Parkinson’s Park sits on the hillside behind the old Crompton Parkinson site on Netherfield Road: access is via entrances on Kelcliffe Lane, Greenshaw Terrace, Parkinson Way, Nethercliffe Crescent and Hillside Avenue. This historic area was given to the people of Guiseley to use as a park by Frank & Albert Parkinson in the 1930’s: it has been used for walks, play, and events ever since . Now owned by Bellway Homes, basic maintenance is done by Meadfleet The Friends of Parkinson’s Park CIC (FOPP) was set up to once again make the Park an attractive green space for community use and events, whilst helping to manage its varied natural habitats.On these pages you can read the history, examine the ecology and sign up to follow and comment on progress – as well as tell us your own stories of the park.
Back in August 2020 we received an email from the Leeds Parks Forum; ITV Calendar were looking to “tell the story of quirky, interesting, pictorially stunning areas which are spaces valued by the locals and those who visit“. We knew we met that criteria and sent in some information to producer Mark Witty.
We soon got the response that Mark wanted to make a film of the Park as one of four in Yorkshire for his Park Life feature on Calendar. He was particularly interested in the story of the Park being founded by F & A Parkinson, later part of Crompton Parkinson in Guiseley.
So, on a slightly damp late August day the filming took place – presenter was weather man Jon Mitchell, who certainly could keep us all informed of exactly when it was going to rain – almost to the second !!
We’d managed to get two people to be interviewed who really knew the Park, Barbara Winfield, whose father Norman Winfield had worked at Parkinsons all his life; and David Myers, an ex employee who has also made a number of films about Cromptons. To bring things up to date Mark also did short interviews with the Friends and also users, who agreed that the Park had been a ‘sanctuary’ during the events of 2020 – as well as at other times.
The Park is there became of the care Frank and Albert Parkinson took of their employees, and also the local area. It continues to be there because they inspired later generations to save it. A hope that had been made at Frank’s funeral in 1946’s in Guiseley Methodist church.
‘ We hope his life will be an inspiration to future Guiseley Boys and Girls’
Sorry to send another email on the subject of the virus, but this is an update on FOPP’s response.
We have decided to leave all the gates open, so that people can walk in without touching latches – Martyn Hornsby Smith has done an excellent job for us.
The Park is an important place for local people to exercise and get out into the fresh air – spring is in the air and everything is budding. A group of wood anemones is now out in a sheltered part of the wood, the apple tree buds are swelling, and the blackthorn is flowering. Please do keep to the rules on social distancing and make sure children know to do the same.
Please take care if you sit or touch the seats – at the moment they are being well used by ‘groups’ of young people which is of concern. If you want to sit please take precautions – the metal ones could be given a wipe if you have one to hand. And/or make sure you sanitise your own hands after using the seats.
The message on social distancing is still not getting through to a number of people – so we have decided that we all need to reinforce this important requirement. With that in mind the Great British Spring Clean and the VE Day Picnic will now not take place in any form.
Local children are doing rainbow pictures and putting them in their windows. We’d also like to put up a display in the Park notice board. Since the story of Noah, the rainbow has been important iconography for hope and grace. If you or a child would like to contribute to the display please email your picture to email@example.com. We’ll print it out and put it up.
Lastly, if you have Facebook, then we are encouraging people to use it to share photographs of what they see in the Park on their solo walks. This is for everyone but especially those who are having to stay at home through social isolation.
On 8th May we are planning to hold a Picnic in the Park event to celebrate VE Day. However, the spread of COVID 19 and advice to slow down the rate of infection by reducing social gatherings has caused us to rethink this event. It is up to all of us to play a part in stopping the spread.
Therefore, at the moment we are still pencilling the event in for 12noon – 2pm on 8th May. But, we will make the final call on the situation a week before on 1st May.
As we are uncertain as to whether the event will go ahead of not, we will do a more simple affair than we were planning. We’ll decorate the top part of the park with bunting, and create an atmosphere, and if it does go ahead maybe people could dress up in relevant ‘costume’ in something they have already, and bring their own picnic.
GREAT BRITISH SPRING CLEAN
We will also take a view nearer the time on whether this event will go ahead on 29th March. If it does, again, it will be a simple affair that keeps contact to a minimum.
All year round Litter Free Guiseley do a fabulous job keeping our area clean and tidy. The Great British Spring Clean is the day everyone can get out and tidy a bit of their local community, and maybe join Litter Free Guiseley for their regular Sunday morning litter picks. The Park will be organizing a clean up with a special theme on the pleasures and responsibility of dog walking.
VE Day 75th Anniversary Picnic in the Park – 8th May (Bank Holiday)
“My Dear Friends This Is Your Hour” Winston Churchill. The 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day will provide our nation, and our friends around the world, with an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who saw us through this dark period. To commemorate this important time there will be a three-day international celebration that will take place from 8th May to 10th May 2020. Parkinson’s Park will be holding a community Picnic in the Park with a period theme.
Tales Told Events – last week of June first week in July
This year the Tales Told theme is Aireborough sporting heros. There will be several events in the Park, including the fireworks finale on 4th July.
Children’s Gala – Space Travel Theme – 6th September
Following the anniversary of the Moon landings 2019, the launch of the Mars 2020 mission this summer, and the expected launch of new crewed spacecraft by NASA, our Gala will feature a space theme and fancy dress competition.
Apple Day – 25th October
Since the 1950’s 60% of traditional English orchards have disappeared. However, this decline is being reversed by the growth and interest in both community and commercial orchards. Apple Day pulls on ancient traditions to celebrate autumn, orchards and British food. Event will include apple pressing for your own apples.
Lantern Parade – 13th December
An event that has now become a Guiseley tradition, many people say their Christmas starts here. At midsummer Tales Told take the lanterns to the Park, at midwinter we take them back to the heart of the Town.
HELPING TO ORGANIZE THE EVENTS
Each of our events has its own organizing committee. If you would like to join one of the groups organizing the event email us on firstname.lastname@example.org So, if you are full of ideas for community events such as these, now is the chance to put them into practiced.
The Friends of Parkinson’s Park wish you are Happy New Year and hope everyone had a very good Christmas Break. The new year brings lots of opportunities for developing the Park further – the Orchard, wild flower area. a new Greenshaw Wood and the bog garden. Also for holding events for national celebrations such as the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day on 8th May – when street parties will be held. We also have our annual Children’s Gala, Apple Day and Lantern Parade to organise.
To plan activity and events for 2020, we will be holding a Friends meeting at 7.30pm on 22nd January 2020, at The Ings Public House – everyone who has an idea for the Park and who wants to help with the Park’s development and events this year is welcome.
Don’t Forget Friends of Parkinson’s Park Lantern Parade, Sunday 15th December, 3.45pm in the Park for a 4pm start. We parade down to the Cross for mince pies, and carols with Guiseley Brass Band. (Don’t forget to pick up a carol sheet as you leave the Park.)
Bring your own lanterns, as exotic as you like, wear Christmas jumpers and hats, bang an old dustbin lid. or blow whistles for ‘music’ and have fun singing your heart out.
If it is wet, we’ll announce alternative arrangements here around Sunday lunchtime.
For safety, relevant footwear for the muddy Park, all children must have an adult with them, keep to the footpaths as much as possible; there will be marshals around in hi-viz if you need them for any issue.
If you are on the route of parade, it would be great if you could put out a few decorations. The Birches especially have a party and decorate the street for us.
See you Sunday. email email@example.com with any questions.
This year’s parade is sponsored by Belvoir! Sales & Letting, and our local Councillors.
The apple juicing event will take place this Sunday in the Parkinson’s Park Community Orchard. If it is dreadful weather the event will be cancelled so please check here first if wet.
We are pleased to offer this fun event for local residents to come and press locally grown apples for their own use. We have hired the community juicing equipment from Leeds Urban Harvest and the event is supported by The Orchard Project .
The fruit in the Community Orchard and on the Park trees has nearly all gone, but what is still there can be picked, washed, and juiced.
You are welcome to bring fruit from your own apple trees, it will be mixed together with others to form a blend. Please can you wash the fruit before you bring it.
If you want to take juice away, bring your own clean bottles or jugs, the juice can be stored in a fridge for 3-4 days.
The recent rain in the Park makes the layer of clay on the surface of the soil muddy, so make sure to wear suitable clothes and shoes – especially if you want to pick apples.