I ambled up to the top of the park with Isabel this morning. She took me to a spot where there was once a shelter building known as the Roundhouse. Isabel used to play with friends in there as a child and they would sing songs as the acoustics were so wonderful. On either side of the Roundhouse were toilets, the boys’ were slighter lower down the slope than the girls’, so the girls would climb above to catch the boys having a pee and throw pebbles on them for a laugh.
She told me how there were two main themes to their playtimes in the park, cowboys or pirates (inspired by Treasure Island) and they would enact all the films as they ran making Tarzan calls through the trees.
We walked up to the Conservatory which I think Isabel found difficult due to the sorry state its in. She’s avoided walking by since the windows have been smashed and couldn’t hide her sadness and disappointment that people feel compelled to commit such senseless vandalism.
In the afternoon I went to the museum to talk to Richard Croasdale. Richard’s in his seventies and worked at a large weaving mill in Blackburn from the age of 15 until he retired. Richard built and repaired the weaving looms, he can take mosts things apart and put them back together in gleaming, perfect working order. He comes to the museum every Thursday afternoon and oils and polishes all the weaving loom equipment, it’s a real labour of love for him. Richard told me some of his Corporation Park tales and was kind enough to give me a selection of old photographs and tinted postcards. (I’ll scan them in tomorrow and post them on the blog)