BLACKBURN, LANCASHIRE in the UNITED KINGDOM
SUPPORTERS GROUP web site
We would like to help people learn about their own and other peoples heritage, therefore we invite you to send in any fond memories you have of the Conservatory and the park and we will place them on this page.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your fond memories.
Helen Roscoe, 27 February 2012.
My fond memory is from 1976.
This was my last year at secondary school and 1976 was a very very hot summer. In the last few weeks of the school term I recall setting of to school as usual, but in my bag I had a change of clothes. I would arrange to meet my friend in Corporation Park and we would spend all day sun bathing on one of the grassy banks. This went well until my friend made the mistake of calling at my house for me one morning and asked my Father if I was still going to the park! My Father drove straight over to the park and made me walk all the way back home-3 miles.
Bob Ray, 09 March 2012.
My fond memories are from days gone by.
I recall the 3 concrete cubes with a hole in each, which were stacked on top of each other - they were by the old cafe near the Broad walk, as kids I used to climb in them with my brother. Also whenever I see Rhododendron bushes, I always tend to think of the the park entrance at the top of Sixty Steps as we lived about 10 doors down from there.
Rita Kay, 12 March 2012.
My fond memories are from the 1950's.
When I came to teach music at Blackburn High School for Girls in 1950 to 1955 I had "digs" near to St Marys College. Every morning I walked through the park from East Park Rd entrance, past the conservatory to the West Park Rd exit, then along Granville Rd. Here I reached the converted Victorian mansion house at the end of Crosshill Rd where the first 2 year girls had a very happy time before transferring to the senior school at the top of Montague St. Both of these schools are now only memories. So I know that route through the park VERY well. After getting married and having our first child, my policeman husband Tom discovered, while "on the beat" a desireable house tucked away up Gawthorpe & 2 minutes from the park. We bought it for £1250,00 !!! and I still live there. Our 3 children spent many hours playing & picnicking in the park. The sliding stone was well polished by their backsides & all three learned to ride their 2-wheelers on the Broadwalk, with Tom or me holding onto the saddle then letting go when we were out of breath. What else they got up to when on their own I don't know & did not inquire. Children need their private lives.
I love the park and still to this day frequently walk on the many paths.
Norman Thompson, 8th May 2012.
My fond memories are from the 1980's and early 90's. I was the Superintendent in Corporation Park . My first picture is of the planting inside the conservatory from 1941. The second 2 are the floral displays in the 80's and 90's.
Pictures Courtesy of Norman Thompson
David Gillibrand, 29th November 2012.
My fond memories are from around the late 60’s early 70’s.
In response to Norman Thompson comments:
I remember the park and conservatory well. I spent many an hour playing in the Conservatory with my friend Andrew. My lasting memory of the Conservatory was the heat and sense of reverence when entering. Andrew and I used to get rides on the dumper trucks up and down the broad walk, way before Health & Safety was invented! Norman, you used to do a great job keeping things straight. Very happy memories.
Dave Hilliard February 2013
My fond memories are from around 1970.
I too have lots of memories of the park as I started to go there with my nan when I was about 3 or 4 years old. I am now 47 by the way. She use to take me to see the ducks and to show me the plants in the conservatory. This has had a lasting impression on me for I have always had a love of the natural world, birds and plant life, though it is not my profession I consider myself a keen naturalist. In my early twenties I moved to Lammack and visited the park regularly but usually to walk a dog or two. I also use the park to run a leadership / treasure hunt exercise with the Prince’s Trust group through work. It is surprising how many clues one can set connected with the park.
Here are some other memories and comments from the exploring landscapes project.
15 October to 3 November 2012
7 artists worked in 6 parks across Pennine Lancashire, to creatively explore how the parks and wider country side is used.
Lucy Bergman is a film maker who uses a mix of digital media and traditional arts and crafts.
She was based in Corporation Park and here are some of the memories & quotes from people she met using the park.
“I’ve been coming here since I was a girl and I brought my children too”
“I come here everyday to pray as I walk”
“Watching the trees like this reminds me of being back home in Canada”
“It’s the trees that make this park special”
“I come every Sunday on my day off and just sit on this bench and have a drink. Sometimes my friend comes too and we just sit and while away the hours talking and looking at the view”
“We drive over here specially because we love this park”
“I walk down through the park after church. I used to be part of the Blackburn ramblers so I’m still very fit for my age. I’m glad I can still get about.”
“I come first thing in the morning, it’s peaceful, still and calm. I come to gather my thoughts”
“Who needs to go anywhere else its so beautiful here- you’ve got all the seasons.”
“I come here to build dens. I like to have a secret place that no one knows about”
“I’ve been coming since I was a kid and now I bring my grand daughter”
“I trained to work with autistic children in the 50’s. My teacher told me everything I needed to learn I could find in nature”
“I have to come here to clear my head so I can get through my life”
“The park is in my soul, being in nature lights up a place in your brain, places you’ll never see. The park was like a foster mother to me”
“The most beautiful park in East Lancs”
Of the conservatory:
“The town’s treasure”
“It breaks my heart to see it in this state, the glasshouse was the heart of park and now it’s just a shell”
East Park Road Entrance
Jenny Paynter 6th October 2014.
My father was born in 1908 and my mother in 1909 and one of their memories was of the great depression of the 1930's when they were courting. They were unemployed and struggling to find work in the mills, so their great pleasure was to promenade in the park. Apparently there were many more like them and they all used to congregate on the Broadwalk in Corporation Park on Sunday afternoons walking up and down and chatting to others. It cost absolutely nothing but gave great pleasure. They married in 1933 and lived in a little cottage at the top of Dukes Brow where my brother was born in 1935, they then spent many hours in the park with their first born.
Richard Jones 7th February 2018
My fond memories of Corporation Park date from the early 90s; shortly after we moved to the area. I loved taking photos in the park and, in particular, inside the conservatory. The displays were wonderful and a real credit to the gardeners. I was very surprised to find a banana palm complete with baby bananas in Blackburn!
Pictures Courtesy of Richard Jones
Anne Yarham, 3rd December 2018.
My memories of this beautiful and historic Victorian conservatory date from around 1957 onwards. Living in a small terraced house next to a factory in the centre of the town, I could walk to the park in less than 15 minutes. What a wonderful place to go even when it was raining! I spent many happy hours in the Corporation Park. By far the highlight was entering the park from the amazing front gates, stopping at the memorial garden, walking up the steep path to the lake and then on to the magnificent conservatory which to me always looked like an amazing glass ship on a big wave of the sea. There was something so special about the conservatory and I would be drawn to it immediately on seeing it in all its splendour at the top of the grassy hillock. I would look up to the ornate and beautiful clock and wonder at the shining glass windows and the intricate patterns of the ironwork. The feeling of opening the door and entering such a magical place is something I can feel as real now as it felt over 60 years ago. The earthy smell of the soil, the colourful flowers and the carpet of tiny green-leaved cushion plants that tumbled over the rocks and the little crevices was sheer delight. Once into the main rectangular area you felt transported to far-away lands that could only be dreamt of. I used to spend ages walking around, listening to the drip of the water droplets, feeling the warmth of the sun through the shiny glass windows and looking up at the sky and clouds. Once through the main part I would go out the other end walk all the way around the outside and go back in through the door and start the experience all over again. In any season the conservatory was pure magic. I moved to London rather suddenly in 1966 at the age of 12 and never got the chance to say goodbye to the conservatory but never forgot it or the park or indeed Blackburn. I brought my husband (a Londoner) to the park in 1980 and he was extremely impressed with the conservatory and the park. Then when my children were young and we were on holiday in the north we would come to see the park and conservatory but it was sad to see it falling into disrepair. Whenever I come back to Blackburn I have always made the trip to the conservatory. I was here with my son one December a few years ago when there was an unexpected and heavy snowfall. We were in the park very early in the morning with the snow almost untouched and the park and conservatory looked absolutely magnificent. It is heartbreaking to see the conservatory in such a poor state but heartening that there are people who want to do everything possible to restore it to its former glory. This wonderful building must be preserved as it is one of the finest examples of the Victorian cast iron conservatories, a place that has brought so much pleasure and so many memories to so many people and a real treasure for the town.
The Triumphal Park Archways undergoing works some years ago.
A memory from
Bruce Kitchin in 2020