Celebrations for loved Norwich park’s 90th birthday
PUBLISHED: 10:26 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:51 18 September 2018
For thousands of people around Norwich, it holds a special place in their hearts.
Whether Eaton Park is a favourite family day out, the home of Sunday football matches or a space to enjoy some tranquillity, it is a beloved part of the city.
On Sunday, coinciding with the end of the Heritage Open Days festival, people from around Norwich came together to celebrate Eaton Park’s 90th birthday.
With a theme of through the decades, it saw the Friends of Eaton Park encourage people to take a trip back through the park’s history and share their memories of its past.
Helen Mitchell, chairman of the Friends, said the group had asked people to share their favourite memories of the park, with a flip chart for people to write some down.
And members of the group were on hand to talk to visitors about their memories.
“We also asked people to bring in photographs,” she said. “We don’t have many from the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s and we’d love to see more.
“We are trying to build up more of a history of the park.”
The group has previously said there are gaps in their knowledge - for example, they would like to discover when the pitch and putt was installed, or when the gates stopped closing at night.
In the afternoon, they came together for a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the 90 years.
Ms Mitchell said the honours were done by Andy Anderson, the Friends’ oldest member, and four-year-old Courtney.
“It’s nice to bring together some of the oldest and younger park users,” she said, “and it’s a way of putting the focus back on those people who love the park.”
She said Sunday saw the last of the rooftop tours, which gave people a chance to enjoy a birds-eye view of the park from the top its rotunda.
It comes just a few days after the park celebrated the official opening of its new petanque terrains.
Work on the area started in June, with the celebration of their opening taking place on Friday.
Lord Mayor of Norwich Martin Schmierer and the Friends of Eaton Park came together to mark the occasion.
Do you have memories and photos of Eaton Park you would like to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Eaton Park: A history
Eaton Park was one of several that received government funding after the First World War.
It was designed and built by Captain A Sandys-Winsch, a landscape architect who was Norwich City Council’s parks superintendent from 1919 to 1956.
It was officially opened to the public in 1928 by the Prince of Wales.
In 1998, the park was one of three to benefit from a refurbishment programme funded by a £4.2m Heritage Lottery grant.
Today, it features crazy golf, a bowling green, miniature railway, tennis courts, a model boat pond, the bandstand, pavilion, changing rooms, toilets and café, and the new petanque areas.
It is a Grade II* listed site on the English Heritage register of parks and gardens and is one of 23 parks around Norwich.
Others created by Sandys-Winsch are Wensum, Waterloo and Heigham Parks, along with Mile Cross Gardens.
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