Thursday, 29 January 2015
I had a delightful walk on a crisp, cold but reasonably sunny day in nearby Northcliffe park in Shipley.
The park was gifted to the town by a local businessman and MP, Sir H Norman Rae in the 1920s. He bought the land at auction, from the Fifth Earl of Rosse. It consisted of fields and woods around a deep ravine formed by melting ice at the end of the last Ice Age, further eroded by open cast mining for coal in the early 1800s.
Sir Norman Rae had the foresight and generosity to offer it 'as an open space for recreation and benefit of the public, forever.' Nowadays it is a nice mix of a conventional park with a few formal flower beds, children's playgrounds, allotments, sporting facilities - tennis, bowls and football and a large area of natural woodland and meadows, now cultivated as wildflower havens.
It makes a delightful circular walk of an hour or so from my home. If only Sir Norman Rae could have known how his gift blesses me, nearly 100 years after his bequest.