Mr Stoatie and I had an evening out last night. I had to pick him up from work and we decided that as we were down that neck of the woods, we might as well go and see a fillum at the cinema. We grabbed a bite to eat and then with about three quarters of an hour to kill, went to sit in the tiny triangular park which is set smack in the centre of one of the busiest junctions in town. The park is a remnant of the garden belonging to Parrs Wood House. This would have been in the countryside when it was built in the late eighteenth century. In the 1960s it became Parrs Wood School and the House itself is now the sixth form centre. I can remember there being fields there when I was young, but the land between it and the main road was sold off and became a huge leisure complex.
Parrs Wood 2012 – from Google Maps
There was a bus depot on the other side of the road (which I also remember – vaguely!) which is now a Tesco store. Before regular buses there used to be trams from the city centre down to Parrs Wood where there was a terminus. The A34 is a dual carriage way into Town, with a large grass verge in the centre – this is where the tram rails used to be. By the late 1930s the trams needed completely upgrading and were not making profits like the new bus companies and so the corporation decided to scrap them. Most of the metal rails etc were taken up and used in the war effort during the following years.
The park has one, circular, flower bed and Mr Stoatie waxed lyrical about how colourful it had been through the summer, with all the wildflowers. Well it looked pretty weedy to me, and when you had a closer look you could see the remains of the spring planting amongst the foliage
I have a sneaky feeling that the ‘wildflowers’ were not a deliberate council planting scheme and although they are rather pretty, they are also rather messy looking right now. However there are such a wide selection of varieties that I think someone must have lent nature a bit of a helping hand.
I have found a local blog called Garden 65 which has photos of the Island bed in the summer when it did look rather fab. The best thing about the park for me was a rather beautiful ash tree which was growing alongside the road with some of it’s offspring surviving along the park rails.