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Ottawa To Ormskirk

Ottawa To Ormskirk

<img class="size-medium wp-image-645" src="http://ormskirkbygonetimes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Arthur-Stanley-young-man-209×300.jpg" alt="Sir Arthur Stanley by Bassano" width="209" height="300" srcset="http://ormskirkbygonetimes livraison viagra.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Arthur-Stanley-young-man-209×300.jpg 209w, http://ormskirkbygonetimes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Arthur-Stanley-young-man.jpg 558w” sizes=”(max-width: 209px) 100vw, 209px” />

Sir Arthur Stanley by Bassano

Sir Arthur Stanley (1869 – 1947) was elected MP for Ormskirk Division in 1898 , The constituency, officially designated as South-West Lancashire, Ormskirk Division consisted of the town of Ormskirk and a number of surrounding parishes, namely, Aintree, Aughton, Bickerstaffe,  Croxteth Park, Dalton, Downholland, Halsall, Kirkby, Knowsley, Lathom, Litherland, Lunt, Lydiate, Maghull, Melling, Netherton, Ormskirk, Orrell and Ford, Prescot, Scarisbrick, Sefton, Simonswood, Skelmersdale & Upholland.

Sir Arthur held the seat for twenty years, although there was a close challenge in 1910 from William Lever, the Bolton born Industrialist and creator of Port Sunlight and Rivington Park.

Isobel Stanley (in white dress) playing 'Shinny' in grounds of Rideau House, Ottawa.

Isobel Stanley (in white dress) playing ‘Shinny’ in grounds of Rideau House, Ottawa.

Before Arthur Stanley became the Ormskirk MP however, he had been living with his family in Canada from 1888 until 1893, where his father, the Hon Frederick Arthur Stanley, (later to become the 16th Earl of Derby,) was the 6th Governor General of Canada. The whole family became great fans of the sport of Ice Hockey whilst living in the Official Residence in Ottawa and two of the sons and a daughter all played in the amateur Ice Hockey league, the first women’s amateur final was played on March 8th 1889 and one of the players was Isobel Stanley, Arthur’s sister, who was to influence her father more than anyone to create the famous Stanley Cup.  In 1892, her father gave Canada the treasured national icon, (the Stanley Cup). He originally donated the trophy as a challenge cup for Canada’s best amateur hockey club, but in 1909, it became contested by professional teams exclusively. Since 1926, only teams of the National Hockey League have competed for the trophy. This now famous cup bears Derby’s name as tribute to his enthusiasm and encouragement for the development of the sport.  In 1945, as further recognition of Lord Derby’s work, he was inducted into the  Hockey Hall of Fame in the “Honoured Builders” category‘.  This was the same Lord Derby who donated the land to build the Coronation Park in Ormskirk for the enjoyment of the town’s young people.  After her marriage, Lady Isobel Stanley Gathorne-Hardy’s role as a pioneer of women’s ice hockey in Canada was acknowledged with the Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award. The award is given to an active player (at any level) whose values, leadership and personal traits are representative of all female athletes.

The Rideau Rebels with the Stanley brothers

The Rideau Rebels with the Stanley brothers

Arthur and his brother William played at amateur level at the The Rideau Rink, named after the Governors Residence Rideau Hall, which was opened in 1889, playing for the Rideau Rebels, a team made up of Government staff and parliamentarians.

On his return to England Arthur lived at Knowsley Hall with his father and family, working as an MP for Ormskirk Division.

The Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup

Arthur Stanley was knighted in 1917, he was the Chairman of the British Red Cross Society throughout the years of the Great War, and his last contribution to Parliamentary debate as the Ormskirk Division MP was in 1918, when MPs debated the Lotteries Bill in relation to fundraising for the war effort and the donations made by ‘rich ladies’ of their jewellery for raffle prizes to raise funds, Sir Arthur is recorded as commenting…..’ I take my own Constituency in Lancashire, and I say that at practically every one of these bazaars I have been asked to take part in at least a dozen raffles. Does not every Hon. Member when he goes to bazaars provide himself with a pocket full of silver in order that he may take tickets or raffles when asked? I say this does not introduce the spirit of gambling. Is morality in any way harmed by this very harmless amusement of raffling, and if no harm has been caused when it has been practised in pre-war times, is harm going to be done because it happens to be on a rather bigger scale?

A card sent to the people of Ormskirk by Arthur Stanley after his narrow win over Lord Leverhulme.

A card sent to the people of Ormskirk by Arthur Stanley after his narrow win over Lord Leverhulme. Click on the Image for a larger view

He went on to add: …… I would point out that many of these ladies are very far from rich. They gave that which to each of them was most precious, and they gave it in order to help what they felt was even more precious. They felt that they were giving these pearls for the relief of suffering, which they themselves would willingly have laid down their lives to avoid. Out of these pearls have been formed a necklace. Some Members have spoken of that necklace as though it had a price, but it has no price. It is a necklace formed of pearls given by women in this great War, and it is something which cannot be priced; it is something above all price. That is not all. When you have an object like that in your possession, an object which was placed in the possession of the Red Cross to be used for a most sacred purpose, how are you to dispose of it in the best way? Is it the best way to sell it to a jeweller or to sell it to a rich man? May it not possibly be the best way to sell it in such a manner that even a man who can only afford to give a shilling may have an opportunity of securing that necklace? I only ask the question. I do not expect hon. Members opposite to agree with me, but I do ask them to put to themselves the question which we have put to ourselves, what, when you have a great trust like this confided to your care, in order to help those who are suffering for their country, is the best way to realise it? I own myself I should think that that necklace had been more properly and more worthily bought by the poor man who managed to pay the shilling than by anyone who could afford to buy it.

Sir Arthur Stanley died on the 4th November 1947 in Eastbourne, having never married nor had issue and his estate valued at £133,000 was administered by his brother Frederick Arthur Stanley.

Chicago Blackhawks 2015 Stanley Cup Winners

Chicago Blackhawks 2015 Stanley Cup Winners

Arthur’s father Lord Derby, along with the Countess,  attended a bazaar held in the Drill Hall in 1904 to raise funds for the rebuilding of St Paul’s Church, Skelmersdale.

Ormskirk Gala

Ormskirk Gala

Gala Day in Ormskirk 1904

Gala Day in Ormskirk 1904

Ormskirk Gala Day was held during August each year for many years. The organising committee made advance preparations throughout the summer months with several committees set up to ensure the smooth running of this very popular event.

Mr J.J. Balmforth, the ironmonger of Aughton Street, presided  over the General committee, an Entertainment Committee  made sure that a circus was booked and all necessary plane were put in place to accommodate  the whole Circus in the Gala Parade and provide the venue on the Victoria Pleasure Grounds.

The Procession and Turnouts Committee set  about organising the order of the parade to include Tradesman’s and Farmer’s Turnouts, that is, a wagon or cart pulled by a team of Heavy or Working Horses, with the wagons and carts decorated to various themes.  These were judged in a series of classes and an entry fee of between 1s and £1 with monetary prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places of between £1 and £5 depending on the class.

Sgt Major James Ikin Nunnerley

Sgt Major James Ikin Nunnerley

Entries were limited to Master Tradesmen living within a 1 mile radius of the Market Cross and all other entries could be from within a 6 mile radius of the Market Cross.  This was to allow entries from tenants from surrounding farms to enter their own turnouts or decorate a cart for the Tableau procession.

Apart from the monetary prizes, special prizes were to be awarded by the following committee members and town businesses:  Mr J.J.  Balmforth, a pair of carvers valued at 21s for the winner of the Tradesman’s Master Class  for Heavy Horse Turnouts;  Mr James Arnold Williams, provision dealer of 31 Burscough Street promised a prize valued at 21s for the winner of the Single Heavy Horse Turnout;  William Gilbert, Draper, of 10 Moor Street also promised a 21s prize to the winner of the most humorous float or tableau.

There was also a fancy dress on a quadruped category for both adults and children and a bicycle fancy dress parade with a baby show held in the Corn Exchange.

This would have been an amazing parade with the whole town and all business premises along the main streets being elaborately decorated for the event.

Thomas Hough, winner of the children's fancy dress competition, with Sgt Major Nunnerley's medals

Thomas Hough, winner of the children’s fancy dress competition, with Sgt Major Nunnerley’s medals

The winner of the children’s fancy dress on a quadruped was a young man named Thomas Hough (1895 – 1985) who is shown in the picture dressed as Charge of The Light Brigade survivor Sgt Major James Ikin Nunnerley, who had a Gents outfitters shop at 27 Moor Street. The photo is taken at the rear of the Queens Head Hotel, Moor Street on the day of the Gala. Thomas is wearing a miniature uniform of the 17th Lancers.  Thomas is also wearing Nunnerley’s medals.  The photos belong to Thomas Hough’s son-in-law Bob Hanley.

Ormskirk On Parade

Ormskirk On Parade

Gala Day in Ormskirk

Gala Day in Ormskirk

The people of Ormskirk have always enjoyed a good parade. Traditional events like the Ormskirk Gala, the District Agricultural Show and the Empire Day parades were highlights in the town. Coupled with the various Coronations, Jubilees and various Anniversary parades, the town has some wonderful celebrations to look back on.

The town Gala was a huge event, spread across various venues in the town and over a couple of days, dressing up was popular and dressing up and riding a bike was even more popular with prizes for the most imaginative turnouts.

<img class="size-medium wp-image-477" src="http://ormskirkbygonetimes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/lancashire-hussars-2-300×210.jpg" alt="The Lancashire Hussars parade down Moor Street" width="300" height="210" srcset="http://ormskirkbygonetimes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/lancashire-hussars-2-300×210 le viagra avis.jpg 300w, http://ormskirkbygonetimes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/lancashire-hussars-2.jpg 597w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />

The Lancashire Hussars parade down Moor Street

The local Agricultural Show attracted exhibitors from all over the United Kingdom and the standard of entry and judges in the livestock, Poultry and Agricultural produce was apparently extremely high with some very generous prizes for best in show in all categories.

The local venues included the Victoria Athletic Grounds off Southport Road, owned by James Eastham and used not only for the various sporting elements of the Gala but also the judging of the various elaborate floats and tableaux.

The parade on Empire Day, 24th May 1902

The parade on Empire Day, 24th May 1902

The first Empire Day held on 24th May 1902 and we have images of the event  in Ormskirk as the parade passes the King’s Arms, Moor Street.

The Parish Church held a Sunday School Anniversary, or Walking Day, in July each year when the children walked from Greetby Fields, along Stanley Street, Moor Street and then up Church Street for a special service in the Church.

Military parades in the town were held on many occasions and Ormskirk Bygone Times holds a number of images from across the years, if anyone would like to share photos and stories of the town’s social events please visit our page at facebook.com/Ormskirkbygonetimes

An Ormskirk Christmas

An Ormskirk Christmas

The Nativity Scene outside Ormskirk Parish Chrurch

The Nativity Scene outside Ormskirk Parish Chrurch

Ormskirk Bygone Times has been collecting the memories of our page followers over the last couple of years and it seems that amongst our 5000+ followers, many people share the same memories of the Ormskirk Christmas experience.

For many children the season was about visiting Father Christmas in his grotto at Burgesses on Church Street.  Or to those a bit younger, Parker Franks on the same site.

The traditional junior school Nativity plays bring back memories of red shiny paper used for a fire and silver tinsel wrapped around coat hangers for Angel halos.  Boys dressing gowns for Shepherds coats and singing Away In A Manger to our beaming parents sitting quietly watching, not a digital appliance in site, just the brain to record the memories and a photo for the local paper.

Our very own Dot as an angel in her school Nativity play

Our very own Dot as an angel in her school Nativity play

School Christmas dinners were exciting and at the end of the meal Father Christmas dropped in, oddly enough he never looked like the one in Burgesses.

Mahoods on Beaconsfield corner had a Christmas Toy department upstairs with train sets laid out and running.  Taylors on Moor Street was full of seasonal gifts and toys.

The Nativity Scene at the Parish Church has changed little over the years, a plastic screen on the front to protect the contents from theft or damage being the main change.

Shops in the town offered seasonal fayre of the highest quality.  Butchers provided local fresh Pork,Turkey  and Goose with home delivery.

Moor Street in the late 1960s

Moor Street in the late 1960s

Car Parks were unheard of until the late 1960s, before then parking was wherever you needed to be and for however long you chose, although most people walked into town and carried their shopping home themselves.

The town had everything people needed for a comfortable family Christmas and it was all done without excess or t’internet with most workers having just a couple of days off.

Many people will remember the winter of 1962/63 when snow drifts 6ft to 8 ft high almost caused a problem.  It was nothing a few men with  spades couldn’t put right.

A selection of adverts relating to Christmas in Ormskirk

An advert for Stokers Toys

Swarbrick's Pork Butchers Advert

Skaife Advert

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show – Sept 1904

“Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World” Travelling Show – September 1904

'Buffalo Bill Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World' paraded along Moor Street with the Deadwood Stage. Note the original clucas Shop in the background.

During the 1904 tour of the “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World” travelling show, the touring company passed through Ormskirk on the way to Southport from the previous venue in Wigan.

Cody with the Cowboys and 'US Cavalry' taken in Scotland in 1904

Cody with the Cowboys and ‘US Cavalry’

September 30th 1904 the main body of the show travelled by several dedicated trains from Wigan through to Southport but the stagecoach and several dozen of the show riders paraded through the town, no doubt to create some publicity.

The show travelled from New York to Liverpool in Spring 1904 and then used 4 special trains to travel to the first venue, Stoke on Trent.

Buffalo Bill with the Oglala Lakota

Buffalo Bill with the Oglala Lakota

The 1904 UK tour began in Stoke on 25th April and after performances in England, Scotland and Wales and 132 towns the tour ended in Hanley, Staffordshire on October 21st. A total of 4114 miles of train travel took the performers around the country and the shows were hugely well attended.

There had been an earlier tour during 1902/03 but the nearest it came to Ormskirk was Liverpool and local people had waited for the return of the show and lined the streets to watch the different riders parade past.

A tour poster from the 1904 tour

A tour poster from the 1904 tour. Click for a larger view

There weren’t just ‘Cowboys and  Indians’ in the show, as it had been previously, this time there were Cossack horsemen from Georgia, Mexican Vaqueros, Turks, Argentine Gauchos, Arab Spahis (Horse Soldiers) , and Mongolian riders. The parade must have been colourful and spectacular.

Oglala Lakota Sioux were a huge part of the show and performed throughout the history of the Buffalo Bill shows giving some thrilling performances that must have had crowds mesmerised and enthralled, especially the young children watching the show.  Although Sitting Bull had left the show a decade or more earlier, his son, Young Sitting Bull did apparently appear in this tour.

After leaving Southport the tour went on to Leigh and newspaper accounts of the event still survive.

Ormskirk Bygone Times has created a small display and booklet on the tour and the show which will be available to view at our exhibition in Skelmersdale Library on Saturday 28th November 2015. Please call in for a chat and to see our growing mobile exhibition.

Take A Seat

Take A Seat

Regal Cinema

A recolourised image of the Regal Cinema from the OBT archive. Thanks to David Pye for his excellent recolourisation work

There are people in this World who still dig for gold and there are people who buy lotto tickets every week in an attempt to make their dreams come true. Ormskirk Bygone Times’ heritage hunters just strive to seek out, rescue and repatriate lost artefacts from the town.

This week the hunt was on for something seemingly lost from the town forever but with some spot on research and some cunning detective work worthy of Columbo himself, something beautiful, rare and dripping with nostalgia was brought back to the town.

A row of five original art deco seats from the Regal Cinema, Church Street, has been bought and returned to Ormskirk by the team.

Regal Seats

Rows of seats from the Regal Cinema that have been in the possession of a church in Liverpool

With peacock blue crushed velvet, silver trimmed covers, deep sprung seats and distinctive silver panels at the end of each row, the 800 seat lower stalls and 300 seat balcony must have seemed like a palace to cinema goers in the town.

The cinema, with its ruched metallic curtain across a wide panoramic screen, officially opened February 10th 1936, although the Ormskirk Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society had used the venue for a performance of the Yeoman of the Guard in January .

A seat from the Regal Cinema

The art deco style detailing on the seats from the Regal Cinema

The Cinema was designed in the art deco style with elaborate features and rich colours that mimicked the glamour of Hollywood Hills. The foyer was decorated with blue woodwork and doors with silver metalwork which must have looked very glamorous.  A concierge was employed at the entrance complete with cap and uniform, quite probably in livery matching the blue and silver colour scheme. The Regal closed on November 23rd 1963 (the Day after JFK was assassinated) and for a short time it was used as a bingo hall and the seats were still in place.

We have a photo of the remodelling of the frontage from 1963/64 when it became a supermarket, prior to Tesco taking over.  In around 1965, the 1100 seats were removed and presumably split into lots for sale. OBT was able to track down one lot of around 100 seats which had been bought by a Liverpool Church and have been in use in the Church ever since.  The seats recently once again came up for sale and OBT have purchased the row of five, and will hopefully acquire a further set of 5, to make a full row of 10, over the next few months.

Regal Cinema Advert

Don’t take her for granted, take her to the Regal Cinema! An advert for the Regal Cinema. Click for a larger view

It is anticipated that this will be a great feature for our mobile displays in the future and people will be able to have their photos taken sitting in the seats that they fondly remember from their youth!

If you have your own memories of the Regal why not get in touch and share them with us!

An Ormskirk Record

An Ormskirk Record

Dot Broady-Hawkes shares her recollections of the many and varied record shops that have served Ormskirk in for many generations

<img class="size-medium wp-image-225" src="http://ormskirkbygonetimes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/f-rudd-derby-street-west-300×286.jpg" alt="A gramaphone record bought from F Rudd's on Derby Street West" width="300" height="286" srcset="http://ormskirkbygonetimes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/f-rudd-derby-street-west-300×286.jpg 300w, http://ormskirkbygonetimes viagra paris.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/f-rudd-derby-street-west.jpg 539w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />

A gramaphone record bought from F Rudd’s on Derby Street West

Frederick B. Rudd of 16 & 28 Derby Street West had one of the first businesses in Ormskirk to sell Gramophones and Gramophone Records. Formerly a Musical Instrument Dealer in the early 1900s, the post WW1 boom in the sale of the Gramophone and 78rpm records meant Rudd’s little shop at No 28 must have been packed with a vast range of recordings. Amazing to think that 50 years later the same premises was re-opened as the first Soundsgood store in the town. The tiny shop again was packed with the latest hit records from the Top Ten as well as an eclectic mix of teenybop, progressive rock, classical and middle of the road music. Genres that seem to sound quite strange now!

An advert for Allsets

An advert for Allsets. Click for larger view.

Allsets in Burscough Street was a busy store in the 50s and 60s, selling the new vinyl long playing (LP) records and the very best music centres and radiograms available. The small but very well stocked record department in the back of the shop was a magical place in the 60s and the soundproof booths were just the best!

Woolworths did not always have a record department, only opening one in the early 70s but with centralised buying and distribution it did not have the vision to be adventurous in the stock holding and risk something new. Ormskirk had a large Student population even then and although they were all poverty stricken most of the time, they seemed to always find the money for the latest Yes or Pink Floyd album. It was always easy to tell who was a student by the way, they called an LP an ‘Album , just to show they were hip………

The original Soundsgood store in 1971

The original Soundsgood store in 1971

Soundsgood, which moved to 28 Burscough Street in October 1975 and Allsets provided top 40 chart singles and a superb range of music, with cassette tapes and the amazing unreliability of 8 track cartridges. The link between a biro and a cassette tape is something only that generation understand.

Will Parker Records began in the first floor of 56 Aughton Street, with the Farmer’s Union office below. It was cut price records without losing the choice. A busy store that eventually moved to the Bus Station end of Moor Street.

The new Soundsgood store in 1978

The new Soundsgood store in 1978

After these stores were gone along came Quirk’s Record Centre in Church Street which was a hugely successful business.

The days of independent record stores are sadly pretty much gone with the new technology and new media. We can only sit and look at our old LPs and promise ourselves that one day soon before our children take them to the tip we will buy a turntable and speakers and play them all again, just to hear how the music used to sound.

The History Of Coronation Park

The History Of Coronation Park

The modern entrance to Coronation Park in Ormskirk

The modern entrance to Coronation Park

To mark the Coronation of King Edward VII in August 1902, plans were begun in Ormskirk to build a Public Park from public and private subscription along with a sum from the UDC coffers. The plan was to build on land that had previously been known as ‘Old Pants Rope Walk’ (Map 1, 1851) and had included allotments and orchards, the park was to cover a 20 acre site behind the Aughton Street Gas Works.

A section of the 1851 OS Map showing the proposed site for Coronation Park

Map 1. Click for large image.

The Earl of Derby had been one of the main subscribers to the building fund. Initial access was via a rough track from Aughton Street running alongside the old Black Bull pub. (Map 2 1908). Within a short time the access track was adopted by the Urban District Council and named Park Road.

A section of the 1908 Ordnance Survey map showing Coronation Park in Ormskirk

Map 2. Click for large image

The park construction had begun in 1904 and in August of that year a reward was offered by Town Surveyor Hugh W Chadwick in the sum of 10 shillings to ‘any person giving such information that will lead to the conviction of the person or persons who have smashed the Iron Check Valve in the lake in the Coronation Park’

The Coronation Park Lake being drained in 1969

The Coronation Park Lake being drained in 1969

The lake was fed by a sluice gate letting water in from Brook Acre and on several occasions over the years the lake has been drained and cleared of sludge and debris. The main type of fish used to be roach though most children will more likely recall sticklebacks, jam jars and fish nets from Mansergh’s shop being linked to the lake.

The Park was unceremoniously opened to the public on 14th June 1905. The public had already started using the park but delays in arranging an official opening date were caused by the UDC being unable to obtain a date when Lady Derby (Constance Lathom) could commit to attend the opening. Conscious of the increasing frustration of the town ratepayers and in a concerted effort to justify the delay, the Clerk to the Council Fred C. Hill (Frederick Charles Hill, Solicitor of Square House, Lathom) had made his correspondence with Lady Derby available to the press. On April 28th 1905 he had written to Lady Derby appealing for her attendance at an opening ceremony before the end of May. On May 2nd Lady Derby replied from her London Residence, Derby House, St James’s Square , S.W. and assured the UDC that ‘We would like very much to be able to accept your invitation to open the new Park……Yours Sincerely, Constance Derby Fred Hill duly replied directly on receipt of Lady Derby’s letter, informing her in his letter of the 4th May that Wednesday is the usual half-holiday in Ormskirk and would be most convenient to the inhabitants for the opening of the Park’. He then went on to suggest either the 31st May or failing that the 24th May.

An old postcard of Coronation Park looking towards the Parish Church (1940s)

An old postcard of Coronation Park looking towards the Parish Church (1940s)

A full 6 days later Lady Derby replied from Holwood Hayes , Kent, ‘I fear we must give up the idea of being able to accept your kind invitation because we have so many engagements in the South during these next two months…. 

The matter of the official opening was then debated at the meeting of the UDC on Tuesday 6th June, when the Chairman Mr F. A. Jones (Frederick Aneurin Jones, deputy County Coroner and Solicitor of ‘Glenridding’ Ormskirk)invited the opinions of the committee regarding the opening of the park without ceremony. Committee member Mr W. Fyles (William Fyles, House Builder of Knowlsey Road ) remarked. ‘The sooner it is opened the better , as people seem to be impatient for the opening. Mr J. Peet (probably retired farmer from Wimbrick Farm, Joseph Peet) remarked that, They (The public) were making use of it already, There were a large number in it on Sunday night.’. Mr T. O. Williams commented , ‘ Seeing that the negotiations with the Countess of Derby had fallen through I proposed that the Park be opened by our respected Chairman’s wife on Wednesday next, the 14th inst.’. Mr Williams, (the Aughton Street Tailor) went on to remark : People are clamouring for the opening …’ The Chairman, Mr Jones felt sure his wife would be honoured to have been asked but also felt she would decline the honour, it was put to the vote that the Park be opened on Wednesday 14th June ,’…without any formality whatsoever…’.

Children walking on a frozen Park Pool Lake in Coronation Park

Children walking on a frozen Park Pool Lake in Coronation Park

Apart from the turfed areas, pathways and the lake, ‘thirty garden seats’ were provided ,which were made and supplied after tender by J.J. Balmforth of Aughton Street.

When the Bowling Green behind the old Black Bull pub closed it meant there was no green close to the park and plans were started to bring a green and other recreational amenities to the park.

The swings at Coronation Park

The swings at Coronation Park

The Park has had various alterations and additions over its 120 years. During the 1920s a pavilion was added overlooking the lake with a public drinking fountain close by. It was not until post Second World War that the Bowling Green, Putting Green and Tennis Courts were added. Two blocks of public conveniences were also added, one near to the main gate and one where the old pavilion had been. A new Pavilion was sited adjacent to the Bowling Green.

There are pictures showing a set of swings in the corner of the park near to the exit onto Vicarage Road , the main recreation facilities, i.e. swings , slides, roundabouts and the dreaded witches hat, were all set out in the corner at the Park Avenue entrance in the late 50s/early 60s.

Children playing on the Coronation Park slides c. 1971

Children playing on the Coronation Park slides c. 1971

There were two slides put in for children, a big one and a really big one. The really big one was the cause of more than one accident!

Many people will remember a local character Sam Pealing , who for around 15 years was the caretaker at the park who reserved your tennis court, issued you with your pitch and put iron or shouted at you for jumping in the lake.

One of the most popular and well used features added in the late 60s was the huge drainage pipe craned into position near to the concrete sand pit next to the lake. Remembered fondly by many people it was the simplest idea but a huge success. Until of course it became a hazard.

Advert for the Ormskirk Horse Show 1952

An advert for the Gymkana held on Coronation Park in 1952. Click for larger view

In 1952 the park was the venue for a Gymkhana that attracted 5000 visitors. The Summer Holiday Play Schemes were attended by hundreds of children who sat on the grass throughout endless punch and judy shows in the hot summers of the 1970s, not a drop of sunscreen in sight. The park continues to host events that need a wide open town centre accessible space.

Comrades Cenotaph

Comrades Cenotaph


The Comrades Cenotaph was relocated to the park in the last few years and beneath this is a time capsule . The name of each man lost in the Great War, that was originally skilfully handwritten on a paper Memorial and used to hang in the old club, is being added to a plinth which will be placed alongside the Cenotaph later this year and form a real focus for those wishing to remember local men who gave their lives during the Great War.

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