It’s easy to overlook the devastation wrought on the landscape by a couple of hundred years of quarrying stone, mining coal for energy, and clay for bricks & pipes. In what would become Telford, green rolling hills were in short supply. This article from 1971 has a cute line drawing portraying an artists impression of what the Town Park could eventually become.
From the press cuttings from the private collection of John Steele, the future predictions of what Telford would have in terms of facilities was scarily accurate. A much better success rate than Tomorrows World enjoyed. The hotel referred to in this piece became the Holiday Inn, playing fields are Telford Hornets rugby pitches and the park is surrounded by housing although St Leonards, I think, became Malinslee. The only thing missing was the boathouse, although we did have pedaloes on the now drained Southwater Lake for a few years.
One thing that wasn’t predicted was the rapid demise of the Ever Ready factory at Dawley. Built in 1956 amongst the pit spoils of the area, the last battery left there around 1993. There is an interesting potted history of the company though the 20th Century identifying the mistakes and the missed opportunities here: Every Ready: Assault & Battery.
One of my memories from the 70s & 80s of the town park, is the Super Saturday events, eventually becoming Kids International. Huge attendance of the event which could be compared to the county shows but with a focus on entertainment rather than agriculture. Fun-Fairs, stunt driving, army displays and I can recall Noel Edmonds turning up to one. There are some pictures here Hand On Our Park Memories.
These scans were from a Telford Scrapbook put together charting the rise of Telford by John Steele of Oakengates, and contributed by Michelle Jones.