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A Short History of Mesnes Park

28 Acre site, originally part of the Rector’s “Glebe” lands, and mined for coal; by 1878 was worked out and derelict.

August Bank Holiday Monday, 1878: Opened by local mill owner and Mayor, Nathaniel Eckersley, with a bequest of £12,000.

1880 Original ‘Swiss Chalet’ completed at Lodge gates, with Joseph Pettit as first ‘Parkie’ in residence. He died in 1915 and FoMP interviewed his Grand-daughter, Irene Cunliffe in 2000.

1880 Pavilion Café completed with 4 flights of steps, and urns designed by Dalton & Co. Occupied by a succession of contractors, latterly Cassinelli’s, and by 21st. Century, old established ice cream family Frederick’s.

1890 Bandstand built by Smith & Co., Glasgow.

1903 Boer War statue erected by public subscription; lost to decomposition and vandalism by the 1960’s.

1910 Bronze statue of Sir Francis Sharpe Powell erected and unveiled by Lord Derby; post WW2 tradition of ‘touching the toe’ for luck grows up.

1926 Park Superintendent’s house, the current Lodge, is built.

1920’s Coalbrookdale fountain dismantled.

1945 “Holiday at Home” dances round the Bandstand with Roy Turner’s band take place.

1953 First of the Annual Summer Shows in the Lodge garden, originally marking Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 2nd.

1998 Formation of “Friends’ of Mesnes Park”

2005 Award of £6.5m Renovation Grant by Heritage Lottery Fund.

29th. September 2013 Grand Opening of the renovated Park by Stuart Maconie, with restored Lodge, Shelter, Café, Powell statue, Bandstand and Bowling Pavilion, and restitution of 2 lost features, - the Coalbrookdale fountain, and Pulham waterfall. Later in the year, a new Boer War Statue is unveiled by the Friends of the Boer War Memorial.