Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Walpole Park

don't know if this is too far off the radar but this picture of some of the gardeners who helped win Ealing the London in Bloom Trophy in 1984, includes two lads off the Cuckoo Estate. In the front row are second from the left Mick Gainsborough and fourth from left myself. We were both based at Walpole Park and did gardening for Central Ealing and I've attached a couple of pictures of the Peacock flower bed that helped win the trophy.
Both Mick and I went to Brentside Seniors although we didn't know each other until we met at Walpole in 1980. When the gardening was privatised in 1990 we both moved on to other jobs with the Council, I went to Brent Lodge (Bunny Park) to work as an Animal Keeper and Mick moved on to Housing.
I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the standard of gardening at that time was the highest it has ever been and this was due in main to the supervisor, a man of Kent, Cyril Baker (far right in picture) and his charge-hand, a man of Somerset, Reg Foster (far left in picture), who brought their combined skills and experience together at Walpole Park. Of course without "The Team" nothing would have been achieved. Actually Reg can claim to be a Cuckooite as he lived for a few years in Kennedy Road before retireing back to Somerset.


Anonymous said...

i agree with out the team of workers the parks would not be much. my dad worked at the bunny park for many years he moved to clacton in 1987 there is still a few memerys of his work like the fish pond witch he built. we visited the park after the last reuion is very sad to see the park not as nice as we remembered it mind you every changes in 20 years from sue boyce [shelvey]

jim davis said...

When I lived in Cornwall in the mid 70s on one of my frequent trips back to London I brought my training partner with me. He had never been outside of Cornwall before then. It was springtime all the trees on our streets were in blossom, and he found it hard to take in the beauty. I gave him a tour of the Lido, Monkey park, Walpole park and more. He said "we have got nothing like these places in Cornwall, I thought London was just a concrete jungle". Isn't it strange it was not till I brought that person to London that I realized what a beautiful place we had to live in back then, largely due to the Council garden staff.

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