I MET a lady recently who was born in the year that Victoria Park opened, which was 1908, writes Friend of Victoria Park, Victoria Wood.
She is 94 and livng in sheltered housing,and still enjoying her life. She has memories of being pushed round the Pleasure Gardens in her pram.
This got me thinking about the changes which she, and the Park have seen over all those years.
Stafford has changed from a shoe making town, with one industry, through the 20s and 30s with with the arrival of English Electric (now Alstom) to a town which is developing into a centre of different technology based units.
Most families now have at least one car and are able to travel greater distances on days out.
We have Supermarkets instead of the butcher, baker and candlestick-maker.
Almost everyone has the capability of immediate one to one contact with friends and family through mobile phones, instead of a phone box at the end of the street, or if you were well off a telephone in the house.
I could go on.
The Park has seen huge changes too.
It started with the formal Pleasure Grounds,opposite the railway station, with its flowerbeds and meandering walks, where workers from the shoe factories could take a little exercise on their scant time off.
In the 1930s the opposite side of the river was developed with the bowling green and the conservatory and aviary,again meeting the needs of the people of Stafford.
The park expanded again to the other side of Victoria Road, with tennis courts and a paddling pool and children’s play equipment.
The children’play area was completely updated and revamped in 2011 to meet the needs of Stafford people in the 21st century.
So what next?
The Friends of Victoria Park are working to make the park more wildlife-friendly, and to develop a wild flower area on the Doxey Road side of the park.
This will involve sowing seeds and planting bulbs over the next few weeks.
So if you see us working, or want to come and help, please feel free to do so.