Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Gower Hey

Another great photo sent to us by Sean Mayall.
"Gower Hey Woods swing park. The date is unknown. Me and my brother Alan on the slide"


This photo brought back many memories for me as I grew up close by and still live near. Such a shame that all the swings and roundabouts were removed but I suppose that is a sign of the times. If my memory serves me correctly , there was also a "witches hat" roundabout, a smaller roundabout and a sandpit. I cut my knee open on the slide once as it used to be locked up on a sunday but i would insist on climbing on it still!
Ahh , happy days :)


Aerial map from the 1970's showing where the swing park was situated. You can just make out the roundabouts by the circles. Stockport Road runs down to the right of the map. The land was originally owned by John Boardman according to Tithe maps from 1836-51


Sean Mayall said...

I don't remember the roundabout myself, but i do recall the swings, slide and sandpit. On one occassion my mother and Eileen Gilmore took, me, Alan, Paul Gilmore and Martin Gilmore there. Alan wouldnt get off the slide so the rest of us went down the slide while Alan was at the bottom of the slide, this resulted in Alan breaking his arm. I also remember going on a Zions Sunday School outing there, I kissed Jean Wilson behind a bush.. the innocence of our childhood.

Jean said...

This swingie was one of our haunts in the late 50s, we would walk down Osbourne Road and through the woods and come home the same way. Happy Days.

Hydonian said...

The roundabouts were the first things to go unfortunately , Alan. I loved the witches hat!
It sounds like that slide was the cause of many accidents ha! Jean Wilson was very cute - she was the youngest of the girls, wasn't she?
Jean - I married one of the "Swingy mob" lol x

Ceecee said...

Happy days as Jean says we spent many happy hours at this park. Going through Goray wood as we called it and to see who could get the highest on the swings.

Werneth Low said...

Thanks for this. I'd forgotten that we called it the swing park, but when I saw the comments fond memories came flooding back. I played here in the early-mid 50s and our swingie group consisted of Billy Hanks, Peter Barton, Jack Gilson, Collette Matley, Marcus Smith [he spent the summer holidays with his grandad on Stockport Road and played with us]. I remember the witch's hat roundabout, which was the first thing to be removed because someone got hurt on it. There was another roundabout, at a lower level and presumably less dangerous, the swings, slide and sandpit. I remember that when you sat on the swing there was a a tree on a hill in the distance [to the left of the pathway into the wood]. We used to call it the Davy Crockett tree because, when it was in leaf, it resembled a Davy Crockett hat and everyone wanted one at that time.

westarsteve said...

i dont know why the slide and the swings used to be locked up on sundays it was a nice little play area but like everything else someone gets hurt and they remove everything there was a small roundabout and the witches hat one could go round or if more people were on one side it would go to the side as well

Werneth Low said...

The slide and swings were locked up on Sundays because it was a special day and kids were expected to attend Sunday School, not be playing in the swing park. Young people had more respect for law and order then - maybe we could do with a few things being locked up on Sundays now!

westarsteve said...

ah yes werneth low that was right everything was closed on sundays amd yes you are right a few things could do with locking up again

Anonymous said...

2nd Gee Cross Guide Company used to have Hike Suppers in the woods on a Friday evening in the Summer in the late 1950s. We would cut out the turf, collect wood, make special twigs for cooking sausages and 'dampers' which were basically flour and water dumplings which tasted awful but we didn't think so.After, we replaced the turf and left things exactly as we found them! Ann Stafford patrol leader of Kingfishers

celtbard_2000 said...

My uncle Bill Grimshaw broke his leg on that roundabout when his leg got caught underneath the roundabout. My dad Dennis Grimshaw always took us there and every time would tell the story about the roundabout so we would be safe. The result, I never got on the roundabout!

Werneth Low said...

After reading and responding to this post, whilst visiting Hyde on 21 August I visited what I knew as the swingie. I should think it would be 40 years aince I wa last in there, and what a shock I got. I stood near an information board which said Gower Hey Woodlands and looked around. I felt completely overwhelmed by mature trees and, try as I might, I couldn't visualise where the swings etc had been. I didn't venture further. My dream was shattered!

Tom said...

Hi Werneth Low
I feel shocked at times when I see what as happened to certain parts of Hyde..