New Butterfly and Orchard Benches

Butterfly Bench

The Butterfly Bench nestles in a sheltered spot just below Clapper Brow Wood above the Edison Fields Entrance; the old wooden bench had got rather worn and was collapsing, so we reluctantly took it down. Then, we had a very kind offer of a replacement from the the brethren of Harewood Masonic Lodge, Westbourne House, Otley, which we accepted: a shiny new bench is now in place, one of the four new benches in the Park.

The Butterfly Bench got its name when it was observed that the area on a warm day always had the most butterflies. If you want to do the summer butterfly count this is the place to come and sit a while.

There has always been a bench in this area; put here by the Parkinsons. If you look slightly right as you sit on the bench, you will note two paving stones in the ground – that is the site of the old bench. Workers from Parkinsons tell that the bench was a favourite for couples from the factory: they thought they could not be seen on the sheltered bench near the trees; but apparently, they could !!

Here is a picture we were given of the Bench back in the 1960s with Esme Dibb, Ethel Pickles and Joyce Greenwood.

1960’s – Esme Dibb, Ethel Pickles and Joyce Greenwood enjoying a walk in the Park

We’d like to thank the brethren for their offer and for funding the bench. We know the money the Freemasons donate is for charitable purposes, particularly in relation to children, the lonely, and those in need. Funds are privately provided by their members for that purpose. The bench has a date of 2020 as that will go down in history as an historic year, where it was important that communities came together and helped each other.

Orchard Bench

Orchard Bench 2020 – to improve the quality of the Park’s facilities

The Community Orchard on Crooked Lands was planted with the first trees in 2015 and has grown considerably since then. We have produced a guide to the local variety trees. It has good views towards Rombalds Moor, and would be a lovely place to sit, especially when the blossom is out in Spring, and the fruit is blooming in autumn. We noticed last year that small groups were taking chairs there to ‘gather’ in the open air. It is also the area where we hold our Apple Day in October.

Taking inspiration from the Orchard cafe in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire, where people sit amongst the apple trees for tea and cake, and which gave rise to the Rupert Brooke poem with the lines

Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

we decided to put a bench here that was provided by Councillors Graham and Pat Latty. Both Councillors have been very supportive of the Park and its development, and in providing funds for facilities that improve the quality of this space. Leeds City Council has a policy for improving the quality of Green Space and Parks and the ones in Aireborough have need of being brought up to the relevant standard.

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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