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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.
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As the darkness and cold gathers for December, we want to light up the Park with sparkle and fun to anticipate and celebrate the Christmas Season.
We’ll again be lighting up different areas of the Park which will be done by different groups of Friends to different Christmas themes. Starting with the Advent Tree and Crooklands Orchard to welcome the season, there will then be a big burst of light at 3pm on 12th December to start the Lantern Parade and launch the Christmas Tree Trail.
The Farm Gate display will also be part of the ‘Yarns Well Spun’ Leeds 2023 art project, the Crooklands Orchard display will be part of a traditional wassail.
Coundown To Christmas – Your Park Decorations – 1st – 25th DecemberContinue reading
The dragon has been important in Northern European cultures for millenia; as seen in artefacts, poems and sagas. Its symbolism is complex but includes courage, watchfulness and protection – dragons can be good, or bad.
Iron Age Britons, Anglo Saxons and Vikings all used zoomorphism (or animal symbolism) to describe many things from humans to the mood of the sea. The Vikings had their dragon ships, the Welsh still have a dragon on their flag* and the Anglo Saxon burial at Sutton Hoo ( 625 AD) is famous for its dragon helmet. The British King Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon, whilst the Anglo Saxon poem Beowulf tells of heroic dragon slaying. Modern stories that draw on earlier folklore also have their dragons from The Hobbit, to Harry Potter.
In Guiseley, we too have a dragon: you can find it on part of a 9th century, early medieval cross, now in St Oswalds. This motif has also been carved on the stone at Guiseley Wells when it was restored at the Millennium as a Heritage Lottery project. Now, given what we know about the history of the land which is now Parkinson’s Park, we have a Guiseley dragon protecting our Orchard, based on an Anglo Saxon drawing.
* Our area used to be part of the British Kingdom of Elmet 470 – 617 AD – it was closely allied with the Kingdom of Gwynedd. At the end of the 5th century Elmet had a King called Arthuis ap Masgwid he was likely named after the slightly earlier High King of Britain King Arthur, of legend fame.
This year, 2021, is the 100th Anniversary of the founding of The Royal British Legion, set up to help members of the Armed Forces and their families after World War I – a task they continue to do. The Guiseley Branch was set up in 2022, and so will have their anniversary next year.
To commemorate Armistice Day we have 100 poppies on the poppy blanket on the Park’s Farm Gate which have been done by a variety of Friends. You are welcome to add your own at any time. (We will keep all the poppies and gradually cover the whole gate over the years.) All donations will go to the RBL.Continue reading
The bottom of the Park is wet with several spring emanating from the hillside. In this area is a good bank of willow trees some of the quite characterful, as well as traditional woodland edge shrubs such as rowans, blackthorns and hazel. In an amongst the trees are the foundations of the old Crompton Parkinson Tennis Pavilion, built in the 1940’s . At the north end is the bog garden, at the south end, the entrance to Edison Fields, and in the middle a wide ditch, made when earth was piled onto the old car park.
We’ve long had plans to regenerate this area of the Park by creating a Willow Adventure Walk here for children and young people, with an entertainment space for for story telling where the old pavilion was, and natural play willow and wood features along the walk.Continue reading
Over the last two years less organized improvement work has been done on the Park as we were unable to set up the area working parties we’d planned in 2019. Instead a number of people have taken on different areas and maintained them on an individual basis. From the entrances to the orchard to walls, and litter picking we’d like to thank everyone who has contributed their time and effort.
Now, however, is the time to get more organized again and work on improvements in working parties. Each party will be responsible for improving a set area of the Park.
The first area to be tackled is the Nethercliffe Entrance. There will be a meeting tomorrow, Monday 1st November, 7pm in the Ings with Chris Parapia and Martyn Hornsby Smith for anyone interested in joining in this working party. Work will start on 21st November to spruce up the entrance for Christmas, time to be confirmed.
Later there will be a working party organized for
- Hillside Entrance/Jubilee Walk
- The Greenshaw Entrance, Wood and Wildflower Meadow
- The two copses and Woodland
If you are interested in improving the Nethercliffe Entrance come along on either date above. And if you are interested in joining one of the other working parties, please send you name and contact details to Martyn Hornsby Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
GATHER UP YOUR GARDEN APPLES AND COME ALONG; rain permitting, we’ll be setting up the hired apple press from Urban Harvest in Crooklands Orchard in the Park tomorrow afternoon for apple juicing.
Now is therefore the time to gather up all those decent apples on garden trees, and bring them along to turn them into juice. Please can you wash the fruit before you bring it. Windfall are fine as long as they are not decaying or badly damaged.
The fruit in the Community Orchard has nearly all gone, but we’ll be sending out foragers to gather the fruit on other Park trees.
All apples go together to make an apple juice blend. 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 or frozen. Donations to our Local Giving page are also appreciated.
If it is dreadful weather the event will be cancelled so please check here first if wet. Otherwise, if it has been raining please make sure you have study footwear, you know what the Park can be like.
Children must be accompanied by adults. Clean hands are vital.
APPLE DAY 24TH OCTOBER 2-4PM
On Apple Day, we’re inviting people to bring along apples from their garden trees for the production of a blended juice.
We’ll set up the equipment from Urban Harvest in Crooklands Orchard in the Park, then all apples are mingled together, washed, cut up, scratted ready for juicing and pressed to make juice. This is shared out (bring a clean jug or plastic carton) and can be stored in a fridge for a week, or frozen for later use.
Between now and then is a good time for picking ripe apples for the juicing. Just store them in a cool, dark place in a single layer, not touching each other. Don’t include any that are rotten or diseased.
How canyou tell when apples are ready?
You know when an apple is ready to pick when you cup it in your hand and give it a slight twist, and it comes off in your hand. If you need to give the fruit a yank, or it leaves its stalk behind, or even a bunch of leaves, it is definitely not ready! You can also look at the pips to check if the apple is ready – they should be brown if the fruit is ripe, and will be green if unripe.
REMEMBRANCE WEEK 2021
Following on from 2020, we are going to continue with creating a blanket of poppies to cover the farmgate for a commemorative display during Remembrance Week 2021, 8 – 14th November.
2021 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal British Legion and there will also be a collection near the display for the RBL.
Last year a number of people contributed poppies to the display – and we’d like to invite more to do so this year; you’ll find a pattern here. The display will go up on 8th November – just add your poppy when you pass by.