Park Memories 1970s

The Lifeline for Mums

“I moved to Shirley Towers shortly before 1966. My family and I moved to Howard’s Grove until a couple of years ago (about 2005) when I moved to an elderly person’s flat in Lordshill. The Park hasn’t changed much. I used to take my two children there as youngsters. My daughter was born in 1966 and my son in 1972. They loved it. We’d have been lost without the Park – most mums take their children there after school for a run around, even if it’s only for 5 minutes. Even my two grandsons enjoyed it when they were tiny. They still love it. My 13-year old grandson loves the football and the 7-year old the swings. It was a good idea to open a Kiosk. If they change the Park, they should think of the little toddlers, whose parents take them up there when the other kiddies are at school. Otherwise they’ve got nothing. What else have we got in Shirley as a lifeline for mums? They need the Park and they need the toilets.”

Valerie Minchington  (June 2007)

St.George’s Day parade by Brownies, Girl Guides and Scouts – Church Street, early 1970s

“Over the years I became a Brownie Guider and later a Guide Guider… I enclose a photo taken by my late husband of a St.George’s Day Parade in Church Street in the early 1970s. The service had taken place in St.James’ Church and the parade had passed the Park and continued towards Shirley High Street.”

Mrs Rita Judd  (18th May 2007)

One of our other contributors has spotted her father in Mrs Judd’s photo above!
“My late father is second from the left in this photo, standing looking on, with his beret on at an angle. He was a Venture Scout leader.”
Penny Hall (April 2012)

Trees around the Park

The trees on Winchester Road used to be within the Park, but when the road was widened from a two-lane to a three-lane highway (some time in the 1970s we believe), the boundary of the Park had to be moved back. Thanks to a campaign by local residents, the trees were saved from destruction, although they’re now outside the Park itself. It seems that there have also been other such campaigns – for example, one to save an evergreen oak tree.

Mr and Mrs Hobbs (5th July 2008)




Peter Slack, Ivy Doreen Wren, Stephen Slack, Judy Wren – June 1970
An Afternoon’s Entertainment at the Park

This photo was taken at the same location as that of Judy’s uncle’s and father’s football team above, on Sunday 27th June 1970.

“It shows Peter Slack, Ivy Doreen Wren, Stephen Slack and Judy Wren, i.e. me!”
“I was thirteen at the time, and had been living in Shirley Towers for two years – Shirley Rec was very popular and we’d visited it many times from when I was small.”

“As a child there were certain things you had to do in the Park – enter the Park via the Church Street entrance, go down the slope, have a go on the swings, etc. Go past the now Café, which was then only toilets, with the Park Keeper’s office on the right‑hand side (to play tennis you had to go and book a time and court). Then climb halfway up the embankment where there was a little track and follow it all the way along to the far end, looking down at the tennis courts and empty half of the Park on the way round, all the way round back to the Church Street entrance and down into the most beautiful part of the Park – the area on the left hand side as you entered via Church Street where every year there was a small avenue of glorious cherry trees and I think roses in the beds. Another play on the swings, etc, and that was an afternoon well spent!”

Judy Humby (née Wren), September 2014

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