It is said that in years gone by, Guiseley folk would stop and sit in the triangular area defined by the dry stone walls situated just in front of the entrance half way along the top bridleway adjacent to Parkinson’s Park. The tale goes that these were often elderly gentlemen who having climbed the bank would contemplate the view and no doubt put the world to rights with a wisdom exclusive to their generation. As such, you might sometimes hear people speak of this area as “Old Man’s Corner”. These were the days when the Park was proudly maintained by the Parkinson brothers to provide a place of rest and recreation for the employees of their factory and for the people of Guiseley. The walls were maintained as were the benches and other facilities available to Park users. Changes in ownership and emphasis has seen this quiet little spot neglected and if you had passed by not so long ago you would have not even noticed the unmanaged thickets of brambles and shrubs and the broken down dry stone wall.
Remaining true to its history and heritage, the Friends of Parkinson’s Park have worked to restore this little area, once again make it an inviting space to sit and reflect. Thanks to the Otley and Yorkshire Dales branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association the dry stone walls have been built back up and what a splendid job they have made of it. Thanks to the Friends of Parkinson’s Park the brambles and shrubs have been tamed and a selection of native woodland plants arranged to create a more welcoming and calming experience. And to top it off and courtesy of the money provided by Councillors Graham Latty, Patricia Latty and Paul Wadsworth, a beautiful bespoke wooden bench has been sourced and fitted to once again provide a place for people to sit and enjoy the view. Collectively these actions have brought back to life a lovely spot in the Park for the people of Guiseley.
The Bench is unique and was made specifically for the Park. Its seat and back is made from Elm and the legs made from Sycamore. The wood has been oiled for preservation and to bring out the attractive grain. It has been concreted into the ground. The item is substantial and very well fitted and is a credit to the craftsman involved. For those who might be interested in something similar for themselves contact Paul Whittaker, PWS Hardwood Logs and Splitting on 01943 875397 or 07974 952108. Paul also supplies firewood logs.
As I passed by yesterday evening there was a particularly pleasant late summer sunset to enjoy. I wondered what those elderly Gentlemen of years gone by might have thought had they been able to see what was in place today. I rather hoped they would approve.