Local resident

I moved here in 1970. I felt very lucky to moved to a place where you could walk out to the green.

I’m now in my nineties and as you can imagine, have seen many changes and improvements to the area over the forty two years I’ve lived here. I remember there was Park Buildings, the tenement flats, old terrace houses on the strip opposite and houses along the river and what is now the park, also the Queen Victoria pub on the corner and Platform Wharf which was on the site of King Edward III’s Manor House. So all in all we were in a very built up area with the docks of course.

In the early 1970s, a space was cleared and I remember there was a park with swings and a play roundabout, they even had a park keeper and toilets. My daughter would take her children to play and meet up with other local mums. When they demolished Park Buildings and the other houses, they used the rubble to build the hill and improved the playground. You can see the old photos I’ve copied. That must have been in about 1982. More recently the council improved the kid’s playground and I know many local families with young children use it every day.

Our whole family use the park. I have ten grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren have just been born! My daughter who now lives with me, walks the dog several times a day. My children come with their families to use the park and the playground. We had a lovely Easter picnic earlier this year with everyone. The weather was perfect and we sat on the hill. The park is our back garden, we can’t all fit in the flat! We also visit the Church summer fetes and different church activities.

I used to enjoy walking through the park, but recently I’ve become housebound and miss that. I like to sit on our balcony and enjoy the peace and quiet looking at the trees and getting some fresh air, but it’s not the same as getting down to the park. Luckily, my daughter with help,  carries me down two or three times a week, especially in the summer. We like sitting by the river watching the world go by, with all the boats and the cruise ships and the occasional warship. It’s nice to bump into neighbours and friends and have a chat and catch up. And of course I enjoy sitting and watching the kids play and being part of the family. It gives me a reason to want to go on living.
We all love the park and want it kept for our family and all local families to use.