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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Apple Day 2021

We are renaming the Community Orchard, Crooklands Orchard, as that was the old name for the field the orchard is in.

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HOOLA HOOPING IN THE SUN

Well, the weather was certainly kind to the Parkinson’s Park’s 2021 Children’s Gala. Glorious, warm, sunshine brought out the crowds ready to have fun, picnic, and just go for a Sunday saunter. More than one person commented that it was such a pleasure to see so many people enjoying the sunshine, fun and games, and to bump into so many people they knew.

Guiseley Brass Band entertaining visitors

This year was a little different with an orienteering Space Trail, devised by David Alcock with a map, and a bag of space goodies. Meanwhile, Guiseley Brass Band* took a couple of turns sandwiching ‘have a go‘ Circus Skill performances by Pete’s Suitcase Circus.

(*We found out this year that in 1936 the band led by Whybert Stevenson, father of the current leader Roy Stevenson, was provided with new instruments by Frank Parkinson – this was also the same year that F & A Parkinson acquired the fields to make the Park for Crompton Parkinson. The band was formed in 1870 by Sir Matthew Thompson of Parkgate, who had helped fund Guiseley Town Hall in 1867.)

Pete teaching circus skills

Crafts of one kind or another were on full display, from a craft tent painting stones and making rockets by Daisy Croft Crafts, to face painting by Emma, and baked space buns by Claremont Cakery: even the celebration tree and benches was decorated with knitted rockets, and stars by crafty Friends.

There was also some very ‘traditional’ fun to be had as parents and children put each other in the stocks for a soaking – but that was almost a pleasure on such a hot day

Mrs Sally West gets a soaking from her family – husband included !!

Numerous raffle prizes were available to be won, and thanks must go to raffle donors – Harewood House, Wetherby Whaler, Bramble Bakehouse, Daisy Croft Crafts and others. Thanks, must also go to all everyone who organized and publicised the event, especially Chris Parapia, and everyone who was involved in manning the stalls, and getting the Park spick and span ready for the Gala, including Litter Free Guiseley. It was indeed a lovely way to end Summer and the Friends look forward to welcoming everyone again in 2022.

Pictures by Liakat Parapia, President, Aireborough Camera Club

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Children’s Gala Programme Published – 5 September

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ORCHARD APPLES – DO NOT PICK YET

The apples in the Orchard are ripening, but they are not ready to pick yet. In previous years we’ve had people picking them far to early and then throwing them away – which is such a shame. So, this year we’ve tied a label on each tree with apples with the rough time when they should be ready to harvest. Some will be ready in September, others not until November, for most in will be October.

You can tell when an apple is ready to pick when when you cup it in your hand and give it a slight twist, and it comes off in your hand. If you need to give the fruit a yank, or it leaves its stalk behind, or even a bunch of leaves, it is definitely not ready!

You can also tell from our apple guide – each tree is labelled with its name, and there is a note in the guide to the time when it should be ready. You can download the guide here. It will also tell you if it is a desert or cooking apple or both.

The Orchard Trail

Unfortunately, it has been a poor year for pears, and there are none. But the two plums have fruit, which will be ready, hopefully, during September.

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SPACE THEME FOR THE 2021 PARKINSON’S PARK GALA

After a break of a year, the Friends of Parkinson’s Park are pleased to announce that our Traditional Children’s Gala is back. Scheduled for Sunday 5th September from 2pm to 4pm, the theme this year will be Space.

We’d love children (and parents if they wish) to come in space inspired costumes for the fancy dress competition. This all adds to a fun afternoon where attractions will include :

  • Pete’s Suitcase Circus
  • Guiseley Brass Band
  • An Orienteering Space Trail
  • Face Painting
  • A Hoola Hoop Competition
  • A Space Quiz
  • And lots of stalls including Aireborough Camera Club

There will also be a Raffle and Refreshments, but why not bring a picnic as well – we are hoping for good weather.

CHILDREN’S GALA PROGRAMME – 5TH SEPTEMBER 2021

1.45pm Onwards – Space Trail. Come and get your Space Bags at the Farmgate entrance to the park. The bags will be £5.00 each and contain – A Space Trail map, a space quiz, a space themed notebook, a small alien space kit and a raffle ticket. First Prize will be a Family Ticket to Harewood House but there will be lots of other prizes too. We have 100 bags.

2-2.45pm Guiseley Brass Band

2.45-3.15pm Pete’s Suitcase Circus* including Hoola Hooping. Suitcase Circus is a show full of circus skills, comic inventions, audience participation and family fun.

3.15-3.45pm Guiseley Brass Band

Around 3.30 – 3.45pm Fancy Dress Competition Judging

We are also asking children to send in their space pictures for a display, here is our first one from Ayaan showing the planets in the solar system. Email parkinsonspark@gmail.com and we’ll let you know where to drop it off.

Planets in our solar system by Ayaan

*HEADLINE ACT AT THE CHILDREN’S GALA – PETE’S SUITCASE CIRCUS

Pete’s Suitcase Circus events provide a fantastic learning experience for children and adults. Circus skills are a great have-a-go activity; learning new skills such as hula hooping, juggling and plate spinning promotes a great sense of achievement. Pete will be doing circus activities to link in with our Space theme. Suitcase Circus has performed at both local and national festivals over the past 20 years from the Ilkley Literature Festival to the Albert Hall. Glastonbury, to Leeds Festival.

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Hazard – fallen tree branch through wood

Please be aware that the unseasonal and inclement weather has brought down a branch from one of the Oak trees that lines the path that run up through the wooded area. Please take great care if using that part of the Park.

The Friends of Parkinson’s Park (FOPP) have been in touch with the company who maintain the Park who will take action when they can. FOPP have been out, armed with suitable sawing implements, and removed those parts of the tree limb that had overlapped the path and caused an obstruction.

Photos of offending tree branch, and sawing process included. Please take care!

Tree branch

Clearing the path

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CELEBRATE MIDSUMMER

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YARN BOMBING TO CELEBRATE SUMMER AND PICNICS

The Park has been yarn bombed by three crafty Friends, to celebrate the month of midsummer and the season for picnics – particularly the week of 19th – 27th June, which is National Picnic Week. If the weather is fine, buy some local food from our range of Guiseley Delis, Cafes, and food retailers, spread out a blanket, relax and enjoy the whimsical decorations.

Abi Helen, Becky James and Barbara Winfield have been working hard over the last few months with a group of other residents to produce an array of ‘yarn’ bees, butterflies and flowers. These now adorn the Celebration Tree, and some entrances. The highlight is a community artwork decorating the Natter Bench. The artwork has been designed to represent the wild flowers found in the Park around May and June.

Yarn bombing is a form of street art that goes up in unexpected places for a period of around 6 weeks. It is becoming more popular and Abi, who teaches yarn techniques as Daisy Croft Crafts, has also done an artwork for the top of the post box at Towngate.

The Ladies are inviting anyone to add their own work to the yarn bombing extravaganza over the coming weeks. And, if you would like to get ready for future ‘yarn bombing’ events, we have a timetable set out here.

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Racy Books and Carpet Underlay

On a beautiful May, Whitsun morning 14 cleaners turned up in the Park to do a Spring clean for the Keep Britain Tidy, Great British Spring Clean. This included ‘the Professionals’, a group from Little Free Guiseley who have always supported our event, and do such great work every week of the year.

Litter Free Guiseley – were impresed with how clean the Park actually was; an accolade to the regular litter pickers for such a good job.

Amongst our finds on Sunday were, some old, crumbling, underlay with a stash of empty bottles underneath, an aged metal sign probably left from Cromptons, and a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey (which was put in the Kelcliffe Little Library). In the copse were two Menston Primary School Tops – we’ve left these on the natter bench by the Farm Gate to be collected.

A local resident has said she’ll make a collage from the rest of the rubbish found for display – that should be interesting !!

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STUDENT LILY ENDS HER PLACEMENT AT GREENSHAW GATE

Our thanks go to student Lily Davies who has spent the Winter and Spring doing her Craven College, Land and Wildlife Management, work placement in the Park supervised by Chris Parapia and Joanna Brooks. Lily has helped plant the Greenshaw Wood, the herb planter, winter pruning in the orchard, the Parkisons Python, and the Easter Trail. We’ve all been impressed with her hard work, and enthusiasm.

For her main project we asked her to improve the Greenshaw Gate entrance with a suitable planting scheme and are pleased she was just able to complete that before the end of her time with us. (Labour and advice were provided by Martyn Hornsby-Smith and Jennifer Kirkby.)

The gate is on the edge of woodland, and is in shade for a lot of time, so it was ideal for a woodland planting scheme of ferns, foxgloves, bulbs and woodland edge shrubs. Our aim is to improve all entrances into the Park over time, and there are different groups of people who look after each entrance. If you would like to take on Lily’s work and look after the Greenshaw Gate email us at parkinsonspark@gmail.com.

Our thanks also to Bettys Harrogate who provided the woodland plants for this and other entrance gates through their Trees For Life Fund. Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate donated over £3,300 to disability charity Open Country, to pay for nine days of their time on conservation work at parks and nature reserves across Lower Wharfedale as well as the purchase of plants and saplings to create new habitats for nature. An article from the Wharfedale explains more:-

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