Massive summer party planned for Banbury
The park opened in 1919 with an event that commemorated peace after World War One and has been a place of tranquility, beauty and adventure ever since.The centenary birthday party will take place on Sunday,July 14 and will include stalls, games, food, music and entertainment for everyone.
The free event will run from 10.30am to 3.30pm and start with a colourful procession through the town streets.
Cllr Colin Clarke, chairman of Banbury Town Council’s general services committee, said: “Many residents will have happy memories of People’s Park, from their childhood and from later life.“Many will have visited as children, parents, and grandparents. I hope they all come to the centenary celebrations.
"It’s going to be a fun day for everyone and there is much to celebrate. The park has an interesting history and a guaranteed future.”
Much of the park was purchased for the town with money bequeathed by benefactor George Vincent Ball who declared in his will that the funds should be used to obtain land to be a park for the recreation of ‘all classes of Banbury people.’
The land was originally bought in 1910 by a syndicate of local people when the Neithrop Estate was put up for auction. The syndicate then leased it to the borough council of the time as a park.In 1918, Mr Ball’s legacy enabled the council to buy the land from the syndicate.
Two smaller sections in the Warwick Road/Bath Road area were also bought in 1918 by the council and all three sections became People’s Park.
The GV Ball (People’s Park) Charity still exists and its stated objective is: “to provide land as a park for the recreation of all classes of the public during every day of the week from sunrise to sunset all year round to be ornamentally planted and laid out and to be called People's Park.”
Banbury Town Council , who own and maintain the park, is organising the anniversary party with help from a local residents group.
Group member Frankie Brown said: “People’s Park has been enjoyed by generations and will continue to provide a pleasant and peaceful green space in the town centre."On 14 July the park will be decorated and full of music, dancing and activities for all age groups. It is a date for everyone’s diaries.”
Further information is available from Ann Sewell, events manager at the town council on 01295 250340 or by emailing [email protected].