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antony

Childhood Parks / favourite or how they have changed

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As per title really, What were your favourite parks as a child? Memories? etc

Endcliffe park

I grew up in Nether edge in the '70s, we would walk as a family to Endcliffe park, the stepping stones were always fun, feeding the swans, and there was the Cafe, which last time I visited last year didn't really seem to have changed !. Bonfire night was always fun, the fair was there, a huge bonfire, and I remember there being an area where you could take and let off your own fireworks - that would never happen now!

The park is pretty much no different to what I remember from 40 years ago, the childrens play area has been updated from the 'boring' old swings, slide, see-saw and climbing frame.

Millhouses park

We would sometimes go to Millhouses, complete with picnic for the afternoon with my parents and little brother. Trying to catch tadpoles in the boating lake using a net bought from the cafe there. Playing in the paddling pools or sometimes in the river.

As I grew up I went to Abbeydale Grange School, and spent many hours in Millhouses Park, visiting the Lido with my mates and first girlfriends. There was a dodgems there over the summer which we spent lots of time on - eventually getting a summer job on them :)

Visiting Millhouses last year the changes are dramatic, although I have to say the play are for the kids is amazing, a good call by the council. Glad the cafe and boating lake is still there.

There are a few more that I would have visited but not as much, i'll leave those to anyone else to fill in the gaps!

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I lived near Firth Park & had a great time there on the slides & swings in the 1950's. Also at the pond near what was Firth Park library where we sailed our boats. When I was a bout 11 I fell through the ice into the pond & got home to be dumped into a hot bath!

Firth Park also  brings back memories of great Whit Monday marches up to the park with hundreds of people lining the route. In the afternoon we went up there for our Sunday School sports & afterwards back to Reform Chapel for tea.How sad that's all gone. Also played tennis there & occasionally bowls with my dad.

Left Sheffield 1976 but come back a couple of times a year to see family & friends. Popped into the  very nice café in Firth Park for coffee & a teacake 2 or 3  years ago.

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Like johnm I originate from Firth Park and, like him, enjoyed the swings in the play area ...which I remember being introduced when it was revamped in the late 1940/early 1950s. I also enjoyed the "Duck Pond" and well remember the fountain, introduced at the time it was cleaned up. Pity the poor young sailor whose model yacht got entangled in its spray...it was a long wait 'till they switched it off. I used all three of our local parks, Firth, Longley and Concord and the big difference is the lack of Park keepers, the increase in mindless vandalism and the absence of the beautifully tended flower beds ...

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I loved the paddling pools at Millhouses park. The Lido too when I got older. Here are couple of pics from around 1963 when I visited as a toddler. My how things have changed.

 

 

20180714-IMG_20180714_0043.jpg

20180714-IMG_20180714_0052.jpg

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I think my favourite was Rivelin Valley Nature Trail and the swimming pool area. We could catch the 95 Bus to the terminus and walk down the steep slope on Sundays to the paddling pool area.

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A trip to Rivelin or Millhouses was the nearest many of us got to having a "seaside" holiday...with some in a hot summer making the bus/tram ride every day. Living in Firth Park/Shiregreen I had the choice of Longley, Concord and, of course, Firth Park....my favourite was Longley with its very cold swimming pool, stream and hills....ideal for sledging, flying a kite/model aeroplane or just enjoying larking around with pals.

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In the 70's we also liked to go to the Moss Brook at Ford near Mosborough. We caught the circular 2 59 bus to Gleadless Townend and walked it downhill to Ford. It was a really hot day and we were too knackered to walk it back. However we got a shock when we caught the 99 bus back to Gleadless Townend. Sheffield at that time had a 2 pence fare for kids. But the 99 was an East Midland's bus and charged a bigger price for kids. One of the lads didn't have enough money and the rest of us had only enough for the journey back home. Thankfully one of the passengers on the bus paid for him to go home!

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Of course, Ford and  the river Moss are in N.E. Derbyshire so you would be crossing the "border".

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When I was young it was Millhouses but the best part of it was the tram ride, though my parents would often say we should walk from Clyde Road us kids usually won and we took the tram.  I would have preferred to go backwards and forwards on the tram instead of paddling or messing in the paddle boats but later in life I did appreciate the cricket and the swimming in the park.

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I went to Millhouses not for the paddling pool, but to wade in the River Sheaf to catch Bullheads, or Miller's Thumb as they were sometimes called. You couldn't catch them at Rivelin, well I never saw them.

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On 18/02/2018 at 09:23, lysander said:

the absence of the beautifully tended flower beds ...

Firth Park this afternoon. The grass is a bit brown, but the flower beds are still tended with care.

firth park.JPG

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2 hours ago, Hopman said:

Firth Park this afternoon. The grass is a bit brown, but the flower beds are still tended with care. 

It is very good to see that there is some pride left in doing a job well, thanks for the picture , I have not seen the place for many years.

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Hopman.... I was making a general remark about the three local parks with which I grew up. Certainly, the flower beds in Concord were decimated decades ago and replaced by low maintenance  plantings and the lack of Park Keepers is pretty much widely acknowledged as is the loss of the Council.s own nurseries, That said, I haven't been in Firth Park for very many years and it was nice to see the formal plantings still being maintained. Thanks for the pic. 

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Graves Park was our playground in the 50s, we played games of hide and seek in and around and some times under the bandstand of the outdoor theater located in the old quarry.

Remember standing in a queue by the boathouse waiting our turn to have a go on the rowing boats listening out for the park keeper calling the boats in when time was up, also remember walking behind the banner of Greenhill Methodists through the park to join in with all the other local Churches for the annual Whit Sing, then afterwards back to Greenhill Hall for a garden party.

On Sunday afternoons in the early 60s we would sit in a group on the grass slope just before you get to the the rose gardens, along with lots of other groups of teenagers, all huddled around transistor radio`s listening to the top twenty records of the week.

You can still play a game of bowl`s and have a round of golf on the pitch and putt, the tennis courts have just had a make over, the football and cricket pitches are still in use but sadly not the rowing boats! there`s a children's play area and the animal center is worth a visit and you can still feed the ducks on the ponds, there`s also a secret garden if you can find it, and the Rose garden Cafe is still there, but the rose garden itself could do with a bit work.

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I too remember Endcliffe park. We played football and went on the swings.  There was one set of swings near the boating lake which I remember were much bigger and were well used.

I also remember the rowing boats on the lake it was sixpence for a go. We also caught sticklebacks there.

Being adventurous young lads there was a wall nearby which we climbed over to discover a pond full of fish.  I think it must have been a private house and of course we shouldn't have been there.

We also walked on up through Endcliffe park following the stream it was wonderful.

Down Rivelin way we used to catch newts.

In Millhouses park we went to the outdoor swimming pool. I remember the water was an opaque green colour.  My party piece was to dive in and swim under the jute covered platforms at the sides,

there was an air pocket there and I stayed for a while then swam back out under water and surfaced. My mates thought that I was brilliant at holding my breath for so long

Then there was the Botanical Gardens.  The "Parkies" always chased us there!

There was also Weston Park where you could take a trip round the lake on a motor boat. My Grandad bought me my first watch and of course in those days they were not waterproof.

So wanting to put my hand in the water on the boat I remembered to take it off. I put it in my shirt breast pocket for safety, leaned over the side of the boat and you guessed it, splash

and my prize possession was gone.

Happy Days when you had to make your own fun...…………….Was it better than todays technology engrossing the kids...………………..Or is it just me?

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No, I don't think its just you. That said ,my grandkids look at me in amazement ( and sympathy) when I relate that we had no mobile phones, no computers and no silly obsession with being in permanent contact with the media/facebook/ games.

I too remember climbing a wall to reach a derelict pond by Endcliffe...It was full of sticklebacks ( which when caught, sadly, never survived the journey home on the tram in their jamjar full of pondwater with a bit of pondweed.) My Dad told me it had once been a swimming pool.

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