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Park’s birthday party set

Birthday: Anniversary celebrations will be held in Haslam Park

Birthday: Anniversary celebrations will be held in Haslam Park

A live music, displays and competitions spectacular will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of a Preston park this weekend.

Award-winning Haslam Park, which first opened its doors in 1910, will host a string of free events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to mark the celebrations.

Hundreds of people are expected to flood into the Victorian grounds for the programme, the majority of which will be held on Saturday when musicians including Preston Concert Band, Preston Flute Group, Trouble At’ Mill, Ken Nichol and The Locomotion will play in a special marquee.

In addition, formation kite flying is due to take place throughout the day, while horse and carriage rides, a bowling competition and a fairground will all be running.

Canal boats will also be moored along the Lancaster Canal and trips will be provided throughout Saturday.

On Friday the centenary celebrations will be kicked off by children from several city schools taking part in a sports and games event.

Philip Pacey, of the Friends of Haslam Park group, which was founded in 2002, said there would be something for everyone.

He said: “One of the most potentially spectacular events is the formation kite flying. If we get a bit of wind that will be a highlight in terms of what people see.

“The other thing is the music marquee because we have really got a mini music festival.

“Preston is very rich in parks, but Haslam Park is a wonderful space with a lot of access to the fresh air.

“It has got trees but it has got a lot of big open areas and one of the special things about it is it leads straight into the country.”

Haslam Park was first presented to the city, then still a town, by Mary Haslam in memory of her father John Haslam, known as the owner of a cotton mill in Parker Street and a champion of children and the poor. She had commissioned the design and construction of the park, which was formerly open pasture land. It opened in 1910, still only partly finished.

Her main ambition for the park was to ensure that there was enough space for children to play and donated additional money to ensure development.

A landscape designer, Thomas H Mawson, was contracted to complete the final vision of the park which opened in 1912.

In 1915 Mawson amended his plans to include swimming baths but, due to a lack of funds, the idea was shelved.

The baths were finally constructed in 1932.

The feature has not survived.

 

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