The main entrance to Jubilee Park (above left), which opened in 1939, is on Galliard Road with several back entrances on the roads off of the Hertford Road and a side entrance off the path between the park and Galliard School. The park also includes "the rec" (or "the wreck" as I misunderstood it as a child) which often gets separately marked as "recreation ground" on maps.
From the main gate there is a central path leading up a slight rise to the golf hut with ornamental gardens on the left and a golf course on the right.
The ornamental gardens used to feature neat lawns arranged around a central hedged circle and several flower beds alongside the paths. I believe it may have been a rose hedge but I can't quite remember. It was certainly dense. Playing ball games on this area was a no-no. This area is still there but is a little more half-hearted in my opinion and lacks the formality it once had. However there are some fine mature trees of several species.
The golf course is a short pitch and putt course, and used to be two nine hole courses side by side. I spent many, many hours playing on here. It was common to sneak in two rounds for the price of one (the park keepers often encouraged it in quiet periods) and if you had your own clubs and balls as many of us did it was quite common not to pay at all. The course is still there but it is now just a single nine hole course and probably the better for it. The course looks a lot more landscaped than it was when I played it with many mature trees. Whether this is deliberate or a result of tidying it up after neglecting it for too many years is another question. Certainly it seems true that even in the seventies the parks were in a state of slow decay and then it seemed they were left to go to pot as if they were somehow a thing of the past. However in recent years it seems their value has been recognised again and more effort is being made.
Next to the ornamental gardens on the left hand side was a putting green and behind this was an area reserved for O.A.P.s which was strictly out of bounds to the kids. It was reached by a path to the side of the putting green. I can't tell you what this area was like because it was surrounded by high hedges or fences but there was definitely a pavilion of some sort. The photo (above left) suggests the putting green is no more, and you can just about see behind it.
Next to the putting green and more or less opposite the golf hut was a fenced off fish pond which had a small rocky waterfall feature on the right hand side that you always hoped was switched on. Behind this area was the domain of the park keepers with their offfice/hut thing and the storage area etc. As can be seen from the photo on the left, the pond has been grassed over though some of the remnants of the waterfall are still there.
The central path split either side of three central grassed areas, the first two just being relatively small lawns around flower beds as I can recall, and the next a large area that could be used for ball games. These paths led to the King Edward's Road and Bridlington Road gates. To the left of the paths there were first some tennis courts (three pairs), then the fenced off children's area with the slides and swings etc and a small rectangular paddling pool which was less frequently filled as the years went by. Beyond this there was a grotty play centre hut (a prefab I think) and then a strange concreted area with railings around it that wasn't used much for anything - after all who wants to play on concrete? It wasn't very even either.
As the photos show the first flower bed seems to have gone (if it was ever there!) and the second one has an attractive bed of trees and shrubs. The first two tennis courts have been replaced by a brightly coloured basketball court . The second and third pair of tennis courts are still there. The childrens play area (a bit distant in the third photo for obvious reasons but see later in the page) seems to be thriving again, though somewhat different to my day. We were considered perfectly capable of climbing steps up to the top of the slide without falling off and hurting ourselves, though I did hear of one child falling from the top once and breaking their arm. Now they seem to build the slide into a grassy mound. The paddling pool is filled in but not grassed. The last photo shows the concrete bowl is still there, as is a new looking brick built play area and also it looks like they are cutting a maze or something into overgrown grass.
I am reliably informed that the concrete bowl is actually supposed to be a paddling pool. I can't recall it ever being used for it so it must have stopped being used by some time in the 1960s at latest (see also later in the page).
Just past the golf hut there was a bush lined path that led down the side of the golf course to the corner of the Henry Barrass and "the rec" as can be seen in the first photo. The first section going past the toilets (centre left) and the bowling green was considered an inferior play area and rather too close to park keepers for comfort, but half way down there was a brick arch with steps down through it and beyond that was *the* adventure playground of the park. The buses were on a nice slope and they made a wonderful warren where kids could play for hours. The arch has been known by some as "the moon arch" but I know we had a definite different name for it and I think it was "the key hole". As can be seen the arch is no more (one wonders how it came to be there in the first place) and the bushes are no longer there either. There are a number of mature trees lining the golf course and the slopes below and now just overgrown with weeds and nettles (that was at the end of July, at the end of October they had been cleaned up).
This part of the park was one big field leading all the way to Houndsfield School at the back and is marked out with football pitches for parks football during the season. Nothing has really changed here, and the big hedge around the bowling green is as healthy as ever. To the right hand side is the edge of the Henry Barrass. This areas was known to us kids as "the big bushes". They weren't particularly bushy but they were a higher slope. They seem even less bushy now and the railings around the stadium have gone.
The bowling green was always a no go area for kids that was generally only ever glimpsed through the gates or the occasional thinner spot in the hedge. Seeing one of those spots I couldn't resist pushing my camera through to take a photo!
Over in the far corner is the entrance from Houndsfield Road which has some rather nice gates as can be seen in the photo on the right.
The rec, above, runs from Galliard Road past the pitch and putt and up to, and to one side of, the Henry Barrass stadium and as well as two gates on Galliard Road there is one gate opening onto Sutherland Road in the far corner and a separate gate opening onto the footpath between Houndsfield Road and Sutherland Road. Over in this corner there is also a patch of concrete where some structure clearly used to be but I don't know what it might have been.
Though it doesn't seem that there is anything to have changed since the 1970s, near the Galliard Road side are a couple of patches of longer grass (visible in the foreground) and a couple of patches of trees and shrubs that are "new". This area is used for parks football at the weekend and I believe there are two full-size pitches here. The area to the side of the stadium has three floodlight pylons. I can remember them appearing but I can't recall what their purpose was.
The Henry Barrass stadium is a shadow of its former self. It used to be enclosed by railings and thicker hedges and had a second grandstand and a cinder athletics track. Now it almost blends into the park. It is mentioned on www.runtrackdir.com with some photos.
The photo above left is pretty useless as photos go but is there for Ron Roe, who has made lots of fascinating and valuable contributions on the message board. Just about visible on the right is the path and gate to Bedford Road he used so much :-) I don't know if the footpath was there in his day but certainly if it was then it wasn't fenced off from the park in the same way as it is here (actually the fence was broken down here, as it always was!).
Three photos left over :-) The first one was really just an attempt at an arty photo of trees on the corner of the golf course near the main entrance. The second is one of many trees and shrubs between the path alongside the golf course and the back gardens of the bungalows. The last is a not terribly good photo of a sign up near the golf hut.
While passing the gates with a camera in my pocket I thought I'd take photos of the plaques on the gates. I can understand having the one with the opening date but listing the members of the Parks Committee seems a little over the top.
Now then, earlier I showed a very distant shot of the children's play area but come a nice snowy day in January during school term I was able to wander around more freely and take some photos and while doing so I also spotted the steps I had forgotten about that lead up to the golf hut (above right). That hut was once a nice wooden kiosk with seating either side but that was burned down many moons ago. Now then back to the play area and the tennis courts...
A lot of the above is familiar to me from 25-35 years ago and I can remember the climbing frame and spider being installed. When I was young there was a big and small slide where the big mound with the slide is now and I think one more roundabout. The set of swings nearest the main gate, where there was a drinking fountain in the corner, were the "baby swings" and I think the set that are of that type now were just normal swings but with something different about the seats — perhaps a different material or even flexible — and I have a hazy recollection of them being installed too. Where there are now some springy animal things there was at least one rocking horse and a see-saw. The rather elaborate thing in front of the hut is completely new to me. I can't remember what was there in my day, or can I? I do remember there was another sort of swing thing but I can't remember what they are called. The sort where you used to push and pull on a lever in the middle to get them rocking.
Earlier mention was made of the former paddling pool. This subject has come up a few times on the message board as those who have only known it since the 1970s simply weren't aware that was what it was supposed to be. It was really something of a problem area but walking through the park in 2005 I was surprised and delighted to see that it has been laid out with raised beds and some benches scattered around. Nice idea by someone.