Sit With us for a Moment and Remember

Wed 20 Mar 2024

Michael Pinchbeck

Inspired by our beautiful parkland environment and images held in the University's archives, Sit with us for a Moment and Remember is an immersive narrative, reflecting on different views and how landscape changes over time and through the seasons.

This original audio experience invites you to walk around the lake and sit at four dedicated benches where you can listen to each track for Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and take in the view. There are two tracks to listen to as you walk to and from the benches. Park benches are often associated with acts of remembrance and this narrative invites you to encounter the history of the lake, inhabit the past, reflect on the present and look forward to the future.

Download the introduction transcript here.


A black and white photo of a lake

Spring: Duration: 7 minutes 18 seconds. Location: Sitting on first bench (B). Download the transcript for Spring here.

Spring invites you to picture two images in the archive connected to water. Look across the lake towards the boathouse where the groundsman used to live. Reflect on the days when the Tottle Brook would overflow causing the lake to flood. You see a gardener wading into the water, protecting the landscape. You see fishermen casting their nets. From this bench, you travel back and forth in time and see how the water ebbs and flows.


A black and white set of photos overlayed to show people enjoying a park


Summer: Duration: 7 minutes 21 seconds. Location: Sitting on second bench (C). Download the transcript for Summer here.

Summer invites you to experience the sunshine through two images from the archive taken 40 years apart. The first takes you back to post-war days. Students recline on the hill behind you, looking towards their future. Walking hand-in-hand, they head down to the bench you are sitting on, overlooked by the same trees. The second shows the last season at Highfields Lido. A boy is about to dive into the pool as his mother watches on.


A black and white photo of stone lions at the front of a lake

Autumn: Duration: 7 minutes 16 seconds. Location: Sitting on third bench (D). Download the transcript for Autumn here.

Autumn introduces you to an image from the archive taken in the late 1920s. Parents are leaning on the wall where the lions are now. Children sit on the steps in front of you watching the rowing boats. One boy looks at the camera. Next you are invited to meet someone who works here in the building opposite you. She invites you to think about a golden harvest season and harmony and describes a time when she has been here before.


Two black and white photos overlaid of a group of people holding hands in the snow in Highfields Park

Winter: Duration: 7 minutes 30 seconds. Location: Sitting on fourth bench (E). Download the transcript for Winter here. 

Winter invites you to picture two final images in the archive taken when the lake froze. The first sees students skating. You imagine the person taking the photograph standing near where you are now. The second sees footprints made in the ice. You imagine who might have left them behind. Next, you meet a man who comes here sometimes. He remembers making a journey, working on a market stall and warming his painful hands.


Composer: Chris Cousin

Writer/Director: Michael Pinchbeck

Dramaturg: Ben Slater

With contributions from the performers:

Gabrielle Benna (Instructions)
Grace Cordell (Spring)
Hayley Doherty (Summer)
Lan Lo (Autumn)
Tyrone Huggins (Winter)


Lakeside Arts, University of Nottingham
University of Nottingham Manuscripts and Special Collections
The Lincoln Company
Arts Council England

This artwork has been made possible through a grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Here for culture
HM Government

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