Anyone going to the Park for a brisk winter walk, will notice a new addition to the landscape – Barbara’s Bench; or to be precise, the bench Barbara and brother, Alan Winfield, have donated to the Park in honour of their parents Norman and Marjorie Winfield (nee Rhodes).
Sited on a favourite old spot, where workers ate their sandwiches in summer, and courting couples lingered in spring, Barbara’s Bench was expertly installed by Jamie Scott, of S Thorpe, Groundwork Ltd, who were contracted by Bellway Homes. And, for those of a dubious disposition, yes it is level, and we have a photo of the proof. The concrete slabs are the original ones from the days of the old bench installed by John Moore and his team.
The bench did have one mishap on the road to its new home; whilst trundling across the Park on the back of the truck, it somersaulted off and pitched into the mud. However, it emerged without a scratch or dent – hopefully a good omen.
The Winfield family moved to Guiseley in the 1950’s and lived on Kelcliffe Cescent (now Hillside Avenue): in 1969, they moved to The Sycamores, where Barbara still lives. Barbara has many happy family memories of the Park, she says “we would regularly play in the park, sliding down the slope on pieces of cardboard until we were told to stop because we were damaging the grass! I remember attending a number of Children’s Days and the things that stand out in my mind are the Punch and Judy, tea in the canteen, riding on the little train and being taken to watch a man doing some glass blowing.”
Norman Winfield, was an electrical engineer who joined the expanding Crompton Parkinson Ltd in the late 1920’s. A Wharfedale Observer press clipping we have found, from the 1938, 30th Anniversary works party at Golden Acre Pleasure Park, has Norman listed as receiving his 10-15 year long service medal, on a warm summer evening. He was also one of the Crompton Parkinson staff who attended Frank’s funeral in February 1946. Barbara says her Father always spoke very highly of the way Albert Parkinson treated his workforce. Norman worked at Cromptons all his life, moving from a production manager in the Lamp Works, to eventually being the training officer.
Many people remember Norman for his kindness and gentlemanly ways. I first met him, when I was a young mother, new to Yorkshire, let alone Guiseley; Norman would spend hours telling me about local history, and stories, and showing me the pictures of old Aireborough he had. He was indeed, a lovely man, and a bench looking over the area he and his wife loved so much, is very fitting. Barbara is really thrilled that her seat is now in place, and hopes visitors to the Park will enjoy sitting on it and admiring the view for many, many years to come.