Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Lost Parks Of Huddersfield

A note to new readers : - Each week a group of bloggers from around the world post on a common theme. The weekly theme is taken from a list of suggestions contributed over time by the bloggers themselves and interpretations of the theme can be in any format. Besides the weekly theme, the only other common ingredient is inventiveness. Links to all the participating blogs can be found on the Theme Thursday blog. The theme for this week is "park".


Most of the postcards in Great Uncle Fowlers' postcard collection date back to the first decade of the twentieth century and it is unusual for me to get a glimpse of his life after that time. Although I met him in the late 1950s, by then he was very old and I was still too young to take any interest in the story of his life. It is only in recent years that I have begun to piece together the story of this Keighley-born millwright and most of the clues have come from the messages on his treasured postcards. It was therefore with interest that, in searching through the collection to find a card to illustrate this weeks' theme of "park" I came across a card sent to him in June 1933. The front of the card shows a picture of Beaumont Park in Huddersfield, but it is the message side of the card that first caught my attention.


In 1933 Fowler was living in Raven Street, Keighley in a back-to-back terraced house which, as far as I can discover, is still standing today. The card comes from a certain B or perhaps R H Scott. For some reason the message has been written upside down, so to make things easier I have transcribed it.

Dear Bro Beanland. I have not as yet fixed up my digs but I intend leaving here at 1.55 pm arriving in Blackpool about 5.20 pm on Mon s if you are there first please look out for me. Yours Fraternally B H Scott.

The "Bro" (Brother) greeting and fraternal signature strongly suggests that both Fowler and Brother Scott were both delegates to a trade union or labour movement conference that was taking place in the seaside resort of Blackpool in June 1933. I have tried all the obvious candidates - the Labour Party, the TUC, and the AEU - but none of them seemed to have been meeting in Blackpool that year. But no doubt I will eventually track down the reason for the excursion to Blackpool, and another piece in the jigsaw puzzle that is Uncle Fowler will fall into place.

But the reason why I first pulled this card out of the box was the picture of the park and not my unfinished history of Fowler Beanland. What was rather surprising is that it shows a picture of Beaumont Park in Huddersfield, and although I have lived in the town for the last sixteen years I have to confess I had never heard of it. I have now done a little research and discovered where the park is. So tomorrow I intend to go in search of, what for me is, one of the lost parks of Huddersfield. I will try and find the same spot from where the postcard photograph was taken 75 years ago. As I write this I have no idea what we will find there, but by this time tomorrow, both you and I should know.

22 comments:

  1. ooo...a mystery to solve...happy hunting alan...hope you find the park and tell us more...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, I can't wait to find out!

    ReplyDelete
  3. How very interesting. I wish you success and can't wait to see what you find.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, I can't wait to see the updated picture of the park if you find it. How very interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beaumont Park was beautiful in that postcard! It will be interesting to see what you find tomorrow. I wonder if the land is dividing and building stand there now. We'll all be waiting to hear from you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. oh now I'm interested in the rest of the story

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looking forward to the results of your sleuthing, Alan. That vintage postage stamp is wonderful, btw. I smile every time you mention Fowler Beanland!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cool! A missing park in need of finding. Good luck on the search.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't even know where to start with this comment!

    1. Cool photo on the postcard.

    2. What a fabulous treasure trove you must have, when you speak of these postcards, I almost start to drool. :)

    3. The adventure awaits! I can't wait to come find out how it turns out, but I'm almost afraid to...if they've paved it over, or turned it into a McDonalds, please lie to us okay?

    Great TT post, glad I found you. :)
    -C

    ReplyDelete
  10. This week's theme has opened a mystery. One that you the detective are bound to solve.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jolly careless of them to lose a park! (I should catch up with this Theme thingy. I almost posted a photo of Roberts Park today but decided on my rainy walk instead!)

    ReplyDelete
  12. No ,I havnt heard of that park either Alan.Happy Hunting!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy hunting!!!Perhaps they were Lodge members?

    ReplyDelete
  14. the game's afoot!

    look forward to my installments of the mystery of the intriguing fowler beanland (what a great name! and look forward to pics of the park - let's just hope it's not a parking lot these days.

    happy tt!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. this is exciting --can't wait to read more--one thought on the brother reference--could your uncle have been a mason? happy tt!

    ReplyDelete
  16. beautiful writing,
    Glad to see you in my place.
    Happy Thursday!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have just discovered a 'lost' amusement park near where I grew up while researching a photo I took, so am very interested in what you will find.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am intrigued now. I'll have to come back tomorrow and see what you have found out concerning the park. Wonderful post and what a treasure those old post cards must be. I must confess that I'm envious. I love old postcards. Happy mystery solving.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It looks like a lovely place in the old photo--here's hoping it still is!

    ReplyDelete
  20. and from this small bit of history a story may grow...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Having all those postcards has to be such a pleasure. It is pure honest history right before, yet for you to identify or interpret each one. The park is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  22. OOh exploring and looking for treasure! What caught my eye was the absolute precision time of his departure and arrival. Public transport must be very prompt in your part of the world. I'll be on a bus at 10:50am this morning but i bet it doesn't arrive on time and I'll be late for lunch! Have a good one!

    ReplyDelete