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Queens Park Crewe
Welcome to the "Jewel in the Crown", the lovely Queens Park, with walkways, trees and shrubberies, boating lake, activities and interesting history...
VISIT OF FIELD-MARSHAL COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
The Duke of Cambridge!
ON THE 9th JUNE, 1888.
His Royal Highness and Suite are expected to arrive by special train at the Locomotive Offices of the London and North-Western Railway Company, at Crewe, about 1.20 p.m., and will there he received by Sir Richard Moon, Bart. (Chairman of Railway way Company), and the Mayor and corporation of Crewe.
"A" Company of the 2nd Cheshire (Railway) Engineer Volunteer will furnish a Guard of Honour at the point where His Royal Highness will alight.
At 1:30 His Royal Highness and the invited Guests will be entertained at Luncheon by the Chairman and Directors of the London and North Western Railway Company. During the Luncheon, the Crewe Strain Shed Band will play a Selection of Music.
PROCESSION TO THE QUEEN'S PARK-
After Luncheon (about 3.(1 p.m.) a, procession will be formed, which, in addition to His Royal Highness and Suite, and Lord Napier of Magdala, will consist of the Chairman of the London and North Western Railway Company, the Major and Corporation, and other Visitors. For these, carriages will be provided, which will be drawn up in Market Street, opposite the entrance to the Offices.
The remaining Visitors will he convened by train to a temporary platform constructed on the Chester Line, adjoining the Field in which the Inspection of the Volunteers Will take place.
The carriages forming the procession will proceed from Chester Bridge, along Oak Street, Wistaston road, and Victoria Avenue, to the Field opposite the Queen's Park entrance, Where His Royal Highness will inspect the 2ud Cheshire (Railway) Engineer Volunteers*
The Order of Profession will be as follows Mounted Police.
CARRIAGE No. 1.
| councillor adamson. | Allman. " Bebbington. " Broad.
CARRIAGE No. 2
cottekill. " Ellis. Winby.
CARRIAGE No 3. Councillor Hodgson. f, Knott.
CARRIAGE NO. 4.
Councillor Thomas. " Welch. " Jackson. The borough Treasurer.
CARRIAGE No. 5.
Alderman Macrae. | McNeill. Wilding. The Medical Officer of Health
CARRIAGE- NO. 6. The Town Clerk. The Borough Survey ok. The Sword and Mace Bearers.
CARRIAGE No. 7.
Field Marshal commander in chief
Sir Richam Moon, Bart. The Mayor of Crewe. The High Sheriff
CARRIAGE No. 8.
Field -Marshall Lord NAPIER OF MAGDALA, G.C.K, G
Major General A Lyon Freemantle CB Colonel Lord A. Lennox Cornell . A C. F. FitzGbokge.
CARRIAGE No. 9.
Major -General Dam km,, C.B. Colone Stokley, R.E.
CARRIAGE No. 10.
Baroness SHRODER . Miss Moon.
CARRIAGE No. 11. Mrs. Cotton.
Lord StalbridgeMm. Joseph Verdin. Capt. Kennedy.
CARRIAGE No. 12.
Sir H Fox Bristow & Miss Bristow. Colonel. Hamilton, M.P. Judge Llyod.
-CARRIAGE No. 13. Mr W. H. Verdain. Rev. A. H. Web.
Dk. Atkinson. The Deputy Chief Constable of Cheshire.
PROCEEDINGS IN VICTORIA AVENUE AND AT THE PARK.
After the Inspection of the Volunteer Corps (about 3-30), His Royal Highness, accompanied by the Mayor and Corporation, and other Visitors, will cross the Victoria Ave to the Park Entrance Gates.
The Address of the Corporation will be read by the Town clerk, and His Royal Highness will reply
The deed of Conveyance of the, Park from the London and North Western Railway Company to the Crewe Corporation will then be handed over by the- Chairman of the Railway Company (Sir Richard Moon, Bart.,) to the mayor.
The Mayor will receive the Deed and thank the Railway Company on behalf of the inhabitants of the Borough for the Gift of the Park.
A Gold Key will then be presented by the Mayor to His Royal Highness, with which the Park gates will be unlinked, and His Royal Highness Will declare the Park open to the Public for ever.
The Major's Chaplain will offer up a prayer.
The following hymn will then be sung
Oh worship the King all glorious above,
Oh gratefully sing His power and His love, Our shield and defender, the Ancient of days, Pavilioned in splendour, and girded with praise 1
Oh! tell of His might, Oh t sing of His grace. Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space; His chariots of wrath the deep thunder-clouds form, . And dark is His path of the wings of the storm.
3 The earth with its store of wonders untold, Almighty, Thy -power hath founded of old, . Hath stablished it fast by a changeless decree, And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.
4 Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite It breaths in the air and shine in the light; It streams from the hills ; it descends to the mill; And sweetly distills in tin- dew and the rain.
5 Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail, In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail; Thy mercies how tender! how firm to the end!
i Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!
# O measureless Might, Ineffable Love! j While Angels delight to hymn .Thee above*; The humbler creation, though feeble their lays, - With adoration *hall Rap to Thy praise.-Amen.
The Clock Tower and Fountain, which has been erected inside the 'Entrance to the Park, and which has been subscribed for and presented by the employees of the Railway Company, will then he. unveiled by Driver Middleton, of Birmingham, as a Jubilee Memorial.
After the Opening Ceremony, and the Inspection of the Park, By his Royal Highness will be invited to Plant a Tree. He will then visit the Pavilion, where light Refreshments will be provided; and at about'4.30 p.m. will proceed in his carriage (at walking pace) to the west end.of Victoria Avenue, and declare the same a Public Thoroughfare.
The Carriages conveying the Members of the Corporation and Guests will be drawn up in West Street, ready to re-form procession in the same order us before, and drive through the Town to the Railway Station,
The Procession will proceed along West Street, Hightown, Victoria Street, Market Street, High Street, Mill Street, and Nantwich Road to the Station--His Royal Highness leaving by special train for London at & p.m. "B" Company of the 2nd Cheshire (Railway) Engineer Volunteers will furnish a Guard of Honour at the Station.
During the evening the Steam Shed Baud will play Selections of Music on the old Rifle Butts, situate on the south side .of the Lake. The Carriage Works Band will occupy the Baud Stand in the Park.
V. WEBB, Mayor. F. COOKE, Town Crewe.
Living History from a Local Resident
I was born in 1936 and have an early recollection of the rowing and paddle boats off the Park lake being stored for the duration of the war in the changing pavilion adjacent to the tennis courts on King George's playing field.
My pal and I were determined to be the first on the lake when they were returned and this we did. I cannot remember the year but it must have been around 1948/9.
We carried on to help the boat attendant during our summer school holidays and on a Wednesday had to row a string of boats down the lake to the paddleboat landing stage.
During the Summer, the lake developed a growth of stringy weed which wrapped itself around the paddles and left kids stranded in the middle of the lake. The Park Superintendent (Mr Probert) asked if we would like to help and we were issued with a paddle boat and two large wooden rakes. The plan was that we would drag up the weed, put it on the front of the boat and dump it over the sluice gates at the of the lake. A bit hazardous but no Health & Safety in those days.
During this raking operation we felt something heavy roll along the lake bottom and managed to lift it on the rake. What a shock when we saw that it was a shell from a large calibre gun. We lowered it gently back and reported it.
It was decided to drain the lake to investigate further and this revealed several pieces of hardware including shell fragments and small calibre ammunition. These were all located under the bridge at the town end of the lake.
The lake was refilled overnight by closing the sluices and allowing the Valley Brook (River Waldron) to rise and overflow into the lake. Unfortunately the overflow at the other end of the lake became blocked and the lake rose above its normal level. As a result of this a large number of big carp swam out of the goldfish pond and into the lake. These were too valuable to loose so it was decided to drain the lake as quickly as possible resulting in many of the fish being stranded in the shallow pools to be collected by the gardeners (and us two) to be returned to their rightful pool.
Whilst searching for these fish we spotted something flapping about on the raised mud bank caused by the pipe through which the Valley Brook normally ran under the lake.
One of the gardeners waded out and recovered a very large Pike which must have been four feet long and had a large piece missing from its tail. This monster was placed in one of the larger pools but sadly did not survive. The theory was that it had originated in a pool at Crewe Hall and had found its way down the brook when the lake was filled in.
We spent many happy hours on the lake working on the boats when the Park was in its hey-day and it is so sad to see its present condition.
THE DEDICATING OF QUEENS PARK
There has always been a myth in Crewe that the LN.WR. Company gave the 36 acres of land to the people of the town to stop the GWR from building a station in the area but the records this is incorrect In Minutes Book of the Board of Directors L.N.U.R for the 18th November 1886. it states that the Board had decided to give 36 acres of land belonging to the Railway to the Corporation of Crewe for a public park This was by way of celebrating two important occasions, the Golden jubilee of Queen Victoria and the 50th anniversary of the Railway's involvement with the town.
There was much excitement on the afternoon of the 4th July 1887 as the people of the town celebrated the Dedication of Queens Park, in conjunction with Queen Victoria's Jubilee and the local Jubilee of the opening of the Grand Junction Railway 50 years ago.
Visualise and imagine the atmosphere created that day. A large number of Venetian masts, streamers and flags were placed along Victoria Avenue and all around the park and town. Banners with "Best Wishes" messages were hung from buildings and an array of other carefully constructed decorations could be seen.
At 2.30pm the streets were lined with spectators expectantly awaiting the arrival of the Grand Procession, the highlight of which was the
"Fireman's Arch". This was formed, by the Crewe Volunteer Fire Brigade, at the entrance to Victoria Avenue The arch was constructed from fire escape ladders, decorated with bunting, shields, mottos and the Town Council's Coat of Arms. Six men manned each fire escape under which the procession passed, on its way to the park.
Sir Richard Moon, Bart., the Chairman of the Railway Company, conducted the proceedings of the Dedication on behalf of the London North Western Railway Co. To mark the occasion, he was presented with a scroll of parchment, enclosed in a beautiful silver casket, enrolling him as the First Honorary Freeman of the Borough. A cascade of balloons and a firework display concluded the day's celebrations
A year later, on Saturday 9th June 1888, the Park was officially opened to the public by HRH The Duke of Cambridge KG who, at the time, was the Field Marshal Commander-in-Chief for the Cheshire Volunteers and was presented with a suitable gold key.
Today, the Park retains the original Victorian layout as designed by F W Webb and Edward Kemp, at a cost of £10,000 on behalf of the
LNWR Its total 45 acres is oval in shape, with a principal axis. subsidiary cross axis and a man-made lake. Cast Lodge
An 1882 map shows the site of the park lo be spread over 11 fields and part of the sewerage works, which were closed in 1874. The straggling Valley Brook passes through the park and leaves the site on the south west corner A straight footpath crossed the site and connected West Street, with the park, via Coppenhall Hayes, as Victoria Avenue had not yet been constructed.
George Latimer, the first Custodian of the Park from 1888 to 1906. who was succeeded by Lawrence Morgan from 1906 to 1935, contributed greatly with his forestry expertise, leading to the acknowledgment that today Queens Park is one of the finest Parks in England. Another notable contributor was Herbert W Probert whose duties commenced from 1935 to 1960. He was responsible for the laying out of the neighbouring King George V Playing fields and the Coronation Walk, to commemorate the Coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937. This is a landscaped walkway, through rock gardens beside a small stream, which leads from the lake and winds up to the aviary.
From 1960 to 1984 the park's Superintendent was Colin Farmer, who re-located the greenhouse and designed such additions as the Burma Star Island Memorial, the Scented Garden and the Jubilee Cafeteria Terrace. It has been rumoured over the years that the LNWR gave the land to prevent the Great Western Railway from building a station in the area. However, this is thought to be local rumour only as we know that the LNWR were originally seeking to construct the line from Crewe to Chester, which would run alongside the Valley Brook. However, the ground was not firm enough and a more Northerly route was chosen. Had this gone ahead it would have taken the land used for Queens Park. An entry, in the Minute Book of the Board of Directors of the LNWR. on the 18th December 1886, refers to the area being given for
a public park. Politics or not. we may never know. It is only certain that Sir Richard Moon's wishes, in his Dedication speech, for the park to provide pleasure and happiness to the community for generations to come, has to date been fulfilled.
Above Coronation Walk
TRADITIONAL BOATING LAKE
A notable feature is the four and a half acre. man-made lake, which has been beautifully landscaped into the park. Its source is the Valley Brook, which runs out of view under the lake, until it reappears on the adjacent golf course.
It was originally formed by "grading in" from existing banks and leveling off to a depth of five feet. By "puddling" the clay bottom it was made watertight and a dam at the west side was erected. Four bridges, originally wooden, and surrounding paths make a popular walking circuit around the lake. After the cultivating of Valley Brook, which improved the quality of the water, swimming was permitted. By the west island the water area was deepened to ten feet and a diving board and changing huts were provided but eventually removed in 1936.
In 1913 a wormscrew was made in Crewe Works to aid the filling of the lake and this is still very much in use today and relied upon.
On the south side of the park was the Volunteer Rifle Range with the 800 yard firing point situated near to the Gas Works entrance of the adjacent Railway Works. The range crossed the future site of the blast furnace tip, which is now the Tipkinder Park. The target butts were on the Valley Brook bank, to the south of Burma Star Island.
During the last war the lake was considered a possible location aid for German aircraft bombing the factories, so in October 1940 the water was drained out and the bottom camouflaged with evergreen branches Other branches were placed over the greenhouse, however, by April the evergreens were removed and the water replaced. It now transpires that such action was taken too late, for at the end of September 1940 the Germans had taken an aerial photograph of Crewe, showing '10K0M0TIV/FABRIK" L.M.S.R" and "FLUG-MOTOIEWWERKE, ROLLS ROYCE LTD". This also shows anti-aircraft barrage balloon sites at the Old Bandstand, Queens Park Petrol Station, opposite to St Mary's Catholic Church. Leighton Park and Badger Avenue close to Ford Lane. The Ring Road around Queens Park and the band of trees inside are in addition to the lake, all very distinctive from the air.
During the renowned Winter of 1963. the ice was so thick that skaters took to the lake. In the evening the area was floodlit and hot food vans were well patronised.
BURMA STAR ISLAND
In 1968 the island in the middle of the lake was re-levelled and landscaped with new paths and seats, and dedicated as a permanent Memorial to the Allied Forces who fought in the Burma Campaign during World War II.
The Memorial Stone, which was transported from the excavations of the ICI Works at Runcorn, has the famous Kohima epitaph;-
"When you go home tell them of in and jay for their tomorrow we gave our today"
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS
It is interesting to note that it is said that the fossilised remains of a Tulip Tree, a Lepidodendron. dated back to the Ice Age - of the Devonian period, some 320 million years ago. is located in the path which leads from the Cafetena down to the lake. The fossilised tree was given to the Park by John Knott when he was Mayor of Crewe in 1888/9.
As a contrast just along the path, beside the Coronation Walk bridge, is a twisted Willow, now at least 30 years old with its fascinating, contorted shape.
Additionally, one of the oldest pieces of local history is sited along the Coronation Walk path, it is a piece of Aberdeen
Peaceful walkways granite, a very special remnant from the glacier age some 500 million years ago. It was discovered when the foundations for the original Company works were being excavated
During the last war. both the flowerbeds and greenhouses contributed towards community welfare, producing seedlings of various vegetables. In 1941, approximately 35,000 onions and crops consisting of l,049lbs of tomatoes and 512 cucumbers were grown, all of which were sold to 3,470 local people.
On the night of I2th December 1974 the original Pavilion was burnt to the ground Although the firemen worked through the night all that was left by morning was a pile of smouldering timbers The firemen had to pump water from the lake because the mains water supply in Victoria Avenue had been fractured by the frost.
The opening of the new Pavilion and Band Stand was on the 12th June 1977 The new structure was named the Jubilee Pavilion to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II The Mayor of Crewe remarked at the opening ceremony that the Park had links with every Monarch since Queen Victoria The South African Monument was erected during the reign of King Edward VII the adjacent King George V Playing Fields were provided with the aid of a grant from the King George V Fund and the Coronation Walk was built to commemorate the coronation of King George VI
SOUTH AFRICAN MEMORIAL
Memorial plaques are on the four faces of the monument, containing lists of those who left the town of Crewe to undertake military duty in South Africa. The north facing pediment has the former Arms of the Borough with the motto "Never Behind" inscribed below the dates
1899-1902. The bronze figure of Tommy Atkins, with rifle, bandoleer belt, pouch and water bottle, stands to attention at the top of the monument. On either side of the base, lying down, are two full-size stone lions. At the front of the monument, the magnificent bronze engine model designed by F W Webb, once stood. This is now now proudly displayed in the foyer of the Municipal Buildings.
Behind the monument is the Jubilee Cafeteria, which opened on 12th June 1977, together with the new Bandstand This more modem structure replaced the original Victorian Pavilion which was burnt to the ground on the night of the 29th December, 1972. The Senior Fire Officer reported there had been a possible electricity fault. Because the water mains had been fractured by frost, firemen pumped water up from the lake and although they worked throughout the night, it was to no avail.
On Sunday afternoons throughout the summer, there is a long tradition of brass bands performing in the park, this has continued to this day providing music to suit all tastes and ages.
At the other end of the main drive, at the Park's entrance, stands the prominent Clock Tower 1888 which was donated by employees of the Railway company. Unveiled by James Middleton, who had the distinction of driving the first train into Crewe fifty years prior to the clock donation. The tower is topped by an elaborate support to a weather vane. At the base of the tower, on either side, there used to be two drinking fountains with brass cups on chains.
Adjacent to the Clock Tower are two stone and timber lodges, built between 1887 - 1888 by John Brooke; not quite a pair, as the design of the West Lodge incorporates a Bell Tower. An inscription at the first floor level of the West Lodge commemorates the opening of Victoria Avenue by the Commander-in-Chief H.R.H. The Duke of Cambridge. Look on the lodge for the spider, its web and a tree, a design pun on Francis William Webb. The inscription at first floor level of the East
Lodge commemorates the Jubilee of Queen Victoria and the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Grand Railway Junction. You will notice a painting of a bat, moon and tree, in yellow and green -another punT this time on Sir Richard Moon Bart, Chairman of the LNWR Company. The red sandstone used for both lodges came from the railway cuttings that go down to Lime Street Station, Liverpool. These buildings are contained on the Department of the Environment's list of buildings of special architectural and historical interest Grade II.
An impressive ornamental iron gateway stands at the entrance where the Lodges are located. The side gates contain the date of the Parks dedication 1887 and the main gates have a royal crown in their design supported by four red stone gateposts.
100 Years of the Queens park
A notable feature is the man-made lake which has been beautifully landscaped into the Park. Its source being the Valley Brook which runs out of view under the lake, until it reappears on the adjacent Golf Course.
It was originally formed by 'grading in'from existing banks and levelling off to a depth of five feet By'puddling'the day bottom it was made watertight and a dam at the West side.
Original wooden bridge over the lake.
was erected. Four bridges, originally wooden, and surrounding paths make a popular walking circuit around the lake. After the culverting of Valley Brook, which improved the quality of the water, swimming was permitted. By the West island the water area was deepened to ten feet and a diving board and changing hut were provided which were eventually removed 1936
During the last war the lake was considered a possible location aid for German aircraft bombing the factories, so in October 1940 the water was drained out and the bottom camouflaged with evergreen branches. Other branches were placed over the greenhouse, however, by April the evergreens were removed and the water replaced, it now transpires that such action was taken too late, for at the and of September 1340 the Germans had taken an aerial photograph of Crewe, showing 'LOKOMOTIVFABRIK' LMS.R.' and 'FLUG-MOTOIEWWERKE. ROLLS ROYCE LTD' This also shows antiaircraft barrage balloon sites at the old Bandstand, Queens Park Petrol Station, opposite St Mary's Catholic Church, Leighton Park and Badger Avenue by Ford Lane. The Ring Road around Queens Park and the band ot trees inside being very distinctive, in addition to the lake from the air.
The lake is home to a variety I water fowl which attracts I Ornithologists from afar to take pictures of rarefies such as the I Egyptian and Canadian Geese and I Caroling Wood Ducks.
Today, traditional family boating remains a very popular activity. The lake is also used by local anglers and community organizations for Raft and Paddle Boat Races and often for Local Charities; which provide much pleasure for participants and spectators alike.
Dunne the renowned winter of 1963. The ice was so thick that skaters took to the lake. In the evening the area was floodlit and hot food vans were well patronized.
BURMA STAR ISLAND
In 1968 the island In the middle of the lake was re levelled and landscaped with new paths and seats, and dedicated as a permanent Memorial to the Allied Forces who fought in the Burma Campaign during World Ward. The Memorial Stone, which was transported from the excavations of the ICI Works at Runcorn, has the famous Kohima epitaph:-
"When you go home tell them of us and say for their tomorrow we gave our today".
One of the Park's largest crowds attended the dedication with military attache from many Countries, together with an American Air Force Band, flown in from Germany.
Through the main gates, on either side of the Clock Tower can be seen 62 flower beds as laid out in the original Victorian design They are planted to a different theme each year using colour patterns, contrasts of pastel shades, new varieties and old favourites. Winter flowering Pansies start the year, with Tulips and late flowering Dahlias to extend it.
Petunias and Begonias with their range of colours. Geranium*, Fuchsias and Heliotrope, with their coloured leave* and potential growth of up to three feet in height. The park has always specialized In these plants, as they have different leaves, height and shape, to give Interest and pleasure to visitors.
There are only five original trees in the Park to remind us of the hedgerows of of 100 years ago. All are oak - three are between the play area and the greenhouse and two are in the shrubbery by the scented garden with its diversity of leaf and (lower perfumes. In front of the Cafeteria, by the lakeside, grows a Cedar of Lebanon. It has a flat top with horizontal branches and is about 90years old.
It is said that the fossilised remains of a tree dated back to the Ice Age - of the Devonian period, some 320 million years ago - possibly a Lepidodendron, is located in the path which leads from the Cafeteria down to the lake. A a contrast just along the path, beside the Coronation Walk bridge, is a twisted Willow, now 24 years old with its fascinating, contorted shape.
The bandstand which once stood in front of the Victoria Pavilion is now sited towards the West Gate,During the last war. both the flower beds and greenhouse contributed towards community welfare, producing seedlings of various vegetables. In 1941, approximately onions and crops consisting of 1,049 lbs. of tomatoes and 512 Cucumbers were grown, all of which were sold to 3,470 local people.
When, in the 1960,s the greenhouses were re-located to their present position the well-loved facility for the public to be able to walk past and view the plants inside the greenhouse was retained.
A wide variety of plants are grown end transported to grounds within the Borough - including Cemeteries, road islands, open spaces. Parks and so on. Those 'home grown plants contributing greatly towards the Borough's success in the Britain in bloom competitions. Plants are used for special arrangements for civic functions and private hire.
SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL
Surrounding the 1904 South African War Memorial at the centre of the Park, sloping carpet bedding displays commemorate local anniversaries National events and Carnival themes. Past displays have included Three Blind Mice', 'The Wombles', 'Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary*,"Year of the Child', 'Festival of Britain', 'Postman Pat', the Queen Mother's Birthday, Anniversaries of Guides, Scouts and other organisations, to mention but a few.
One year, to make a centre piece of style, a monument lion was moved into the flower bed for the anniversary of the "lion Club" and for 1987 Heritage Year the appropriate theme being the "Lion* a railway engine. Memorial plaques are on the four faces of the monument These contain lists of those who left the town of Crewe to undertake duty in South Africa. The north facing pediment has the former Arms of the Borough with the motto 'Never Behind' inscribed below the dates 1899-1902. The bronze figure of Tommy Atkins, with rifle, bandolier belt pouch
and water bottle, stands to attention at the top of the monument On either side of the base, lying down, are two full-size stone lions. At the front of the monument the magnificent bronze engine model designed by F W Webb, once stood. This is now used for displays throughout the Borough -including those on the 19S7 Heritage site.
Behind the monument is the Jubilee Cafeteria which opened on 12th June 1977. together with the new Bandstand. This more modem structure replaced the original Victorian Pavilion which was burnt to the ground on the night of 27th December, 1972. Because the water mains had been fractured by frost, firemen pumped water up from late and although they worked throughout the night, it was to no avail.
On Sunday afternoons throughout the Summer, brass bands have a long tradition in the Park, which today includes a variety of bands which provido music to suit all tastes and ages. The Cafeteria centres the Park's activities and serves that extra treat or drink for children's outings, Picnics, coach parties, school classes, hospital group and visiting families. In olden days, picnickers brought their tee and large tea pots to the special cafe windows to buy fresh boiling water.
At the other end of the main drive, at the Park's entrance, stands the prominent Clock Tower - 1888 - which was donated by employees of the Railway company. The lower is topped by an elaborate support to a weather vane. At the base of the tower, on either side, there used to be two drinking fountains with brass cups on chains.
Adjacent to the Clock Tower are two stone and timber Lodges, built between 1887 -1888 by John Brooke; not, quite a pair, as the design of the West Lodge incorporates a Bell Tower. An inscribed bressummer at the first floor level of the West lodge commemorates the opening of Victoria Avenue by the Commander-in-Chief H.R.H. The Duke of Cambridge. The inscription at first floor level of the East Lodge commemorates the Jubilee of Queen Victoria and die On the Anniversary of the opening of the Grand Halfway Junction. The red sandstone used for both
lodges came from the railway cuttings that go down to Lime Street Station, Liverpool These buildings are contained on the Department of the Environment's list of buildings of special architectural and historical interest - Grade II.
Many plants are to be seen in the Park in their season, such as the daffodil banks with Their marvelous sea of yellow in April, which lead down to Coronation Walk and the Aviary. In 1937 the Aviary, which had previously been the boathouse was built, with funds donated by Councillor Mrs Mossford Powell, with flights both inside and outside the shed. Many generations of children and their parents have enjoyed watching and feeding the succession of birds and small animals. This was rebuilt in 1366 and 1985, the former date to coincide with the opening of the Scented Garden, sponsored by the Lions Club of Crewe. The garden landscaped from an old shrubbery with new paths, borders, end a raised bed, all planted with scented
flowers and aromatic herbs, thus providing for the visually handicapped.
The popular Children's Play Area, which was refurbished in 1986 is a comparatively new addition to the Park, originally being provided in the late 1950's. Under the United Nations Charter, children have the right to play happily and safely, and many thousands do so on the up-dated equipment. Swings, slides, roundabouts and many other items all have rubber safety surfaces beneath them, covering the Crewe clay mud so the whole area can be properly used despite the weather.
New, exciting, playground. modern adventure
Other family activities include Crown Green Bowling on the carefully tended green; Crazy Golf or Putting, which have always been popular pastimes. For example, in 1932,13,710 players paid a penny for a round, and no doubt enjoyed it. Other games include Giant Chess and Draughts, alt contained within the same area.
Annual events include the Carnival and Fete, with attendance of up to 20,000 people which, in the early days, was held to raise money for the local hospital and the proceeds from the recently introduced Traction Engine Rallies go towards the Wybunbury Tower Preservation Fund;Sports Week Fete, Burma Star Memorial Sunday and other focal Charity events, to name but a few. Of course, during 1987 -Heritage Year - there will be seven weekends of Centenary activities with entertainment to suit all tastes and ages.
South African Memorial
Memorial plaques are on the four faces of the monument, containing lists of
those who left the town of Crewe in October 1899 to undertake duty in South
Africa. The north facing pediment has the former Arms of the Borough with the
motto "Never Behind" inscribed below the dates 1899-1902. The bronze figure
of Tommy Atkins, with rifle, bandoleer belt, pouch and water bottle, stands
to attention at the top of the monument.
On either side of the base, lying down, are two full-size stone lions. At the
front of the monument, the magnificent model bronze engine built by a Crewe
Works Fitter Harry Lightfoot once stood. This is now on permanent display in
the foyer of the Municipal Buildings. It has been used for displays
throughout the Borough including the Queen Elizabeth II visit to the 1987
NEW AVENUE OF TREES FOR PARK 28 February 2007
Forty semi mature Lime trees were planted this week as part of the latest
stage in the £3.7m Heritage Lottery Funded Restoration of Queen's Park.
The trees, which have been planted to form a formal avenue, were sourced from
local nursery Specimen Trees of High Legh and were specifically chosen for
their high quality, longevity and the long tradition of using them to create
A number of mature trees within the park have had to be removed for various
reasons such as disease or for public safety. Some conifers have also been
felled as they were obscuring important monuments or views.
Portfolio Holder for the Local Environment, Councillor John Hammond said:
"The planting of this avenue of Lime trees marks another important stage in
the renovation of Queen's Park. It will form an impressive feature in the
park and signifies the start of a return to its former glory. This is a long
term project. The full effect of the work won't be seen immediately as the trees will need to mature. I hope that people will be able to visualise how glorious it will look in the future."
Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Councillor Bill McGinnis added: "The
restoration of Queen's Park is a major project and signals this Council's
intent to enhance our open spaces and provide first rate facilities for
people to enjoy."
Mayor Howard Curran added: "We're fortunate that the money from the Heritage
Lottery Fund is giving us the opportunity to restore this historic park to
its former glory. There are still people living in Crewe who remember how stunning the park used to be and I'm pleased that future generations are
getting the opportunity to feel as proud of the park as I did."
Allan Leah, Queen's Park Restoration Project Officer added: "For those who
wish to be more actively involved in and informed of the restoration
proposals we have set up a Stakeholder Group and a number of smaller user
groups such as the Anglers, Schools and Friends groups. We're always looking
for new members to join the groups."