Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Hyde Park Paddling Pool

Hyde Park Paddling Pool

I spent many happy hours in this pool as a child, the place would have been full of children in the school holidays. All the mothers would be sat on the benches gossiping, some would be knitting and one or two would drop off for forty winks. All the children would be running about and the noise would have been very loud but still a chance for forty winks would have been gladly taken. Mums would have bought sandwiches and pop for a picnic... if we were good we'd get an ice cream from a van that would be parked up. Now and then as a rare treat we'd have our dinner in the cafe... normally when the gas or electric metre had been emptied and mum was a bit flush as she called it. We always got treated when the metres were emptied and we'd look forward to seeing the 'metre man' in the street.
Summer time in the park meant playing on the swings, and slide, making castles in the sand pit. watching crown green bowling, and brass bands playing on the bandstand, even running wild in woodlands. The thing I liked the most was the small train  which was kept in a shed at the far end of the play area, near the railings on Park Road. This was proper fun for a small boy... and if you were lucky the driver would let you wear his hat... Ha! I bet he always had 'nits' thinking back now. I was very sad when we visited the park and was told the train had gone. I am not sure if it is now at Manor Park, Glossop or a Garden Centre at Poyton... I must have heard that some where. I also remember the big drinking fountain near to the paddling pool... the water was always cold... most welcoming after running about in the sunshine. If you have pictures of the park please send them in so we can make a collection of them here... and as always your memories of the park would make the post that bit more special. . 


Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

whereabouts was this pool

Anonymous said...

Gerald, it was opposite the swing park if you look on goggle earth you can see the outline as there is a seperate play area that shows the boundry - Tom I thought I was going mad last time I was in Hyde park as I could remember the train but there is no trace of it at all, thought I had made it up - Many happy days playing in the pool and in the woods - is the "castle" still in the woods?

Tom said...

Gerald, Anon is correct with where it was.
Anon, the last time I was in there the 'Castle' as we all called it was still there... The woods as seen quite a bit of work in the last few years.
I'd almost forgot the rabbits, and the Aviary. There was a Minor Bird in the Aviary, and I can still recall a tune it did. My cousin John Mcguire had a liking for this bird and one day the chance came as the keeper had not locked up the aviary. He sneaked in and had it away. It made the papers of course as the bird was very popular.. and as such one of his neighbours reported him... he'd had the bird about a month by then... anyhow one day the police turned up and John let the bird fly off... the police saw the empty cage and realised what he'd done. He was taken to Hyde police station for questioning. The bird was later handed into the police, John was still denying anything to do with having the bird, until a bobby walked in with the bird in a cage, sat it in front of John and it said "Give us a toffee John, Give us a toffee John"... ha! He was charge and went to court, he never forgive the bird for 'grassing' on him.... ha! Apart from the tune and different whistle and calls it made it could still be heard to say "Give us a toffee John" for as long as it were there.

Hydonian said...

Fantastic stories there!
Wasn't the Minor Bird called Charlie? I used to love that bird.
As my Nan lived on Bennett Street in Newton we spent a lot of time in the park. Used to love the ice lollies from the Bayley Hall shop - Lord Toffinghams and Count Dracula lollies were my favourites, or the Teddy Bear lollies that the Meschias ice cream van sold.
I have many happy memories from days in the park.

Lizzy said...

Do you know I don't ever remember going there as a child, we spent all our time at Pole Bank!

Tom said...

We went to Pole Bank as well Elizabeth.. I remember the 'Green Fold Up Chairs' Playing by the Pond, there was one or two Weeping Willows which you could hid in... or run though... The lady's in the kitchen would give you a drink if you asked... Pole Bank was always a favourite place of mine.

Marjorie said...

My great uncle worked for the corporation and helped to build the paddling pool. It was round when I was small, but has shrunk considerably since then.

Anonymous said...

The original swing park was on Park Road, it had two vaulting horses and the big umbrella. Amuch better park than the present one. Also there was a gents toilet in the corner and ashton Brothers childrens nursery.

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