Mandeville Games in the 1980s
  • Baroness Masham - Paralympian, campaigner and Westminster’s longest-serving life peer
  • Mike Parkin  - competitor at the early Stoke Mandeville Games and founder of RYA Sailability
  • Dick Thompson & Alan West - Paralympic athlete and manager.
  • Joe Thompson - competitor at the early Stoke Mandeville Games.
  • Monica Vaughan - Paralympic swimmer, competed at the Toronto 1976 and Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games.
  • Terry Willett - wheelchair basketball player and fencer competed at 4 Paralympic Games from 1968-1980.
  • Tahra ZafarHead of Costume for the London 2012 Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies

Margaret Anne Aldous

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall with Helen Phillips, daughter of Margaret Anne Aldous, 6th October 2020.

Margaret Anne Aldous (née Bennett) was a medical photographer at Stoke Mandeville hospital in the 1950s, capturing images at the National Spinal Injuries Centre and of the early Stoke Mandeville Games. Learn more and download the transcript here

Kevan Baker

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 23rd September 2020

Kevan competed at the Stoke Mandeville 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games in the Men’s Discus Throw. Here he talks about advocating for those with disabilities, as Chairman of WheelPower - British Wheelchair Sport (1995-2018) and founding member and CEO of the Patient User Group for Spinal Cord Injury (SPINE) at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. Learn more here

Mike Brace

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 10th August 2020

Mike Brace CBE, DL, is a former Paralympic skier and leader of disabled charities. In this interview, he discusses his early life, sporting career, and his involvement in disabled sports associations, from his own London sports club, Metro, to the British Paralympic Association and London 2012. Learn more and download the transcript here

Dave Gollop

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 1st September 2021 

Dave Gollop, spectator and volunteer at the early Stoke Mandeville Games and national para sporting events. Listen to the interview below or download the transcript. 

Jane Johnson-Booth

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 10th September 2021

Jane talks about growing up next to Stoke Mandeville hospital, her time as a volunteer at the Stoke Mandeville Games in the 1980s and her experience as a spectator at the London 2012 Paralympics. Listen to the interview below or download the transcript

Baroness Masham

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 18th September 2020

Baroness Masham, Paralympian, campaigner and Westminster’s longest-serving life peer talks about her spinal cord injury; competing at the Paralympic Games in the 1960s; founding the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) in 1974; and disability, health and penal reform. Learn more and download the transcript here

Mike Parkin

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 16th September 2020

Mike Parkin competed in events such as, table tennis, swimming, athletics and wheelchair fencing at the Stoke Mandeville Games. He was also active in the sailing community and was a founding member and trustee at RYA Sailability. He discusses his experiences at Stoke Mandeville, meeting Dr Guttmann and other memories. Learn more and download the transcript here

Dick Thompson and Alan West

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall with Diane West, 6th November 2020

Diane talks about her godfather, Dick Thompson and dad, Alan West both of whom were involved in the Paralympics. Dick Thompson represented Great Britain at 4 Paralympics from the Rome 1960 Games to the Heidelberg 1972 Games, winning a total of 7 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals. Listen to the interview below.

Joe Thompson

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall with Clare and Sandra Chamberlain, granddaughter and daughter of Joe Thompson, 12th September 2021

Clare and Sandra talk about Grandad Joe, his spinal injury, being the first resident of the Duchess of Gloucester House, and competing in the early Stoke Mandeville Games. Learn more and download the transcript here

Monica Vaughan

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 11th August 2020

Monica Vaughan, Paralympic swimmer, competed at the Toronto 1976 and Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games winning 9 gold and 1 silver medals. In this interview Monica talks about her early love of sport, her athletic and nursing careers, her work for the BSAD, and changes to the Games in her lifetime. Learn more and download the transcript here

Terry Willett

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 11th May 2020

Terry talks about his memories of Lodge Moor and Stoke Mandeville and the earlier Paralympic Games. Terry competed in wheelchair basketball and fencing at the Tel Aviv 1968, Heidelberg 1972, Toronto 1976 and Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games. Learn more here

Tahra Zafar

Interview by Dr Rosemary Hall, 30th November 2020

Tahra Zafar talks about her role as Head of Costume for the London 2012 Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies. Listen to the interview below or download the transcript. Image ©Thomas Skovsende.