Welcome to Parkinson’s Park

Parkinsons ParkParkinson’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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We are very pleased to announce that Bradford Writer Irene Lofthouse, will be our Storyteller at the dedication of the Jubilee Tree at The Big Jubilee Picnic on 3rd June 2022. Irene is creating an original story to tell about the Jubilee Tree and the Park when the tree is ‘unveiled’ by long time Guiseley resident Alec Denton, who has known the Park all his life.

Irene in Undercliffe Cemetery With Her Book

Irene specialises in creating and performing stories about Yorkshire; she has taken part in Saltaire Tales, plays Anne Lister at Piece Hall, and has been writer in Residence with First Story at UAK Academy, Keighley. Her books available on Amazon include Stories from Stone: An anthology inspired by Undercliffe Cemetery’ and Strange Tales In The Dales of which one review said:

Ideal for the young and not-so-young alike, in fact all who are gripped by a good yarn. Spooky tales of daring and n’er do well, all with a dash of Yorkshire flavour. Easy to believe that many of them probably actually happened sometime or other….

Amazon Reviewer

Irene has a real interest in trees and tree folklore, and has recently taken part in the 26 Trees project for the Woodland Trust , a collaboration between writers and the Trust to bring individual trees and their relationship with us to greater prominence through art and culture.

26 Trees ……. is a love letter to 52 remarkable trees; each a unique source of inspiration, given voice by 52 writers who have spent time amongst their branches and bark, roots and leaves.

Woodland Trust

With Irene’s experience and background we are delighted to welcome her to the Park for The Big Jubilee Picnic and look forward to hearing her tell the story she is creating for us and our tree. We hope you’ll enjoy it too and that this will be a fitting legacy to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her long service to our country and her Green Canopy.

Finally, we would like to thank Leeds Outer North West Community Committee for helping to fund our Jubilee Story, the rest of the funding for the picnic is coming from residents’ donations to FOPP and the money we raise during the year for events – preparations are the work of a large number of Friends of the Park.

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Time to create some happiness. Jubilee is approaching and it was good to see the Queen looking happy this week at the start of the Platinum Jubilee events.

The Queen At the Jubilee Windsor Horse Show May 2022 – picture source BBC!!

As is now the custom, the Park’s Celebration Tree will be decorated, this time in red, white and blue decorations for anyone and everyone to add to as they pass.

We’ll start the tree in the run up to the Jubilee weekend on 28th May, but now’s the time to get knitting, sewing, or the children drawing crowns, corgis, flags, or whatever is appropriate.

The Celebration Tree Decorated For Easter

People comment about how they love to see the decorations during the year, so let’s build the smiles, lift the mood, and pay tribute to the Queen and all her years of dedication and hard work .

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Announcing our Queen’s Jubilee Picnic Event for the June Jubilee Weekend. One of nationwide Big Jubilee Lunch community sharing events promoted by the Eden Project.

Come along dressed in one of the 7 decades of the Queen’s Reign. Bring your own picnic and something to sit on; and also bring some Royal makes and bake cakes for a sharing table for everyone to help themselves.

We’ll have crown making and a storyteller with a unique story of the Jubilee Tree which will be dedicated for the Queen’s Green Canopy legacy.

This will be followed by the ever popular wet sponge stocks, a welly wanging competition, and a corgi trail around Park’s Jubilee displays.

All to the music of Guiseley Brass Band.

We’ll be taking photographs of the event for a Jubilee Special Souvenir ( you can let us know if you don’t want to be in a photo).

Fingers crossed for sunshine, but, as usual, we’ll be taking a rain check on the day.

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Update to 2022 Event Calendar

Friends of Parkinson’s Park have updated their Event Calendar.

Easter – we’ll be decorating the celebration tree with an Easter theme. Please add your own decorations at anytime over the holiday period from Maundy Thursday 14th April.

Queen’s Jubilee – we are part of a team planning an innovative community event for the afternoon of Friday 3rd June. More to come on this as plans progress.

Children’s Gala – this is on Sunday 4th September and will have a circus theme – so get thinking about those costumes. There will also be a tug of war with different teams – more to come on this.

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Residents Wishing Everyone More Love and Joy

Lots of activity over the last weeks to improve the look of the Park and bring more joy to those who use it. The Park is not Council owned, it belongs to Bellway Homes. Meadfleet do basic maintenance in conjunction with Friends of Parkinson’s Park, whilst FOPP and local residents come together to try and make the Park special with the aim of looking after our heritage, and bringing joy to all.

In November the Nethercliffe working party of local residents worked on improving their entrance; which hopefully will soon have spring bulbs and early spring flowers from Celandines to Willow catkins and Backthorn blossom.

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Clear Up For The Queen’s Jubilee Walk

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Friends of Parkinson’s Park, Events 2022

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Happy New Year For 2022 & FOPP’s 10th Anniversary

Ten years ago the Friends of Parkinson’s Park was formed. November 2011 saw the start of the Park’s regeneration; a collaboration between Bellway Homes and an embryonic Friends Of Parkinson’s Park (FOPP); whilst February 2012 saw our first public meeting . 2012 was the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic Games; a time of celebration and joy that gave us a lot of impetus to create a community asset for the people of Aireborough – not to mention the opportunity for Jubilee related grants for improvement.

Work on Park Re-Generation Starts November 2011
Friends at the planting of the Queen’s Jubilee Walk in 2012

Ten years later, we are still here; now registered as a Community Interest Company who work to raise money for Park improvements and organize community events. The Park itself has been officially recognized as part of the Leeds Green Infrastructure in the Local Plan, and is listed as both a Community Park for wellbeing, and a Natural Space where ecology is important. This meant than when the pandemic struck in 2020 the Park was there as a crucial sanctuary for many residents.

Poster by Paul’s Paint Pots

Our 10th anniversary year of 2022, will see the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham plus the Winter Olympics in Beijing and the Football World Cup. We will be having events and ‘crafts’ that celebrate these occasions as well as the Festival of British creativity and innovation announced by Prime Minister Teresa May in 2018 and now called Unboxed.

On top of this will be our usual Aireborough events including the Children’s Gala and Lantern Parade – in addition we will be collaborating with and supporting the Leeds 2023, Yarns Well Spun creative project run by Abi James, and Good Grief Guiseley.

Children’s Gala

Improvement work on features and facilities will continue with the help of grants from various organizations and a growing band of Friends (watch out for announcements and calls for help) whilst we are delighted that the Co-op has chosen our Willow Walk project as one of their local causes for 2022. Incredible Edible Aireborough will be looking after the herb planter; we hope to plant more trees in Crooklands Orchard; and Greenshaw Wood and the wildflower areas will continue to grow.

Crookland Orchard with trees donated by Leeds City Council, new sign courtesy of Heritage Lottery and bench sponsored by Cllrs Graham and Pat Latty

Over the last decade we have had help and support from innumerable people; resident, councillors and organizations. We have had sponsorship from a number of businesses and collaborated with many local and regional organizations from Guiseley Brass Band to the Orchard Project and Open Country. Through all this time, the core FOPP team has stayed more or less the same.

Will we be here in another 10 years time? We hope that FOPP will last that long – but the most important legacy is the Park itself which was founded by the Parkinson brothers in the mid 20th century and given to the people of Guiseley. This is what we so nearly lost at the start of the millennium and which has been core reason for being.

We hope you continue to enjoy the Park in 2022.

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It’s Christmas !!

Santa’s arrived on the Advent Tree – we’re there.

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Scenes From FOPPs 8th Lantern Parade 2021

Gathering in the Park newly decorated by local residents, with mince pies and entertainment from Mitch Oldham.

Setting off to a good, strong, drum beat from a ‘flash’ Samba band of volunteers.

The special ‘Guiseley’ Lanterns made for us in 2016 by Lucy Phillips are still going strong, with their range of 2021 lantern bearers.

The Parade is on it way to the Town Cross with lots of waves from pavements and houses, and careful marshalling.

Community Christmas Carols with Guiseley Brass Band and our three local Ministers from St Oswalds, Guiseley Baptists, and Guiseley Methodists

The end of another day in the history of the Park.

A thank you to all who organize and take part in this lovely annual event, the community involvement from so many different people make it a real ‘feel good’ occasion.

Pictures by Liakat Ali Parapia, and Darren Sanderson.

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