History repeats as People’s Park turns 100

People's Park celebration The Royal British Legion Shires Band leads to the procession NNL-190715-142940001
People's Park celebration The Royal British Legion Shires Band leads to the procession NNL-190715-142940001

History repeated itself on Sunday as Banbury celebrated the 100th anniversary of People’s Park.

Hundreds of residents watched as the clock was turned back to 1919, when a procession through town led by a Fine lady on a White Horse was met in the park by Lord North, the High Steward of Banbury at the time, who officially opened the amenity.

High Steward Sir Tony Baldry and deputy town mayor Surinder Dhesi with the Fine Lady on a White Horse at the opening ceremony. NNL-190715-143417001

High Steward Sir Tony Baldry and deputy town mayor Surinder Dhesi with the Fine Lady on a White Horse at the opening ceremony. NNL-190715-143417001

On Sunday, 100 years on, a similar procession led by a modern-day Lady on a White Horse was greeted by current High Steward Sir Tony Baldry who got the birthday party underway.

Sir Tony said: “People’s Park is a wonderful facility. It’s a place that is loved and has been loved by generations of Banbury families.

“It was Banbury’s first real park and its opening one hundred years ago was a huge event for townspeople.”

The birthday celebrations, organised by Banbury Town Council, included stalls, games, dog show, food, music and arena entertainment for people of all ages.

People's Park celebrations Adderbury Morris Men dancer for the crowds NNL-190715-150132001

People's Park celebrations Adderbury Morris Men dancer for the crowds NNL-190715-150132001

Three trees were planted as part of the celebrations. A strawberry tree and a halesia (snowdrop) tree were planted on Friday before the big day, and a black gum tree was planted by Sir Tony Baldry and deputy town mayor Surinder Dhesi during the event.

Cllr Dhesi said: “People’s Park is a place that holds happy memories for many Banbury families. They will have come here as children, parents, and grandparents and hopefully future generations will continue to come.”

Rafe Flemming, 4, with her tombola prize at the Spana stall. Spana supports working animals around the world NNL-190715-144324001

Rafe Flemming, 4, with her tombola prize at the Spana stall. Spana supports working animals around the world NNL-190715-144324001

Roman and Aubriegh Gregg in a police van

Roman and Aubriegh Gregg in a police van

Peoples Park celebration Eden, Corsten amd Mia win a prize at the MS stall NNL-190715-144536001

Peoples Park celebration Eden, Corsten amd Mia win a prize at the MS stall NNL-190715-144536001

Peoples Park procession NNL-190715-143647001

Peoples Park procession NNL-190715-143647001

Peoples Park procession NNL-190715-143953001

Peoples Park procession NNL-190715-143953001