Repainting the gates at Blackpool Stanley Park
Blackpool Stanley Park
Stanley Park’s ornate main gates on West Park Drive are being returned to their former glory as work has started to prepare to repaint their intricate decorative features in gold.
The work signals the start of preparations to celebrate the park’s 90th summer since its opening.
The impressive gates were opened by the 17th Early of Derby on the 2nd October 1926 with a golden key used in the lock.
The Mayor Thomas Bickerstaff and 80 other Mayors and Mayoresses joined local and national dignitaries to mark the occasion.
The Friends of Stanley Park along with Blackpool Council and other organisations are planning a fun-filled summer of events for the town’s residents and visitors which will be announced shortly.
The celebrations will culminate in the official reopening of the gates in a big day of celebration on July 8th by the 19th Earl of Derby, the grandson of the 17th Earl of Derby.
Elaine Smith, Chairperson of the Friends of Stanley Park which has funded the project, said: “We continually strive to raise funds through events and activities in Stanley Park to generate much needed funds to support the Parks Department in the maintenance of our Grade 2 Heritage Park.
“I am really pleased that the Friends Group is able to provide the monies for this much needed refurbishment in time for our Birthday Celebration.”
During the work the gates will be closed to vehicles at 5.30pm from Monday 8th through to potentially Friday 19th May to assist with the swift completion of the works. As soon as the daily work is completed the gates will be re-opened later in the evening. Pedestrian access will still be available. Alternative parking will be available at the Sport Centre on West Park Drive.
Stanley Park is Blackpool's best known park - it's about 1.5 miles inland from the seafront at Blackpool Tower - you'll find it near to Blackpool Zoo and the Victoria Hospital in the Layton/Marton area of town.
Stanley Park is also the largest park in town, with a perimeter of 2.2 miles (3.54 km) and covering 256 acres (104 ha).
It's beautifully designed and very well maintained throughout the year - it's really a beautiful gem where neat gardens and natural wildlife areas sit side by side in the middle of the very busy, bustling town of Blackpool.
As you enter the park through the main gates and Mawson Drive, you'll arrive first of all at the Visitor Centre which was opened on 24 August 2005 by the 19th Earl of Derby.
Next to the Visitor Centre is the art deco cafe - both buildings are surrounded by rose beds and ornamental gardens.
The art deco cafe is worth seeing in its own right - a beautiful period building which has been renovated to its original glory.
Visitor centre is behind the trees at the left of the cafe
The Visitor Centre is where you'll find the Friends of Stanley Park who do much to look after the grounds, raise money towards its upkeep, and organise the events on the bandstand throughout the summer.
Stanley Park radiates from the circular Italian garden at the centre, right at the centre of which is a fountain with flowerbeds and smaller statues. A clock tower, a memorial to Blackpool's first Mayor, Dr William Cocker, is to the south of the central fountain.
Steps down to the garden are protected by two copies of the original Medici lions.
Towards the east side of the park is the large lake which can be used by the public for boating and fishing in designated areas - charges and memberships for fishing are available from/payable at the boathouse.
The lake is also a home to large numbers of water birds, ducks, geese and swans - especially since they have their own island in the centre.
The trees are also home to a large heronry - with big floppy nests built high in the trees by these magnificent birds.
Stanley Park is a lovely park to enjoy, with plenty of things to see and do do.
The Park has a long sporting history and offers the best facilities in town including bowling greens, tennis, trampolines, skateboarding, BMX, pitch and putt, trim trail, bowling, basketball, football, rugby and play facilities for children of all ages.
The 18 hole Stanley Park Golf Course was designed by famous architects Harry Shapland Holt and Dr Alastair Mackenzie.
The western side of Stanley Park is where you'll find the 5000-seater cricket ground, home to Blackpool Cricket Club and regularly used for county cricket by Lancashire CCC.
Stanley Park Sports Arena (which hosts a number of athletics competitions) and the Blackpool Sports Centre, containing three halls, gym and climbing wall, are located to the south of the cricket ground and this area also contains a putting green, table tennis tables and a conservatory.
Blackpool F.C., the town's professional football club, had its home at the athletic grounds on the same site between 1897 and 1899, before moving to their well known home on Bloomfield Road.
The southern side of Stanley Park is dominated by playing fields but is also where you'll find a children's play area and Blackpool Model Village.
The Model Village has its own entrance, but it's enclosed within the park perimeter. Tennis courts, astro-Turf pitches and a skateboard park are also in the southern part of the park.
In 1921 the former Mayor of Blackpool and Member of Parliament Sir Albert Lindsay Parkinson acquired an area of land, intending to develop it into a park for Blackpool, with the help of the town council.
The council later took over the land and the project, going on to develop more buildings and acquire more land. Distinguished landscape architects of the time, TH Mawson and Sons, had the job of designing the park - and a good job they made of it too!
The 'son', Edward Mawson handled most of the work as his father's health failed. The park's golf course was designed by the famous partnership of Harry Colt and Dr Alister MacKenzie, who also created the nearby Blackpool North Shore and Royal Lytham and St. Annes courses.
On 2 October 1926 the park was completed and declared open by the 17th Earl of Derby, Sir George Edward Villiers Stanley.
It's named in honour of his father, the former Governor General of Canada, Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby KG, GCB, GCVO, PC who, from 1885 to 1886, had been the first MP for the newly created Blackpool Parliamentary Constituency. For 20 years before that he had also been one of the MPs for the larger constituency of which Blackpool was then a part.
As a historically important garden, Stanley Park has had Grade II status since 1995 on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
Despite its age, the park was still the most recent park development in Blackpool until 2006 when George Bancroft Park was opened - where the climbing towers are on the approach into Blackpool near to the Football Club.
Stanley Park is a sensational events destination and often hosts music festivals, concerts, sporting events, corporate conferences, art fairs and numerous individual meetings and company events.
Venues and Attractions
Stanley Park boasts a selection of spectacular outdoor locations and indoor venues that are suitable for hire including:
- Visitor centre
- Sports centre
- Open fields
- Sports pitches
To make an enquiry about hiring park space for your needs, as well as details on hire costs please contact the Parks and Open Spaces Service directly on 01253 478358 or email email@example.com
More about the Friends of Stanley Park
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