World’s biggest aspidistra in Ashdown Forest?

70years of Kings Standing radio transmitter, Ashdown Forest.
70years of Kings Standing radio transmitter, Ashdown Forest.

The mystery surrounding ‘Aspidistra’, a radio transmitter that was a key weapon against Nazi Germany in World War II, is being uncovered thanks to a Lottery grant.

Local charity Sound Architect has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories grant to pay for research into the role played by the transmitter at Kings Standing in the heart of the Ashdown Forest.

The project will involve local residents, historical societies and children in research and interviews and will provide an invaluable record of the events, and the effects, that Aspidistra had on the lives of local people and the war effort.

Chief executive of Sound Architect, Rachel Lewis said: “This will be a fascinating project as there is a lot of intrigue surrounding Aspidistra. It’s an opportunity for communities, young and old, across the Forest to get together and share stories of their families who were involved during the war; experiences which if not recorded soon, will be lost forever.

“Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn new skills such as research and interviewing techniques, and children will learn to respect their heritage by gaining a deeper understanding of WW2 and the impact of this landmark on local people.”

Those involved in the project will have the opportunity to delve into the large collection of WW2 material held at the Mass Observation Unit at Sussex University, take part in a community workshop where local people can share their knowledge and photographs and, subject to access, visit the King’s Standing site.

It is hoped that those who had an association with Aspidistra either directly or through relatives and friends will come forward to share their memories. These will be dramatised by school children in a short film which will be screened alongside an exhibition of all the material and evidence collected.

To take part or find out more ring: 07592 021590.