The Backbone of a Nation

The men are struggling hard ……..

…………..and in the eighth month, the people returned, to laugh, and play (and freeze in the middle of June), in celebration of a lady who is the epitome of our Nation’s backbone.   The elders returned to sit and reminisce, the young enthusiastically wrote another page of their own stories: Guiseley lineage lines, and southern ‘off cumdens’ mixed their ‘r’, and revelled in ‘community cohesion’ during a tug of war – and the rain held off; just.

……against their opposition !!!

Much thanks goes to everyone of the nearly 200 Friends, neighbours, councillors, MP and Queen’s representative,  who all played their part in bringing smiles to people’s faces and a sugar fest to the picnic rugs.  From the young man who brought his  bunting to decorate the goal posts, to the traditional welly wangers, the labours who removed all the wood chippings, and the elegant ‘best dressed’ Gentleman in his Union Jack trousers, it was a day to remember and savour.

The Picnic was opened by Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Gordon Tollefson, Stuart Andrew MP, Cllr Graham Latty, Cllr Pat Latty, and Christine Parapia

There was a real feeling of a comeback too:  “Guiseley is fighting back, said one long standing resident,   “power to your elbow” said another,  “it’s lovely to see the children back again, just mucking around:  we’ve got a precious space here, long may we be able to use it” rejoiced a lady.  Film maker David Myers,  slipping silently around the Park in his camouflage green, has decided to make the Jubilee Picnic the pinnacle of his work on the Park’s regeneration.   Eight months ago we watched his moving video of the demise of Crompton Parkinson and all the community facilities it took with it.  But, fortunately,  that wasn’t the end;  with tide turning timing and persistence, out of the fire came a phoenix.   Cllr Latty may be right, that it was local women who were first moved to act to restore the Park,  but we  could not do it without all the men who have joined us in getting things done the gardeners, the wallers and  skilled tradesmen of various kinds – and all the people who battled to keep the Park free of litter and anti-social behaviour in the dark ages.

Picnics are now possible in the Park again – even in cold weather !!

Our vision for the Park is no different to that of Frank and Albert Parkinson;  a landscaped area, that respects it’s Chevin roots, is a recreation facility for Guiseley, a haven for good ecology practices and  a place where the children ‘racing with egg and spoon’ today, will want to bring their offspring in the future. The Queen has this week, also given us good reason to instigate an annual tug or war, and a daily walk with the spirit of the land to refresh and renew.   Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed themselves.

Bits and Bobs

  • Netherfield/Edison Fields won the tug of war in 2012 – a cup next time maybe.

    Be careful whom you partner in the three-legged race!

  • If you have any photographs of  yesterday to send to the Yorkshire Film Archives as a record of the day, please could you email them to us as soon as you can at
  • We have a number of family recipes,  but if you didn’t hand yours in to us, then please send by email
  • We found a set of two keys in the Park, please use the above email to contact us if you lost some
  • A gentleman called Andy won the welly wanging at 24 metres, and a lady called Claire won the women’s section at 16 metres.  We have your prizes if you’d like to get in contact.
  • If you have any suggestions for improvements or ideas for next time, do email us.  We

    Caroline Herries, supervising the home baking

    are just learning how to run such events and all learning is good 🙂

We would like to thank our sponsor’s again for all their support.  Bargain Booze, Bellway Homes, Nuffield Fitness & Leisure, SJK Taxis, Subway, and  Tony Woods.  And, to all those who gave the Friends a donation yesterday.

More Pictures of the picnic in the gallery

About Jennifer Inskip Kirkby

Director and Vice Chair of Friends of Parkinson's Park CIC, Chair of Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum and Facilitator of Inskip One-Name Study. Has a degree in Local History (University of Cambridge), and Economics (University of Leeds). Now retired after a career as a Business Analyst and Advisor.
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2 Responses to The Backbone of a Nation

  1. Charlotte Evans says:

    As a former resident of Guiseley it was lovely to see the pictures of everyone enjoying the Jubilee Party. I have family still living there so when they went along they took my 14 year old daughter who had a fantastic time.
    We live in a small village in North Wales and although people held small Jubilee parties there wasn’t a community one,so it was a great thing for her to be part of. Well done to everyone involved!
    Are there any more pictures? If so how do I find them?

  2. What a lovely site to see all those people coming together, joining together and having fun. We walk our dog every day and have seen the changes that you have made. It was great to see all your hard work has paid off. Just hope it can be an annual event from now on. You most definately have my support in anything you do. Well done it was a lovely day and thank you. The Myers family

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